Wednesday, the Cubs became the third team in MLB history to allow six home runs to the opposing team in back-to-back games. Luckily for Dale Sveum, he came up with a new strategy so that he doesn’t have to endure the torment that is the winding down of the Cubs’ season. He got thrown out of his very first game in the fifth inning.
With the Cubs’ staff chirping at home-plate umpire Larry Vanover following some questionable calls in the fifth inning, Sveum moved to protect his troops.
“I just don’t think that’s right when you’re looking at our dugout for no apparent reason at all,” Sveum said, referring to Vanover.
Sveum did admit that the bench had expressed displeasure with Vanover’s calls. In particular question seemed to be when Welington Castillo struck out looking.
“But nothing at all to warrant that,” Sveum said of Vanover’s looks toward the Cubs dugout. “I took it that he was looking at me.”
Apparently, Dale doesn’t like to be looked at. File that away for future reference. When asked about Volstad’s return to the form of having a bad inning in each start, Dale got defensive.
“I don’t know why you always want to beat down Volstad all the time, about the old Volstad or whatever,” Sveum said. “That’s a tough lineup, and he couldn’t keep the ball down today, bottom line.”
And on Gio Gonzalez being dominant against the Cubs’ offense:
“That’s (Gonzalez’s) stuff all the time,” Sveum said. “He’s just facing a lineup that isn’t one of the better lineups in baseball and that’s going to help him too. This series so far, obviously what we can make out of it, that it’s just men playing against boys right now.”
Dale sounds a little down. Maybe he could use a candy gram.
We’ve talked about 100 losses all season, and the Cubs now need to go 12-14 to avoid reaching that milestone. Hell, even Mark DeRosa and Tom Gorzelanny are having a hard time watching this team.
“I don’t even know who those players are,’’ said the Nationals’ Mark DeRosa, a Cub fan favorite from the 2007-08 playoff run. “I know [Alfonso] Soriano, and [Jeff] Samardzija and [Carlos] Marmol.’’
“It’s definitely something you don’t want to see with the Cubs, how iconic the team is. The [fans] always want to see a winner there,’’ said Gorzelanny, a Marist High grad. “But you have to think to be successful you have to have a good farm system, and obviously you’ve got to make sacrifices to try to figure that out.’’
And DeRosa is still pining for the good old days of 2008.
“I still think they shouldn’t have broken up that team,’’ said DeRosa, who was traded after that season to help create payroll room for Milton Bradley. “That was a special team. It was a great group of guys.’’
Those were the days. I love division champions, too, but I do recall things not working out in the playoffs, Mark.