Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Premature Panic

Yes, the Cubs have lost three in a row at home for the first time this season. Yes, the Cubs haven't had an extra base hit since Friday. Yes, the lead is only 4.5 games. And, yes, the starting pitchers are missing games.

So what?

First, slumps happen with this team. Hell, it happened to Soriano in for April. They'll dig their way out.

But the screaming about the pitchers missing time is hilarious. What Lou Piniella is doing is using the lead he has to make sure that the pitchers are well rested for a long playoff run. Look at Carlos Zambrano. In June, he was 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA with a 1.78 WHIP. He went on the DL for a stint. When he came back in July, 4-1 with a 1.78 ERA and 0.91 WHIP.

Rest did the Z some good, no?

By resting Z and having Rich Harden skip a start, Lou is just trying to get September and October setup with a well prepared, well rested pitching staff.

Other notes:

- The Brewers called up 10 players yesterday. Until they send down Eric Gagne, it makes no difference.

- I see that in the wake of Jay Mariotti leaving the Sun Times, Chris DeLuca called Mariotti out:

Not once in the last eight years can I recall seeing Mariotti in the Cubs' or Sox' clubhouse. With a press credential that allowed him access to every major sporting event and every major figure, he hasn't broken a single story in that time. He says Chicago is a weak market, the competitive edge gone. He has only himself to blame.

When Lou Piniella was hired by the Cubs, the Sun-Times reported it first. Mariotti had no role in that major story. He says the market has gone soft. If that's true, he played as big a role in the softening as anyone else.

He called his colleagues soft, forgetting we're the ones who had to face his targets on a daily basis. We were the ones who had to deal with the anger that he was too cowardly to face himself. We got the quotes that made up the bulk of his columns.

So, Mariotti went after people but don't have the guts to face them after doing so? Yeah, coward is the word I'd use, too.

Sheffield Avenue rooftops have a serious disadvantage over Waveland Avenue rooftops for day games. The afternoon sun just kills your eyes. Maybe that explains why the food and service were so much better.

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