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Designated For Assignment

Today's Cub Factor is all about loss. And not just losing on the field, because the Cubs sure did a lot of in the last week. It's about the biggest loss on the roster in some time. Yes friends, I'm talking about the loss of Edwin Jackson.

The Cubs parted ways with E-Jax since our last installment of the Cub Factor and boy, was he missed. He could have easily got to pitch in at least three games in the last week in his "eat innings in mop-up duty in games they have little chance of winning" role.

Just so weird that the Cubs had so few of these games they had little chance of winning up until the point when they DFA'd E-Jax; then they got three in a week.

And what is the whole "DFA" thing about? Technically it means "designated for assignment," but I always thought that was odd. Like you are assigning them a project or homework or something. So, with this in mind we here at the Cub Factor have decided to create a list of assignments that should be given to our newest ex-cub, Edwin Jackson.

* A report on the Great Lakes. (Because this was always our favorite assignment.)

* Make shoebox diorama of the bullpen.

* Learn an instrument so you can join umpire Cowboy Joe West's band .

* Sit in a corner and think about how you've let people down.

* 50 words on warming up properly.

* 300 words on the art of stealing money in professional sports.

* 500 words on how to fleece Theo.

* 1,000 words on sunflower seed etiquette.

* Learn to use a GPS correctly.

* Read some books on how to invest money you don't deserve.

* Re-learn how to pitch.

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The Week in Review: The Cubs went 4-6 since coming out of the All-Star break, culminating with a laughable 3-game home sweep by the lowly Phillies. They even got no-hit in the process. This is rock bottom (thus far) for the season. Even the coming out party for phenom Kyle Schwarber can't take the stank mouth taste out of this week.

The Week in Preview: The Cubs stay home for three against the Rockies and then travel north for four against the Brew Crew. Maybe more importantly, this week is the trading deadline in MLB. We will see if Theo & Co. plan to give this season a real shot. And really, can't we say we have our young core right now and just move forward? Do the Cubs really have to wait and see who the next young player to come up is? Because these guys look good now, but are still years away from being consistent real guys. Do fans have to wait two to three more years for the next couple guys to get their feet wet, then do good, then struggle, and then hope they make adjustments, etc? Because then we are still talking years before fans get a consistent lineup. Draw the line and go get some hitters already.

Left Field Report: Christ. I mean, I get it. Chris Coghlan is going to mostly play in left until there is someone else on this team better than Chris Cohglan. It certainly doesn't seem like a hard thing to do - you know, be better than Chris Coghlan - but it just doesn't happen. The decent news is that everyone's "try hard but not that great at catching" catcher, Kyle Schwarber, got a taste in left on Sunday. Maybe Kyle jumps from catching to left field, though I'd much rather get a decent bat this week who can play left every day and keep Kyle at catcher most of the time. But what do I know? I just look at stats that show the Cubs are tied for 11th in the National league (still 15 teams) in runs scored.

In former left fielder news, Hank Sauer last played left field for the Cubs in 1955. He is a Hall of Famer and his nickname was "the Honker." He was also known as the Mayor of Wrigley Field, as he was the only bright spot on a pretty horrendous run of losing. Boy that sounds so Cub. Hank died at the age of 84 in 2001, so he missed Bartman. He is missed.

Mad(don) Scientist Big Poppa Joe is staying the course. I'm not sure what would have to happen to make him go "nuts" or be overtly angry. It just seems like he's still being Joe. So that is probably good, and maybe he really is getting the best out of this team, they just aren't good enough.

Wishing Upon A Starlin: Another stretch of games and another 4-for-37.
Okay, I'm not sure that he's had a stretch like this where he's gone exactly 4-for-37, but you get the point. Should they send him to Iowa for a bit? Like a limbo bar, how low can you go before you just say, Let someone else win the limbo contest, I have to work in the morning.

Kubs Kalender: The Brew Crew are giving away Matt Garza gnomes on Sunday against the Cubs. I don't even know what to say to this. Is it an insult to gnomes? Gardening in general? The Brewers? America? Earth?

Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of the season traded lower this week.

Over/Under: The number of fans getting worked up over this team only to be disappointed again: +/- all of them.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that the Cubs are 2.5 back of the second wildcard, and falling?

* Touch 'em all: The Cub Factor archives.

* Know thy enemy: The White Sox Reports.

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Marty Gangler is our man on the Cub. He welcomes your comments.

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