Cubs: David Ross can’t be blamed for this team’s woeful performance

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

As our 2022 Magical Misery Tour approaches its midpoint, the future is dark for our beloved Cubs. Arriving in the Windy City Monday night are the Padres (37-24), a team playing excellent ball in a strong division, only half-game behind the Dodgers, and the surging Braves will follow them up for a weekend tilt at the Friendly Confines.

In the Central Division, the Cubs at 23-36, remain in fourth place, a game-and-a half behind Pittsburgh, and only two-and-a-half games ahead of Cincinnati who, in case you forgot, opened the season with a 3-18 mark in April.

Cubs: No relief in sight thanks to a complete lack of home cooking

With the team’s current losing streak standing at six, we could easily see it increase to 13 by Monday when Chicago travels to Pittsburgh. This Cubs team has been inexplicably woeful at Wrigley, coming in at 11-20 entering the series against San Diego. The likelihood that the Cubs could lose all seven games on this homestand is actually quite plausible.

This gives rise to a very painful subject for me. When teams lose, their managers are fired. Yet, it is the players who are often failing, not the managers. David Ross has tried endless combinations in an effort to find a competitive team. It’s just not there.

I saw a comment yesterday that suggested both Chicago teams might see the firing of their managers soon. I’m not sure about LaRussa’s status, the intentional walk on a 1-2 count notwithstanding, but to blame Ross for the ineptitude of the team’s front office is absurd.

A club’s manager can only work with the players he is given, and this team does not have the requisite players to compete. The greatest flaw seems to be in starting pitching. Jed Hoyer made only a token effort to improve the starters for the Cubs this year.

Bringing in Marcus Stroman and snatching up Wade Miley were both reasonable moves but not nearly enough to change the overall season’s trajectory, especially in light of injuries. Our young starting pitchers, Keegan Thompson, Justin Steele and the latest lamb committed to the slaughter, Matt Swarmer, are just not ready to produce sustained results.

Cubs bats have been totally inept with runners in scoring position

Add to all this, a fact pointed out by Jim DeShaies and Boog Sciambi during Sunday’s massacre in the Bronx, becomes even more telling. The Cubs’ 0-for-48 mark with runners in scoring position (a skid that mercifully ended in the finale against New York) marked the worst hitless streak in baseball in at least forty years. 

No pitcher can deliver a win if his team doesn’t score. While these Cubs have been surprisingly potent early in their games, that offensive ability seems to disappear in the later innings.

Next. Joe Maddon says front offices hold too much power today. dark

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So the answer is “Fire the manager!” To me, that is unlikely to change the reality of 2022. Give Rossy an adequate team, with an actual chance of winning, and if he fails then, it’s on him. But to blame him for the woes of the current Cubs is ridiculous.