I found something very interesting on cubs.com today,
The Cubs may call more hit-and-run plays this year. However, Baker said some of the players had a tough time recognizing the signs last season. "It wasn't a big problem, but there were times when there were more signs missed than I would've liked," Baker said Saturday. "I don't like any missed. Baker said he stresses the signs to his players, but not all of them seem able to translate it. The Cubs also couldn't follow through on the hit-and-run because they had too many players who were prone to strikeouts."Some guys missed the signs," Baker said. "Or you put it on and you've got to take it off because they ask for it again, and now everybody in the ballpark knows what's on so you've got to take it off."
Will the Cubs do more of that this year?
"Maybe," Baker said. "It depends on my team. You play according to the personnel on the team. My first couple years in San Francisco, I hit and ran quite a bit. I had Robby Thompson, Darren Lewis, Royce Clayton. I didn't hit and run with Matt Williams, Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell too much. It depends on the team you have and the personnel you have."
The Cubs of 2004 missed signs on a regular basis according to this. This could explain the number of base running blunders by certain players, i.e. Moises Alou. How can these Major League baseball players miss signs? HOW CAN THEY MISS SIGNS???? This is still hard for me to fathom. Alas, this article also brings good news however, as the Cubs plan to hit and run more this year, which I believe wwas a key aspect to their demise last year, (along with Latroy being moved out of his element to closer) the Cubs did not hit and run last year because all their position players were liable to go deep every time they stepped to the plate, at least when Todd Walker was playing. Anthony on View From The Bleachers pointed out that the Cubs have scored 18 runs total in 3 games this spring training, yet of those there have been only 3 home runs. Most importantly those homeruns were each hit with a runner on base, which is a good sign. If you remember, most of the Cubs home runs were solo homeruns, because the hitters in front of them would strike out.
There is hope in the air, and while these games are just practice, they're still games.