By now, everyone has seen or heard about the scuffle that took place last week. If this is a sign of things to come, then the Cubs are in serious trouble. Hopefully, this incident will be put to rest and the Cubs can get on with the business at hand. Before we move on, perhaps we should take a closer look at how these things happen.
Obviously Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Silva have better insight into the situation than I do, but I may be able to shed some light on this subject. Players get frustrated when things don’t go their way. A bad pitch or a costly error can cause some players to become unhinged and blow up at their teammates. Bad idea. The word “Teammates” suggest that players should be on the same side. We’re all in this together should be the motto. A teammate should lift his fellow player up when he makes a mistake, not condemn him. This has been the problem. Mike Quade did a fine job of downplaying the incident with the media, but I wonder how the situation was addressed in the clubhouse. Sure, they had a team meeting to address the 14 errors in the first 4 games, but was it enough to prevent future outbursts of infighting? Time will tell.
A successful team establishes urgency and direction. A worthwhile purpose that unites the team as a whole. Teams must have complementary skills at each position. Everyone plays a particular role. Teams set clear rules of behavior to help achieve their purpose and performance goals. This enables the team to stay focused and committed. Teammates should challenge one another to be better rather than placing blame and embarrassing each other. Teammates should be family, spending alot of time together to create an unbreakable bond, trust, and understanding. Successful teams feed off of positive reinforcement, recognition, and reward. Lastly, there must be accountability. Each player should be held accountable for his performance. That does not mean he deserves to be ridiculed but rather each player has a responsibility to his teammates to learn his craft, work hard, and improve on a daily basis. Just because a veteran earns millions of dollars doesn’t mean that he isn’t expected to work hard and give maximum effort. It doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t seek help from a coach when he needs it. There are too many players that think they know it all and don’t need the extra help or that they don’t have to hustle. Those players don’t deserve to wear Cubby blue. The players who are truly commited to improving and winning are the ones that should stay, everyone else should go elsewhere. There is no room for laziness at the MLB level.
Every successful team forges its own path. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be conflicts because there will be, but how a team handles it, is crucial. Isn’t it time the Cubs start playing as a team, committed to excellence and winning? Enough of these childish tantrums, let’s get down to business and win a World Series!
Jim Hendry has said that he would like to create a spot in the line-up for Tyler Colvin and the possibility exists that he may trade Fukudome to make room. Fukudome has one year left on his contract and hasn’t performed up to expectations. He is still owed 14 million in 2011.
Fukudome batted .263 with 13 homeruns and 44 RBI’s last season.
Somewhat a disappointment offensively, but defensively has been solid. However, the Cubs are seeking more solid numbers offensively from the right field position.
Matsuzaka has been plagued with injuries the past two seasons. Last year, in 25 starts, went 9-6 with a 4.69 ERA. He is still owed 10 million over the next 2 years.
While the possibility of a trade is intriguing, to say the least, it is unlikely. Matsuzaka has a no-trade clause in his contract. Dice-K showed great promise until his injuries. If he could get healthy and the Cubs could acquire him, I think he would make a fine addition to the Cubs’ starting rotation.