Breaking News Bar
updated: 8/31/2011 7:10 PM

Cubs need OBP, not history lesson

Success - Article sent! close
  • Chicago Cubs starter Randy Wells throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, in Chicago.

    Chicago Cubs starter Randy Wells throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, in Chicago.
    associated press


The next Cubs general manager must understand what it means to be a part of the grand Cubs tradition.

This is what Tom Ricketts told us on Jim Hendry Day, when he also informed us that draft choices are given that little Cubs pamphlet during their indoctrination.

This is, of course, pandering of the worst kind to the saddest of meatball cases, allowing those who proselytize daily to wax idiotic, shill for the squad and swig from the vine of lunacy.

Ricketts said it last year at this time when he was supposedly searching for a new manager, insisting then that the next hire would have to comprehend the Cubs culture.

Mike Quade certainly got it. How'd that work out for you?

Hendry worked here for 17 years. You think he didn't get it?

The one guy who really got it was Dallas Green. Yeah, he got it, he smelled it, he spit on it and kicked it to the curb.

He wanted to build a "New Tradition," which offended everyone in cuddly Cubs Nation, and ownership was looking to be rid of him nearly as quickly as it found him.

Too independent a thinker was Green for the North Siders and all their fabulous tradition and culture.

And all who preach Cubs from their odd pulpits want the next GM to "get it," when what they ought to hope for is someone who sticks it.

Yes, stick your Cubs tradition and find some baseball players who understand on-base percentage. Get better players and win more games.

How's that for getting it?

The next GM doesn't need to understand the culture. He needs to get rid of terrible contracts and transparent dogs and get better players who understand winning and aren't comfortable playing for managers and GMs who make life so pleasant and relaxed that even in 90-loss seasons, complacent players don't want to leave for a chance to win a ring.

That's your Cubs culture right there. That's what the next GM needs to address. Accountability is what the next manager needs to demand.

As for the maddening pressure of trying to win in a place where the last title arrived around the same time man invented fire, there is pressure to win everywhere and in every sports management position.

Win or get fired. How's that for pressure?

Joe Girardi won a World Series two years ago and last season was on the final year of his contract (in case Ozzie Guillen is listening), and you don't think there was pressure on Girardi and Brian Cashman last year in New York?

Enough with your Cubs culture.

Fans want the team to win. They want GMs to be smart. They want managers to hold players accountable.

The bourgeois Shangri-La must close up shop.

How's that for getting it?

All's Wells

In his 6 August starts, Randy Wells went 4-0 with a 3.32 ERA, while the Cubs won 5 of his 6 outings. His WHIP was .911 and he posted 27 strikeouts against just 8 walks in 40 innings.

It was his best month in more than two years, and is more than enough reason to wonder if he has figured it out again.

Of course, the Cubs have been guilty of thinking that in the past and they've been wrong every time.

Ozzie time

E-mailer Kevin Jacobsen on Ozzie Guillen's managing Wednesday: "Why wasn't De Aza starting? Why is your worst hitter, Rios, batting behind your best hitter, Konerko? Did you really pinch-hit Dunn for Lillibridge? Thanks for the ring, Ozzie, but it's time to trade you and Rios to Florida for a bucket of sand and a player to be named later."

Fight night

Wheaton native Mike Lee, a Benet Academy and Notre Dame grad, will put his undefeated record (6-0-0, 4 KOs) on the line vs. Jacob Stiers (4-1, 2 KOs) in the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center on Sept. 16, the night before the Irish host Michigan State.

All profits from the match will be donated to the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation and the Robinson Community Learning Center in South Bend.

For more info, visit

The defense

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, on Ndamukong Suh: "I've never seen him play dirty. When you're as big and strong and as physical as he is, sometimes things are going to happen."

Best headline "Some people are playing tennis again."

Alive and kicking

CBS' Craig Ferguson: "More American kids play soccer than all other sports combined. That's not true, but wouldn't it be interesting?"

Photo finish

Miami Herald's Greg Cote: "Danica Patrick made official her plans to switch in 2012 to NASCAR, where she will join Dale Earnhardt Jr. in inexplicably getting much more attention than the drivers who actually win races."

And finally ...

Omaha World-Herald's Brad Dickson, on Terrelle Pryor being selected by Oakland: "Pryor has been touched by scandal. Check. He has a black cloud over his head. Check. He left his previous team under ugly circumstances. Check. I tell you, if he was 45 years old he'd be perfect for the Raiders."

• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM. Follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.