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New Excuses, Same Results

Am I the only one who thinks it stinks to be a Cub fan right now?

Because it does.

Not only does the team stink, the new management has come out and admitted it stinks.

And this doesn't really sit well with me.

True, I'm so used to management trying to blow smoke up my butt that the honesty is refreshing.

It's like being relieved that your wife is at least telling the truth about her affairs instead of pretending she's been out late taking macrame classes. She's still having an affair, though.

The old excuses are gone. No more blaming the team's downfall every year on the same kind of injuries that befall every team every season. No more blaming the weather - always too cold to hit at first and then too hot to win all those dreaded day games - as if weather only occurs not just in Chicago but just on the North Side. No more blaming Uncle Lou or Dusty Baker or Jim Hendry, no matter how much blame they deserved. The problems with this organization always ran deeper.

The problem is that now we have a new set of excuses. Theo inherited a mess. We have to get worse before we get better. Spending money on free agents is foolish. It's gonna take time.

Right. How much time? It's hard to get excited about regime change when it comes with a five-year rebuilding plan that is as much a gamble as hoping to draw that inside straight. Building from within is the right thing to do, but it's not the only thing to do.

After all, are we really being asked to believe that the Cubs front office is now so good at evaluating young talent that we should be willing to simply sit around and wait for their draft classes to come of age? Should we shut off our TVs until then? Or should that just be one piece of the puzzle?

And if Anthony Rizzo represented a new philosophy of not promoting players before they were ready, why are we seeing Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson in Cubs uniforms, not to mention an array of unready pitchers? Meanwhile, Alfonso Soriano is still the starting leftfielder. Something just doesn't feel right about the way this season has gone. At this rate, the new excuses may not be any better than the old ones.

Week in Review: The Cubs went 3-4, winning two of three from the sixth-place Astros (the only team in the major leagues with a worse record) and losing three of four to the first-place Reds. It's too bad there aren't any seventh- and eighth-place teams in the division to play.

Week in Preview: The Cubs battle the Brewers in a three-game set at Miller Park and then come home to face the Rockies for three. Good seats are still available; just show up, they'll probably let you in for free right now if you promise to buy a hot dog.

The Second Basemen Report: Darwin Barney started five of the seven last week. Adrian Cardenas and Luis Valbuena (!) got the other starts. Let's face it, Theo and the boys have accomplished at least one thing this year that we never saw under Hendry: They made second base boring. Which is just like the ghost of Hendry would have wanted it.

In former second basemen news, Blake DeWitt is on the 7-day DL for the Iowa Cubs, where he was sent in exchange for Cardenas. As a reminder, DeWitt came to the Cubs from the Dodgers with minor league pitchers Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit in exchange for Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot. Wallach was last seen with an 8.18 ERA in A ball. Smit was last seen with a 10.12 ERA in Iowa. Lilly has a 3.14 ERA for the Dodgers. Theriot is hitting .265 for the Giants. DeWitt is not missed.

The Not So Hot Corner: So much for Vitters' extended look-see at third. He was on the bench for three of the four games against the Reds. The Cubs have six more games against the Astros, though, so we haven't seen the last of him yet.

Weekly Bunting Report: You know that somewhere in this great big universe of ours Tony Campana is bunting - a lot.

The Zam Bomb: Big Z got a hold this week. And for those of you who don't know what a hold is, it's a stat made up for mediocre middle relievers. This has to make big Z angry.



Endorsement No-Brainer: Cubs management for Groot waste disposal. Because they think it's all trash.

Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of toothpicks traded higher this week. And we don't like it at all.

Sink or Sveum: 29% Analytical, 71% Emotional. Dale moves down three points on the Dale-O-Meter for batting Luis Valbuena third. 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 Not All There.

manson.jpgneck.jpg jordi.jpgdata.jpg

And just like your thought-to-be level-headed uncle, Dale doesn't care if you don't like extra crispy KFC wings. He's going to buy them anyway and you are going to have to eat them if you don't want to go hungry.

Over/Under: The number of fans willing to fork over another nickel to see this team play in person: +/- too many of them.

Don't Hassle the Hoff: Micah Hoffpauir's still looks to be a spot starter in Japan. Which is just like America - which seems like a total hassle.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that fans shouldn't be screwed around with like this.

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

The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.


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