Cubs want Joe Maddon’s outdated slogan: Strive to not suck


What was it former Cubs sloganeer Joe Maddon stated once more?

Oh, yeah: “Strive to not suck.”

That rallying cry labored for the Cubs in 2016, once they — cease me in the event you’ve heard this earlier than — gained the World Collection for the primary time in 108 years. Any likelihood it’d work once more in 2021, once they’re face-planting offensively like no Cubs workforce has in even longer than that?

So long as we’re appropriating Maddonisms, “Do easy higher” is one other message that appears fairly on the cash for this swing-and-miss-from-the-heels crew.

A misplaced April on the plate? That’s Cub, people. One other misplaced season on the plate? That’s the query, and — heck, no — it isn’t too quickly to ask it.

“We’ve bought to search out methods to place the ball in play, put the strain on the protection, make issues occur and spark one thing,” supervisor David Ross stated Monday after a 6-3 loss to the Brewers during which the Cubs mustered all of 4 hits.

“Get the boys going. That is too gifted of a gaggle to do what we’re doing to this point.”

That’s debatable, isn’t it? From the time the offense “broke” in 2018, in response to Theo Epstein, proper by means of the model we’ve seen by means of the primary 10 video games of this season, nothing a lot has modified. And if it has modified, it has solely gotten worse.

Ten video games in, the Cubs have 49 hits — extremely, the fewest by any Cubs workforce in any 10-game span since 1901.

Their .164 batting common is the bottom by means of 10 video games in franchise historical past. The truth is, it’s the bottom in any 10-game Cubs stretch for the reason that 1952 workforce slumped from June 14-24 to the tune of .163. Remind me to tear on Hank Sauer, Dee Fondy and Phil Cavarretta later.

To place that in context, bear in mind the completely depressing 2015 NLCS in opposition to the Mets during which the Cubs had been swept and did about as a lot harm on the plate as your 90-year-old Aunt Dotty on 50-Cent Wing Night time? The Cubs hit .164 in that four-game nightmare of a sequence.

Coming into Tuesday’s sport in Milwaukee, these Cubs have the bottom batting common in all of baseball in addition to the bottom on-base (.264) and slugging (.321) percentages. They’ve struck out a whopping 10 instances per sport, too. However these satisfied strikeouts are the difficulty ought to know the Cubs are additionally useless final in batting common on balls hit in play (.194).

They swing and miss greater than anyone. They drive dwelling runners in scoring place much less regularly than anyone. All these terrible numbers? It’s form of the Cubs’ M.O. Small pattern dimension? Positive, that’s true. For no matter it’s price.

However 10 video games in, nobody on the Cubs has reached double figures in hits. Among the averages, in the event you can stand to see them: Jason Heyward .152, Ian Happ .143, Joc Pederson .129, Anthony Rizzo .118, David Bote .087. Oh, that’s proper, solely dinosaurs speak about batting averages anymore.

Anybody else miss complaining about Maddon’s lineup tinkering and fast hooks along with his beginning pitchers?


Yo, Nico Hoerner: Higher keep prepared, bub.

• White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer, one month in the past: “I don’t count on to lose a sport if we’re main after the fifth inning.”

Similar day, similar sentiment from bullpen mate Evan Marshall: “We wish to go 90-0 if we now have the lead after six innings.”

4 blown saves into the season, the Sox are scrambling to settle what was purported to be an enormous workforce power — the ’pen — earlier than it implodes.

Humorous sport, baseball.

No opponent is just too lowly to make the Bulls look unhealthy.
Picture by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Photographs

Nikola Vucevic has raised the expertise bar. Daniel Theis has elevated their toughness. Troy Brown Jr. has made them a bit extra intriguing.

However nonetheless, the Bulls have but to satisfy a sport they’ll’t — and, in the event you give them sufficient time, gained’t — lose.

Simply if you suppose they’re getting higher, they guarantee you they’re not.

• NFL MVP odds landed in my inbox this week, as a result of who isn’t excited about these items in mid-April?

Patrick Mahomes: 5/1. Aaron Rodgers: 9/1. Josh Allen: 10/1.

Andy Dalton, in the meantime: 100/1. Wager Junior’s faculty fund at your personal threat.

• Anybody else impressed by the NL Central-leading Reds’ 95 hits — roughly double the Cubs’ complete — after 10 video games?

I’m setting the over/below on groups that may end above the Cubs within the division at 2½. Coincidentally, that’s the identical because the over/below on wings eaten by Aunt Dotty.

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