Blast Off! A Featured Columnist's Rant On The Chicago Cubs

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IAugust 18, 2009

I've tried so hard to play nice, and be eloquent with my arguments regarding the Chicago Cubs. I've given them the benefit of the doubt and even tried to support the cloud's silver lining for months.

I'm done.

What you'll read below is what I really think and feel about the 2009 Chicago Cubs. I'm not writing this piece to be a Pulitzer, but to take off the charm and happy face and tell you where I am at with these Cubs.

If you're personal friends with or are related to anyone in the Cubs organization, please don't take this personally. I don't hate anyone with the Cubs personally; I've met very few of the players and management and so anything I say is my personal opinion of their job as a professional.

Consider the disclaimer over. The gloves are now off.

Lou Piniella

You have become the polar opposite of the man that gave me hope when you were hired. You were a maverick who mixed it up and didn't take any garbage from anyone. And you were a winner.

Apparently all that went out the window when you came to Chicago.

Now you're an old man that doesn't have the stones to roll the dice and make important decisions because your boss, the General Manager, has tied your hands with mediocre players. You keep trotting out the same hot mess every day, and it never works.

Wasn't it Einstein that defined insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results? See Kevin Gregg in the ninth inning.

You, Lou, have failed Cubs fans. You gave in to the pressure of salaries and gave up in 2009. Last year, you were man enough to sit Fukudome for the final month of the season because he was so bad, and yet there he was to start the playoffs. This year, it's Aaron Miles that somehow keeps getting a paycheck. Why?

I thought the world of you when you got here, Lou. Now I would rather have Tom Trebelhorn back; at least with T-Squared Cubs fans didn't have anything to tease their hopes and dreams.

Aaron Miles

How you got a two-year contract is robbery. In fact, it's worse than whatever that Buffalo cab driver is claiming Patrick Kane and his cousin did to him. You should be in jail.

In fact, if you were in jail, the guards could roll the keys to your cell back and forth three feet away from you and be assured that they were safe; after watching you play the infield this year, your range isn't three feet and if you got to the keys, you wouldn't be able to pick them up and do anything with them.

Furthermore, I would like to know how you keep your job after every single at bat. Seriously. Most little kids go to camps, or their dad buys the Tom Emanski video (Fred McGriff told us to). Apparently your daddy bought you the Helen Keller Approach video and told you to watch it all weekend before Spring Training. You're miserable.

I would be willing to bet that, after ever Kevin Gregg appearance, Piniella's blood alcohol is higher than your batting average. (It's not hard; a couple good shots and you're higher than .180-whatever Miles is doing right now.)

You're not good. I didn't want to say the name, because one person can't fix everything, but the fact that you replaced Mark DeRosa makes it even worse. He was a classy guy that was always on the field and always produced. You're always somewhere doing nothing productive.

I would personally pay the buyout on your contract if I had the money. Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

Alfonso Soriano

Thank you for shutting up about leading off. You're now batting sixth, where you belong.

You're also now the most expensive sixth hitter in the history of the game.

I'll tell you what, Fonzy, let's make a deal. You give back 80 percent of your contract to lower the prices of beer for the people that have to watch you drop and misplay fly balls and strike out with runners in scoring position until you learn how to be an All Star. When you're worth a god's ransom, you can have it.

Until then, play for the major league minimum. That's what you've given the fans this year.

Ryan Dempster

Don't jump any more fences. Stairs—under rated.

Randy Wells

Thank you.

Carlos Zambrano

Thanks for breaking the news this weekend that you're lazy. If you hadn't said it, nobody would have guessed that you don't try very hard.

Let's review your career in Chicago, shall we? You've missed games because you had forearm tightness from late night emailing, you refused to keep yourself properly hydrated enough to stay in games, and now you have a bad back because you don't do anything between starts.

Just like I did with Soriano, I've got a deal for you, Big Cray-Z: give back your entire contract. We'll write up a new one that pays you one million dollars for every quality start you make during a season.

If you pitch like you should, you'll actually get a raise out of this proposition.

If you pitch like you have, you'll give back a few million a year so the team can sign more blind mice like Miles to fill out a lineup card.

Angel Guzman

I hope you get to close soon, and I appreciate that you, like Kerry Wood, battled back from a lot of injuries to contribute to this team and accepted any role they would give to you. You're a professional. Thank you.

Kevin Gregg

Go get lost in the woods for a few months while the ballplayers try to win games.

Or, better yet, get a few endorsement deals to supplement your income while you're (hopefully) unemployed next year. I've got a few ideas for you along those lines.

Toro lawnmowers. Oh wait, they blow LEAVES, not LEADS. My bad.

How about Gap Kids? They've got good stuff for kids up to eight years old; you're great during the first eight innings of a game...

Maybe there's a deal out there for you IHOP. After all, if their french toast is all over the plate and makes patrons' eyes light up, your fastball is the same thing for opposing batters.

Or perhaps there's a law firm that deals with on-the-job injuries. You have to have whiplash from jerking your neck around to watch those walk-off home runs.

Hopefully some of these ideas help as you look for work in a few weeks. You've done a miserable job of wasting every opportunity the Cubs have had this year to make a jump in the standings. You're a joke of a closer, and shouldn't be allowed in a major league bullpen.

Earlier this season, I wrote a piece that asked if you were going to become the new Rod Beck or LaTroy Hawkins for Cubs fans. You're worse than Hawkins.

Carlos Marmol

Remember that time, back in the day, when you could throw strikes? That was awesome.

Aaron Heilman

The fact that we gave up Ronny Cedeno for you makes me mad.

But, I see why the Cubs did it. If Gregg was going to be the closer, then he needed to have something to keep his spirits up. So they traded for you, the one guy in the National League that could blow more leads than Gregg late in games.

So you're here as nothing more than a self esteem booster for the idiot closer. Nice.

John Grabow/Tom Gorzelanny

I know this is supposedly better than Pittsburgh, but I'm sure you guys thought you were coming to Chicago for a pennant chase.

Instead, you just bumped back your elimination date by eight weeks. Sorry guys.

David Patton

Wherever you are, stay there. Please.

And next time you go there, wherever "there" is, take Gregg and Heilman with you.

Joey Gathright

Thanks for stopping by.

Ryan Freel

See Gathright

Aramis Ramirez

I didn't think we were totally dependant on one player for offense.

I was wrong.

Derrek Lee

In March and April I asked for you to be traded because you got off to such a slow start. My fear was that you were the dead weight anchor on a sinking ship.

I was wrong (again).

You saddled this team on your back and carried it for two months while Ramirez was out, and you have rebounded to have a fantastic season this year. I respect you for coming out and being a professional and doing as much as you can despite the lineup around you.

Thank you.

Jake Fox

Where have you been the last three years? And how can we keep you in the lineup? Hopefully whomever takes over for Piniella when he quits/retires/gets fired/is taken away in a straight jacket figures out a place for you every day.

Ryan Theriot

Do you realize that there are only three full-time shortstops in the National League with a higher batting average than you? That's amazing when you consider nobody knows you exist.

Mike Fontenot

When you were roommates with Theriot at LSU, did he drink all the good Gatorade? Because you're barely hitting Geovany Soto's weight (or at least what it should be).

Joe Morgan

Shut up. I know this has nothing to do with the Cubs, but I'm sick of Joe Morgan talking about himself and how great he is and all the Hall of Fame players he played with/against. Just shut up.

Geovany Soto

For a change of pace, make the following your winter workout routine this year: put the Cheetos down, put your bong in the dishwasher, and go take batting practice.

Milton Bradley


Many Cubs fans, myself included, love Mark Grace. He was the first baseman to multiple generations of Cubs fans and brought many female fans to the park. He brought us the glory of an ivy-painted Harley Davidson and the term "slumpbuster." He also led all of baseball in hits and doubles in the 1990s.

How many winning seasons did the Cubs have while Grace was leading the free world in hits?

Reality is that my favorite Cub has a baseball card filled with empty numbers; the two-run double when the team was chasing a touchdown, or the six-hit game when the team won by nine.

That, my friends, is Milton Bradley.

When the games counted, you were nowhere to be found. You were telling us about how much of a "changed man" you were in Spring Training, and then waited just a couple innings to get ejected at Wrigley Field.

You've started to hit, and get on base, very well now that the games are becoming meaningless. You've become the new king of the perfect day in a losing cause.

Thankfully for you, there's one general manager in baseball that thinks empty numbers are worth $30 million.

The Aarons (Heilman and Miles)

Are you still here? Why?

Rich Harden

Say "Hi" to Mr. Hyde when you see him.

Koyie Hill

You're my vote for MVP for this season (if you would even want that "honor"). When is someone going to get the memo that the Cubs are more than 10 games over .500 when you catch over the last two years?

Jeff Baker

Like Gorzelanny and Grabow, I'm sorry you had to be here for this.

Kosuke Fukudome

You surprised me this year. Nice job bouncing back from the benching last year to be a solid member of the team. You're playing like someone worth half your contract. Hopefully the manager next year will think twice about taking you out of the leadoff spot; you've been really good there since Piniella moved you up.

Jim Hendry

This is your fault. This article is long enough already, so I'll air my grievances with you later. But this entire season is your fault.

You, sir, took the best regular season team in the National League from 2008 and destroyed it. This is now a team that won't come within 20 wins of what it did last season, and it's because of you.

I hope and pray the Ricketts family takes one look at the team's performance this year and you're the first one out the door. You haven't drafted well in years and your major league talent evaluation is ridiculous. There's 12 percent of the population that's unemployed right now that probably did a better job at whatever they did than you have done constructing this failure of a team.

Go away. And don't come back.


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