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As we are pretty much at the mid-point of the 2011 season (88 games in the books), we here at The Cub Factor think it's time to take stock.
And just like when you were in school, we thought it'd be fun to give out letter grades - cuz you remember how much fun letter grades were, right? I mean, we could just go pass/fail but what fun is that as the Cubs are surely fail.
So with that in mind, let's take a look at some grades in different categories:
Record: F. The Cubs have 35 wins right now and only the Astros and Royals have less in all of MLB. And the Cubs lost to the Royals.
Injuries: B+. It seems like the entire roster is taking turns being hurt. Kinda like in track where one guy runs and then passes the baton to another guy. I don't remember what that race is called because no one watches the Olympics.
Nicknames: A. If nothing else, Mike Quade has given us plenty of nicknames. Marms, Sote, Demps to name a few. Sure, they aren't creative, but he really likes to use them.
Baseball IQ: D-. Swinging away right after the guy before you draws a walk jumps to mind as we look at baseball IQ this season. Come to think of it, this should be an F.
Excuses: D. So far all we've really gotten as excuses is injuries. We typically like to see a lot of focus on day baseball and cold/hot weather here. This is just barely getting by.
Ticket Sales: B. The Cubs are still "selling" a decent number of tickets but . . .
Attendance: C-. People are actually not showing up. Once every two weeks someone tells me about free tickets. If it weren't for the parking and bad baseball, I'd probably go more often.
2011 Free Agents: - B/D+. Carlos Pena, Matt Garza, and Kerry Wood have all been about what you would have had to expect/but if you throw Doug Davis into the mix he really brings down your average.
Second Basemen: A. If it wasn't for all the second basemen on the team there would be no one else to back up all the other positions. I'm not saying these guys are good, I'm just saying they've gone above and beyond what we should have expected of them - which was very little. But still. And the Cubs might have actually found a guy that might be okay.
Delusionality: A+. No team can make a fan angrier than the Cubs. And their owner, GM, and manager are way too Pollyanna for anyone's palette.
Week in Review: The Cubs went 4-5 for the week-and-a-day. The biggest blow is that they once again lost the coveted BP Cup to the dreaded White Sox. Even BP is asking why.
The Week in Preview: The Cubs stay in D.C. and play three more against the Nationals before heading to Pittsburgh for three against the Pirates before the All-Star break. Don't sleep on the Pirates, they are actually kind of a little okay.
The Second Basemen Report: We started this long stretch of games with Blake DeWitt getting two starts and Jeff Baker getting one before Darwin Barney had to screw it all up again and come off the DL. Barney played the next six straight games. The only hope for The Second Baseman Report is some help at the trading deadline like Jim Hendry historically draws it up.
In former second basemen news, Mike Fontenot has been on the shelf for the Giants since May 25th. He is due back shortly for the World Champions, he is still short, and he is missed.
The Zam Bomb: Big Z apparently has a weak back that he got more than a week back. He is getting angry.
Marlon Byrd Supplemental Report: Conte has been injecting Marlon with "season savior" but even Conte can't make up something that potent.
Lost in Translation: Onlee makinio mee muchy angriee is Japanese for Aramis Ramirez's latest meaningless offensive spurt.
Endorsement No-Brainer: Starling Castro for the Cubs' entire franchise. Because it's this kid or nothing.
Sweet and Sour Quade: 87% sweet,13% sour. Mike is up two points this week due to being named to the All-Star team's coaching staff. And just like your supposedly well adjusted uncle, Mike takes a little too much pride in being the grand marshal for the 4th of July parade downtown. The town only has a population of 450 and he's the only one who owns a convertible. And he wears that sash around for weeks.
Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of Greyhound should tick up this week as there should be an extra bus run taking Tony Campana down to Iowa.
Over/Under: The number of Cub fans who should be mad that Aramis Ramirez did not make the All-Star team despite actual numbers that show he should: +/- none of the smart ones.
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that it is pretty cool that Starlin Castro is such a young guy at the All-Star game.
Farm Report: I-Cubs can't handle mutant offspring.
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.
Note For Readers Used To Seeing The Mount Lou Alert System Here: When manager Mike Quade shows any signs of, well, really anything abnormal, we will be all over it with some kind of graph or pictorial depiction of whatever it is, but until this guy shows something besides just being a normal, thoughtful, intelligent guy, we got next to nothing on him. We are hoping he shows something and kinda hoping he doesn't also, know what I mean? BUT HE IS GETTING MUCH CLOSER . . . He's starting to answer to "Lou."
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