Chicago Cubs management manufactured this man-made crisis

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

A good friend of mine, and a long time Chicago Cubs fan himself, took me to task last week for my outrage in reference to the ‘Week of the Long Knives’ massacre of our team. He counseled that this was all right and natural: “If we accept that we need to rebuild (I do), best to pull the band-aid off and rebuild our farm system” he said.

My response, Jason, to your wise and learned guidance is, “Yes, now we have no choice, but that was not inevitably true during the entirety of the current year.”

Let’s look back a few months and I will indulge in some speculation while making a few raw comparisons.

Over the offseason, in a move we all watched, some of us in abject horror, Yu Darvish was traded for Zach Davies and a package of prospects. Currently Davies is 6-7 with a WAR of 0.8 and Darvish is 7-6 with a 2.0 WAR. If we had kept Darvish and all things remain equal, that’s one more win and one less loss.

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Jon Lester was shown the door and, while pitching for a bad Washington team, he had a 3-5 record and a 0.8 WAR. Jake Arrieta, who we acquired more less to replace Lester, is 5-10 with a -1.6 WAR. To me that looks like 4-5 fewer losses.

Trevor Williams, who we picked up as an addition to our starters, was 4-2 in 12 starts, with a -0.3 WAR, while Adbert Alzolay, forced to function as our number three or even number two starter, is 4-11 with a 0.0 WAR.

Had Hoyer, under direction from Ricketts, not been forced to shave payroll, and instead been allowed to go out and find a reasonable number three starter to add to Darvish and Hendricks, I think we could reason able assume two or three more wins at this time.

Chicago Cubs: What does it all mean in the end?

Conservatively offering a lowball number of seven more wins and consequently seven less losses from all this, that puts the Cubs at 58-49. Do you know where that is? It’s second place in our division, ahead of the Reds and Cards, and only three games behind the Brewers.

I realize this is an exercise in speculation, but I think by staying conservative, it’s reasonable speculation. My contention is, this crisis was created by the actions of management during the off-season. By gutting the pitching and low-balling Anthony Rizzo, they basically gave Baez, Rizzo, and Bryant the ball this year and said: “Here boys, try to win with this starting line-up and good luck!”

I plan to make this the last time I speak about the FUBAR actions of this 2021 Cubs front office. (Fubars, as a side note, was the name of the city league team I played for for eleven years.)

Hoyer has no clue what the future holds for Cubs. dark. Next

But I think the onus for the need to trade our captain, Rizzo, Baez and Bryant, not to mention, Kimbrel, is entirely on the shoulders of Hoyer and Ricketts.