Filed:September 3rd, 2009
Milton Bradley strikes out in the sixth inning to the background of cheering Sox fans (Cubbie Nation)
"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"—John Maynard Keynes
Shut him down.
And I think we all know who I'm referring to. You can look all over the place to find blame and fault over the Cubs 5-0 loss to the White Sox. Really. Lou Piniella. Milton Bradley. Jake Fox. Sean Marshall. Aaron Miles, who once more came up empty, this time in an eighth-inning pinch-hit appearance.
Really even the entire Cubs offense, for yet again making a previously unseen young pitcher look like the second coming of Cy Young, because a group of supposed professional hitters won't read the advanced scouting reports, and adjust.
Personally, I've got my eyes dead red on Alfonso Soriano, the $136 million dollar man that I can't find a Cubs fan willing to pay $136 dollars for this morning.
His at-bats over the last few days were amongst the worst I've seen this year. His inability to take pitches even with the Cubs in the most desperate need of base runners in the ninth inning was a lesson to young players on what not to do. He'd strike out on some of the worst breaking balls that one could imagine.
But his miss of the A.J. Pierzynski fly ball down the left field line which allowed Gordon Beckham to score, and the Sox to turn what should have been an easy inning into game breaker, has convinced me that's it's time to shut the kid down for the year.
I know, I know. He's injured. And I suppose there's something to be said for a player wanting to earn his pay. The problem is that we've not only reached the point where his poor play is costing the team victories, but he's embarrassing himself and the franchise.
Once a player no longer has that confidence, that swagger, that comfort in his physical abilities, he's worthless.
Maybe I'd feel differently if there wasn't a better substitute. However Jake Fox is hitting a healthy .286/.332/.526, which is just good, but those are Soriano numbers when healthy. Fox still leaves me breathless tracking fly balls, but at this point, you'll have a tough time convincing me he's worse than Soriano.
So, here's some advice to the Cubs. Put the proverbial dirt on this loss, and walk it off. Shut Mr. Soriano down for the next week altogether, and then use him as needed to finish the season. And try making some in game adjustments so that you don't make guys like Carlos Torres—who'd pick up the win yesterday—look so damn good.