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Q Ball

The Cubs still stink, but they seem to stink a little less in the Mike Quade era.

It's nice to have someone managing the team again.

And I must admit I was impressed during his pregame interview on Sunday with Ron Santo he called Jeff Baker "Bakes" and James Russell "Russ."

I mean, Lou Pinella has been calling these guys, "that other second baseman we have that I don't play much" and "that one kid in the bullpen."

Here are some improvements we've noticed under Quade:

* He didn't get lost on the way to Cincinnati this week.

* Generation gap with rookies now one generation less.

* Towel drill now using paper towels based on advice of sabermetricians.

* Mustard cleaned off scouting reports to reveal previously unknown tendencies by the opposition.

* Locker room no longer smells like grandpa's house.

* Alan Trammel era comes to an unceremonious close.

* Errors now made by promising rookies instead of lazy veterans.

* Kosuke Fukudome no longer using whiffle bats.

* Triangle offense scrubbed.

Week in Review: The Cubs swept the Nats before losing two of three to the Reds. In Cub Nation, this is progress.

Week in Preview: A thrilling homestand featuring three each against the Pirates and Mets. In other words, the three of the worst-managed organizations in sports will be on display in Wrigleyville over the next seven days. Take notes.

The Second Basemen Report: New Cubs leadoff man Blake DeWitt got five starts at second this week; new Cubs backup leadoff man Jeff Baker got the other. Just like Jim Hendry drew it up.

In former second basemen news, Ryne Sandberg might become the next Cubs manager. It's like he was never missed.

The Zam Bomb: Big Z has a really long fuse showing these days as he auditions for his next team.



Lost in Translation: Uncle-san Lou-san is Japanese for that weird guy who used to manage this team is just like my crazy drunk uncle.

Endorsement No-Brainer: Mike Quade for that toy where the eyes bug out. Tell me he doesn't look like this.

Sweet and Sour Lou: 50% sweet 50% Sour. Lou stands pat on the Sweet-O-Meter this week due to being glad it's over and tearful goodbyes. And just like your real crazy drunk uncle, Lou is toasting what was a long run at the plant and also glad he doesn't have to deal with those idiots telling him what to do anymore, two good reasons to get good and loaded.

Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of Falstaff traded higher this week because someone has been POUNDING them.

Over/Under: The real chance that Mike Quade has at keeping this job: +/- 28%

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by the The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that a manager who at least tries can make a little difference.

Agony & Ivy: It's a way of life.

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

The White Sox Report: Now with a weekly Cubs Snub.

The Mount Lou Alert System: In honor of the North Side's retired crazy drunk uncle, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has declared Wrigleyville a natural disaster area and asks citizens to remain on highest alert for the remainder of the season. After all, there's still a lot of clean-up to do.



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