Top of the 7th, two on and two out and Derrek Lee steps up to the plate and I'm thinking to myself, "Well, at least he can't hit into a double play here". (Sigh).

The Cubs find themselves just one game ahead in the Central and their offense hasn't been able to buy, rent or even lease a big hit. Besides hoping for the comforts of Wrigley, I'm not sure what they can do to get out of this funk. I'm usually not a big fan of catering to the hot hand, when that hot hand usually doesn't do much, but it might be time to let Mike Fontenot move up to the two spot for a few games until he cools off. His 1.240 OPS in July needs to be somewhere where it can do a little more damage and Fukudome and his .555 July OPS can figure out why he's no longer awesome at the bottom of the order.

Otherwise, I think the a team-wide slumpbuster (see definition #3) might be in order.  My source at Sky Harbor airport  is keeping an eye out to see if Rosie O'Donnell, Kirstie Alley, and Camryn Manheim show up for a little team remedy.


I am wearing my stupid "Believe" bracelet until they win. 24/7. Sleep, shower, sex, skydiving. This is not leaving my wrist until they win.

Yes I am overreacting. This is the Cubs!!!Our margin for error is very small. Look at all the bastard teams catching up. Let's just have every freaking player go up to the plate and bunt. This is the equivalent to what I do when my golf driver and I are on the outs: I drive with my putter. That'll show 'em!
Slumpbuster suggestions: Grace Slick, Lizzie Grubman,Kirstie Alley, or one of those haggard-looking Olsen twins (though a player could end up testing positive for BMP).Let's get some runs!!!

Edna Turnblad.

Too bad Mama Cass isn't around anymore...

Rikki Lake
Carnie Wilson

Looks like Larussa and Duncan will be out of jobs soon-
HGH urine test

I'd like to think that I'm just a nervous nelly here but....

The Cubs have lost 5 out of their last 6 games and have scored a total a total of 6 runs in those losses. Is it just an abberation?

The Brewers went balls to the wall with their deals in pursuit of a division crown, etc. The Harden+ deal was great and stands to pay huge dividends, but with the deadline looming should the Cubs consider adding someone(s)? Would it make sense to try to find a right handed counter part for Fuku? I'm not talking about a full blown platoon or any thing...just maybe a player with some pop that could step in every 4th game or so. Even with his frigid bat over the last months, I still love Fuku's glove, spead and arm in right.

Of course a deal for Brian Roberts could free up DeRosa to spell Aram, Fuku, Soriano and Roberts himself. Then again, again I wouldn't want DeRosa to take much of a cut in playing time.

Hell. I don't know. I just want the old Cubs back. You know the ones that score runs. If it takes a deal or two to get things going, then fine. Just score some damn runs.

Fuku's right-handed counterpart is DeRosa or Reed Johnson...they've been a bit busy filling in for Soriano though. But now he's back, it's like making a deal at the deadline (I will now shoot myself for using that line).

5 of 6 could be an abberation. But they've gone 13 - 17 over their last 30, which looks a lot like a trend. Granted, that's been without Soriano. Here's hoping he gets hot in a hurry.

What's with the arbitrary 30 games? The Cubs are 2 games under .500 since losing Soriano.

As Lou said yesterday, he's our biggest home run threat and his absence was bound to catch up with us.

I still don't see the point in bringing Soriano back after two rehab games. He should be down there for a week, at least. I understand that the Cubs need him. But they don't need him rusty. That is not going to help them any more than playing Derosa in left will....

all the minor league rehabbing in the world don't get you ready for major league pitching. There's going to be an adjustment period either way and the sooner he can get it over, the better.  I think 4 games is the max I've seen for a hitter on a rehab assignment. With a lefty on the mound and if he feels ready, it can't hurt with the way we're hitting.

a little fuel for your rant...

"He probably needs more at-bats than what we're giving him," said
Piniella, repeating his sentiments from Monday. "It's been a long time.
But, what do we do, leave him here? I don't know. Let's see what
happens after his 4 or 5 at-bats in Tucson, and then we can make a

looks like he'll be activated for tonight's game...I assume Hoffpauir is on his way out.

I wonder if they're going to do anything about Lieber and Eyre... Seems like Hart could be sent down for one of those guys...

Lieber isn't eligible to be activated until Friday, Eyre whenever they feel he's ready. And yeah, likely to be Kevin Hart who gets sent down.

Rockies seem to want a top starting pitching prospect ready for the majors for Fuentes. Asking about Clay Bucholz, Ian Kennedy, Jon Niese, Wade Davis...

Reds (?), Mets, Dodgers, Brewers, White Sox asking about Huston Street...
Look at this Heyman column from today... He is talking about Rich Hill's performance in Iowa... That's month-old news at this point! He's sucking it up in Daytona now.

"I still don't see the point in bringing Soriano back after two rehab games."

If the club were doing well right now, I'd agree with you. But with the tremendous suck going on right now offensively, I don't see a reason not to put him back in the lineup. The club has nothing to lose with this move, unfortunately.

Batting averages so far on this road trip:

Rammy .000 (0-for-20)
Lee .143 (3-for-21)
Soto .053 (1-for-19)

Big 3 combined: .067 (4-for-60)

Every hitter has slumps -- these guys will come out of it.

Hopefully starting tonight.

Soto has hit a lot of balls hard during that 1/19 streak that didn't fall in.

Lee is problematic. He seems to be having some wrist problems. He was in obvious pain after a swing a few games ago. His last home run was June 20th. Way too many GIDP's.


The trouble with Arams' O/20 is he already had a recent 0/22 (2008-06-26 2008-07-04 ). Both streaks are uncharacteristic career nadirs.


Look's like Canning's group has been kicked out of the Cubs garage sale. No word on any other bidders.

article also says...

"...with as many as five invited to continue in the sales process, and given greater access to business data.

Of the five to 10 offers fielded for just Wrigley Field, the source
said three were deemed promising enough to be asked to continue in the

Five bidding on everything, 3 just on Wrigley...I suppose it all can change, but interesting.


that's a top tier shakeup.

wonder what happened there...wonder if they wanted him to sell his chunk of MIL to continue and he refuse...wonder if it's aliens.

i bet it's aliens.

Sun-Times has their version of the story up:

- Mark Cuban is one of the 5

- Confirms that Canning is out, but their sources say he could put in a re-bid if he wants.,wrig07230...

But Soriano will not be replacing those guys that are struggling. He will be replacing DeRosa, mostly, who might end up playing 2B, which would mean we might be removing Fontenot, and replacing him in the batting lineup with Soriano. Whether you see it as replacing Fontenot (.341 in July, 3B last night) or DeRosa (1-2, 2B, 2 BB last night), either way it is unlikely to be a positive offensively. I understand that there is going to be a period of time where Soriano is going to need to adjust to MLB pitching. I am just saying that this doesn't seem to be the time when the Cubs can afford to let him kick off thew rust, especially when he hasn't exactly been lighting it up in only 2 games in the minors.

Not if you move DeRosa to third, and sit Ramirez for a couple of days.

or let DeRosa play RF some in place of Fukudome

adding one of your 3 best hitters after sitting out 6 weeks can only be a good thing...

ARam is not going to be benched for a couple of days.

One game? Maybe. More than that? Absolutely not.

I don't see Ramirez sitting tonight against a LHP. I wouldn't be upset if he did, but I don't think it's likely.

I'm sure Fontenot will sit tonight with a lefty on the mound. Small sample size and all, but .596 OPS against lefties in his career.

He's one of you best 3 hitters when his timing is on. He's been out for 6 weeks, and had 5 AB's TOTAL in the minors. I hope I'm wrong, but I foresee many a K in Soriano's near future...

What was up with Lou last night in that Q & A session they showed before the game? I have never heard him struggle so much just to get through each sentence...

someone offering 25K to Bartman if he shows up to autograph a picture...

he was already at a game last year making fun of himself.

i think it was in TB or FLA or something...some kind of "pan the camera around the crowd" in-between-inning thing and he was there for comic relief. they played a "im so lonely" song when it came around to him. wonder how much he got paid for that.

please tell me you're not talking about this...

cause that's not Bartman...

no, it was in florida...but that looks a lot like similar shtick.

chances are it's not him, i guess.

wow...that's a great article.

i dont even CARE about the whole bartman thing.

im still a little shook up at a SS error by a guy who barely made errors while making other nice plays look easy all regular season...and losses coming vs. our 3 strongest pitchers...IN A ROW.

that one had me beginning to end...even better piece considering there was a strong story built out of a few brief words in a parking lot ambush interview. the courtroom sketches are nice, too. ha.

Time for the slumping Cubs drinking game:

Drink whenever:
* Cub hitter gets an out by swinging at the first pitch
* Cub hitter strikes out (if on a would-be ball 4, chug)
* Cub hitter gets an out without advancing the runner (if runner is on 3rd with less than 2 out, chug)
* Cub hitter hits into a DP (if DLee, chug rest of drink and then slam a second one)
* Cub commits an error or WP (more than one in the same inning, chug) (if committed by a player not in his natural position, chug)
* Cub pitcher walks the leadoff guy in an inning (if he scores, chug)
* Opposing pitcher gets a hit before any Cub player does (chug)
* Cubs pitcher out hits all the position players (chug)

... I have to get back to work before I can finish this. Needless to say, this team will get you hammered!

Yeah, nohit, with those rules, I would guess that if played on this road trip, I'd be drunk by the end of the first inning, probably out of commission by the 4th.

It's not really relevant now, but Kirstie Alley was HOT when she started on Cheers.

It's not really relevant now, but Kirstie Alley WAS hot when she started on Cheers.


Your Chicago Cubs the year Kirstie Alley replaced Diane on Cheers:

# Pitchers
48 Jay 39 Ron Davis 33 Frank DiPino 44 Drew Hall 50 Les Lancaster 37 Ed Lynch 31 Greg Maddux 41 Mike Mason 49 Jamie Moyer 47 Dickie Noles 21 Scott Sanderson 46 Lee Smith 40 Rick Sutcliffe 42 Bob Tewksbury 34 Steve Trout

# Catchers
34 Damon Berryhill
7 Jody Davis 1
11 Jim Sundberg

# Infielders
17 Mike Brumley
12 Shawon Dunston
10 Leon Durham
6 Keith Moreland
16 Paul Noce
28 Luis Quinones
18 Wade Rowdon
23 Ryne Sandberg
19 Manny Trillo

# Outfielders
8 Andre Dawson
24 Brian Dayett
20 Bob Dernier
30 Darrin Jackson
1 Dave Martinez
36 Gary Matthews
22 Jerry Mumphrey
25 Rafael Palmeiro
29 Chico Walker

Washburn and Vidro for Igawa and a low-level prospect or 2:

Tony Peña, Jr pitching video:

He might be better than Kevin Hart.

Wooo!! Gee, it sure is nice to have that 0-4, 1K boost he provides!! Yippee!!

Well, that's good. A double! That's something at least...

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  • video of Maddon.

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 12 hours 31 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 12 hours 36 min ago view

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 12 hours 41 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 12 hours 53 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 13 hours 4 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 13 hours 29 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 14 hours 9 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 15 hours 22 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 15 hours 39 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 15 hours 43 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 16 hours 27 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 21 hours 18 min ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 22 hours 32 min ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 22 hours 36 min ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 23 hours 54 min ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 1 day 7 hours ago view