5/6 Location, location, location

Derrek Lee said he was surprised to see Aramis Ramirez dropped from fifth to sixth in the batting order on Wednesday. Ramirez is now batting .154; Lee .223.

“[Ramirez] has been one of the best cleanup hitters in the National League,” Lee said. “But you know Lou likes to try things.”

What if Piniella decided to move Lee from the No. 3 spot?

“I don’t think moving solves things,” Lee said. “You have to hit somewhere. Me and Ramy have been around a long time, and we’re going to hit.”

The only question is when. Naturally, Ramirez came up in a situation when the Cubs needed him to deliver. Chicago loaded the bases with one out in the fourth and Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly. Mike Fontenot followed with a RBI single to close to 3-2. Then Ryan Church, who’s battling the stomach flu, homered in the sixth en route to a 4-2 Pirates win.

The Cubs players will be checking the lineup Thursday.

“It doesn’t matter where you hit,” Lee said. “You’ve still got to hit, whether you’re first, sixth, seventh.”

– Carrie Muskat

16 Comments

The headline to this story says Lee rips lineup changes. Yet in the story, it sounds more like, rather than actually ripping the lineup changes, hes just reacting to them, offering his own opinion. Why does the media feel like they need to stir things up where there isnt anything being stirred. Derrek Lee is not a guy who goes around ripping his manager. And he has a lot more class in his little finger than most you media people have as a whole group.

The batting order does matter. Your best or hot hitters should be in the 3-4-5 spot. Lee should be the first to accept this. Lee and Ramirez are not getting the job done so Lou should shake it up some more!
Hacker60

It’s NO coincidence that the two biggest offensive disappointments, are the same two that have been the most resistant to help from Jaramillo!

Not only is this pair not producing, they aren’t leading either. Of course that is hard to do, when you aren’t producing, are resisting the help of the Batting Coach, and you can’t keep your head in the game!

Yesterday, Lee started an inning with a hit but then on a ground ball into RF, (a good distance from him) Lee stopped dead in the basepath as if he had to be sure there was no play on the ball…..result, after the hitter did his part hitting to RF, Lee advanced only to 2nd instead of 3rd. This isn’t the only time similar things have happened.

Psychologically, the hitters, on the one hand, act as if they have to do the job, heaping extra pressure upon themselves, because they can’t depend on the hitters behind them, but on the other hand, they (and especially Lee and Ramirez) go the plate and look as if they had no clue of a plan for that AB! If you have a plan, you won’t be swinging at pitches you couldn’ t hit with an oar, and you won’t be taking down the middle strikes!

Lou has a big part in the failure, too. Besides his stupid lineups that seldom have his best team on the field to begin a game, or his best D team on the field to protect late leads, His statement yesterday about if guys could hit in one spot in the lineup they could hit in another, and that if a player can’t hit 8th they can’t hit at all, is so absurd that most little league coaches should be sending their resumes to Jim. Such statements are down right shocking coming from someone of Lou’s stature. But senility plays no favorites! When senile dementia begins, such things are no longer unexplainable! Neither is looking like a deer caught in the headlights when unusual things happen, or getting caught short of L or R hand pinch hitters because of poor lineup usage.

Oldman, are you saying because of their resistance (if that is the case, are you in the club house with these guys?) to Jaramillo both Lee and Ramirez offense has suffered? Funny, they were both doing very well without him for quite some time. So it is Gary Mathews and or Von Joshua that we need to bring back just to get our 3 an 4 hitters to turn things around? Maybe a slump is slump or they both turned the corner with their age? RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.

By the way Oldman, I didn’t mean any disrespect, just pointing out the irony of having the BEST hitting coach that EVER EXISTED IN THE GALAXY, come over to the Cubs because Hendry’s a toad and look what happens to our two best hitters!!! But have no fear, I’m sure Lou and Jim have a plan, at least to save their OWN skins.

Hendry is a toad…hahahaha…..i like it.

Hitting coaches are overrated. Hitting comes down to the players. The fact is and joeydafish said it last week is this team has no guy that every team needs to worry about unless someone is hot. They are on the verge of getting swept by Pit!!! The worst pitching staff in the nl and they can’t score runs. Its not the hitting coach, its the players and the manager. Clovin hasnt started once this week, but nady (hitting under .200) starts twice. Makes sense to me!!! Just call up Castro already so I can enjoy Cubs games again.

I am nearly 70 years old and am sick and tired of players who lash out at a manager when they’re hitting a $1.68 because the manager has changed the batting order. How dare you say anything? You should have your head hanging between your legs and start performing your job for what you are getting paid for. I find long term contracts make players complacent such as Lee, Soriano and Ramirez have. If you give long term contracts have it laced with incentive clauses. A three game sweep by the lowly pirates? A win for the worst pitcher in the national league that silences the mighty Cub bats. I’m telling you, you absolutely stink, and you have the nerve to call yourself professional athletes? I’d rather watch the entire AAA team play in your place. At least they would give a 100%. Take a long hard look in the mirror. My loyalty has been challenged. I give up on you guys.

Well said betus.

I’ve started to comment on betus’s comment three times now, but long story short I also am bothered by Lee’s comment, but give him and break, he’s earned it! His comments are rather mild and you’re ripping him a new one for it and attacking his work ethic! I think you are the one who needs to be quiet. We’re all frustrated right now, but you need to step off and cease and desist!

mlbfanwi, Joey was flat out wrong about his comment that this team has no one player that every team needs to worry about unless they are hot. It’s the other way around the Cubs have two players in Lee and Ramirez that every team needs to worry about unless they are in a funk like they are now. There are obviously issues with this team right now, but they will disappear if Lee and Ramirez get back to form and if there are no injuries, like they claim, then I find it hard to believe that they won’t get back to form. They are the huge piece that is missing form this team right now…I swear I’ve said this 30 times now….when they come back then the Cubs will succeed. Like Lee said, they will start hitting, it’s just a matter of time, or so I and the rest of Cub Nation hopes!

Here we go again….IF Lee and Ramirez get back to form. Pman, you are the king of if’s. I’d rather give Betus and his 70 years of pulling for the Cubs a break, now THAT’S earning something. When you’re playing like crap you would think taking a low profile would be best. A matter of time? Maybe the league will extend the season just so the Cubs have the chance to come back. I hope they come back just like the rest of Cub Nation (geez…) but NOW we have to hope that the Cards tank as well. Sometimes we agree pman and sometimes we don’t, God bless ya buddy and your enthusiasm, I just don’t see the this line up as anything special even with Lee and Ramirez hitting close to their career numbers as we all know they probably won’t match those numbers again as they ARE aging. Nobody to fear in this lineup, flat out wrong my ASSton martin (no, I don’t own one, but us Cubs fan sure can dream can’t we?). I’m with ya on this one mlbfan, even the ALL POWERFUL SENTIENT BEING SENT FROM ANOTHER GALAXY JARAMILLO is overrated as is the great and powerful Hendry…who should just stay behind his curtain and remain ignored while SOMEBODY makes some tough calls and brings up Castro, Ryno and play Colvin everyday while either Soriano or Fukudome sit. This way 2010 won’t be a complete waste and these new guys will be better prepared for a run in 2011

I only used “if” twice. :) Joey, to argue my point with the Cubs having a lineup to fear. Right now the Cubs have five regular starters hitting over 300 and that doesn’t include the now infamous duo of Lee and Ramirez. Obviously the reason they aren’t scoring runs is Lee and Ramirez aren’t driving them in like normal and they are THE problem with the offense. I believe they will start hitting and when they do they will start scoring runs in bunches and winning games. If you are amazed at my optimism, I’m equally amazed at your pessimism, but I have found it to be typical of Chicago sports fans. The sky isn’t falling yet folks. How about we at least wait till June to call it another wasted season?

My post earlier was of frustration but I only emphasize doing your job earns you respect. Respect allows you leadership. Leadership on this club is in question. Leadership should not be given to those who make the most money necessarily. I’ll tell you what I do like. Theriot is getting on base this year. If your at the top of the order, that’s your job. The needle jabbed in Soriano’s backside has him playing like he used to. Byrd has been a great addition. I admire Zambrano for doing something asked of him for the good of the club. Fukudome all but lost his job this spring, but he didn’t cry about it and right now is contributing to the offense because he accepted criticism and worked hard to get back what he does best, making contact. Soto seems to look like the Soto of ’08. I don’t know yet who the ace on the staff is, but we need that stopper and the middle of that order does need to produce.

Betus, again I understand your frustration. My point is that Lee has earned our respect as fans of the Cubs. Past that I admittedly am a big fan of Lee’s and therefore give him more lead way. I love the way he plays the game. Incredible defense and relatively consistent offensive production. Even when he struggles he hits the ball hard, it just tends to either be on the ground or at people. Because I’m a fan of his and not so much of Lou’s I completely understand his frustration with the change in lineups all the time. It seems like Lou moves the lineup around way too much and that would get old real quick. I agree with the rest of your comments and I because of those players you listed, I think this team will have a good season. Past saying it’ll be good, I’m not sure at this point though I highly doubt it’ll be what we all want most.

pman, IF I am amazed at your optimism? That’s too funny, using IF again :), good one. I am not amazed at your optimism nor did I say that and I find your type of optmisim typical of Chicago sports fans…hmmm, sounds familiar. Cubs lineup= no fear inducing stud. It may have in 2008 but not this year I’m afraid, for whatever reason. Either way, might as well prepare for the future and start culling the roster don’t you think? After PITTSBURGH completley embarrasses us by sweeping us and holding us to FIVE runs over 3 games…what kind of sign from God SHOULD we be looking for? I’m wondering pman, aside from our thoughts on players and their chances of recovering their offense, do you think both Pinella and Hendry have had their 15 minutes of fame and should be shown the door?

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