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Oh people, he's coming. The next guy to take away all the pain. He's so close we can taste his musk. And he's bringing with him a huge bag of hope. Anthony Rizzo, come on down! You are the next contestant on Make The Cubs Right!
But hope and a big bat aren't enough to do the job alone. We here at The Cub Factor request The Riz bring a long a few other items if he wants to turn this team into a winner.
* A diagram of the strike zone to hand out to his new teammates, along with a baseball dictionary definition of the word "walk."
* An answer key to all the stats Dale Sveum seems to look at but doesn't seem to really understand.
* Some pills for Matt Garza to "take the edge off."
* A closer.
* A huge bag of unmarked bills, as the money for the Wrigley renovation has to come from somewhere.
* Some miracle-grow grass feed for the infield to help slow down Tony Campana's bunts.
* Pink slips for 3/4ths of this roster.
* A special wand that turns water into Old Style.
* A Jenny Craig enrollment form for Geovany Soto.
* A Ritalin prescription for Starlin Castro.
* A third baseman.
* An enrollment form for the federal witness protection program for Alfonso Soriano, so we can just make him disappear.
* A time machine that advances us to 2016.
Week in Review: The Cubs went 2-4 for the week, winning two of three from the White Sox before getting swept by the D-Backs. But at least they won the White Sox series, and that counts for a lot, if you have the mentality of a 5-year-old.
The Week in Preview: The Cubs come home for three each against the Mets and Astros. If nothing else, they can peer into the future two years down the line as the Astros are well into their own rebuild. Just look at what the future holds!
The Second Basemen Report: Darwin Barney started six of seven games this week and collected four hits and one walk. His replacement in the one game he didn't start, Adrian Cardenas, had two hits in that one game alone. But don't think that Barney is going to lose much playing time. This is right where he has a decent week to make you think he might actually be kinda okay. Which is just how the ghost of Jim Hendry would have drawn it up.
In former second basemen news, the Tigers organization has released Eric Patterson. Patterson, 29, posted a .244/.365/.317 line in 267 plate appearances at Triple-A before he was let go. He last played for the Cubs in 2008. I'd like to say he is missed but I don't think he actually is.
Crazy Corners: With Ian Stewart on the DL, the Cubs have now gone almost exclusively with Luis Valbuena at the hot corner. And Luis had one solid game last week and nothing else, which makes it feel like Ian Stewart never really left.
Meanwhile, the book on Bryan LaHR has apparently been checked out by all major league teams by now but maybe that will change when some of that RIZ thunder makes it's way to town. LaHR has also been playing in right field and The CLEVENGER has been keeping the base warm for The RIZ.
Weekly Bunting Report: Too many late games this week to dissect the bunting. Let's just say Tony Campana tried to bunt a few times, for sure.
The Zam Bomb: Big Z gave up three earned runs in five innings but didn't get the loss - although the Marlins did lose - against the Red Sox this week. But he did get through five innings and didn't get out of the third inning in his previous two starts, which means Big Z is Getting Angry.
Endorsement No-Brainer: Anthony Rizzo for sliced bread.
Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Japanese imports traded much lower this week on news that Kosuke Fukudome was let go by the White Sox. He really just wasn't very good.
Sink or Sveum: 20% Analytical, 80% Emotional. Sveum stays way too emotional this week in his anti-hype hype of Anthony Rizzo. Pick a lane, Dale. Either embrace the hype or downplay it; you can't do both.
On a scale of Bat Sh#t Crazy, (Charles Manson), Not All There, (random guy with a neck tattoo), Thinking Clearly (Jordi LaForge), and Non-Emotional robot (Data), Dale is still just Not All There.
And just like your thought-to-be level-headed uncle, Dale can't wait to buy that new Dodge Charger, yet he says in the same sentence that his commute to church is short and he doesn't need all that horsepower.
Over/Under: The number of Anthony Rizzo jersey shirts sold at the ballpark this season: +/- a helluva lot less that Fukudome's a few years ago.
Don't Hassle The Hoff: Micah Hoffpauir has a six-game on-base streak, if I'm reading this right. And that is not a hassle!
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that this could be Gary Scott all over again.
The Cub Factor: Unlike Alfonso Soriano, you can catch 'em all!
The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.
Fantasy Fix: One-Trick Tony.
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