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What a freaking week.
The Cubs haven't been this hot since sweet Lou was in charge.
But there is something that still just doesn't sit right with me.
Okay, as anyone with a pulse has heard, the Chicago Blackhawks have been in the news this week. And the reason I bring this up is because the San Francisco Giants and the Blackhawks are as close to modern-day dynasties as you can get (if they aren't already).
So sure, the Cubs taking four from the Giants and a 3 1/2-game lead for the second wild card spot is huge.
But it kind of feels like the St. Louis Blues winning a "big" regular season game against the Blackhawks in February.
The Giants know, like the Blackhawks, that a couple of wins in August, like February, doesn't mean the season is over.
They know there is a lot of season left and just aren't going to get all that excited about losing a few games.
It's just the kind of thing you understand after you win three World Series championships, like three Stanley Cups.
So yeah, I'm kind of being a wet blanket here, but I just can't help it.
Sure, no one would rather be in the Giants' shoes being 3 1/2 games back of the Cubs, and 3 1/2 back of the Dodgers as well for the division, but their track record makes it feel like maybe you still would rather have that roster, and manager, and that experience. And I can't really get that out of my mind.
But that is kind of the deal with the Cubs; you are just waiting for that next shoe to drop. Waiting to get your soul crushed, waiting for the inevitable "goat" moment.
But I'm going to try and enjoy this for at least one day - the Cubs are off on Monday. And then it's back to the grind. And yes, being a Cub fan is a grind. It's almost easier to deal with them being bad.
And then add that this is still a pretty flawed roster, kinda shaky bullpen at times, that fact that it will mostly probably be just a ONE game playoff, and all that flippin' history and that's where you are.
What a week.
The Week in Review: The Cubs went 5-1. They split two games with the Bucs, with one rainout, and then took four straight from the reigning World Series Champion Giants. It was pretty much what no one thought would happen and there is just no doubt now that it's on. It is on.
The Week in Preview: The Cubs get a day off Monday to bask in the glow of the last four games. Bask, boys! Then the Brew Crew (how cool is this?) comes to town for three and then it's Crosstown Cup time again on the South Side. Boy are the Sox a mess. No other way to say it.
The Left Field/Second Baseman Report: Chris Coghlan is now the Cubs' second baseman; he used to be the primary left fielder. But geez, this is still the tallest little person deal. He's 5-for-21 in August with one walk after hitting .219 in July with a .305 OBP. That's just barely better than Starlin Castro. Well, actually, it's a lot better than Castro, but Coghlan is still not good. I wonder if Castro realizes this?
In former Cubs second baseman/left fielder news, Glenn Beckert last played with the Cubs in 1973. Almost exclusively a second baseman, Beckert played one game in the outfield (let's assume left field) in 1970. How Coghlanesque! Glenn was the subject of this kind of odd local sports segment from back in the day in what looks to be St Louis. The one question I have at the end of this is: Was there truly any monkey business? Glenn is missed.
Mad(don) Scientist: Big Poppa Joe wants you to think it's essentially because of Kyle Schwarber that the dominoes started rolling to bench Starlin Castro. I just wish he would stop some of this bologna. It's because Castro stinks. Nothing to do with Schwarber or Coghlan, or anyone. But this is how he spins pretty much everything in a positive direction. Maybe it's better for Castro to think Joe's hands were kinda tied on this one? I have no idea what's better for Castro. The nice thing is the Cubs finally know what is better for themselves.
Wishing Upon A Starlin: I guess when you have no chance to trade the guy you might as well just bench him. The weird thing about the benching is what the heck do you do with him now? He's not a defensive replacement. He's not a solid bat coming in to pinch hit in a big spot. What is he? They should probably send him down to Iowa, no? He's a former All-Star washout at 25 who is signed for another four years (and a club option for a fifth). Chalk this up as another big mistake for Theo and company on the re-signing. You have to.
Kubs Kalender: Guys, we missed it. It was Bob Uecker Bobblehead Day on Sunday against the Cardinals.
Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of the season traded higher this week.
Over/Under: The number of Giants who think their playoff chances are over: +/- .5 (The under is a lock!).
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that it's now theirs to lose.
* 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.
A diminished Pegasus opens the new horse racing season amidst a giant orange background.Continue reading "TrackNotes: The Phantom Zone" »
Posted on Jan 22, 2021