Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Cubs, and whatnot.

I didn't intend to make a blog post on Ye Olde Facebooke, but this is what this turned into.  It was response into this piece from Bleacher Nation:

My feelings hover somewhere in the same concentric circles as disappointment and disgust. Self-righteous, I know. Entitled, yes. But that's what I feel. Joe, Theo and Jed (if Jed's still with the club and not taking over some team President job next season, and if Joe's employed at all next year) need to go back and read Tom Verducci's book on the build up to the 2016 World Series team.
There are so many stupid and consistent playing decisions. I won't call them mistakes. Because they're consistent. They're decisions. Swing from the heels, even with two strikes on you. Don't try at all to beat a defensive shift. Have absolutely no awareness of the current on base situation. And if you're Addison Russell, don't even bother learning the team's signs, all while being completely unwilling to show any sort of contrition or even ownership of off-the-field issues....that's a completely different bad look, but a part of the bigger ugly picture when you look at it.
A year later, I still tip my cap at the 2018 Red Sox, who had (and have) every bit the same amount of talent on their roster, but did all the small, fundamental things that you HAVE to do, and cake walked their way through both the regular season and postseason. Their relative struggles this year, I acknowledge, and point at with recognition that winning is hard, and there are many factors that play into it.
I try not to be a Go Get Some New Management type (look at Tennessee football over the last 13 years or so to see where that mindset can get you). But I threw my hands up in disgust a couple weeks ago, when Cole Hamels was left in to bat when he was obviously spent on the mound, and then taken out after a couple or three batters the next half inning. I have had the feeling all year that they've told Joe he's not coming back next year, and that he's been phoning it in ever since. I just haven't felt the same energy from him or this team that they had even last season.
Injuries are tough. But they're part of every season. Every team has them. I do not accept that excuse. Losing Kimbrel and Rizzo for games down the stretch sucks, but everybody deals with that. Look at the Brewers who lose MVP candidate Christian Yelich and still school you in September.
We're not even done with the 2019 season, and I bristle at some of the stuff that runs across the boards for 2020. The Cubs want Gerrit Cole? OK. Whatever. I try not to listen too hard to the board-talk, but IF that's the case? You have a bullpen that blew NINE 1-run leads this year. You hold all of these? You're up a game and a half in the Central right now. You hold half of them? You're tied with Washington and Milwaukee for that abhorrent 1-game wild card.
A Loss for a pitcher is bit of a loaded stat, but the Cubs Bullpen has something like 33 or 34 losses on their shoulders this year. You cut that number in half? And you've got a 100 win team right now.
(I say all this, realizing my comment about Hamels three or four paragraphs is hard, and I get that).
Regardless, go get bullpen help. Start developing it, too. But if you're so wanting to spend this offseason, you take the 20 or 25 million a year that Gerrit Cole wants and you go find two or three or four quality relievers.
And maybe a leadoff guy. I hate to say this, but we've been missing Dexter Fowler for THREE SEASONS now. I've been screaming "Table-Setters" for the Cubs lineups online for nearly 25 years now. When we had consistent ones in 2015 and 2016, it made that free swinging bunch of kids a lot more palatable because we had guys on base 10 to 15% more of the time. Doesn't seem like much, but if it translates to 10 or 15% more wins? Again, the Cubs are in first in the Central.
Let me also say this: That free-swinging nonsense is a lot less palatable now, because Baez, Schwarber, Rizzo, Bryant, Contreras et al aren't kids anymore...they're 4 and 5 year vets who shouldn't be striking out in 1 of 4 plate appearances. I know that's considered Baseball in 2019, by and large, but if you you strike out a little less, maybe you sacrifice power, but you get on base a little more, and let's just see how that trade balances out. That's about as close to Moneyball as I get (not because I don't believe in it, but because who has that kind of time?).
Sorry for the rant. I haven't talked much about the Cubs this year, because I'm irritated. We're getting to the end of the line for contracts for some of these guys, and who knows what their futures hold? This is a team that was built to win two or three World Series, not just the one. I know that's hard, but when you see this kind of talent not doing the things they need to do, it's disheartening. And now we're staring down the barrel of another postseason filled with Dodgers and Astros and Cardinals and Yankees. (I can say go Braves, and as blasphemous as it is, I could even see myself rooting for the Brewers, should it come to that).
At the end of the day, the dynamic shift in organizational philosophy that was supposed to take hold at the early part of this decade did its job in 2015 and especially 2016....but was whittled away at bit by bit over the next few seasons. And 2019 was just an aggravating continuation of 2018. And as this piece says, it feels much the same as it did ten years ago....

Monday, September 23, 2019

All I Want is a Couple Days Off, Redux

Fifteen Days since that last post. 

I worked 13/15 in that post.
3 Days off.
By the end of tomorrow's shift, I'll have worked 14/15. 

27 of 33.

I just don't understand how this keeps happening in a fully staffed store.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

All I want is a couple days off....

Rough week.  Just worked 13 of 15.  Be nice to the retail people.  They may have worked 120 hours or so over a 14 day span.