This current Chicago Cubs team has shown the unremarkable ability to lose in many different ways, most often due to a lack of so-called clutch hitting.

And yes, this team has certainly had its share of bullpen issues along the way, just to add insult to injury.

But one thing has remained constant throughout the Jim Hendry era: a lack of fundamental baseball.

Remember when we blamed Dusty Baker for a lack of attention to fundamentals as his teams kicked around the ball and couldn’t ever seem to do the little things that win games?

Well, isn’t it funny how that has continued, despite the fact that Baker is no longer here?

The point is, you can now blame Lou Piniella all you want, but you can’t continue to change managers every three-to-four years, see the same results, and say the blame falls solely on the manager.

No, at some point you have to look at the root cause being an organizational failing.

Look, Cubs fans are right to be frustrated that Lou, until recently, trots out the same guys no matter how they play and then raises his hands in the air and says ‘what the hell can I do’?

But why can’t fundamentals be taught at the minor league level? Why can’t fundamentally sound players be drafted? For it’s not just players acquired from other teams that refuse to play fundamental baseball for the Cubs.

Not only that, once a player does come to the team, shouldn’t the organization stress the right way to play the game?

Some teams have marketed their way of baseball.

The Dodgers used to have videos on the subject back in the day, and the Red Sox continue to stress an offensive baseball philosophy focusing on not making outs that is pervasive throughout the entire organization.

Instead, Jim Hendry flies by the seat of his pants. If the Cubs had an organizational philosophy, it would be inconsistency.

They don’t stress on-base percentage, as Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, Ryan Theriot, Josh Vitters, Tyler Colvin and Starlin Castro will attest to.

They don’t seem to teach hitting to the right side to move along runners, or how to bunt, or even when to hit a cutoff man and when to throw home.

In short, they don’t teach winning baseball.

Because if they did, how could so many of their kids come up not knowing what to do in these situations? You mean to tell me it’s a coincidence?

I don’t believe in coincidences, sorry.

You keep chaning managers and changing players and end up with the same result.

Sure, there’s the occasional Geo Soto who seems to understand the offensive value of getting on base, but those kids are rare.

And if you don’t think that stuff matters, you only have to look at the bad signings Hendry has been forced to make when he sees players who fill those needs.

Lack of OBP?  No problem, let’s throw $48 million at Kosuke Fukudome.

Sure, he’ll get on base, especially in the first half of a season, but in the end his numbers aren’t worth even half of the money he’s making.

Lack of a draft philosophy valuing speed? Again, no problem, we’ll simply give $136 million to Alfonzo Soriano, though I’m not blaming Hendry for failing to know that Soriano would suddenly fail to steal bases.

The list goes on.

You have to have an organizational philosophy that is carried out throughout your entire organization, from the type of player you draft, to the kind of player you acquire.

Then, you continue to reinforce that philosophy all during development so that when a new player comes to town, his teammates will take him aside and say, hey, this is the way we do things around here.

But that is lacking with the Cubs and has been for a long time.

Not only is it lacking, but so is leadership in the clubhouse.

It has been long acknowledged that Derrek Lee is the de-facto leader of the Cubs. Yet he hardly even talks to his teammates.

Meanwhile, a lot of Cubs fans have pinned their hopes on the arrival of new owner Tom Ricketts, mainly based on the fact that he is a purported Cubs fan.

Yet Ricketts’ only hire in the baseball operations department is a stats guy.

Now, how many Cubs fans, if they had the chance to take over, would already have had a baseball man in place or at least a knowledgeable baseball man to help evaluate things?

Ricketts admits he is no baseball expert. So shouldn’t he have one at his disposal?

Hey, Ricketts has Crane Kenny.




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