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If you followed The Cub Factor at the beginning of the Ricketts and then Theo Era, you know that we were never real fans of the rebuild. A deep-pocket large-market team didn't have to do business like they were the Twins or the Marlins - or even the Royals, whose 30-year plan is finally paying off. But that is all over now. And boy does Cub Nation not care about the recent past.
And I get it; deep down I'm a fan as well and trying not to get completely giddy about what the present and long-term future has in store for this team. It's like I've crawled through a half-mile or however long that sewage pipe was in the Shawshank Redemption and have come out on the other side, basking in the rain as prospects pour down on my smiling Cub-fan face. But there seems to be a dingleberry hanging on me as I assess this team's construction. It's still not built to win now.
Sure, you can't call it a complete tank job in the making, and sure they've had a few injuries, but it's been the injuries that have allowed the issues to come rising to the surface. Mainly, it's holding on to three catchers and Edwin Jackson. Neither makes any sense for a team finally ready to wear their big boy pants. So the question to Theo and company is, are you getting busy living or getting busy dying?
The Week In Review: The Boys in Blue went 4-2 for the week, splitting a four-game set in Pittsburgh and taking two in Cincy. They also had a Cincy rainout, which stinks for a couple reasons. One, the Cubs are playing pretty baseball right now, and two, the day off pushed back Jason Marquis' start, so the Cubs missed him. And he is bad.
The Week in Preview: The Cubs come home for three against the Pirates and three more against the slow-to-start Brewers. Jason Marquis was never a Pirate or a Brewer.
The Second Basemen Report: The Big News is that the next Phenom has showed up for the Cubs in Addison Russell. He played five of the six games this week at second base and Jonathan Herrera got the other start. The Alcantaranator got sent down as his .080 batting average was not cutting it. He just didn't turn into Ben Zobristara as hoped. But Russell and his .136 average and .136 OBP has not yet made anyone forget Darwin Barney, though that is hopefully just a matter of time.
In former second baseman news, Manny Alexander last played second base for the Cubs in 1999. Manny bounced around the league for a while and then played international ball, not in Japan but in Italy. He last signed on to the Caffè Danesi Nettuno team in the Italian Baseball League in 2009. He is missed.
Mad (don) Scientist: In an interview this week Big Poppa Joe threw out the gem, "necessity is the mother of invention. So rock and roll" in relation to having any player play anywhere at any given time. Now, the vibe that Big Poppa Joe is putting down is pretty amazing. I mean, if Ricky Renteria tried to explain why Kris Bryant was playing center this week we'd all be wondering, Who hired this clown? Which is what we ended up thinking anyway, but coming from Big Poppa Joe, the King of Cool, it just seems like TCOB baby. But if we really look at this roster in the rock and roll context, having three catchers is like trying to rock with three bass players. Not really happening. The roster needs help.
Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of Chicago Sports traded higher this week as this is a pretty fantastic run of games. Blackhawks, Bulls and Cubs make for can't-miss viewing right now. Even the White Sox are probably watching.
Kubs Kalender: Still still can't seem to find a second baseman who can hit.
Over/Under: The number of games the Reds deep in their heart think they can win with Jason Marquis: +/- 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 Theo was lying about Kris Bryant not being ready at the start of the season. He's so polished already he should have played half of the 2014 season.
Marty Gangler is our man on the Cub. He welcomes your comments.