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Big Z Envy

Carlos Zambrano just did what the rest of us wish we could: He ditched this team.

What Cub fan wouldn't like to just clean out his locker and forget about it?

I sometimes wish I could. But we Cub fans are afflicted with the burden of growing up with this team; the games our dads took us to, the stories our aunts tell us about, the emotional investment of enduring season after pathetic season. It's the backdrop of our existence. We can't just walk away.

Zambrano could. And did.

I guess the difference is that Big Z didn't grow up watching Cub games.

He didn't show up early on a Saturday morning to stand in line to get the front row in the bleachers before a double-header.

Nope. Big Z treated his job the same way as a lot of us treat our real jobs. One day you've just had enough and you want out.

That's not an option for us. And we've worked for this team a lot longer and a lot harder than he has.


Week in Review: The Cubs won two of three from both the Nationals and Braves. That's four series' wins in a row. If this was April, that would be awesome. But it's not.

The Week in Preview: The Cubs head to Houston for three and then come home to play the Cardinals. Expect more wins. It's almost like they're hurting you on purpose.

The Second Basemen Report: Darwin Barney got five starts and Jeff Baker got the other. Barney had eight hits and two walks for the week and continues to prove that he's just as good as a Baker/DeWitt platoon. Which is actually just like Jim Hendry drew up.

In former second basemen news, Tom Veryzer lives in Islip, New York, with his wife and three daughters. He is missed.

The Zam Bomb: I told you last week his success had been smoke and mirrors. This week it was more like TNT and a match. Big Z goes boom, and may never go boom again.



Marlon Byrd Supplemental Report: Conte continues to inject Marlon with "decent, but not great."

Lost in Translation: Reedio Johnson-san is Japanese for perfect for a contender but not a rebuilder.

Endorsement No-Brainer: Geovany Soto for Brinks home security because he knows what it feels like to be stolen on.

Sweet and Sour Quade: 91% sweet, 9% sour. Mike gains one point this week for finding a scapegoat. And just like your thought-to-be well-adjusted uncle, Mike was the one who ate Aunt Hillary's pie before the picnic but he saw that Farmer Miller's goat escaped again and blamed him instead of taking responsibility.

Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of bronze are expected to trade lower this week on the North Side. The Cubs are running out of uses.

Over/Under: Chances the Cubs catch the Pirates and move up to fourth place: +/- 42%. The Pirates may actually catch them.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that hitting streaks are the most ridiculous records ever.

Farm Report: Only the Cubs could get an MVP season out of a Triple-A player they have no intention of ever bringing to the major leagues.

The Cub Factor: Unlike Soriano, you can catch 'em all!

The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.

Get Your Gangler On: Follow Marty on Twitter.

Mike Quade Status Update: "Though he struggled in his last two starts, veteran Rodrigo Lopez will take the mound Wednesday night against the Nationals," Paul Sullivan reports for the Tribune.

"With Casey Coleman starting to show signs of stability at Triple-A Iowa and the Cubs playing out the string, how long is manager Mike Quade committed to keeping Lopez in the rotation?

"'I'm committed to him right now,' Quade said. 'As I look at this thing as it pans out - take it four days at a time - we're going to play Washington, who is in the hunt still, and we have contenders throughout the rest of the month. That's part of the reason I want to keep the pitching in line.'

"The Nationals began the day 19 1/2 games out of first in the National League East and 11 behind the wild-card-leading Braves."


"I probably haven't thought much past this series as far as the rest of it goes," Quade added.

Um, maybe someone in the Cubs organization oughta think past the next series.


Mike Quade is . . . Well-Adjusted / Delirious / High



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