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Team Bizarro

Has the world gone mad?

The Cubs' peculiar brand of failure has always been complicated, but Theo & Co., brought here to make the team winners, has doubled down on the notion that losing for this team is akin to winning - and the Kool-Aid is flowing like urine through Wrigleyville after a twi-night doubleheader.

The Tribune, which no longer owns the team and is now free to exercise bias it was previously forced to withhold, best exemplified the reaction to the team's completion of an astonishing 101-loss campaign by proclaiming "Awful Season Aside, Cubs On Right Track."

Yes, awful season aside, the Cubs are really going places!

The baseball media in town has largely bought into the notion that our current pain is necessary in order to bring unending success later.

This presumes that in 2015 or so, the Cubs will have managed to make enough smart personnel moves to overcome four other teams in the division who presumably will be standing pat (the Astros move to the American League next year, which means the Cubs automatically become the favorite for last place.)

It's hardly a sure thing, and only the Sun-Times' Gordon Wittenmyer seems to be raising doubts, though his previous role as Jim Hendry's pool boy calls his judgement into question.

The Cubs finished 61-101 and yet the players like Matt Garza have spoken about how much they still enjoyed going to the ballpark this year. Isn't that the kind of attitude Dale Sveum was supposed to smother in its crib?

Instead, it was third-base coach Pat Listach who was sent packing.

"He did a great job, and it's not anything he did," Sveum told reporters.

Then why was he fired?

Maybe merely because Listach was a holdover from Mike Quade's staff and his contract was up, which raises an interesting question: If Quade was still manager could this team have possibly lost even more games than it did?

The fact that the answer is No doesn't speak well of Sveum, who acknowledged again in an end-of-year confab with the media that he doesn't read the newspapers or go on the Internet.

Apparently, like George W. Bush, he thinks it's best to just get "unbiased" information from his in-house experts (like the Cubs' advance scouts?) instead of the outside world. And how did that work out for ya, Dale?

We all knew the roster Sveum would have to work with wouldn't be great, but his team had no more hustle or fundamental soundness than any other Cubs team in our lifetimes, which was supposed to be the tradeoff.

Even a franchise that's rebuilding should never sink so low as to tickets drop to 19 cents in value.

That, my friends, is hilarious - which also makes it a joke.

But aside from all that, yes; Cubs are on the right track.

Week in Review: The Cubs ended the season on a 2-7 skid and went 10-21 since September 1st, ending up a much worse outfit than the cruddy team they started as. Progress!

Week in Preview: There must be another Kerry Wood Appreciation Day scheduled 'cause it's been at least a week since the last one.

The Second Basemen Report: Darwin Barney made this category obsolete this season, as the Cubs' long nightmare of employing a cadre of incompetent second basemen every year seems to have come to an end. And who does Barney credit with believing in him in the minors when no one else did and helping him transition from minor-league shortstop to major-league two-bagger? Pat Listach.

In former second basemen news, Adrian Cardenas is actually still a Cub but the former Phillie first-round draft pick hit .193 in 57 at-bats and really ought to have no future with this franchise, but they'll have to fill out the roster again somehow next year, so who knows. Just like Theo drew it up.

The Not-So-Hot Corner: Josh Vitters was the third pick overall of the 2007 draft, so he should be hot shit. He's not and he really ought to have no future with this franchise, but they'll have to fill out the roster again somehow next year, so who knows. Just like Theo drew it up.

The Weekly Bunting Report: Good times.

Endorsement No-Brainer: Theo Epstein for The History Channel. He came here to make history, and he did.

Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of American Standard went up this week as a whole season just got stuffed into one of their top sellers.

Sink or Sveum: 50% Analytical, 50% Emotional. Dale is just philosophical these days. 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 simultaneously Bat Sh#t Crazy and Thinking Clearly.

manson.jpgneck.jpg jordi.jpgdata.jpg

And just like your thought-to-be level-headed uncle, Dale put a fork into the steaks and is pulling them off the grill. Eat 'em, don't eat 'em, he's done and that's up to you.

Over/Under: Number of losses in 2013: +/- 99.

Don't Hassle LaHoffnick: Bryan LaHair, Micah Hoffpauir and Brooks Kieschnick were all the same guy.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that no one thought it possible it would become harder to be a Cubs fan under new management, but there you go.

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

The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.

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Posted on Oct 20, 2017

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