8/17 Closer by committee?

Expect a new closer on Tuesday. After Monday’s game, which the Cubs lost 4-1, Lou Piniella hinted that Kevin Gregg could be out.

“I think we’re going to make some changes as far as what we’re going to do in late innings,” Piniella said. “We’ll have some word [Tuesday].”

Gregg served up all four Padres’ runs in the ninth, including three on Kyle Banks’ walkoff homer.

“It [stunk],” Gregg said. “I wasn’t pitching. I went away from what I wanted to do and didn’t execute my pitches and it cost us the game.”

Possible candidates to take over the job include Carlos Marmol, Angel Guzman and John Grabow. It’s been a tough stretch for Gregg, who saved 61 games the last two seasons combined for the Marlins. There were the back to back blown saves in Florida, with Gregg serving up home runs in both games. On Aug. 11, he gave up a game-winning homer to the Phillies’ Ben Francisco in the 12th inning and the Cubs took the loss.

“They all end the same way with a home run ball,” Piniella said.

— Carrie Muskat


It is really hard to watch our team this year. A lot of the problem is with the ownership and the management. The DeRosa Trade was horrible and has affected this team terribly. Nothing against Miles but he is no DeRosa and he has been on the DL more this year than DeRosa and his production is no where near DeRosa’s. The ownership not willing to back Woody was terrible after Woody sacrificed a lesser contract in 2008 to stay with his original team, change to a closer and save 34 games. People do not talk a lot about this but it is difficult for pitchers to move from team to team and I believe that Woody would be having a much better season had he been with us! Plus we give a good prospect away for Gregg then have to pay him 4mil? Gregg is not a premier closer and is hurting our club. I trust Woody much more with the ball then I do Gregg. Also, not keeping Blanco has hurt too as a young Soto was learning well from his teacher. I feel the management/ownership has been trying very hard to hurt this team not help it because how else do you explain the trades made last year and this year? It is time for Hendry to go and I cannot wait for The Tribune/Sam Zell to get out of our Cubs face and let the new owners be apart of something special.


You guys really didn’t think the Cubbies were actually going to make it to the World Series this year did you? Come on…let’s be real. The famous “It’s Gonna Happen” sign that people display at the game is correct. The only thing that’s “Gonna Happen” is that the Cubs are going to blow it again this year. Just like they have for the past 100 years.
The only way things are going to change within the Cub’s organization is if a person like Mark Cuban were to purchase the team. He’s the only one with guts enough to bench anyone who’s not producing or giving it their all no matter how much their being overpaid.
I agree with the writer before me about what a terrible trade Hendry allowed when he decided to get rid of DeRosa. He was the back-bone of the Cubs last year.
I would send the following players back to the Minors and let them sit there for the rest of the year if it were up to me:
& Soto.
Oh, by the way…did I mention to you that I am a Cub fan? See you at Wrigley (the BEST ballfield in baseball)


I agree with the previous blogger the only way the Cubs would do anything is if Cuban would have been allowed to buy the Cubs.
He would have bought a world series just like Steinbrenner and the yankees. I believe that they need to send Marmol some where to work on his control he has great stuff I would hate to see him go but his control sucks. Gregg needs to be gone the Cubs seem to always trade away good closers look at Ekersley, Lee, and now Wood. I think that bringing Bradley was a joke you have corner outfielders getting paid 10 mil each a year and there not producing. I agree bring up Fould and hopefully Johnson can get back soon at least they give it 110% when the are playing. Soto is over rated Hill is a better catcher and I agree getting rid of Blanco was a mistake. Another mistake was Miles Andreas Blanco is by far a better infielder.
I am also a longtime Cubs fan.

I think the only player I would continue to cut some slack is Marmol only because he hasn’t been GIVEN the closer role like Gregg was GIVEN, and he does still show signs of some awesome talent. At this point, since Hendry and Lou are just “giving away” job titles we have nothing to lose by annointing Marmol as the closer, give him a week or so, if he implodes then go to plan…er plan…yeesh, there is no plan. I wanted to cut Lou some slack too and think he his playing the cards Hendry dealt him and although I have no problem with him playing Fox over Sorryano what was with Fox remaining in late with a one run lead KNOWING Gregg needs ALL THE FRIGGIN’ DEFENSIVE HELP HE CAN GET??? I think Lou’s mind may be in “exit mode”. Not that Fox was the problem last night, we all know that HENDRY should be tagged with the blown saves this year just by acquiring Gregg. Hendry is the one that should be demoted to concessions…just get him out of the GM office!! For the love of God, I am hoping somebody of significance in all of baseball can just come out and say what a terrible job Hendry has done and ask why isn’t HIS job in jeapordy?? All we hear about are other GMs like in Toronto (Ricciardi?) and how he “overplayed” his hand with Halladay and how he scerewed up the Alex Rios waiver deal, and Arizona’s GM is now being metioned as being in trouble because of what he did to that team and it’s minor league sysem…Hello?!?!?!
We have our own GM that has destroyed at least a contending team in record time!!!

Kevin Gregg doesn’t deserve these leads. We need Piniella to do his best Alec Baldwin impression on the Cubs clubhouse and find someone who will follow the simple A-Always B-Be C-Closing formula. Otherwise, in ’09, only thing we’re winning is a set of steak knives.

Prose and Ivy

First of all the cubs real problems are not cutting there losses and admitting when they have made a bad decision ie. keeping guys like miles and heilman on the roster. Not only them but at the beginning of the season we cut luis vizcaiano to keep on the joke of a rule 5 draft david patton who to this point has still done nothing for the organization and cant be sent down to the minors. I understand why fans get so mad about the derosa trade but i feel we did get some quality arms in return along with that derosa was having a career year and was coming up on the final year of his deal. It would have been nice if hendry would have made a move for someone like him or aaron hill before the dead line but instead we went with someone like jeff baker who has been all right at best. With all of this said i feel that if the entire lineup can be healthy for the next month and a half they could easily make a run at a playoff birth and possibly winning a series or two. Cubs take note, teams better than yourselves made moves to become much better than they already were ie. cardinals: holliday, derosa, lugo, phillies: lee (cy young)

MarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCuban…will you foofs give up on this Mark Cuban nonsense? Mark Cuban — like the Tribune, only more obnoxiously — has spent tons of money and never won ANYTHING!!
It’s not about ownership, children: It’s about who ownership hires. Cuban, based on his record, has apparently hired the wrong basketball people in Dallas; Tribune has, evidently, hired the wrong baseball people in Chicago.
The Cardinals’ ownership, to name one, consistently hires the right ones. It’s that simple, folks.
Mark Cuban is a slogan, a mantra for the ignorant — a mosquito among sports owners. He is not The Answer.

The only word that describes Gregg is Pitiful! Ted Lilly pitched a great game last night and as soon as I saw Gregg walking out to the mound….I knew it was over, His fastball is not overpowering it is straight and has no movement and its always down the middle and he always leaves it up over the plate. The Cards are rolling and it’s going to be hard to catch them. The Cubs need to quit stranding runners I have to wonder if there hearts are even in it. Where are Soriano, Soto, Miles, and Fontenot? I ready for DA BEARS!

Admitting mistake no. 1 is keeping Hendry as the GM, but wer’re waiting to see who can step up and do just that. Trading DeRosa because he had value and was in his last year is not unheard of, quite a few GMs will do that, but NOT WHEN THE PLAYER IS A SOLID PIECE OF A PLAY-OFF RUN. Hendry did get 3 pitchers for DeRosa, if he was THE PIRATES GM it would have been a good move. Most of Hendry’s moves have just compounded the futility in his “effort” to get more “balanced” for an ASSUMED play-off run, well Hendry had quite a wake up call this season and deserves nothing short of a pink slip. Soriano-an EIGHT YEAR DEAL, Bradley-a 3 year deal, Miles-ANY DEAL AT ALL Hiellman-ANY DEAL AT ALL, trading Maruis for somebody that you cut in the first month?, trading DeRosa….these alone are enough to fire this guy. Sure, it may not be EASY to be a GM but he made it look easy to DISMANTLE a team. C’mon, a show of hands…how many GMs out there would sign Soriano or any player similar to Soriano TO AN EIGHT YEAR DEAL??? Or sign Bradley with a 75 game option that kicks in A THIRD YEAR??? It’s as if he is secretly working for the Cardinals and improving THEIR chances in the NL Central for years to come!!!

I want to say I agree with all of you!!! I would have felt more comfortable keeping Marmol on the hill for the 9th or even bringing on Guzman. Look Marmol doesn’t get hit very often. He does have control issues, but he’s given up 1 homer all year, and Gregg has served up how many? 12 I think? I’ll take my chances on Marmol because he has swing and miss and knee buckling stuff unlike Gregg

Mickey G. Glad to see so many of you are ready to get rid of Hendry as I have been for the past six months. As much as Lou seems out of it at times, he can only use what Hendry as given him, which isn’t much. Carlos Lee was available instead of Soriano, Orlando Hudson was available to play second, (and we would have some speed ), Bobby Abreu and Raul Ibanez both left handed hitters with great track records, Trevor Hoffman and the list goes on. But Hendry had to get rid of DeRosa so he could sign the head case Bradley, Ryan Freel, Aaron Miles ($4.9 million for two years), Joey Gathright, let Casey McGehee go to the Brewers and leave us with no insurance at third; I will run out of room here listing all of the things Jim Hendry has done wrong. But what really worries me is that the Ricketts family and Hendry are friends from their days in Omaha and we might get stuck with three more years of Hendry. Please say it ain’t so!!!!!!

Oh for Pete’s sake mickeyg…I didn’t know that about the Ricketts and Hendry, ARRRRRRRGHHHHH!!! We are surely doomed with Hendry. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that noticed McGee was yet another “body” to be cast off.

the only good thing about Mark Cuban and his money would be if he were to throw about every penny he had at Billy Beane or Theo Epstein to get them oughta Oakland or Boston respectivly

the only good thing about Mark Cuban and his money would be if he were to throw about every penny he had at Billy Beane or Theo Epstein to get them oughta Oakland or Boston respectivly

How about picking up Smoltz, he is willing to hit the bullpen.

yup. gregg stinks…yup. marmol stinks…yup. they strand too many runners…when they get runners…yup. i have been a fan for 49 years…yup. i will be one next year.

I was thinking about it BEFORE all this went down with Kevin Gregg, when we needed left-handed bullpen pitching, but now, it seems even MORE imperative: the Mets want to trade Billy Wagner, and I think at this point, what have we got to lose? Even at this stage of his career, and coming off of Tommy John surgery, he can’t be any worse than Kevin Gregg has been, and likely would be a huge improvement. I think we’ve GOT to go after him at thit point.

you know cubbiehawk74 i was just thinking the same thing today it wouldnt hurt to have a former proven closer and another lefty in the pen i agree i say we go for it

I think back to my boyhood years as a bleacher bum at Wrigley Field. What I have learned over the years that the Cubs haven’t learned how to WIN. When two years in a row you make it to the playoffs and go out in the first three games, it shows that they can’t handle success. Man for man, the Cubs match up with anyone in the league. ATTITUDE is everything when it comes to winning or losing. For some reason the Cubs don’t deserve to win. They have everything going for them: Sweet Lou, great players, Wrigley Field, and the greatest fans in the world. Now if the team could just go out there everyday realizing all these things, they could possibly turn the corner…….MJT

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