UPDSR In-Depth: Morosi’s got a crystal ball

Look at my awesome crystal ball

Hi all, Jubbo here and oh shit have we got a good one today.

So Jon Paul Morosi, a “writer” for MSN/Fox/whatever, wrote something the other day and its shockingly bad. Let’s take a closer look at it why don’t we?

(EDIT: I can’t get the link to work, its supposed to be the ‘something’ up there. Its no doubt the fault of some shithead in our IT Dept. here at Uncle Popov Towers. If you want to C & P —-> http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/it-is-not-chicago-cubs-year-051111)

Voodooed postseasons notwithstanding, the Chicago Cubs have offered their fans some pleasant summer memories over the past century or so.

Whoa. Strap in and hold on folks, we’re starting out strong! The Cubs have had some good seasons in their history. Who knew?

Take 2007, for instance. The Cubs were 8 1/2 games back in late June, with a losing record, before rallying to win the division. That was Lou Piniella’s first season at Addison and Clark, and all seemed possible.

Listen man, its Clark and Addison. Clark then Addison, every single time. Do you say “jelly and peanut butter sandwich” or “The Cubs lost 0-3? I don’t know if you fuck everything up like that or not but the rest of us sure as hell don’t.

It’s not often that the Cubs can point to history as a reason for optimism. This is one such case. If it happened four years ago — despite Michael Barrett and Carlos Zambrano scuffling in the dugout — then why not now?

Wait, I thought you just said “the Chicago Cubs have offered their fans some pleasant summer memories over the past century or so.” And that isn’t even the stupidest part about this paragraph. You want Z to go off again in the dugout like he did back in 2007 2010? Yeah douche bag, you remember last year when Z lost it and cursed everyone within earshot out like some crazed goddamn lunatic? Did that ignite anything at all? This is all just so stupid and contrived.

But this isn’t The Year.

THERE IT IS! THAT BOLD PROCLAMATION!

The Cubs have talented, likable players.

False, all of it. Who exactly is talented (other than Starlin Castro) and who is likable (other than Marlon Byrd)? And I challenge you to name a single player (OK, maybe Starlin there too) much less multiple players who are both talented and likable.

As a group, though, they are not inspiring. Nor do they have a better overall roster than the St. Louis Cardinals, despite an 11-4 triumph over their archrival Wednesday night.

Well I had no damn clue about any of this. Did anyone else? I mean, I didn’t before Morosi dropped all this knowledge on us from high above.

This type of shit helps!!!

They have a chance to contend in the National League Central because, in this division, a decent lineup and capable pitchers will do that for you. They could finish better than .500.

No they don’t and no they won’t. They’ll be “contending” for 4th, just like they were last year (they finished 5th). And if they dump a couple players like they should (cough…Byrd…chortle) they’ll actually be worse than they already are, which is really saying something.

Teams that rank near the bottom of the league in the game’s essential skills — namely, scoring and preventing runs — tend not to win titles. Right now the Cubs are one of those teams.

OK, this one was written by a 3rd grader, right? I mean, surely… Uh, let me see —-> I got it, some 3rd grader from Wilmette tweeted this to him and Morosi promised to use it in one of his “articles.” OK, maybe a 4th grader since two “-‘s” were used. Ugh.

When play began Wednesday, the Cubs ranked 13th among the 16 National League teams in runs scored and 14th in fewest runs allowed. If that makes them sound like a fourth-place club, it’s because that is what they are — one game behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Yeah, he flirted with it up there when he used little Johnny from Wilmette’s paragraph, but here comes Morosi’s stat bombing in earnest. Yeah, those are pretty shitty stats that lead me and my alcohol-soaked brain to believe that…

This is not a bad team.

Wait, what?!? No, no this is very much a BAD TEAM.

But it is a confusing one. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Cubs general manager Jim Hendry pointed out that his team has the league’s second-highest overall batting average but the second-lowest average with runners in scoring position. Huh? “That means the lineup’s doing a pretty good job of getting on,” Hendry said. “We’re just not getting them in. Let’s hope it gets contagious the other way.”

Did you watch any of the 2010 Cubs JP Morosi? I mean, any of them? 1 damn game? This was their problem for the entirety of last season. RISP = guaranteed outs. This shit isn’t news.

It was that way Wednesday. Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook lost his command after a 53-minute rain delay, and the Cubs responded with a six-run third inning. They went 7 for 13 with runners in scoring position. They rapped five extra-base hits. They looked terrific. But blowouts can deceive.

So it took an hour long rain delay for the Cub’s bats to wake up? No. The Cardinals got Dusty’d sending Westbrook back out there. They’re lucky his arm didn’t fall off.

I still wonder who will drive in runs when it matters most.

I sure as hell don’t because I’ve already seen this team and I already know the freaking answer: no one will. You seem to assume that runs are going to be driven in at all. In reality, bad baseball teams don’t drive in runs with a whole lot of regularity. That’s the way its always been. Who’s going to drive in runs? Everyone will sporadically. However, not one player on this POS team will see 80 RBI’s on the back of his baseball card next year.

Aramis Ramirez used to be that guy. He finished with 100 RBI or more six times from 2001 through 2008. Very quietly, he was one of the best clutch hitters in baseball for the better part of the past decade.

And very quietly since 2008 he’s sucked ass. It might have a little something to do with him tearing his shoulder apart diving for a ground ball in Milwaukee in May of 2009. Do you not remember how poorly he started last season? (No because you didn’t watch any Cubs baseball in 2010) Or it may just be that he’s (gasp!) on the decline as a professional baseball player. How many guys follow up their first decade being “one of the best clutch hitters in baseball” with a second decade of being one of the best clutch hitters in baseball? Answer —> not many.

But because of injuries and a steady decline in power, he averaged 74 RBI during the past two seasons. This year he’s again on track for 70. As a cleanup hitter, that’s simply not enough. (By the way, this is why the Cubs need Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder next year. Let’s agree to revisit that subject in November, OK?)

OK, so he notes injuries (He’s had them his whole career essentialy and/or been out of shape). And no dipshit, 70 RBI’s isn’t enough from your #4 hitter. That’s a big reason why the Cubs suck ass. And what the hell does the last part even mean? Everyone knows the Cubs need a long term solution at first. I’m not revisiting shit with you in Novermber, OK?

Ramirez’s drop in production would be less of an issue if the Cubs had a true slugger in the No. 3 spot. But they don’t. As of Wednesday morning, their No. 3 hitters ranked next to last in the majors with a .576 OPS. Yes. Next to last.

So hitting at the 3 spot is the problem now? Is that what we’re going with? Or is this in addition to ARam?

Marlon Byrd has been the Cubs’ primary third hitter, with a brief (unsuccessful) interlude by the brilliant and frustrating Starlin Castro. He batted seventh and sixth during the past two games, suggesting the Cubs won’t rush to put the 21-year-old back into a role that demands steady run production. More than anything, the Cubs want Castro to swing at strikes. First things first, you know.

No wait, Marlon Byrd’s the problem? Good god, the negatives with this team seem to be mounting. Are you sure this team can contend? And don’t bring Starlin into this. He’s one of the few (only?) guys in that clubhouse who will still be in it 5 years down the road.

** Morosi rambles on for a little bit here saying essentially that Byrd isn’t a power hitter (no shit) and that Alfonso Soriano is overpaid (no fucking shit). **

The Cubs’ best hope is that Carlos Peña turns into a middle-of-the-order monster. He did it with Tampa Bay, reaching the 100-RBI mark in ’07, ’08 and ’09. He had a two-hit, two-RBI game Wednesday. Still, I wonder whether there is a reason the Cubs have not attempted to use him in the No. 3 or No. 4 spot.

Holy shit, now he’s getting in the flow. So Carlos Pena isn’t a problem but a potential SOLUTION !?! Oh dear. Let’s revisit Carlos Pena’s 2011 season in November, OK? Ugh

I know it’s early. I know it’s been cold. But it’s been early and cold for the Cardinals, too, and their 3-4-5 has been devastating — even if Pujols doesn’t look like Pujols quite yet. The Cubs’ rotation will pitch better than it has, yet we can’t say that it will give them any discernible advantage over the Cardinals, Reds or Brewers. They’re all about the same.

Wait a minute… (I just ran to the bathroom because I thought I was going to throw up.) So in the Central, not only is St. Louis good but Cincy and Milwaukee are too? But the Cubs can still compete with all of them? Are you sure? Because I think you’re actually too stupid to realize that you’re doing a fairly decent job of, which is… oh fuck it, you get it… I think.

It should be noted that Quade’s positivity has been, and will be, an excellent influence on this team. He has talked with his players about the importance of maintaining their usual approach at the plate in RBI situations. He doesn’t want failures with men in scoring position to affect their defensive play, as it may have in Tuesday’s loss. Hitters are taking extra batting practice, trying to swing their way out of it, a sign that they are responding well to a first-year manager.

“The video room is like a bakery on Sunday,” the manager said. “This group works.”

Jesus, a bakery on Sunday? What does that mean? And does it have anything to do with Jeff Baker? I’m thinking the video room is more like a bakery on Tuesday if you know what I mean… (You don’t)

Yet it will take much more than effort for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series. As a fan of the game and owner of a sympathetic heart, I hope that it happens someday. But it won’t be in 2011.

And mercifully, it ends. And in true hack fashion, he vaguely alludes to something from the next to last paragraph to close out his miserable piece and kind of clumsily brings it all to a close. But just to make sure, he reminds us all that the Cubs are not going to win the World Series this year.

Well no shit asshole.

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