Cubs

The dilemma that is Jay Cutler

The dilemma that is Jay Cutler

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010
2:38 PM

By Frankie O
CSNChicago.com

Hello again everybody! Frankie O here from behind the bar at Harry Carays. What are we talking about this week? More and more, theres one topic I cant get away from and thats Jay Cutler. No person takes over the psyche of a city like its starting quarterback. And trust me, were a long way from the hysteria of Cutler-mania that took over the city after his arrival here during the summer of 2009. There are 3 main factors at play here when considering the dilemma that is Jay Cutler: 1) His play. (Obviously) 2) His coaching. (Or lack thereof) 3) His attitude. (Thats a biggie) All of these things have combined to make a big mess, which has driven the team even further down and currently is hijacking all of the conversation at the bar! My take? Im glad you asked.

When he arrived here, he came with a lot of anticipation, and baggage. From the fans I talked to, they were over-the-top with excitement. In the media, he was getting crucified: nationally, in Denver (go figure!) and by a certain few media types in town here. My keen sense of bartender awareness told me not to believe the hype, at least until I saw it, and this must be one prickly dude. During his summer of love, I actually got to meet him at the restaurant and found him to be no different from most of the athletes Ive meet before. I couldnt help but tease him about the grief he was getting from 2 people in particular. He thought it funny that he had never met either of them. I thought it was funny, because from what they were saying, you would have thought they were dating.

Then the season started, and its been all downhill ever since. To the tune of a 10-12 record in games hes started and a mind-numbing 34-33 TDinterception ratio. Ouch! The result? Everyone wants his head. This guy is awful! Why did we give up so much for him? Can we get the guy with the neck-beard back? All things I here at work now every day!

My answer to all of this is simple. I think he has a ton of talent. I dont think that talent is being utilized by the very people who brought him here. That being said, I dont think he helps himself with his play on the field or how he explains himself afterward. I understand though that frustration can bring out the worst in us. But it is that old adage that it is not the tough time, but how we react to it. The scheme being used right now DOES NOT FIT HIM, no matter what everyone wants to say. Add to it that hes a human piata, and its no wonder that hes putting balls in all sorts of wrong places.
The two things that a QB needs are: To be protected and to be able to run the ball and this team has shown the ability to do neither. Nor have they shown the willingness to adapt. Cutler, historically, is a much better QB when he is out of the pocket, able to create separation and use his cannon arm. The only time he does that now is when he is running for his life. I have a feeling that none of this is going to change until he has a new offensive coordinator, head coach and general manager.

I may be the only one, but I think that Cutler will eventually show this town the QB that he can really be, on and off the field. All its going to take is someone to give him the tools to succeed and the good fortune to survive the beating, on and off the field, that he is going to take in the mean- time.

Joe Maddon goes after Sean Doolittle's delivery: ‘That's exactly what I was told Carl can't do’

Joe Maddon goes after Sean Doolittle's delivery: ‘That's exactly what I was told Carl can't do’

The Cubs finished Saturday's loss at the Nationals under protest after Joe Maddon saw what he believed to be an inconsistency in how illegal pitches are being called.

Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle came in to close the game out in the ninth with the Nats up 5-2. After one pitch, Maddon went to the umpires to complain. This dragged on throughout the inning.

Maddon didn't like that Doolittle's delivery involved him pausing and potentially even touching the ground in the middle of his wind up before coming home with the pitch. To Maddon, it was clearly an illegal pitch and he was fired up because that's something Carl Edwards Jr. got called for earlier in the season. By comparison, Edwards' version may be more deliberate, but Maddon thinks it is the same thing.

"That's exactly what I was told Carl can't do," Maddon said postgame in a video posted by ESPN's Jesse Rogers. "There's no judgment. If he taps the ground, it's an illegal pitch, period. There's nothing to judge. You can judge whether he did or not. It's obvious that he did, or if you can't tell that then there's something absolutely wrong."

Maddon and the Cubs protested the game as a result. If they win the protest, the game would be restarted with one out in the ninth, when Maddon notified the umpires of the protest.

Doolittle was less than amused by Maddon's protest.

"I have no qualms against Doolittle," Maddon said. "He's great, but they took it away from our guy so for me to sit in the dugout and permit that to happen while they stripped us of that ability earlier this year with Carl, how could I do that? You can't do that. I got to say something."

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Jon Lester's hot streak comes to an end at Nationals

lester-518.jpg
USA TODAY

Jon Lester's hot streak comes to an end at Nationals

Jon Lester was on a heck of a run since coming off the IL in late April, but it came to a screeching halt on Saturday.

Lester had by far his worst start of the season at the Nationals in a 5-2 Cubs loss. He labored through his start, giving up five runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Lester gave up 10 hits, which matches the most he has given up since joining the Cubs. He gave up a fair number of hits in his last two starts, but was able to avoid trouble on the scoreboard. Lester gave up nine hits in 6 2/3 innings against the Brewers last time out, but only gave up an unearned run. On May 7, Lester gave up eight hits to the Marlins, but only allowed two unearned runs in six innings of work.

This time, Lester couldn’t stay out of trouble. Brian Dozier got the Nats on the board with a solo shot in the second and then the wheels came off in the third.

To open the third inning Lester gave up six straight hits. The Nats got three runs that inning and then added another in the fifth, when Lester departed the game.

Since Lester came off the IL on April 25, he had allowed just one earned run (four runs in total) in 24 2/3 innings. During that stretch, he had 25 strikeouts against just two walks. His ERA fell to 1.16, which would have led all of baseball if he had enough innings to qualify. It’s at 2.09 after Saturday’s loss.

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