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Unwatchable

The Cubs clubbed the Houston Astros last night at Wrigley Field but consider that the Astros have ten more losses this season than our hapless Scrubbies. That's not much fun to watch, and in fact, it's not even fun to pay attention to with a modicum of hope for the future anymore since the trade deadline fiasco that delivered middling prospects to Class A and not much else. You're losing us, Theo.

We get the whole "get worse to get better" thing, but if the "better" is a huge bet that today's prospects will become tomorrow's superstars in . . . 2015 and counting, we're gonna need to see more than balls rolling between Starlin Castro's legs sandwiched by Brett Jackson's strikeouts. Are we truly any better off than when we started the season? It would be a lot easier to believe in the plan if Alfonso Soriano wasn't still starting every game in left field.

You can build for the future while remaining competitive - or at least simply respectful of your paying customers - at the major league level. That's what good organizations do. The free pass is just about expired.

The Week in Review: The Cubs were swept by the Padres and lost three of four to the Reds to compile a nifty 1-6 mark for the week. Frankly, nobody cares anymore but it is interesting that a team that went 15-10 in July looks totally deflated and significantly outmanned since the trade deadline deals that have us hoping that one day Christian Villanueva will be the third baseman we once hoped Josh Vitters would be.

The Week in Preview: Two more against the Astros, and then three in Cincinnati. Tonight's tilt is Cubs Replica Cap Night, by the way, which means you'll get a pristine cap unmarred by the dirt that hustling can accumulate in a size fit for a growing youngster whose brain hasn't come in yet.

The Second Basemen Report: Darwin Barney got all seven starts last week. He may be playing Gold Glove defense, but his OBP is .312. I wonder where in the lineup he would hit in "the real world."

In former second basemen news, Jeff Baker failed to get the job done last night for the Tigers in their 9-3 loss to the Twins when he pinch-hit with two on and left them there. He was then inserted into right field. He is missed.

The Not So Hot Corner: Unlike Anthony Rizzo, who wasn't called up until he - and his service time - was just right, Vitters is here and set to get an extended look-see. No doubt, Luis Valbuena has been one ugly mo-fo at third, and wildly undisciplined at the plate, but his RISP is awesome, and that's why we here call him Clutch. He will be missed.

Weekly Bunting Report: We're not entirely sure - having stopped paying such close attention to Iowa Cubs traveling all-stars now ensconsed at Wrigley (are the real Cubs on a circus trip?) - but we think Dale has pretty much given up on the whole bunting thing at this point. (The real Iowa Cubs, by the way, are 44-76 and have lost 23 of 28.)

The Zam Bomb: Big Z got a win a relief last week, but we're pretty sure he wasn't happy about it.

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Endorsement No-Brainer: Cubs pitching for Paul Ryan. Ryan wants to kill you soon by taking away your Medicare; Cubs pitching wants to kill you now just for watching.

Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Empty Seats are trading lower on all exchanges because, well, they're empty.

Sink or Sveum: 32% Analytical, 68% Emotional. Dale doesn't move the needle this week because his emotional response to having such a worse team now than when he started this crappy season has been neatly balanced by his additional intellectual energy in trying to construct a lineup that won't be disallowed by Major League Baseball as a farce. 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 barely thinking clearly.

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And just like your thought-to-be level-headed uncle, Dale has found that is once strong opposition to prescription drugs has melted away under the need for some secret self-medicating. Hey, as long as he shows up to work every day, nobody's the wiser.

Over/Under: The number of prospects in the Cubs system who will one day become major league impact players: +/- 1.5.

Don't Hassle the Hoff: Micah Hoffpauir's numbers are very similar to those of Darwin Barney, so what's the hassle?

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that charging major league ticket prices for this mess is almost illegal.

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

The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.

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