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GAME 2 REVIEW: At least there is no second-guessing in a game with on guessing at all. You don't have to guess at the Cubs chances, which are not good. Someone needs to tell Diamondbacks that they can't hit. I suggest telling them soon. Someone should also tell Soriano that he's being used in the commercials for this series, and that means he's supposed to get a big hit.
GAME 3 PREVIEW: It all comes down to Rich Hill. Who'd have thunk? Next year is awfully close to being here. When do pitchers and catchers report?
GAME 1 REVIEW: The Cubs didn't execute when they had runners in scoring position and it cost them the game. And say what you like about taking Big Z out early, but last time I checked you need to score more than one run to win almost all the time. Asking your pitching staff to shut out the other team, even if it is the woeful D-Backs, is like asking Britney Spears to babysit - both are a recipe for disaster.
Still, has there ever been a playoff game with two bigger second guessing moments? Not bunting with Big Z and pulling him at only 85 pitches. Thank God there is another game today so these questions can only be batted around for a few more hours. I already want to throw up.
GAME 2 PREVIEW: Ted Lilly has stepped up all year and should not disappoint tonight. Ted Lilly fixes things, like losing streaks. Ted Lilly is The Wolf from Pulp Fiction. Ted Lilly is a guy you'd want to babysit your kids. Ted Lilly approved these sentences.
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The Cub Factor
Wait, what is that I hear? Is that the unmistakable sound of Champagne corks popping and cans of Coors light being cracked open or is it the sound of a large construction vehicle backing up making a beeping sound? Maybe it's a little of both. Sure the Cubs kinda backed up into the playoffs but who the hell cares? Sure they spent way more money than any other team in the NL Central to buy a championship, but who cares? Sure there is no way Alfonso Soriano's whale of a contract will be worth it in its last four years when he's hurt and out of baseball, but who cares!? And sure this team should of played much better during the entire season and the roster was a complete mess and Jim Hendry is an idiot and they are too cheap to redo the playing surface and the Brewers choked and Mike Fontenot can't hit a curve ball and I still hate Jacque Jones and here come the fair weather fans BUT WHO CARES!! The Cubs are 2007 National League Central division champions. So, with this in mind, we here at The Cub Factor would like to help you out. I know, we've been helping you out all season long with weekly witty Cub breakdowns and analogies but now it's the playoffs. And the biggest question to ask yourself during the playoffs is . . .
Where do I watch the games?
Okay, maybe you think this isn't that big a deal, but buddy, it is. You need to figure out how much of a fan you are, who you want to surround yourself with, and how much distraction and idiotness you can handle. Here are some options:
1. Go to the game.
Only a viable option for the chosen few. Let's move on.
2. Go to your local non-sports bar.
Pros: People not into sports too much will be impressed with your knowledge of baseball and the Cub roster.
Cons: You can't really watch the game because of the time you will be explaining things to people like why baseball managers wear a full uniform when they aren't going to play. You will be surrounded by uninformed idiots who have no idea what they are talking about. You will hear countless people say things like, "it's the Cubs, they'll never win." You will be miserable.
3. Go to a sports bar.
Pros: Huge TV screens everywhere. If the Cubs do well and score the place will go ape-shit-nuts and you'll high-five complete strangers and have a great time.
Cons: It will be filled to the brim with complete strangers who want to high-five you. You can't really watch the game because you will spend a lot of time explaining things to people like why Ryan Dempster is still the closer and why Soriano is not a leadoff man. You will be surrounded by uninformed idiots who have no idea what they are talking about. You will hear countless people say things like, "It's the Cubs, they'll never win." You will be miserable.
4. Watch the game at home with some friends.
Pros: Food, drink, and facilities are plentiful and easy to get to. It's your TV so you should get the best seat in the house. You are in charge of the guest list.
Cons: Your buddy's wife is going to be there and she's from Argentina and you'll spend a lot of the time explaining to her why runners can overrun first base but not the others. There will be a few uninformed idiots who have no idea what they are talking about. You will hear a couple people say things like, "It's the Cubs, they'll never win." You will be miserable.
5. Watch the game at home by yourself.
Pros: No line for the bathroom, fridge, or microwave. No distractions, no one asking any questions at all. No contact with other humans.
Cons: You have to high-five yourself.
I'll be watching by myself, thank you. Mmm, no contact with other humans . . .
Week in Review: The Cubs got swept by the Florida Marlins and then won the fist game in Cincinnati, which add up to the Magic Number we needed to clinch the division. The last two games I didn't even watch. I'm not sure if they were even played. I had to begin Playoff Prep. It's a mental process as much as stocking up on beer, nachos and Oxycontin.
Week in Preview: The Cubs open the playoffs - the playoffs! - in Arizona on Wednesday and Thursday against the D-Backs. Fun in the desert! Cubs mania, just try to ignore it!
The Second Basemen Report: Over the 162 game schedule, the Cubs only played five different players at second base - and Soriano only played one game there. This was down from 2006 and 2005, when seven guys shared second, and 2004 and 2003 when six players got starts there. Progress! Expect DeRosa to start every game at second in the playoffs. That is the way Jim Hendry drew it up.
In former second baseman news, the whereabouts of Jason Maxwell are unknown, but he is missed.
Zam Bomb:The Zam Bomb was defused this week after a great outing but he remains highly flammable. And he is still Getting Angry.
Sweet and Sour Lou: 81% sweet, 19% sour. Lou is up six points on the Sweet-O-Meter this week due to winning the division, duh. And like your real crazy drunk uncle, Lou knows that it was his guidance that made quit your lousy job draining septic tanks and got you on your way to success selling vacuum cleaners, but he's not going to rub your nose in it. Let's just say that Lou's lawn chair has rarely felt more comfortable and the Falstaffs haven't been colder or sweeter.
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 it was silly in the first place for that guy to try to bring a goat to a baseball game.
Over/Under: The amount of Cubs coverage the next week: +/- way too much.
Cubs Fans Theme Song: "Please Stop Believin'"
The Cubs Answer Men: God's will and the Tribune's bill.
The Cub Factor: Catch up with them all.
Mount Lou: Lou goes all the way down to green after an eruption of Champagne and Coors light soothed cracking due to internal tectonic plate shifting. The happy lava flow made it's way from Cincinnati all the way to Clark and Addison, where it was soaked up with sponges and consumed. Expect Mount Lou to reload come Wednesday and then who knows what's going to happen.
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