Listening to Chicago Cub manager Mike Quade talk is like listening to a broken record. You keep hearing the same meaningless message again and again.
His focus is on playing his veterans, to whom he thinks he owes something, despite those veterans being mainly responsible for the team's current fifth-place status.
In the Sunday Chicago Tribune he explained his thinking: "They deserve the opportunity; they don't deserve to be shelved, and I don't think we're going to be successful in a lot of different areas if I shelve all those guys."
Let me repeat: They are in fifth place in the division. Does that sound like success to you?
He continued talking about their contributions mentioning Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena saying, "Those guys anchored this club, and where we would be without them I have no idea."
I do—let me help: in fifth place.
Both Ramirez and Pena did nothing the first few months in the season when the games still mattered. (I'm exaggerating a bit by saying a few months.) Then with the pressure off, they performed like champions and for that, they are rewarded, while he continues to ignore the future of the team.
Both players' contracts are up after the season and they want to come back next year. Quade is playing right into that and helping to build their resume and gain a long-term contract if the Cubs are foolish enough to go along.
Quade was already quoted talking about next year, saying that in exit meetings after the season, "he has a pretty long list, and wants to make sure that young Cub players in particular work on weak parts of their game during the offseason."
Why does he care what is going to happen next year, and why should the players bother listening to him? Does he actually think he will be back managing the team next year?
Looking ahead, he thinks there's no reason the Cubs can't contend next year.
While it's not likely they will, him being gone will go a long way to them having a chance to compete.
The clueless Quade meanwhile continues his mantra as this season winds down, telling the Tribune, "The thing about it is, you're trying to win games."
Why bother now when you couldn't win when it mattered? What Quade is proving is that he can win games in August and September when his team is hopelessly out of the race.
It's because he continues to play his veterans at the expense of getting at-bats for players like Tyler Colvin, who you are still trying to figure out if he is a prospect or not. I thought they traded Kosuke Fukudome for that reason.
Not only is he not giving most of the youngsters a fair opportunity to play, but he is also risking the health of his pitching staff trying to get them victories, along with reaching possible goals.
The Cub starting staff is decimated, with only Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster sure things for next season. It seems Quade, in his fervor to placate their egos, is trying to damage their pitching arms.
Dempster threw 128 pitches the other day, his most in the last 10 years. Garza followed up a few days later with 124 when Quade tried to get him a complete-game win.
If he ends up injuring either or both of them with his dangerous tactics, he will continue to haunt the team even when the plug is mercilessly pulled on him when the season ends.
He also talked recently that the most difficult part of his job is coming up with the daily lineup. He mentioned that it consumes a great deal of his time. I can't see why, when he mainly plays the veterans and lets the kids rot away on the bench.
I guess I didn't realize how hard it is to play eeny, meeny, miny, moe.