Yeah, I'd be upset too
It's not as if we didn't expect it, but the 2010 edition of our Cubs has had a rough go of things. Sure, we didn't think that an older version of the disappointing 2009 team would set the world on fire. And sure, the Ricketts' "careful, deliberate," (bullshit) approach to this season ensured that the playoffs would be a fleeting dream. But damned if it isn't frustrating. Still, it's nice to be able to go see a game on a beautiful Friday for a tenner. And it is the Cubs. We'll continue to follow - we're just going to bitch about it the whole way through. Without further ado, here's how we're rating our 2010 Chicago Cubs.
Well, this stopped being fun awhile ago...
John: An ERA north of 5.5, a screaming freakout with/at Derrek Lee, and a phenomenally large contract have all made this the year I've stopped apologizing for the man. Grade - D
Steve: He can yell at whoever the hell he wants to if he is winning. See: Terrell Owens. Once you stop performing, you become a hindrance to the team and no one wants you around. See: Terrell Owens. Grade - F
John: A very decent year (3.61 ERA, only 2 starts of less than 6 innings) undermined by a crap offense has left our goateed Canadian hero with a 7-7 record in 18 starts. His $40 million contract, called overpriced at the time, barely registers in the geography of massively undeserved contracts. Grade - B+
Steve: As John mentioned, solid numbers with no support, much like the rest of the starting rotation. Frankly, he has a fairly long leash in my book, because his Canadian charm woos me. Except when he was our closer. Then I wanted his balls in a mason jar. Grade - B
John: A very up and down year for the hammer - mixing masterful starts with absolute shit-beatings after his early injury troubles. A very misleading 3-8 record. It's looking like he may get the wave goodbye at the deadline. If so, it'll be a fond one. Grade - C+
Steve: TRL has gone the way of TRL. People used to want to watch, now I'm not sure it even exists anymore. Grade - ?
John: Not terrible, just meh. Keeps his ERA in the 4.50-5.25 range, with only two really ugly outings. But damn, those were ugly. Contemplate calculating 5 earned runs in 0.0 innings long enough and things get trippy. Grade - C-
Steve: The low-point of the regular rotation (i.e. no Zambrano), I think we put too much on him after a small sample size. Still, better than any other option. Problem is, he has been lasting less than 6 innings on average for his starts, meaning more of the bullpen, meaning more we suck ass. Grade - C.
John: An unqualified success, despite his recent blowup against the Dodgers. Not only did it get rid of Milton Bradley, but we got some cash in the mix. I'd like to take this opportunity to say fuck you, Milton Bradley. Grade - A
Steve: Honestly, this move couldn't have gone better for us as I boldly predicted upon news of the trade. Foresight aside, he has a chance to be a 20 game winner, though he didn't exactly make me believe that would happen after Sunday's game. Oh well, that ump was wrong anyway, doucheface. Grade - B+
John: He may look like a horrifying monster, but as the Goonies taught us, he's just a big softie with a love for Baby Ruth bars. He's been pushed into Sean Marshall's old role as the long-reliever and occasional starter. All things considered, he's done rather well (3.16 ERA, 0ER in his short relief appearances). Grade - B+
Steve: I honestly have no opinion on the man. He is like that nice guy in high school that everyone likes but no one really wants to hang out with. You don't really care what he's done because you find him rather boring. Average men receive average grades. Grade - C
The rest of your pitchers, and all your position players, graded after the jump. Holy shit, that's a lot of WAIW! It's like motherfuckin' Christmas!
John: Lefty here has appeared in an insane 45 games so far. If you watched a Cubs game this year, there's a 55 percent chance you saw Marshall at some point. His 2.03 ERA is best on the team. I just hope they don't fuck up by trying to make him into a starter yet again. Grade - A
Steve: The only decent bullpen man besides the closer. Problem is, we tend to use him for only one out because Lou has a binder that tells him to do so. Bullshit man. Keep Marshall in for the inning and we won't see the 2-1 game turn into an 11-1 blow-out. Grade - A
John: Not a bad first year. After staying on the shelf for most of June, it's been a hell of a July for him (3 hits, 0R in 8 appearances). Grade - B
Steve: I see John has grown tired of this escapade and starting to write short reviews. Anything I will tell you about James Russell would be read from the stats sheet because he is just a number of the assdicks in our bullpen that have cost us many games. Grade - C
John: Last year we had a closer who couldn't close. This year, Hendry re-signed a setup man who can't set up. Grade - D
Steve: I want to like him because he is just a "-ski" from sounding quintessentially Polish-Chicago. Alas, he sucks. Grade - D-
John: Some nights, Cashner and Castro are the only reasons to watch. Cashner is still developing - he gave up a run in 6 consecutive appearances, but shows promise each time out (15K in 18IP). Grade: B-
Steve: I am hoping he does well because I can think of millions of puns to entertain the masses with by using his name (see: Kerry Wood, Rich Harden). The jury is still out, but I am optimistic I will one day be able to headline with "Cold, Hard Cashner" and link to the "Counterfeit Money Machine" song from Mr. Show. Grade - B+
John: Fuck you Hendry. Fuck you. Grade - F
Steve: See above. Grade - F
John: Can we finally, at long last, close the book on him? Dick's Sporting Goods appears to have done so already. Grade: F
Steve: I'll give him the Howry treatment. Grade - G-
John: At long last, he's finally the closer we've expected. His K/9 rate is insane, and everything about his pitching game is improved over 2009. Too bad he doesn't get to close too many. Grade: A-
Steve: Best player in the bullpen, hands down. Finally starting to not give me a Steinbrenner. Grade - A
Our starting shortstop has never even heard of Fraggle Rock. Horrific.
John: A fairy nice bounceback year for the 2008 ROY, as he channels his rage at being denied Funyuns into not only some great hitting, but much improved plate discipline. Grade: B+
Steve: Not overweight this year = much better than last year. I say the same thing about myself when comparing me to my early 20s. Grade - B.
John: Eeeesh. Ugly year all around. It'll be too bad if this is our last impression of this Cubs great. Grade: D
Steve: I own his jersey, so in my mind, he is batting .315 and has 22 HRs. Grade - A++++
John: The batting average isn't down a whole lot, but damned if the OBP hasn't dropped over 50 points. He's forgotten to how walk. That isn't helping anyone. Grade: C-
Steve: I don't understand why everyone is so down on him this year. I still enjoy him and he just got his 100th stolen base. What have you done this year? Grade - B
John: He was born in 1990. This depresses me, even as his play gives me hope. Grade: B
Steve: He will be what will are building the team around starting, say Late-July. So I will grade on my hopes. Grades - A
John: Double eeeesh. Grade: D-
Steve: Never been a fan so I call this my vindication season. Though I'd rather have him hit .280 so we can win some damn games. Grade - F
I smell sitcom!
John: It's a weird feeling, not blaming him for everything. Hell, no one's watching anymore. Why not let him lead off again? I'm kidding. Grade: B-
Steve: When you don't think of the assload of money we are paying him, he has had a solid year. And I do enjoy his antics with the bleacher crowd. Grade - B+
John: I could do without the incessant Family Guy references every time I head to Wrigley, but this man truly is The Wyrd. At $5M per, he's a bargain. Grade: A-
Steve: Writing this after the All-Star game, I am now convinced he is our best player. Grade - A
John: Good defense, .250ish batting average, .350 OBP. Move along, nothing to see here. Grade: C+
Steve: Average seasons are not what you pay $10+ million bucks a year for. Grade: C
John: I cannot believe this man has 12 homers. I hope major league pitchers never figure out that he is physically incapable of talking a base on balls. Grade: B
Steve: Along with Castro, he will be the center of the team. Which will be good because we will be able to say "C-Men All Over Cardinals." Grade - B
John: I miss Daryle Ward. Grade - C-
Steve: He played first base on Sunday and I'm fairly certain he ended up costing us the game by his inability to make outs. Grade - D
John: Back on the bench, where he belongs. And much better for it (.292 BA). Grade: C
Steve: Still better than he gets credit for. Grade - B
John: Weirdly enough, I've seen all 3 of his home runs this year. And even I'm not fooled like Hendry apparently was. Grade: C-
Steve: Always depresses me when I show up to a game and see Jeff Baker's name in the lineup. Grade - D
John: Every time he gets the start, I'm reminded of why I'll never truly understand Lou Piniella. Grade: D+
Steve: I don't know, but anyone who has this when you start typing their name into Google has got to be good in my book:
John: Remember Chad Tracy next year when you're fretting about who will be the last guy on the roster. Grade: D
Steve: I don't know what to say anymore, cause I'm not sure Chad Tracy Fingers. Grade - C.
So that's it. Stay tuned for more drinking, more swearing, more WAIW-ness in the second half of 2010. Don't worry, we'll help you through this.