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Okay, I know I vowed to just enjoy this ride but Cubs Anger is starting to rise to the surface. I truly believe that Joe Maddon is getting the most out of these guys, but some of these guys are just not good enough, and Theo and his Wonder Boys surely knew this going in. This team is still rebuilding more than it is competing.
And as much as a lot of fans might be cool with this, we here at The Cub Factor are not. I mean, there are going to be people hit by buses this year who will not be around for 2016 and beyond. Think of the Bus People!
The bullpen-by-retread system has been a horrendous disappointment; the team leads the league in strikeouts; only one player is hitting over .300; team defense ranks 29th out of 30; Edwin Jackson is still on the roster (along with three catchers); and Junior Lake is in Iowa.
But hey, at least they're loose!
Sure, the bullpen has been hit by some injuries, but did the whole season really hinge on Neil Ramirez? Or hoping that E-Jax finds it again? The guy could barely find the playing field in spring training! This bullpen-by-bad-facial-hair is not doing it. (Meanwhile, Carlos Villanueva's mustache is 3-1 with a 0.66 ERA for the Cardinals.)
Let's not wait until the trade deadline to make some moves. Theo is sitting on a super-deep farm system. It's time to cash in some of those chips now before another season is lost.
The Week in Review: The Cubs lost three of four to the best team in the division and two of three to the worst team in the division as they regressed to normalcy. But hey, the bleachers are back, baby.
The Week in Preview: The Cubs make the short trip home from Milwaukee for four against an upstart Mets team and three against the Pirates. I can't say that this week is huge, but looking at the schedule, the Cubs have the Padres, Nats and Royals all coming up soon. So yeah, they need to win some games now, or all this fun at the old ballpark stuff is going to stop being cute. But now, it's still pretty cute.
The Second Basemen Report: Addison Russell started every game last week at second base and had a 12-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday. We're going to go ahead and guess that the Cubs are the only team in major league history whose hottest hitter bats ninth. Russell is also the team's best shortstop, so naturally he's playing second.
In former second basemen news, Bobby Hill last played second base for the Cubs in 2003. His greatest accomplishment was being included in the trade to Pittsburgh that brought Aramis Ramirez to Chicago. Hill finally flamed out with the Pirates in 2007 and is now head baseball coach for Mission University. He is missed.
Mad(don) Scientist: Big Poppa Joe is channeling his inner Twisted Sister these days. I just can't say how much I love this guy. I truly believe that the umps are jobbing the Cubs based solely on him saying so. But they probably aren't, why would they have an ax to grind with the Cubs? It's probably some sort of tactic to get the team less in their heads about the struggles they had in St Lou. Will it work? IDK.
Wishing Upon A Starlin: Remember how Shawon Dunston would pretend to throw the ball to first before the pitch was made? Well Castro does it when the ball is actually in play.
Kubs Kalender: On Sunday after the Pirates game, kids run the bases, which is hard to differentiate from the actual roster right now. Well, except for old man catcher. But he might be more valuable than we all thought.
East Coast Cubs: Kosuke Fukudome is back in the Japanese League playing for the Hanshin Tigers. He currently has a .392 OBP. He is also missed.
Over/Under: The number of games until Junior Lake is BACK in the majors: +/- 6.5.
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that this team is very likeable, but just not ready.
Touch 'em all: The Cub Factor archives.
Know thy enemy: The White Sox Reports.
Marty Gangler is our man on the Cub. He welcomes your comments.