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Another week goes into the books and the Cubs continue to make fans ask:
Um, are these guys good or are they bad?
It's impossible to say right now.
Are they overachieving? Underachieving? Or just achieving?
I'm kinda thinking that what you have is what you got.
A team that will be around 81-81 at the end of it all.
But the more important question is: What do they have in Starlin Castro?
The kid is obviously good so far but I'd like to think right now he's what you would call "baseball sushi."
Sushi is good but it is raw.
Just like Castro.
The cool thing about his rise to the big leagues is that the kid is so young there wasn't time to overhype him.
It's like, who overhypes a 12-year-old?
Even the Cubs didn't have time to put expectations on this kid.
Anyway, as I was saying, this kid is sushi right now - good stuff but raw.
It's not like raw is bad; sushi is pretty tasty and Castro is pretty darn good but "raw" and baseball only have a certain amount of shelf life.
You want this kid to become "seasoned," like a properly aged steak.
And like sushi, if something is raw and sits around in the sun too long, it can get stinky and no one wants to eat it.
And there is a chance that Starin doesn't learn from his mistakes and doesn't get better.
I mean, Shawon Dunston was never able to throw the ball to first base.
So not getting better is certainly possible.
But like it or not on this Cubs season menu, sushi is the best thing to order and worth making a reservation for.
The kid might be batting third but he's the chef's special.
The Week in Review: The Cubs went an even (naturally) 3-3 for the week, winning two of three from the Padres and losing two of three to the Dodgers. When you are constantly one game above or one game below or .500 on the dot, you are not allowed to win many games or lose too many in short period of time.
The Week in Preview: The Rockies come to town for three and then the Cubs head west to play the D-Backs for four. Expect the Cubs to win on Monday - they have to be 11-11 and back to .500, it's what they do.
The Second Basemen Report: Darwin Barney got all six starts once again for the Cubs this week and has a complete stranglehold on the position. D-Bone (does that nickname work for you?) is becoming the next Ryan Theriot. You know, the guy that Cub fans will latch on to even though he's really just kind of just decent. Yeah, we here at The Cub Factor are not on board the Barnyard Express (better?). But neither is Jim Hendry because he wouldn't have Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt on the team if he was. You know, just like he drew it up.
In former second basemen news, Aaron Miles now plays for the Dodgers and actually starts for them and leads off at times. He last played for the Cubs in 2009 and hit .185. He's batting .255 this season and is just not missed, except when he got three hits on Sunday against the Cubs. But even then, he's not missed much.
The Zam Bomb: Big Z lost his first game this week in his last 11 decisions going back to last season. And the Cubs booted a few behind him. This is the recipe for Big Z to go Boom. He doesn't get through two more starts before his brain misfires. But for now he is still secretly just Getting Angry.
Marlon Byrd Supplemental Report: Victor Conte is now giving Byrd weekly injections of "sixth place hitter."
Lost in Translation: Fukudome crazio godzilla is Japanese for Fukudome has an OBP of .529.
Endorsement No-Brainer: Reed Johnson for President. People only remember a few good things you've done, and that is all it takes.
Sweet and Sour Quade: 95% sweet, 4% sour. Down one point this week due to arguing a call with an umpire and getting his blood pressure up a bit, not a lot though, just a bit. And just like your smart, well-adjusted uncle, Mike had to get a little stern with the neighbors when they were playing their music a bit too loud this weekend. Mike runs a foster home for abused dogs and Bandit had been through a lot and needed some quiet time.
Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: The company that makes Barney the dinosaur VHS tapes traded higher this week. But this uptick in sales may not last too long.
Over/Under: Number of current Cub outfielders that should be the fourth outfielder on a good team +/- 4.5.
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that a youth movement is cool if you've won a championship in most fans' lifetime.
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?
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