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I have to admit it's tough to come up with much about the Cubs right now with the Blackhawks on the verge of winning their third Stanley Cup since I've been alive.
And really, is it worth even mentioning the Cups they won way back when there were only six teams? C'mon. That barely counts. Six teams?! This championship run is the only one that has mattered in franchise history. And all you old-timers, don't break your hip trying to argue. I mean geez, they didn't even have curved sticks in 1961.
But it would sure be nice to think that the Cubs are putting together a "Hawks-like" movement by bringing in young high draft picks and then surrounding them with skilled veteran talent. And you know, maybe that is happening, but the Cubs haven't won squat yet, so no, it's not happening. Because lots of teams stink for a while, get good draft picks and then continue to stink - just pick your sport. But some teams, actually very few teams, stink for a long time while getting high draft picks and then win three championships in a short period of time.
I even thought about trying to match current Hawks to current Cubs to see who could be considered similar, but that just doesn't work. As much as the Rizz looks like a big-time baller, there just isn't enough of a track record to say he is Toews-like. Not even close. So let's just say that one could "see" the Cubs laying a Blackhawks-like foundation, but stranger things have happened, like the last 100+ years.
The Week In Review: The Cubs split two with the Tigers and then came home and won three of four from the Reds. A solid week for a solid team in the thick of things.
The Week In Preview: The Cubs stay home for two against the Cleveland Indians and then head to the happy hunting grounds for two in Cleveland. The next three will be in Minny against the upstart Twins. Should be an interesting week against teams the Cubs don't often play. I haven't heard what the road-trip theme is, maybe this?
Left Field Report: Chris Coghlan started five of the six games this week in left, with Chris Denorfia getting the lone other start. Coghlan had a very non-Coghlanese week knocking in 11 runs (five in one game) on a bunch of hits. Big Poppa Joe will ride the hot hand until it is no longer hot, so expect Double C to be in there for a bit. But probably just as a bit as he's, you know, Chris Coghlan after all.
In former Cubs second baseman news - sorry, throwing a curveball here because I could not resist. Darwin Barney was designated for assignment by the Dodgers. He was the starting second sacker for most of the season JUST LAST YEAR for the Cubs. It feels like a lifetime ago; he will be missed.
Mad(don) Scientist: Big Poppa Joe might be everyone's buddy on the next bar stool, but he's also not playing favorites. Yanking Tsuyoshi Wada after barely getting into the 4th inning is kinda what I'm talking about - among other things. So weird that you can be considered one of the best managers in baseball while not coddling guys by letting them try to get the win by going five innings, or pulling them in a save situation before they actually blow the save when they clearly don't have it. It's about the team winning. And unfortunately in that vein, Junior Lake probably bat-flipped himself out of town for good. (He will be missed.)
Wishing Upon A Starlin: Our favorite Castro (sorry, Fidel) had a Coghlanesque week, at least on the RBI front with eight of them for the week, on seven hits including two walk-offs. Nothing wrong with timely hitting, also nothing wrong with taking a walk - he had zero walks for the week.
Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of Head Shaking should trade higher this week as white people in Chicago will do some stupid things if the Blackhawks win it all.
Kubs Kalender: On Sunday in Minnesota vs. the Cubs, the first 10,000 fans will receive a Minnie and Paul ceramic stein. This is infinitely cooler than any Cub giveaway all season.
East Coast Cubs: Darwin Barney should be in Japan soon.
Over/Under: The number of starts left that will make you question why the Cubs paid Jon Lester so much darn money: +/- 3.5.
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that Jesus Christ these Blackhawks are good.
* Touch 'em all: The Cub Factor archives.
* Know thy enemy: The White Sox Reports.
Marty Gangler is our man on the Cub. He welcomes your comments.
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