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The Cub Factor

By Marty Gangler

As some readers - and Mitch Williams fans - may recall, I am a new father.

Okay, I'm not like a drive the new car off the lot new dad, but my son just turned one, so I still have a hint of that "new dad smell."

And one year into fatherhood, I've just begun to notice a few similarities shared by my son, Mitchell, and the Cubs - particularly when it comes to a batch of new "challenging" habits each have seemed to pick up at the same time. Just like the Cubs are no longer simply cute and adorable, my son is no longer simply cute and adorable. Instead, they're both driving me crazy. Here's how.


MITCHELL: Angrily throws food on the floor.
DERREK LEE: Angrily pounds his bat on the ground after he pops up again.


MITCHELL: Argues with his parents when it's time for a nap.
LOU PINIELLA: Argues with relief pitchers whose brains fall asleep on the mound.


MITCHELL: Cries out for attention at the worst possible time.
MILTON BRADLEY: Milton Bradley cries about everything at all times.


MITCHELL: Sulks when he doesn't get his way.
ALFONSO SORIANO: Doesn't hit when he doesn't bat leadoff.


MITCHELL: Knows exactly what he is not supposed to do but does it right in front of you anyway.
CUBS BULLPEN: Knows exactly who they are not supposed to walk to load the bases before Albert Pujols comes to bat but does it anyway.


MITCHELL: Loud shrieking comes completely out of nowhere.
CUBS FANS: Shriek loudly whenever Neal Cotts comes into a game.


MITCHELL: Gives you the most adorable hug you have ever experienced and then pokes you in the eye.
MICAH HOFFPAUIR: Gives you adorable at-bats and then tries to play the field.


Week in Preview: The Cubs went 2-4, bookending wins on Tuesday and Sunday with four losses in between. Remember how the Cardinals and Reds are supposed to be bad? They actually don't look that bad.

Week in Preview: The Cubs head out to Arizona for three and then come back home for four against the Marlins. Look for that outfield pool in Arizona to be full of Cubs healing their wounds.

The Second Basemen Report: Mike Fontenot and Aaron Miles each got three starts this week. Fontenot also got some playing time at third with Aramis Ramirez out, stretching the Cubs roster pretty thin. Soriano is the back-up second baseman until Ramirez returns. You know, just like Jim Hendry drew it up.

In former second baseman news, Mark DeRosa is batting .203 for the Tribe and Ronnie Cedeno is batting .154 for the Mariners. So maybe it's not as much as we thought, but they are missed.

The Zam Bomb: Big Z is furious as errors start to mount during his starts. One broken bat over the knee this week and a minor blow up expected.


Endorsement No-Brainer: ChiaLou. Because this team is making his real hair fall out.

Lost In Translation: Cindarella-san afterio midi-nitiee is Japanese for what is going to happen to Kosuke in the second half of the season.

Milton Bradley Game of the Week: Cootie. He must think the media has them because he won't talk to them.

Sweet and Sour Lou: 55% Sweet, 45% Sour. Lou is down a whopping seven points on the Sweet-O-Meter this week due to losing, injuries and a crappy bullpen. And just like your real crazy drunk uncle, Lou knows how to play cards and is going to do the best he can with what he's dealt but he's getting pretty pissed off that you keep dealing him crap and after his 10th Falstaff he's going to let you know about it. He doesn't care that you're related.

Don't Hassle the Hoff: All he does is hit. Seriously that's all he does. He can't really catch.

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 losing a series to Dusty Baker really blows.

Over/Under: The number of players on the 25-man roster who will not be listed as day to day this week +/- 8.5.

Fantasy Fix: Jeff Samardzdija?

Cubs Snub: In The White Sox Report.

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

Mount Lou: Mount Lou moves to level Orange. Every team in Major League Baseball has been faxed a Mount Lou eruption warning. It's totally not a drill. The anger magma is churning very close to the surface. Villagers in Arizona have been warned, seismologists expect a crack in the surface of Mount Lou to show by Wednesday.



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