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Ahhh. Isn't it great to be back? And now nice to pick up close to where we left off!
And I was worried that The Cub Factor would be totally different this season. Nope.
Sure, it's only been one series, but damn, I still have the Cubby taste in my mouth.
And sure, even though the Cubs blew a couple games already this season I will admit it does feel different. Unfortunately the outcomes have kinda been the same.
With all this being said, we here at The Cub Factor would like to kick off this season with a list of Cubs slogans for 2012:
* Just Wait Til Next Next Year.
* The Kids Can Play - And They'll Be Here In 2014!
* Did You See The Right Field Bleachers? Seriously, Just Keep Looking Over There.
* We've Still Got Wood - Though We Aren't Sure Why. (b/w We've Still Got Wood - And Doctors Are Standing By!)
* Now With Less Santo. (Too Soon?)
* Now Losing With More Data!
* We May Suck But At Least We've Stopped Pretending We Don't.
* You've Waited This Long, What's A Few More Years?
* We Still Sing "Go, Cubs, Go!" When We Win At Home. Don't Miss One Of The Eight Times You'll Get To Sing It!
* Still Jim Hendry's Fault!
* We're All In . . . A Pool Picking The Cardinals!
Week in Review: The Cubs ripped defeat from the jaws of victory twice in their season-opening series and went 1-2 against the Washington Nationals. Some would say if we still had Sean Marshall instead of re-signing Kerry Wood we could be 3-0. But I say to those some people - you are pretty much right.
The Week in Preview: The Cubs stay home for four games with the Brewers and then head to St Louis for a weekend set with the world champion Cardinals. So we'll all get a look at the two class teams in the division. I hope this new management team will be taking notes.
The Second Basemen Report: It's just been three games but Darwin Barney has started all three. This might happen all season. Which sucks for a few reasons. For one, Barney is very average, and two, The Second Baseman Report will suffer. But that might be just like The Ghost of Jim Hendry drew it up.
Jeff Baker did open the season at first. And at third base we saw two starters in three games. So monitor this space for possible adjustments.
In former second basemen news, Mike Fontenot was released from the Giants after doctors separated him from conjoined twin Ryan Theriot, who remains with the team. Does that make him more or less dateable? Find out here! He will be missed, and who knows, maybe he'll be a Cub again.
Weekly Bunting Report: If Matt Garza was an NCAA basketball team in a 64-man bunting tournament, he would be Long Beach State losing the play-in game after striking out twice trying to lay down sacrifice bunts on Saturday.
The Zam Bomb: Big Z made his debut for the Marlins on Sunday without incident - and without a victory. Go figure. This has to make him angry.
Endorsement No-Brainer: Starlin Castro for Brinks Security, because the kid is stealing everything.
Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of Hope have quickly flattened to 2011 levels after off-season records of volume and volatility.
Sink or Sveum: 92% Analytical, 8% Emotional. Sveum seemed to do what he was supposed to do this week, even though it didn't work. We'll see how this plays out all year. 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 Non-Emotional Robot. But this could change as the walks pile up for Wood and Marmol.
And just like your level-headed uncle, Dale broke down and explained to you everything you needed to know to fix that old lawnmower and make a few extra bucks mowing lawns this summer, but you have grandpa's old tool set and your missing a few wrenches to get things done the right way. So you strip a few bolts and don't know how to fix it now.
Over/Under: The number of games fans will need to get a handle on this Joe Mather guy: +/- probably not too many.
Don't Hassle The Hoff: Micah Hoffpauir looks to be playing first base for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. We aren't sure why his team hates Ham so much, but apparently it's a threat in Japan, who knew? He is always missed.
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that this could take a while.
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