The Cubs are a bad team. They do stupid things that result in lost games. Here’s a perfect example:
Tonight’s game (7/21/2006) vs. the Washington Nationals
8th Inning Cubs 6 Nationals 4
Eyre leaves after getting one out. His donut-eating ways have caught up to him and he threw his back out. I’m bet he’s glad now that he joined Dusty’s team cuz Dusty doesn’t make him run before games.
Bob Howry is the new pitcher. Soriano hits a bloop to short center. Walker dogs the play. He shuffles his feet to center, holds up his glove and lets the ball drop 10 feet away. What’s the point of him putting his glove up? Who is he fooling? If Walker was actually running, he would have caught that ball. Instead of two outs with nobody on, we have one out with a runner on first. Thanks for the effort, Todd. Sticking your glove in the air really proves you’re a major league second baseman.
Next batter, Anderson singles. Runners 1st and 2nd, one out.
Soriano steals third. Barrett makes a terrible throw to third. The ball bounces 3 feet in front of third. Anderson is confused and remains at first. He broke for second to make a double steal, but he must have temporarily thought he was Jacque Jones and stalled mid-stream to second. Nats should have runners on second and third. Instead they give the Cubs a gift and have runners on first and third.
Zimmerman pops down the firstbase line. Walker and Jones running after the ball. Jones slows down and lets Walker catch the ball. Walker’s momentum is carrying him away from home plate. He makes a late throw to home. Soriano scores. If Jones caught the ball, Soriano wouldn’t even attempt to tag up and score because Jones’ momentum was carrying him home. Jones must call off Walker on that play. rockheads.
Cubs 6 Nationals 5. two outs.
Johnson bloops a single to center. Runners on First and Third. two outs.
Escobar hits a ball to left in the corner. Runner on third (Anderson) scores easily. Now Murton needs to prevent the runner on first (Zimmerman) from scoring. Murton is about 3 feet away from the wall. Rather than playing the ball off the wall, he decides that 3 feet is too important and attempts a slide to prevent the ball from hitting the wall… which is only lousy 3 feet away. Murton trips on his spikes. Kicks the ball. Ball goes flying. Lucky for Murt, the ball bounces off the wall right into his lap. Murt makes a clean throw to the cut-off man (amazing! a Cub outfielder finds the cut-off man). Cedeno has 45 feet to throw out Zimmerman. 45 feet. Cedeno’s throw pulls Barrett 10 off the plate. Zimmerman scores easily.
Nationals 7 Cubs 6
Top of the 9th
Pierre pops out for the first out. I love it when the best base stealer in the game pops out to lead off the 9th inning being down one run. What joy.
Phil Nevin batting. He hits a short bloop to center. Second baseman, Marlon Anderson, hustles and makes a sliding catch. Huh. Does the location of that batted ball sound familiar? The ball was in the exact same spot where Walker was tippy-toeing and waving his mitt in the air.
Two outs. And who should stroll to the plate? Todd Walker. If you don’t have the leather, then make sure you have wood. Walker grounds out to end the game.
Walker dogs a pop fly.
Barrett bounces a throw to third.
Jones doesn’t call off Walker and Nats score an easy run.
Murton fumbles in left and gets lucky.
Cedeno turns an easy out into a run with a terrible throw.
That’s five. Count ’em FIVE terrible defensive plays in one half inning.
Next thing you know, the Cubs turn a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the 8th into a 7-6 deficit and lose the game.
None of those plays go into the books as an error. Yet it’s all plays that resulted in the Cubs blowing a lead and thusly the game. It’s crap like that that makes the Cubs a terrible terrible team.
Is it Baker’s fault? Is it the players’ fault? Yes and Yes. It’s obvious why it’s the players’ fault. Yet, some would argue that Baker had nothing to do with those plays. I argue he has everything to do with those plays simply because bad fielding like this happens ALL THE TIME with this team. It’s clear that Baker doesn’t teach his team how to correct such poor fielding decisions because it happens ALL THE TIME.