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Ricky Renteria is already following in the failed footsteps of Dale Sveum in one key area: He's trying to win games.
Didn't you get the memo, Ricky?
When a manager employs platoons and lineup systems and looks for daily match-ups, he's trying to win every game.
Not what you were hired for, Rick.
You were hired to develop players. That means playing Mike Olt and Junior Lake every day; we don't need to see what Luis Valbuena and Ryan Sweeney have to offer.
It might even mean playing Darwin Barney every day until it's intolerable; playing Emilio Bonifacio every day - at either second or in center field - was fun when he was out of his mind the first couple weeks of the season, but he's back to being Emilio Bonifacio. Not only is he not a part of the future, he's probably not a part of this season after July.
The Cubs don't have a lot of "kids" to play at the major-league level right now, but the ones they do have should be given every opportunity to experience the whole of the game - against lefties, righties and in crucial, late-inning situations. Winning, according to Theo's Plan, is secondary (if that) right now. Managing at cross-purposes just shows that this organization is as dysfunctional as ever.
The Week In Review: The Cubs lost four of five last week - including a doubleheader to the Yankees - before bouncing back Monday night with a win over the woeful Arizona Diamondbacks. After a 4-12 start, the Cubs have inched into relative respectability with two victories in a row, having now achieved a .333 winning percentage. In so doing, the Cubs avoided falling so low as to enter the world of quantum physics, where they would have been on a pace to lose more games than actually scheduled to play.
The Week In Preview: Three more games against the D-backs at home give the Cubs an opportunity to put some distance between them and next spring's first-round draft pick, though our boys then travel to division-leading Milwaukee for a three-game weekend set. In other words, the peak of the season for this team may occur on Thursday, April 24. Tickets are still available.
Wrigley Is 100 Celebration: The first 100 fans to each of this week's home games will be paid $100 each if they promise to return for any of the season's last 100 games.
Theo Condescension Meter: Holding steady at 9.5 because "Both Teams Benefited From Soriano Trade." Nobody wins an Alfonso Soriano trade.
Prospects Are Suspects: "Javier Baez Struggles In Return From DL."
That's Ricky: "It was fun for me to see [Cincinnati Reds closer Jonathan] Broxton warming up in the ninth inning of an 8-2 ballgame yesterday [Sunday]," Renteria said Monday afternoon. "These guys didn't quit. We kept it going. Broxton was hot. He was waiting to see what was going to happen."
Even Renteria's moral victories are lame as hell.
That's Also Ricky: "Another Day, Another Lineup For Renteria."
Laughable Headline Of The Week: "Renteria Wants Better Focus From Cubs."
As has every Cubs manager before him.
Mad Merch: Proposed: Travis Bickell Day, a joint promotion between the Cubs and Blackhawks featuring Travis Wood and Bryan Bickell.
Billy Cub vs. Clark Cub: Clark compared unfavorably to Chico the Chihuahua.
The Junior Lake Show: Three walks, two home runs and two stolen bases on the season so far, with mystifyingly limited playing time.
Mustache Wisdom: "It's been strange going so far. For me, and the team. But it's April 20, too. It does us no good hanging our heads or being negative. The numbers are there and the standings are there, but it's April 20. We've played [17 games] of 162. We gotta work on some things and come out and put a good stretch in and that's about it."
- Carlos Villanueva, but insert any Cub and any year.
Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of exotic mustaches face massive sell-off.
Shark Tank: Will need to hit better if he wants to get a win.
Jumbotron Preview: 5,700 square-feet of another 90-loss season.
Kubs Kalender: Wait 'til next year
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020.
Over/Under: Amount attendance will fall this season: +/- 350,000.
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 Ricketts family will go down as the worst Cubs owners ever.
Fantasy Fix: Sox Appeal.
The Cub Factor: Unlike Alfonso Soriano Starlin Castro, you can catch 'em all!
The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.
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