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It's amazing what one good decision can do. It can wipe out a lot of bad ones. Like a lot. And at this point in the Ricketts regime as keeper of the Cubs, Tommy Boy has made one correct decision and pretty much everything else has been horrendous: He hired Theo Epstein. And then Theo hired Joe Maddon.
If you remember, we here at the Cub Factor haven't agreed with the punting of multiple seasons, but we are here now and the Cubs have a puncher's chance this season and aren't trying to punish your baseball sensibilities. With this being said, there is a real distinction between the baseball side and the business side.
Tell me this conversation hasn't happened:
Maddon: So does this owner have a clue?
Theo: No, not really. But I do, and I still think that you and me and a handful of the baseball people can win here despite this clown owner.
Maddon: Okay, but he really seems like he has no clue. The stadium thing, his boner for Kerry Wood and Dempster, keeping that weird Crane Kenny around. And really the stadium thing is a mess - oh and remember that cake thing, and that Santo card, and did you see that video he made about re-doing the stadium? That was odd. Man. There's a bunch of other stuff too. But not like those things are big deals to me, I can talk my way out of really pretty much anything if I have to.
Theo: Yeah, you have a way with people. It's like you are a cross between Spicoli and Einstein. And toss in some Jimmy Buffet. But not a lot of Buffet, like you have the "I get it" vibe from Buffet without all the other baggage.
Maddon: Thanks, Theo. You kinda come off like a smart handsome robot. And I mean that in a good way. But back to Tommy Boy.
Theo: I told him that I'm going to walk if he ever tries to mess with the baseball side. The other side of things just doesn't matter. Once we actually win the whole thing people will think it was funny that they peed on themselves.
Maddon: Okay, cool. Now let me tell you about my plan to put five shortstops out there at one time . . .
The Week in Review: The Cubs went 3-2 for the week, splitting a 2-game series with the Cardinals and no one knows for sure why they cancelled the second game of the series, and then took two of three from the Rockies on the road. And in dramatic fashion on Sunday. Just the kind of thing that gives you more hope about this season than you probably should have.
The Week in Preview: The Cubs come home for six games - three against the Reds and three against the new look Padres. Should be interesting to see if they play all six because, well, you know, it's the Cubs.
The Second Basemen Report: Arismendy Alcantara started four games this week and Tommy LaStella started one. Alcantara went a very Darwin Barney-like 0-12 for the week but had a not at all Barney-like five walks and scored four runs. So, a .294 OBP for the Alcantaranator. Which isn't so bad.
In former second baseman news, Barney is a Dodger and is 0-1 on the new season. Barney was traded from the Cubs for a player to be named later. That player turned out to be pitcher Jonathan Martinez, who is now on the Cubs' affiliate Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the Advanced A Carolina league. Darwin is missed.
Mad(don) Scientist: Batting the pitcher 8th every game seems to be working. Showed this week to have a "winning the game" string of relievers to go to and that when they are losing just to throw Edwin Jackson in there. Seems like solid plans there.
Jumbotron Preview Review: Apparently everyone likes it. Yet, they made sure that monstrosity worked over the toilets? Seems like an odd tradeoff there. Maybe fans should piss on it.
Kubs Kalender: Wait 'til probably next next year.
Over/Under: Number of games the Cubs should have played this season at an under construction Wrigley Field: +/- .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 the Cubs have a real manager.
Marty Gangler is our man on the Cubs. He welcomes your comments.