While a portion of the Chicago media used Wednesday's spring training dugout spat between Carlos Silva and Aramis Ramirez as a chance to recall every incident in recent history in which a Cubs player lost his cool, I choose to view the incident as a healthy expression of passion from a couple of players who are pissed off about the team's performance.
I'm glad Silva and Ramirez are angry. We're still over four weeks away from Opening Day, but nobody on the Cubs should be pleased about committing 14 errors in their first four spring training games.
It appears that Silva took issue with the three errors - including one by Ramirez - that were made behind him in the first inning of Wednesday's Cactus League game against the Brewers in Maryvale. Ramirez rightly responded by telling Silva to take a look in the mirror - and to quit trying to show him and some of his teammates up in the open. Silva served up two homers in the six-run first.
Modern major league players are far too often content to wallow in mediocrity. Players of recent Cubs vintage like Todd Hundley, Corey Patterson, and Milton Bradley were perceived as guys who didn't give a shit. They either had an excuse for their poor performance or simply shrugged off their failures.
Remember how Lou Piniella was indicted last year after he shrugged off another Cubs loss and asked the media, "What am I supposed to do?"
I think these sort of spats are common on major league baseball teams, but unfortunately the Cubs seem to have a penchant for putting on displays of discontent in the open for all the world to see instead of in the clubhouse That is not professional.
I've never had a problem with a boss or co-worker calling me out, but I have had a problem with it when it's been done out in the open for the rest of the office to witness. Chew me out behind a closed door, please.
Bickering in the open, especially early in spring training, gives bored beat reporters some much-needed fodder for a few days. The reporters and their editors love controversy.
It's good that there is in Mike Quade's words, some "piss and vinegar" being expressed by the Cubs. We just don't need to see it.