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Well, that didn't take long.
The slashing of the roster has had an immediate impact on the Cubs.
As Cub vets were moved at the trading deadline for a look to the future, the present started to really stink up the joint again.
And for a season that started with let's-see-what-we-have-now, to boy-we-don't-have-too-much, to now-that-Rizzo-is-here-they-aren't-horrendous, it has moved back to let's-see-what-we-have-here.
But it's already close to we-don't-have-too much and could turn into, sheesh-what-else-is-on?
With this in mind we here at The Cub Factor would like to provide some pointers to watching the rest of the season.
First, set up a good remote toggle with the "last" button. This is so you can back-and-forth to see Rizzo and Brett Jackson at-bats and still see what is going on with Holmes on Homes, because you know that guy is going to find something really wrong with that house. And where does he buy all those overalls?
Second, pay no attention to the score. It's really detrimental to the watching experience. You have to treat the next two months as a kind of extended, extended spring training.
Third, find another team to hitch your wagon to for the stretch run. How bout them Nats? Or maybe you like those upstart Pirates? Or maybe you are just weird and think the Padres are really on to something with their own rebuilding plan. It will be less painful to watch someone else's team go through this than your own.
Week in Review: The Cubs kept up their habit of winning every game in which they score more than eight runs by "scoring over eight runs and winning" mode when they routed the Pirates 14-4 on Monday night. They lost the rest; two of three overall to Pittsburgh and all three to the Dodgers.
The Week in Preview: The Cubs stay way out west for three in San Diego before coming home to face the Reds for three. Let's just say they've got a shot against the Padres.
The Second Basemen Report: Darwin Barney started five of the six games this week with recently departed Jeff Baker getting the other start. Oh, and Barney broke Ryne Sandberg's major league record of most consecutive games in a season without an error at second base.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say this will probably be the only record held by Sandberg that Barney will break. Ever. Which is just like the ghost of Jim Hendry would have wanted.
In former second basemen news, Mighty Mike Fontenot was released by the Phillies this week. We hope Mike lands on his feet. And we also hope the Cubs do not consider picking him up, because then he would not be missed, and now he is.
We would also like to welcome Adrian Cardenas back to The Second Baseman Report. Congratulations on what we suspect will be your major league career highlight.
The Not So Hot Corner: Finally some relief in sight as Josh Vitters was called up to play him some third base. Luis Valbuena, you will not be missed, except when runners are in scoring position. So Cubs; everything screwed up in reverse.
Weekly Bunting Report: The promotion of Brett Jackson meant an outfielder had go and while we hoped his initials would be A.S., it turned out to be T.C. Tony Campana's bunting and pretending to bunt will really be missed. His bunting and pretending to bunt will really be missed, as will his 26 stolen bases in 158 at-bats. After all, it's taken Mike Trout 350 at-bats to get the 33 stolen bases that lead the major leagues.
The Zam Bomb: Big Z is reportedly "embarrassed" to have been demoted to the bullpen. However, we don't have Embarrassed as a graphic option, and this makes Big Z Angry.
Endorsement No-Brainer: Ryan Dempster for Zanies. Because he sure showed what a joke he was.
Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of Family Game Night are trading much higher as the value of Cubs games decline.
Sink or Sveum: 32% Analytical, 68% Emotional. Dale moves down two points on the Dale-O-Meter due to the return of losing. On a scale of Bat Sh#t Crazy, (Charles Manson), Not All There, (random guy with a neck tattoo), Thinking Clearly (Jordi LaForge), and Non-Emotional Robot (Data), Dale is barely thinking clearly.
And just like your thought-to-be level-headed uncle, Dale is just happy to be handing out towels at the rec center. There's no pressure and he can use the steam room. He knows he'll be on the hook for gaining members in a few years, but for now it's smooth sailing.
Over/Under: The number of teams who needed Jeff Baker: +/- all of them. C'mon it's Jeff Friggin Baker. Everybody needs a Jeff Baker.
Don't Hassle the Hoff: Micah Hoffpauir is back in the starting lineup, it seems. Doesn't sound like too much of a hassle to me.
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that players to be named later are never good and might as well never be named.
The Cub Factor: Unlike Alfonso Soriano, you can catch 'em all!
The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.
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