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In true Cubs fashion, the team is about to sell off just about anybody they can short of Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo now that they've won 12 of their last 16 games. Does any franchise work in reverse as well as the Cubs?
It's about to get a lot worse for this team, just as they are performing their best.
Consider this team without Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano, David DeJesus, Bryan LaHair, Reed Johnson, Carlos Marmol and Shawn Camp. Sure, we'd like to see some of these guys (Soriano, Marmol) gone as much as the next guy, but unless the Cubs get major league-ready prospects in return, they're gonna be fielding a team with, what, some combination of Casey Coleman, Chris Volstad and Randy Wells in the rotation? Will we actually be seeing more of Jeff Baker if he isn't packaged up and sent off? Luis Valbuena batting clean-up?
I get the plan, and I'm mostly behind it, but it's just so Cub to see the current conglomeration play like champs just ahead of a trade deadline that will probably result in a major league roster even worse than the one we started with this season.
The Iowa Cubs, on the other hand, are gonna kick ass.
The Week in Review: The Cubs swept the Diamondbacks 8-1, 4-1 and 3-1. So, diminishing returns.
The Week in Preview: Ozzie Guillen brings his Marlins in for three but word has it that the Cubs will miss Carlos Zambrano's spot in the rotation, which really sucks. Apparently Ozzie wants the meltdown spotlight all to himself. The Cubs then travel to St. Louis for a three-game weekend set.
The Second Basemen Report Darwin Barney is not only the first permanent second baseman the Cubs have had in recent memory, he's now being talked up by the Cubs family as a Gold Glove candidate. He's also been asked about by other teams, most aggressively (we think) by the Detroit Tigers. And he still doesn't grind enough to Theo's satisfaction, so there's still hope that this report isn't on its way to extinction.
In former second basemen news, Ryne Sandberg has the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in first place again in the International League's North division. He is missed.
Crazy Corners: After more than a year and a dozen MRIs, Ian Stewart finally had surgery to remove part of a bone from the wrist that's been holding him back, meaning he'll be really good for some other team next year. Luis Valbuena won't. Oh, and Rizzo.
The Weekly Bunting Report: Bunting will return after the Great Cubs Sell-Off, when Tony Campana and a bunch of other guys who can't hit fill out the lineup.
The Zam Bomb: We were hoping Big Z would explode on the mound at Wrigley this week and we could close the chapter on The Zam Bomb, seeing as how he is no longer a Cub. We'll have to settle for some type of clubhouse incident instead.
Similarly, we've been tracking Mount Oz due primarily - okay, only - because of his new association with Z. After all, Lou Piniella is long gone and Dizzy Dale isn't really an explosive type. Maybe we'll start a Theo Study Bomb measuring how hard Theo is studying each week. That's where we're at, folks.
Endorsement No-Brainer: Ryan Dempster for I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!
Sink or Sveum: 32% Analytical, 68% Emotional. Sveum's stats don't move this week due to the All-Star break followed by Jeff Baker getting a start in right-field against another left-hander Bryan LaHair wasn't allowed to see. On a scale of Bat Sh#t Crazy, (Charles Manson), Not All There, (random guy with a neck tattoo), Thinking Clearly (Jordi LaForge), and Non-Emotional Robot (Data), Dale is Not All There.
And just like your thought-to-be level-headed uncle, Dale knows that it wasn't anything he did that got the air conditioner turned back on but he's not gonna just come out and say it, and if the family wants to believe that his tinkering made a difference, so be it.
Over/Under: The number of Cubs on the major league roster today who won't be on August 1: +/- 5.
Don't Hassle The Hoff: Before there was Bryan LaHR, there was Micah Hoffpauir. But he was hassled by Hendry and now plays for the Nippon Ham Fighters, whose mascot is Cubby Bear. Oh well, it's better than giving up at-bats to future teammate Jeff Baker. Hassle!
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that shit's about to get real.
The Cub Factor: Unlike Alfonso Soriano, you can catch 'em all!
The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.
Fantasy Fix: Stars And Gripes.
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