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One of Theo Epstein's constant refrains is that the pain we are going through now is the price we have to pay for "sustained success" in the future.
But what if we don't care about sustained success in the future?
Worrying about sustained success in the future is for normal franchises. These are the Cubs. We've suffered enough. We just want to win it once. After that, who cares? We'll be more than happy to wait another 100-plus years.
This is what Theo doesn't understand. Sustained success isn't what Cubs fandom is about. That ship has sailed. It's about that one moment. Win us a World Series first; then we can think about sustained success.
Because you don't truly understand this franchise, Theo, and in particular how it differs from the Red Sox and their championship drought, you are putting the cart that is future before the horse that is the present.
Sustained success, see, is for later. Winning is for now.
In that vein, I'd like to dedicate this week's Cub Factor to Betty J. Soedler, of Locust Grove, Virginia. We lost Betty nine days ago.
"Her two biggest regrets were that the Minnesota Vikings did not win the Super Bowl and the Chicago Cubs did not win the World Series during her lifetime."
She couldn't live long enough to see your plan through, Theo.
The rest of us - like the plan itself - aren't guaranteed either.
The Week In Review: The Cubs lost two of three to the Cardinals with another game postponed due to rain, then actually took two of three from the division-leading Brewers to win a series for just the second time this season. They won't do it again.
The Week In Preview: The Yankees come in for two, which means the unimaginative local press corps will revisit (and absolve) Alfonso Soriano again, before the Cubs head west for four in San Diego, where the Andrew Cashner-for-Anthony Rizzo trade will be (absolved and) rehashed.
Wrigley Is 100 Celebration: To honor their esteemed ballpark's centenary birthday, the Cubs will make the final 11 games of the month seem like 100.
Today In Cubs History: "In 1971, Peter Cetera, bass player and vocalist with [the band] Chicago, was beaten by three men at a Chicago Cubs game, apparently because they didn't like the length of his hair. Cetera lost four teeth and required five hours of surgery."
Jed Condescension Meter: 10.
Mike Olt isn't playing every day because Luis Valbuena is "a really good player. "
Um, Jed, does your butt ever get jealous of the shit that comes out of your mouth?
"The Oakland A's, they're getting Miguel Cabrera-like performance out of their catchers with Derek Norris and John Jaso just strict platooning. If one of those guys was a prospect and the other wasn't, would the fans be going crazy because one guy wasn't playing enough?"
No, because the fans in Oakland are watching a contender. Here in Chicago, we're paying to watch prospects. You can't have it both ways.
Prospects Are Suspects: "[W]e are nearing the point in the season where the sample size is significant enough to validate the concerns about his offensive struggles," Baseball Prospectus says of Javy Baez.
One of the guys on Sports Talk Live, Mark Grote or Mark Schanowski or Jason Goch, not sure which, but I saw it, said that several people in the game who are watching told him that Jorge Soler will not be a star. (If anyone has the video or the date, let me know.)
"Last season, Vogelbach hit .284 (123-for-433) with 17 homers, 71 RBI and a .364 on-base percentage with the Daytona Cubs and the Kane County (Illinois) Cougars of the Midwest League," the Fort Myers News-Press reports.
"He entered the series against the Miracle hitting .242 (31-for-128) with two homers, 13 RBI and a .319 on-base percentage this season."
That's Ricky: "Before the Cubs played the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, manager Rick Renteria took exception to the contention that his team hadn't played well behind starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. 'I beg to differ,' he said."
Samardzija is 0-4 with a 1.62 ERA.
Laughable Headline Of The Week: Cubs Lose In 12th On Walkoff HBP.
That's not even laughable as much as a laugh.
Right. The Cubs hope that in the future Kris Bryant will be good enough to get us to stop talking about the future.
Because the "situational hitting" described is spare parts Emilio Bonafacio and Chris Coghlan bunting at fielding-challenged Matt Garza in the game's first two at-bats.
"Today was a good development day," Renteria said.
Really. He said that.
Mad Merch: Tuesday and Wednesday are Joe Girardi Bobblehead Days. Except there is no bobblehead, just Girardi in the Yankees dugout where he was always gonna be, despite hometown reporters with fake sources and delusionary wonderment that Joe would want to stay with a backsliding team that happens to be in first place instead of the up-and-coming Cubs who happen to be in last place.
Billy Cub vs. Clark Cub: "With new team mascot Clark the Cub on hand this morning, the Cubs also gave out T-shirts to those who showed up this morning ready to watch paint dry."
The Junior Lake Show: All Junior did was get on base in all six games last week, including a 3-for-6 performance with one HR and six RBI against the Cardinals and a pinch-hit walk against the Brewers. All told: 8-for-21 with 2 HRs and eight RBI.
The Outfield: "According to ESPN Stats & Information, Cubs outfielders have a .289 on-base percentage, second worst in baseball," Jesse Rogers reports for ESPN Chicago.
:Their .639 OPS is third worst. Their 24.7 strikeout percentage is third highest and their 5.9 walk percentage is fourth lowest. Their six home runs are the fewest in the National League. When Junior Lake (five home runs) doesn't start and with Justin Ruggiano (one homer) on the disabled list, the Cubs' outfield has zero home runs."
The Tribune's Mark Gonzales says "Simply, the outfield situation has been a bad miscalculation by the front office."
Mustache Wisdom: "At the conclusion of pinch-hitter Jon Jay's 10-pitch walk, Bourjos stole third off pitcher Carlos Villanueva with such ease that fans could be forgiven for forgetting he wasn't standing on it before the pitch."
Ah, but that's part of the illusion.
Wishing Upon A Starlin: "Scouts confirm what the eye test shows: Castro doesn't see the ball well off the bat, especially on line drives. On all balls hit to his left and right he's plus-16, on balls hit straight at him he's minus-27 for his career. Either he doesn't pick up the spin or isn't judging the speed or trajectory."
Shark Tank: Jeff Samardzija threw 99 pitches in five innings against the Brewers on Friday before being pulled. "Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Samardzija did not have his best stuff but battled and was able to grind through his outing," the Tribune reported. No worries; he'll be ready to toss another 126 pitches in a meaningless game in no time.
Jumbotron Preview: 5,700 square-feet of Wrigley's 125th birthday, which will be heavily marketed to draw attention away from the rebuilding project on the field.
Kubs Kalender: Wait 'til next year
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020.
Over/Under: Number of teams that finish with a better record than the Cubs: +/- 28.
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 can't do anything right.
"Chicago record: 300 N. LaSalle sells for $850 million" | Same price as #Cubs, no rebuilding— Beachwood Reporter (@BeachwoodReport) May 19, 2014
The Cub Factor: Unlike Alfonso Soriano Starlin Castro, you can catch 'em all!
The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.
Fantasy Fix: Broken Arms: Jason Hammel vs. Jose Fernandez.
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Posted on May 22, 2017