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Finally! September baseball that is completely meaningless.
With the Pirates pretty much icing up the home field wild-card game, we are back to not really caring what happens during the last week of the season. So let's all take this week to relax, maybe step away for the team for a few games and enjoy life a little.
Because that game on Wednesday, October 7, is going to be a real doozy. The ghosts of playoff pasts may not haunt these happy-go-lucky Cubs, or this manager, or this management staff, but they haunt the fans. They haunt the fans a lot.
The Week In Review: The Cubs went 3-3 for the week, taking two of three from the Brewers and losing two of three to the Pirates. Oh, and they clinched a wild-card playoff berth.
The Week in Preview: The Cubs play a few more games yadda yadda yadda. It's like the Reds and Brewers or something, and maybe the Royals for a game? It's "just hope no one turns an ankle" time.
The Second Basemen Report: Starin Castro started four games this week, with Javy Baez and Tommy La Stella getting one start each. Still pretty amazing that Chris Coghlan no longer gets a sniff at second these days. I can't figure out if any of what has happened at second base has been by design, completely by accident, or something in the middle. My guess is that it was accidentally by design.
In former Cubs second basemen news, Johnny Evers is still the last Cub second baseman to win the World Series. And apparently he was known as one of the smartest players in the game and had a pretty surly temper with umpires. I wonder what he would of done with Joe West. Maybe this. Johnny Evers is missed.
Mad(don) Scientist: Big Poppa Joe had some issues with AC/DC and what they did to the field. Or at least what the fans did while they were watching AC/DC. Of course, Joe kind of backed off his comments the next day in that smooth Poppa Joe way, but he kind of made his point. Couple this with him giving the his business bosses some noise about the varying start times at the park and you can see a manager stepping out for his team a bit against the powers that be. Maybe something comes of this down the line? IDK. I just know he's a pretty great manager.
Wishing Upon A Starlin: Everyone's favorite Castro (sorry, Fidel) continues to rip it up in September. The resurrection process has to be considered complete. Maddon, and Castro to a big extent, found a way for this guy to hit rock bottom from a baseball standpoint and then rise again to possibly be a better player than he ever was before. This has got to help his trade value come the offseason, but first things first, he'll be the starting second baseman in the playoffs - at least for one game.
Kubs Kalender: On Sunday in Milwaukee, the Brewers are handing out these retro Knit Caps. Going to probably be a lot of Cubs fans getting those hats. I kind of think they are cool.
Ameritrade Stock Pick Of The Week: Shares of Cub Fever are going to be trending upward the next two weeks.
Over/Under: The number of games the Cubs win this week: +/- Who cares.
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 the year.
* Touch 'em all: The Cub Factor archives.
* Know thy enemy: The White Sox Reports.
Marty Gangler is our man on the Cub. He welcomes your comments.