If the playoffs started today, everyone would be surprised, no one would be ready and the Cubs would be in them. Â In fact, they’d be hosting Pissburgh in the Wild Card Game.
The new manager is just as entertaining as we thought he’d be. Not only has Kris Bryant been called up, but Addison Russell is here, too. Â The Cubs infield for the next decade1 is in place. Â The Cubs are still inexplicably carrying three catchers, two of their most important bullpen arms have already fallen off, Edwin Jackson is still on the team, the bleachers are still uninhabitable and fans are peeing in beer cups2
And the Cubs are 12-8, and it doesn’t feel like a lucky 20 game stretch. Â They’re actually pretty damned good.
So you know the drill. Let’s pick some nits.
Starlin Castro -Â What can we say about our little Starlin, other than this?
He growns up and he growns up and he growns up.
For his first five seasons (at age 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 no less) Starlin played on five shitty teams. Â Teams that didn’t play a single meaningful game. Â And our little Starlin was constantly criticized for not paying attention on defense or sometimes on the bases.
You know what? Â I wasn’t paying attention, either. Â The teams were dogshit, the games were dogshit, and if a 21 year old kid was gazing out into the outfield between pitches during a Sunday Night Game–irritating professional irritant Bobby Valentine–I say, “Good for you, kid!” Â Because I wouldn’t have just been looking out into the outfield, I’d have curled up, taking a nap, using the second base bag as a pillow.
For five years people have been bitching about what Starlin can’t do. Â Oh, he makes too many errors, he doesn’t walk enough, he does that weird thing where he slows down immediately after hitting first base when he tries to beat out an infield hit3 Â But his critics never talked about what he did do.
He’s 25 and he’s going to get his 1,000th hit of this career this year. Â A THOUSAND. Â How many hits did you have at 25? Â That’s what I thought. Â How many All-Stars teams had you made? Â Starlin’s made three.
But the best part about Starlin so far in 2015? Â I don’t have to make a case for him being good. Â Because he’s been so good, that even the dumbest among us can see it. Â He’s hitting .325, he’s getting on base 35% of the time and he leads the team with 12 RBI. Â Oh, and he’s playing incredible defense at short. Â Seriously. Â He’s been amazing.
Do you think part of it is that there’s an actual intensity to the games now, because the Cubs are actually competing in them, finally? Â You bet your ass.
If you have been a Starlin critic, I forbid you from enjoying this. Â You don’t get to. Â I’m not sure if it’s within my legislative purview to officially prevent you from deriving joy from him playing so well that it’s obvious even to you, but I’m doing it anyway.
Anthony Rizzo -Â I need to check with some sabermetricians, is a .478 on base average good? Â It seems like it would be good. Â Well, that’s what our enormous first baseman has right now. Â He and his fellow giants in right field and third base already form a terrifying clump in the batting order, and they are 25, 23 and 23.
This Week in Baseball had a clip many years ago of a little kid hanging around the batting cage while the Mariners were taking BP. Â You could see Ken Griffey Jr. taking his swings and Jay Buhner bent over and asked the kid, “Is he your favorite player?” Â The little kid just nodded yes, and Jay smiled and said, “You picked a good one.”
I always thought that about Derrek Lee during his time with the Cubs, and it’s passed directly on to Anthony. Â It’s not just that he’s a good player. Â He is. Â He’s just an awesome guy. Â Think of all the clowns over the years that we’ve had to convince ourselves to like. Â Maybe we’ll find out that this team is full of those guys, too. Â But I don’t think so. Â And I know for sure that the guy at first isn’t a clown.
Kris Bryant -Â Since the day the Astros were dumb enough to take Mark Appel instead of
Prior,4 Bryant all we’ve heard about is how good this guy is. Â His minor league stats are mind boggling. Â And so a couple of weeks ago when the Cubs finally called him up and Joe Maddon said, “Screw it,” and immediately batted him cleanup we all knew there was no way Bryant could ever live up to all of the hype. Â Nobody could live up to that hype.
And he hasn’t.
He’s exceeded it. Â He’s even better than we thought he was. Â How is that even possible? Â How does a guy with only 700 minor league at bats show up and immediately5 start destroying big league pitching? Â And, the one thing the experts all said about him, “He’ll struggle some as a rookie, but he’ll hit a lot of home runs,” hasn’t even shown up yet. Â Twelve games, no homers. Â And nobody gives a shit, because even without a single homer he’s on pace to drive in more than 120 runs and he’s got a 142 OPS plus already. Â Think what his numbers will look like when he gets tired of driving in just his teammates and he drives himself in, too?
Defensively he’s been solid at third6 and he’s even played games in center and left because the Cubs decided to play much of the first 20 games with one hand tied behind their back with 13 pitchers and three catchers on the roster.
The Cubs are going to have Anthony Rizzo and Kris BryantÂ batting back to back in the order for the next seven years, at least. Â Suck on that, rest of the National League.
Jorge Soler -Â Jorge’s recent struggles (two for his last 20 with 10 strikeouts) have brought his stats down to a mortal level, but he carried the offense early on. Â It’s also a reminder that the best players on this team are still baseball infants. Â They’re all going to struggle at times (even you, Bryant). Â But they’ll also go on tears. Â Our old friend Sammy Sosa used to do that. Â He’d struggle for a week or 10 days and then get his dosage right and take it out on the pitchers for two straight weeks. Â We’re going to see these kinds of ebbs and flows all year. Â When Jorge’s right at the plate, he’s a sight to see. Â A 23 year old manchild with plate discipline. Â In the field, he never wavers. Â He’s an excellent outfielder with a strong, accurate arm. Â He’s like Yasiel Puig without all of the bullshit.
Dexter Fowler -Â Acquired in the kind of ballsy, franchise shifting, legendary-status-be-damned trade that sent Nomar out of Boston in 2004, Fowler was had in a trade for the immortal Luis Valbuena. Â While Luis’ five homers in Houston would lead the Cubs, Fowler hasn’t been terrible. Â He’s given the Cubs their first decent leadoff hitter since Bob Denier 7 and currently sports a .372 on base average. Â He also beat one of the most loathed Cubs in history when he homered off of LaTroy Hawkins in Colorado. Â His outfield defense was supposed to be crap, but it hasn’t been crap.
Chris Coghlan -Â Coghlan’s numbers are not good, but he hasn’t played that poorly. Â His .228/.290/.456 comes out to a 102 OPS+. Â He’s not a good outfielder, at all, and he actually had to fill in at third a couple of times during the great roster crunch of ’15. Â He tagged a guy out and charged in and grabbed a bunt and immediately dropped it, and that was about it. Â At some point the infield logjam is probably going to be fixed by pushing somebody out to left field. Â But that’s unlikely to happen this season. Â So unless the Cubs upgrade at the trade deadline, Coghlan’s going to get the majority of at bats out there. Â Great?
Addison Russell -Â He’s adorable. Â Well, to everybody except the lady he beaned on the head with his bat the other night. Â I played in a lot of baseball games in my life, and I don’t ever remember the bat slipping out of my hands and into the stands, and guys 8 I was a spaz. Â So if I never did it, how does a highly skilled professional athlete send one out of every ten swings into the seats? Â His on field results have been mixed. Â At times he seems overmatched at the plate, and he has struck out a Brett Jackson-like 14 times in 28 at bats. Â But at the same time, he rarely swings at bad pitches, which is very much un-Brett Jackson like. Â He seems to get caught in between, early on breaking stuff but late on fastballs. Â It’s now when we take the time to remember that he’s 21 years old, and for the first time he’s playing in stadiums with second and third decks on them. Â He’s also playing a brand new position (second base) which has to factor in. Â It’s likely that his head is spinning out there. Â And, despite all of that, he’s shown flashes of being a great–not just good–great second baseman, and he’s had three big hits in his first week in the big leagues. Â There is no doubt that Addison Russell can play. Â Whether he needs to get some more AAA time before he’s really ready, we don’t know yet. Â But nothing we’ve seen would indicate he’s not going to become a very good player in a very short amount of time. Â And if Tommy LaStella doesn’t get back on the field pretty quick, there’s a pretty good chance Addison will just figure it out in the big leagues.
Miguel Montero -Â Noted “soft catcher of balls”9 Miguel Montero’s three biggest contributions so far have been 1. Hitting two homers in a game against the Padres, 2. making borderline pitches all look like strikes, 3. coming up with the endearingly pathetic #wearegood hashtag on Twitter. Â Montero got off to a bad start, but he’s a more than solid .370/.433/.704/1.437 with three homers and seven driven in the last ten days. Â He had a reputation as a hard ass, mostly because he was mean to Adam Eaton in Arizona. Â But honestly, given what we know about Eaton from his short time with the White Sox, he probably deserved it.
Welington Castillo -Â Welly is too good to try to sneak through waivers back to Iowa but not good enough so far to drum up any really good trade offers, so he sits in a weird baseball limbo with the Cubs. Â He’s been a key pinch hitter so far (.333/429/.833/1.262 with a homer and three RBI in nine at bats). Â And has caught in five games. Â Traditionally, Montero crushes righties but struggles with lefties and Welly is the opposite. Â So why aren’t they just a platoon? Â If there’s any position where a platoon really works it’s behind the plate. Â But instead, the Cubs have this weird three legged stool. Â The third leg, and the guy who plays like stool, is…
David Ross -Â Nobody on the team, or in the league it seems, has anything bad to say about David Ross. Â He is universally beloved. Â He’s still a good defensive catcher, but he can’t hit, he’s ten years older than Castillo and if he’s on the team because of his leadership, they should have just made him a coach. Â He’s been catching Jon Lester and that’s finally going well, but is it really worth screwing up your roster and limiting your in-game moves just to keep a “good guy” around? Â You know what will happen. Â The Cubs will finally find a trade they like for Welington, then the next day Montero will get hurt and we’ll get the wonderful poo poo platter of Ross and Taylor Teagarden! Â Oh, boy.
Jonathan Herrera -Â During the great Kris Bryant Service Time Hostage Crisis, Herrera got a lot of starts at either second or third. Â In fact, he’s started half of the Cubs games. Â And yet, they have somehow lived to tell the tale. Â Herrera can play all four infield spots and the outfield in a pinch. Â He’s a pretty useful guy to have around as long as you don’t have to use his usefulness very often. Â With Bryant and Russell up, Herrera’s back to a bench role, where he will hopefully stay. Â Maybe he should hang out in the clubhouse during games, just to lessen the chances Joe will use him?
Arismendy Alcanatara -Â Alcantara’s also a guy we need to remind ourselves is young. Â He’s only 23, and he showed flashes10 last year but struggled out of the gate this season. Â He’s already back in Iowa, but at some point he’ll either be the superutility guy or someday, the every day centerfielder. Â He’s a versatile player with good speed, power from both sides of the plate and good defensive instincts in the infield and center. Â A long, successful run at Iowa would do him some good, but if the Cubs are going to keep playing with two catchers on the bench, they might need his versatility too much to leave him down all that long.
MIKE OLT! -Â Talk about shitty luck. Â Olt can still factor into the infield shuffle, but getting hit in the hand with a pitch, then trying to keep playing with it for a week before finally going on the 60-day DL the day Bryant’s service time deadline passed, leaves him in a tough spot. Â And, the Cubs made him wear it by forcing him to try to play for seven days with a broken hand because they couldn’t call Bryant up yet. If he can ever get to the point where he makes more contact, he’s a Gold Glove caliber third baseman, so you could see him earning the spot and kicking Bryant out to left. Â In essence, he doesn’t have to outplay Bryant,11 he has to outplay the Coghlan-Chris Denorfia platoon. Â That he could do. Â But sitting on the DL with a fracture in his hand isn’t going to make that happen any time soon.
Matt Szczur -Â He had a great spring training and earned a spot on the team, though he probably only got it because Denorfia was on the DL. Â As the righthanded half of the leftfield platoon his playing time was spotty and it’s hard for anyone–but especially young players–to hit well when they aren’t getting consistent at bats. Â So he’s back in Iowa, too.
Chris Denorfia -Â Quick show of hands, how many of us forgot he was on the team until the day Bryant was brought up and they activated Denorfia, too? Â I thought so. Â He’s supposed to be this year’s Justin Ruggiano. Â Wow, talk about a high bar to clear.
Tommy LaStella -Â The two guys who got screwedÂ the most in week one of the season–not just on the Cubs, but in baseball–were Olt and LaStella. Â Both had a chance to nail down regular playing time, and both got hurt. Â This may still work out for Tommy since Addison is struggling, but the kid’s not going to wallow for very long. Â Honestly, a bench role for LaStella is probably his best chance of sticking in the big leagues for a long time. Â He’s a lefty bat, which helps, he can play some third base now, which adds to his versatility, and he’s probably just good enough to keep a job for a long time if he’s not asked to play every day. Â So, good luck with all that.
Junior Lake -Â He’s back! Â Oh, Junior how we missed you. Â Did we miss him? Â Really? Â OK, we kind of forgot he was still around, but for one game at least, he reminded us why we used to kind of like him. Â He’s still only 25, he’s athletic as hell, can play all three outfield spots, and since he played almost 600 minor league games in the infield (at all four spots, especially at shortstop) Joe’s going to love double switching until Junior is somehow playing short and second at the same time in the ninth inning of a tie game.
Jon Lester -Â This, so far, has been a mess. Â About halfway through Spring Training, Lester’s arm,12 fell off. Â OK, it was just dead. Â Eh? Â So he was behind when the season started and it showed in a less than impressive opening night start against the Cardinals. Â Plus, because it was an ESPN game and they act like anything that happens in one of their games is an epic fucking story, they made a huge deal out of how Lester doesn’t like to throw the ball to first base when a runner is on.13 Â The Cardinals stole some bases, Curt Schilling got his panties in a bunch, and it was a thing. Â But it was a bigger thing when Lester fielded a bunt with a runner at second, didn’t look to third and threw to first for the out. Â Schilling and John Kruk were sure that Lester has a mental block about throwing to the bases and he’s crazy now and will likely end up in an institution.
Never mind, that Lester took the sure out at first for the second out of the inning and retired the next batter. Â Nope. Â Because it was on ESPN it was a huge deal and Lester has a “problem.”
In his next start, he actually threw to first and it was…ugly. Â Then, just moments later he had the guy picked off but threw the ball about 20 feet over Rizzo’s head. Â The runner took off for second and then third, only to find out that Jorge Soler lives out there in right field and Jorge was taking care of things, and the runner was out by about 45 feet.
In his next start, Lester fielded a tapper back to the mound, the ball got stuck in his glove so he threw the glove to first with the ball in it for the out.
My guess is that Jon just wants fielding his position to just go back to normal.
Here are my two cents on this “issue.” Â My longtime baseball boyfriend, Greggie Maddux was, with the possible exception of Jim Kaat, the greatest fielding pitcher of all time. Â He has 1814 Gold Gloves. Â Nobody ignored baserunners better than Greggie. Â He never went a full season without throwing over to first like Lester did last year, but Greg didn’t pay much attention to runners. Â In his mind, those runners couldn’t score unless he let the batter drive them in, so he focused on the batter and not the runner. Â Teams stole bases on Greg all the time. Â He didn’t care. Â Greg only won 366 games (including playoffs). Â So let’s not freak out about Lester throwing to first.
Let’s freak out about the fact that he’s given up 29 hits and 15 runs in 21 innings.
But let’s not even freak out too much about that. Â Yet.
Jake Arrieta -Â Speaking of struggling pitchers–this guy isn’t one. Â I’m pretty sure the Baltimore riots had just about ended the other night when some frustrated Orioles fan yelled, “And we traded Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Cubs for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger!” and they fired up again. Â There was never any doubting Arrieta’s talent. Â Baltimore just got tired of him never being able to put it all together. Â If they ever wanted to see what that looks like, they can tune in Jake’s starts on mlb.tv and weep. Â He was dominant last season, and has picked up right where he left off. Â In four starts he’s got three wins and has allowed only 25 baserunners (18 hits and seven walks) against 25 strikeouts.
Jason Hammel -Â Can you be a free agent steal two years in a row for the same team? Â Let’s find out. Â Hammel clearly likes pitching for the Cubs and pitching coach Chris Bosio. Â Thanks to a weird start in Pissburgh last week where he gave up four runs on six really weak hits in five innings, his ERA is about a run higher than what it should be. Â But what really stands out is his ridiculous 23 strikeouts to one15 walk so far this season. Â It’s like Bob Tewksbury, reincarnated. 16
Travis Wood -Â It’s good to haveÂ thisÂ Travis Wood back. Â After a breakout 2013 season, he sucked last year. Â Sucked to the point where some wondered if the Cubs would non-tender him, and then figured they’d at least trade him. Â But a bunch of injuries to other guys battling him for the fifth starter spot17 and a strong spring by Wood earned him that spot. Â Because he’s the only lefty in the rotation he actually pitches in the three spot, but it doesn’t really matter does it? Â But so far, he’s back to his old form. Â He also has a tidy strikeout to walk ratio 26:6, and he actually has done Arrieta one better, he has more strikeouts (26) than baserunners allowed (24). Â Joe also loves using Travis as a pinch hitter. Â And he has an awful beard, so he’s got that going for him.
Kyle Hendricks -Â After an eye-opening big league debut this year, things have not gone as well for Hendricks this season. Â His ERA is high.18 Â But his other numbers aren’t that bad. Â He’s allowed fewer hits than innings pitched. Â Like all the Cubs starters he’s got a good strikeout to walk ratio. Â His only bad start was his first one, in Colorado. So there’s no reason to panic, yet.
Hector Rondon -Â Hector’s the balls. Â Ten appearances, four saves in four chances, and only one bad game so far. Â He struggled in that weird Saturday home game against the Padres when the Cubs blew a four run lead in the ninth, and Phil Coke set things up by giving up hits to the first two batters. Â That’s the only game Hector’s allowed a run in. Â By my way of thinking, if your closer only gives up runs once every ten appearances, that’s probably going to work.
Pedro Strop -Â Pedro’s still waiting to give up his first run. Â Not bad for having already pitched in 11 games. Â He wasn’t available in a game in CincinnatiÂ last week because of a sore foot, and he’s been limping on it a little his last two appearances, so that’s cause for concern. Â I’d like to think we don’t have to worry that this regime would pitch a guy with a bad foot and watch him screw up his arm. Â I mean, it’s not like this is 1937 and he’s Dizzy Dean and the Cubs have him pitching on a broken toe or anything. Â I’ll call Ed Hartig, just in case.
Neil Ramirez -Â When he’s healthy19, the seventh, eighth, and ninth, with him, Pedro and Hector are pretty well shut down for the opposition. Â Let’s hope his optimistic prognosis of “shoulder inflammation” isn’t something more serious. Â He’s apparently still weeks away.
Jason Motte -Â He’s been spotty so far. Â His velocity is back. Â He was hitting 97 and 98 against Pissburgh the other night. Â If his arm’s finally healthy, he should be a pretty big asset in the bullpen, and he should slot into Ramirez’s seventh inning spot for now. Â I like it when the Cubs pick up Cardinals players off the scrap heap and it works out. Â I do not like it when it turns into Dave Veres.
Gonzalez Germen -Â His first two Cubs appearances were impressive. Â He’s got great velocity and an excellent change up. Â But he got knocked around pretty thoroughly in his third appearance on Wednesday night against Pissburgh. Â The Cubs don’t need him to be dominant, but they do need him to be not terrible. Â So far, Maddon’s been very conservative with the pitch counts of his starters so there will be big outs for Gonzo to tryÂ to get in the sixth and seventh innings of games.
Zac Rosscup -Â He should have made the team out of Spring Training, and because Phil Coke sucks, Zac is the go to lefty in the bullpen. Â So far, so good. Â He’s already made eight appearances since he was called up, and has been impressive. Â Eleven strikeouts to one one walk and only three hits allowed. Â He throws harder than you think, and so far this year no lefty batter has a hit off of him, and only one has reached base.
Brian Schlitter -Â His biggest problem is that even when he’s throwing hard he’s finding the middle of the plate. Â Big league hitters don’t miss pitches in the middle of the plate. Â Ask Arquimedes Caminero of the Pirates who was feeling pretty good one night pumping 99 and 100 MPH fastballs at the Cubs, only to have Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant pull back to back pitches like that for extra base hits. Â So, Schlitter’s stuff has been pretty schitty, and he has taken his 9.53 ERA, 10 hits and two walks in five innings off to Iowa from whence we hope he never returns.
Phil Coke -Â Coke is an eight year veteran who has pitched in some pretty big games for the Yankees and Tigers, and there he was, two weeks into Spring Training still looking for a job. Â We have seen why. Â With Schlitter gone, Coke will get the wrath of Cubs fans unless he turns around his awful start to the season. Â Thirteen of the first 29 batters he has faced have reached base.
Is that a lot?
That seems like a lot.
Edwin Jackson -Â For a long stretch this season the Cubs carried 13 pitchers and it was mostly because they didn’t want to have to use Edwin. Â It’s kind of amazing that the team is off to this good of a start despite limiting Joe’s options by saddling him with an extra catcher and an unusable bullpen arm. Â To his credit, the few times Edwin has pitched, he’s been pretty good. Â He was very shaky in a game in Pissburgh when he and the bullpen blew a lead and eventually the game, but in his other four appearances he’s been solid. Â He has yet to allow an earned run and only walked one batter in seven innings. Â It’s not an ideal use of $13 million, but at least it’s something.
Joe Maddon -Â The first two weeks of the Joe Maddon Era have been pretty enlightening. Â He’s just as advertised. Â This Cubs team does not resemble ones we’ve seen in recent years. Â The pitchers throw strikes, the hitters work counts, the Cubs inexplicably lead the National League in stolen bases. Â The team is fundamentally sound. Â We’re not used to that. Â How much of this is Maddon and how much of it is that he has better players than Mike Quade, Dale Sveum and Ricky Renteria did? Â A lot of it is better players, but you can’t say that a lot of it isn’t Joe, too. Â Joe is a confident guy and that has clearly oozed down to the players. Â They celebrate every win for 30 minutes and wallow in every loss for 30 minutes, and then that’s it. Â There’s another game tomorrow.
Early in the spring the Cubs looked fundamentally shitty, and Joe made the guys come in early every day and do basic drills. They grumbled. He didn’t relent. Â It worked. Â He’s a very positive guy, and a lot of people think it’s bullshit, but there’s very little bullshit with Joe. Â He’s the perfect fit for a team with this many young players. Â He spentÂ yearsÂ in player development with the Angels and of course his Rays teams were a constant roster churn of young players. Â Just think how much more confident the Cubs had to be handing Bryant and Russell to Joe than they would have been if it were still Dale or Ricky?
It doesn’t hurt that his pre and post game media sessions are pretty damn entertaining, too.
Theo Epstein andÂ Jed Hoyer -Â In a lot of ways the hard part of their job is just starting. Â But that’s not to minimize the amazing job they’ve done. Â This roster is full of talent, and when you think back to what they inherited after the 2011 season it’s stunning that it’s happened this fast. Â But, there are still some holes, and they have to figure out what do with catcher and the bullpen, and at some point, they’ll have to leverage some of this young talent that they love and that we are falling in love with. Â Somebody’s going to get traded that’s going to piss off some fans. Â It’s inevitable. Â The best part is that Theo and Jed won’t shy away from it. Â Over the next couple of years big moves will be needed to get this team from plucky contender to championship favorite.
For now, we’ll just enjoy the plucky contenders, because they are an awful lot of fun. Â And we’ll let these two guys worry about what needs to happen for the next step.
Crane Kenney -Â Because what’s going on to the park is as big of a story so far as what’s going on in the park, let’s finish with our boy Crane. Â To his credit, the videoboard looks great and is already pretty much a non-story. Â Construction delays are inevitable, and when the Cubs return home on May 11, we assume that fans will be back in two thirds of the bleachers, and by June the park will look “normal” on TV again. Â As for fans pissing on the concourse on opening night? Â It’s Wrigley Field. Â That’s a tradition unlike any other.
Crane’s biggest problem is still him. Â He comes across as an effete asshole. Â Probably because he’s an effete asshole. Â We don’t have to like the VP of Business Operations, and in fact, on most teams fans wouldn’t even know who that person is. Â But Crane is too often a story because his side of the organization fucks up a lot. Â A lot. Â And they do it very publicly. Â And they don’t like to admit they fucked up. Â The fans have no confidence in him or his ability to get things done correctly. Â He only has the job so that he can be the bad guy and keep the shit off the Ricketts family’s shoes, and he’s only partially successful at that.
Mostly, he just needs to never be photographed acting like a construction worker again.
Hey Crane, where’s the Indian, the cop and the cowboy?
Overall -Â The best part of this season so far is that it’s been fun. Â I almost forgot what it’s like to watch baseball and not repeatedly have to say, “I hate this team.” Â Even when they lose they go down swinging. Â The Cardinals, even without Adam Wainwright, look formidable, again. Â The rest of the division looks like something these Cubs can take.
But you know what? Â I’m glad the Cardinals are still in the way. Â It has to be that way. Â Whether it’s this year or the next, there will be a chance for the Cubs to knock them down a peg or two. Â Because this isn’t a one year wonder like we’ve seen in the past. Â This is a team actually building to something big.
The Cubs aren’t coming. Â They’re here. Â Better get used to them.
Here are those annoying footnotes.
- Or, until Starlin is traded and Bryant is moved to the outfield
- Budweiser will sue them for stealing their secret recipe.
- That IS really weird, honestly.
- Wow. Â As SKO just pointed out, that was the Freudian-iest of all slips.
- Well, he did have the courtesy to look mortal for one game, at least.
- That thing where he pats the ball in glove and then almost always leads Rizzo across the bag with his throw has got to go, though.
- Actually, probably Kenny Lofton, good God this franchise sucks.
- And gal, I’m sure there’s at least one of you reading this. Â Maybe.
- I think I saw an amateur film made in a motel with that title once.
- A lot of them, actually.
- Which is pretty damned lucky for him, because he’ll never do that.
- Which as, Gordon Wittenmyer never fails to remind us, cost the Cubs $155 million
- I guess it would be dumb to throw there when there isn’t a runner on, but never mind.
- Editor’s note: Bob Tewskbury is not dead.
- And Felix Doubront and Edwin Jackson being…well, Felix Doubront and Edwin Jackson
- It’s 5.23, which is bad, but he can remind Gordon that it’s a run less than $155 million man Jon Lester’s ERA.
- Which the Rangers felt would be seldom.