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It's Poppa Joe's Wagon Now

What is there to say? The Cubs went 5-1 for the week and only lost to Chris Sale. Who was as Chris Sale-y as it gets in that one loss.

The biggest question mark of the week was who would start in the wild card playoff game, Arrieta or Lester. Because you know, the Cubs are already there.

While I understand there will be a debate when that time comes, if it comes, I have faith that Joe Maddon will make the right call for the team to win. Just look at how he responded to the question when it was asked of him. How great is that?

Give me your best advice. And, if you are supposed to do these things. But there I have to disagree with Joe. This is the first Cub manager I can remember where there weren't glaring "What the fuck are you doing?" moments.

Sure, I truly don't get ever batting Chris Coghlan third, but it seems to work; they are 12-0 when he bats third. How is that possible?

I truly don't know, but Joe seems to have a handle on it. Maybe he tells Rizzo after he's up there what the pitcher has that day and it helps the Rizz? Maybe pitchers relax just enough in Coghlan at-bats that they can't focus clearly again quick enough for the next guy in the line-up? Maybe Coghlan just has brass balls up there and batting third makes no difference to him whereas other guys would let it get to their heads? I don't know the answer to any of these questions, but I do know that Joe is doing the best he can with what he has to work with.

And I also know that the first- and second-guessing as a fan is virtually nil with this guy.

Uncle Lou was too emotional and a little too old school to not be second-guessed. And Dusty would never play all these young guys and would be constantly second-guessed - while also being pretty much a complete idiot.

So yeah, my wagon is hitched to big Poppa Joe. Not only will he tell me who will be pitching in the one-game playoff, I will also know that it was the right move, even if the Cubs were to lose the game, you know because "baseball" and all. But kinda nice that the big issue this week was a silly debate about October baseball.

Joe's got this one, let's just see what happens.


The Week In Review: The Cubs went 5-1 for the week. And it's the second week in a row they went 5-1. Not too flippin' shabby. Sure it was the Brewers and White Sox, but that is what good teams do.

The Week In Preview: The boys in blue stay in town for two against the Tigers and four against the Braves. Unlike the White Sox, the Tigers don't have pipe-dream illusions of making the playoffs, but they did get Miggy back off the DL, and he does this. And the lineup can rake - they have the third best OBP in all of baseball. Oh, and the Braves just signed Edwin Jackson, so, you know.

The Second Basemen Report: Chris Coghlan split his time this week with a new Cubs second baseman, Starlin Castro. I'm thinking Castro in the starting lineup might have been just an American League thing? Because his demotion has not changed him into the 2014 version of himself - or any other version. But with no more AL games on the road for the season, it's anyone's guess who will play second from here on out. Maybe even this guy?

In former Cubs second basemen, Eddie Miksis last played second base for the Cubs 1956. In June of 1951, with the Dodgers leading the National League by 14 1/2games, Miksis was traded to the Cubs. His main claim to fame as a Cub was lending his glove to Ernie Banks in Banks' first-ever major league game. He is missed.

Mad(don) Scientist: Hard not to point out a moment in the Crosstown series and think about Robin vs. Joe. The moment in particular was on Saturday when Robin decided to intentionally walk Dexter Fowler to get to Kyle Schwarber. Sure, Fowler had better at-bats that game coming into that situation, but still, WTF are you thinking? And then try to sneak a fastball by Boy Hulk? C'mon. So yeah, reason #258 why I'm glad I'm not a White Sox fan.

Wishing Upon A Starlin: I guess I was wrong when I said Castro isn't a defensive replacement at second base, because that's what he has been when he hasn't been starting there outright. And he's actually made a few nice plays. But his days as a Cub are numbered. If he is back in 2016, I'll be really surprised. He will not really be missed.

Kubs Kalender: On Saturday this week the Cubs are giving away a Jon Lester debut bobblehead. I guess that's cool, but why not make it a bobblehead from a different start? Lester didn't get out of the 5th inning and took the loss in his Cub "debut." It should be Lester's fifth start that they bobbletize. He beat the Brewers and went 7 innings giving up no runs.

Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Lots of investors shorted Futures of VMA this week. VMA - Robin Ventura Management.

Over/Under: The number of Chicagoans who put stock in Cubs vs. Sox: +/- not nearly as many as a while back.

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 season means something.


* 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.

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