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Wait 'Til Next Year

"Depending on how fast reliever Kerry Wood and outfielder Marlon Byrd can
return from the disabled list, the Cubs might be able to put most of their Opening Day roster together for the first time in more than two months by the All-Star break," the Sun-Times reports.

"That's what general manager Jim Hendry said he wants to see before he decides what moves he'll try to make before the July 31 trade deadline."

You know what? Every year the Cubs hope to field their Opening Day lineup by the All-Star break. You know why? Teams suffer injuries. Every last one of 'em. Only the Cubs seem to use that fact of modern baseball as an excuse year in and year out as an explanation for why the grand plans of geniuses such as Jim Hendry don't pan out. After blaming the weather, of course.

O Lord, how long?

Jerry Krause was right when he infamously said organizations win championships. In baseball, the contest isn't between each team's starting nine, or even each team's 25-man roster. It's between each team's 40-man roster - plus any other stragglers they pick up along the way - as well as between the wits of the manager and general manager in charge of that roster.

If your team is an injury to Marlon Byrd or Andrew Cashner away from disaster, then your team isn't very good. (It's an infectious Cubs trait to blame injuries instead of incompetence; Dusty Baker is still blaming the injury to Derrek Lee one year and Aramis Ramirez another for his failings here.)

There is only one team in baseball worse than the Cubs right now, and the Cubs are damn lucky that it's the Houston Astros. Believe it or not, the Cubs aren't a last-place team because 31-46 is better than 28-51.

The Cubs are 12 games behind division-leading Milwaukee. Three other teams are between them. The Cubs would need to go on a 59-26 tear - a .693 pace - just to get to 90 wins. The best team in baseball right now, the Phillies, are winning at a .620 clip.

This season is over, Cubs fans. And the sooner Hendry (and more importantly, Tom Ricketts) gets that - if he doesn't already - the sooner we can get on with remaking this team. From the top down.

The Week in Review: The Cubs lost two of three to the White Sox and then two of three to the Royals. They also lost every baserunner who tried to be "aggressive."

The Week in Preview: The Rockies come into town today and boy are they pissed. Then our boys get four against the Giants - including a Tuesday double-header - before the White Sox come to Wrigley to see who gets to parade the prestigious BP Cup around the country for the next year.

The Second Basemen Report: DJ LeMahieu got five starts at second; Blake DeWitt got the week's other start, while also getting starts at third and left field. As much as the Cubs try to make him into Blake DeRosa, though, it's just not the same. Meanwhile, Jeff Baker got three starts at DH and one at third. Darwin Barney started on the DL every game.

In former second baseman news, Alfonso Soriano continues to stink up the outfield.

The Zam Bomb: Big Z is getting so angry he's now willing to waive his no-trade clause. Then why is he still here?

zam_gettingAngry.jpg

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Marlon Byrd Supplemental Report: Yeah, a special helmet, that's the ticket.

Lost in Translation: Reed Johnson-san is Japanese for everything Fukudome isn't.

Endorsement No-Brainer: Reed Johnson for some other team, because he certainly isn't a Cub. (And he probably won't be for long.)

Sweet and Sour Quade: 85% sweet,15% sour. Mike is down two points on the Sweet-O-Meter because after all these years in baseball these guys still don't know the difference between aggressive baserunning and stupid baserunning. And just like your supposedly well-adjusted uncle, he paid for the kids to go to camp every summer and all they did was goof off there and get in trouble. But kids will be kids, what can you do.

Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of Getting A Baseball Guy To Watch My Baseball Guy were back up this week as investors hoped for an epiphany.

Over/Under: The number of innings Rodrigo Lopez will last in his start on Tuesday: +/- 2 2/3.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that an Astros winning streak could be the best way to get rid of Jim Hendry.

Farm Report: "The Iowa Cubs now officially have a Murderers' Row."

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

The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.

Get Your Gangler On: Follow Marty on Twitter.

Note For Readers Used To Seeing The Mount Lou Alert System Here: When manager Mike Quade shows any signs of, well, really anything abnormal, we will be all over it with some kind of graph or pictorial depiction of whatever it is, but until this guy shows something besides just being a normal, thoughtful, intelligent guy, we got next to nothing on him. We are hoping he shows something and kinda hoping he doesn't also, know what I mean? BUT HE IS GETTING MUCH CLOSER . . . He's threatening to ground Starlin Castro, even though big brothers Sori and A-Ram have done much worse.

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