Dale Sveum must be trying to get fired.
Or maybe the Cubs manager hates Cubs fans.
Or perhaps he’s an agent of evil sent by North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to destroy the Cubs because their legendary ineptitude and continued consignment to a dangerous and decrepit work facility is viewed by the Supreme Leader as Western pig dogs mocking a son laughably following in the father’s footsteps.
Whatever, Sveum should be investigated for using Carlos Marmol and then sticking by him after the meltdown he seems to have about half the time.
Jeff Samardzija had just thrown eight brilliant shutout innings in Pittsburgh, and then Marmol tried to ruin everything by going all Marmol.
Coming on to start the ninth inning with a 3-0 lead, Marmol went strikeout, hit-by-pitch, stolen base, RBI single, walk, pulled from the game in shame.
Sveum brought in James Russell to get an out, then summoned Kyuji Fujikawa, who needed two pitches to record his first major league save.
And just like that, we all learned that Kyuji Fujikawa is Japanese for “dump Marmol now.’’
After the game, Sveum said Marmol remains the closer. Palm-to-forehead mechanic. Pottymouth stream of invectives. Take a vote of your starters, Dale. See how they feel about your decision.
The pathetic truth is this: The Cubs have to keep Marmol in the closer role if they are going to get value for him in a trade.
Corollary: When the Cubs insist on pitching someone with the stability of a blasting cap simply to phony up some value for him, then Epstein must stop saying he believes every season is sacred as the next chance to win the World Series.
Look, sorry, but it can’t be that sacred if you’re forcing an unreliable player into an unforgiving spot that creates a greater chance that he’ll lose games. Only a sucker believes that “sacred’’ hooey in this situation.
Epstein has been remarkably transparent in detailing his "Scorched Cub Policy," but he and Hoyer have been equally clunky in trying to trade pitchers. Not that acquiring Ian Stewart was Executive of the Year material, either, and third base remains a toxic waste dump, but pitching is too valuable to mess up in trades.
Unfortunately, Epstein and Hoyer have been rather inept at that. They have looked sloppy at best in the Ryan Dempster saga and the aborted trade of Marmol to the Angels last November.
The only reason Epstein and Hoyer didn’t look totally foolish in trading Carlos Zambrano to Miami is because they agreed to pay all of his salary except for the money they would pay Chris Volstad to stink for the Cubs.
You watch, the Cubs will end up paying all of Marmol’s salary to make him go away, either in trade of just flat cutting him. Why wait? Marmol won’t be here if the Cubs ever become contenders, so why keep him in the way of someone else who might be?
That clubhouse is more than just Marmol. There are 24 other players. Why is Marmol being catered to? I’ll bet there are some players wondering that, and they should. Players want to believe that the manager and front-office wonks are giving them the best chance to win, not the best chance to make a trade.
Everybody can see that this has become a running joke. Quick, someone tell the Cubs they don’t need to add to a century of credibility problems.