The Cub Factor: Winter '09 Edition

Okay, it's been a little more than three months since the debacle known as the 2008 National League Playoffs. And I guess this is as good a time as any to again think about the perpetual losers that inhabit the North Side of Chicago. I tried not to think or talk about these losers but was rudely reminded on January 1st when another somewhat perpetual losing Chicago team (at least before this season) played a game at good ol' Wrigley Field. But it's time to start thinking about the Cubs again. I mean, as much as any Cub fan said, "I'm done being a fan of this team" after the last two playoffs (dis)appearances how can you not come back? I mean, seriously. C'mon. After all this time you think that you're out? And if you really can get out now, maybe you may have never been in.

Off-Season In Review: - The Cubs ditch one of their most lovable players in Mark DeRosa and pick up quite possibly one of the most unlikable guys in baseball in Milton Bradley. Maybe they are on to something, the more I think about this. DeRosa understood what was going on and probably felt the pressure of 100 years whereas Milton Bradley is a friggin nut-bag whack-job who isn't going to get it and will not feel the pressure of 100 years. Ever wonder why guys like Manny Ramirez come through in the clutch so well? It's because he has no idea what's going on and doesn't care. Now, Bradley isn't Manny but maybe he's, um, Mini-Manny? The Cubs also got rid of Jason Marquis. He won't be missed.

Rest of the Off-Season in Preview: Whatever.

The Second Basemen Report: The Mark DeRosa trade signals the true start of the Mighty Might Mike Fontenot Era. Sure, the Cubs got that pud whack from the Cardinals Aaron Miles, but he's, um, a pud whack. Look for the Cubs to pick up one more second-sacker who can also play outfield just to further satiate Jim Hendry's keystone fetish.

In former second basemen news, Mark DeRosa is a Cleveland Indian along with fellow former Cub Kerry Wood. Maybe they can share a locker. They will missed.

The Zam Bomb: Big Z angry that Cubs buy equally volatile Milton Bradley. But even if they didn't get Bradley, Big Z is consistently angry.


Endorsement No-Brainer: Milton Bradley's "Cubs Monopoly." The bleachers occupy the spots traditionally held by both Boardwalk and the jail. The luxury tax square becomes Bradley's Contract.

Lost in Translation: Kosuke Fukudome is Japanese for centerfield platoon.

The Milton Bradley Game of the Week: This is a new department this season in which we'll compare the Cubs' new outfielder to a game that shares his name. This week the game is Mousetrap. It may take a while for Milton to put everything together but this guy is going to make someone sorry he came to this team - by catching them in a plastic basket, figuratively.

Sweet and Sour Lou: - 49% sweet, 51% sour. Lou is just slightly more sour than sweet due to the fact that he can't bully his old lady like he does reporters. And just like your real crazy drunk uncle, Lou can't wait for the snow to melt and for the ponies to be running again at the track. He has an element and is lost when he's not in it.

Center Stage: Expect Dr. Smooth Reed Johnson to platoon with Fukudome when the season begins in center. You know, just like Jim Hendry predicted when he signed Fukudome for a whole lot of money. Maybe next season Bradley will make it a tritoon. And maybe the Cubs will pick up Jim Edmonds again and make it a quadtoon.

The Cub Factor: Catch up with them all

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by the The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that the NL Central is there for the taking - again.

Over/Under: The amount of seats empty all next year - zero.

Mount Lou: Mount Lou is at status green and may stay that way until playoff pressure magma churns enough to cause an eruption many moons from now. Or he could explode next week.



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