A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines for Sunday

Narconon Drug Prevention And Rehabilitation Center
The mailman delivers to a drug treatment center. Much like the Cubs.com mailman delivers to the drug addicts at LOHO




"Guess what?", I say. And you say, "That sentence is rife with grammatical problems." I reply, "you can shove it." And then you say, "Do you own a copy of The Elements of Style?"
And I say "Yes I do! But I haven't used it in at least ten years." Then you say, "you really need to break that back out, because this paragraph is brutal."

I then say, "But guess what? Carrie Muskat has seen fit to interact with the masses! She's answering our questions!" Let us make this a special tribute to just how far Carrie has come in the last year or two.

First up, Carrie deigns to respond to Gina S. from Park Ridge, Ill.

The Cubs expect Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto to have better years in 2010. Why not Mike Fontenot? Did something happen to him that no one is talking about? Even with his horrible year at the plate, he was great on defense. Second base is a defensive position and it would be hard to find a better defender. Cubs fans deserve to see what kind of season Mike would have if he were allowed to play the entire season at second base.
-- Gina S., Park Ridge, Ill.

Damn straight, Gina S.! We deserve to see Mike Fontenot get a shot at the starting second base job! We've never seen that before! We've never seen Mike Fontenot get shot after shot after shot! Give us more! Unfortunately, Carrie brings us facts, which all of us know to be unreliable:

Gina, Fontenot did get the chance to play. He didn't produce. His struggles weren't headline news, mainly because big name players like Soriano, Soto and others faltered. There were high hopes for Fontenot after he hit .305 in 119 games in 2008. This year, he finished with the same number of home runs (9), doubles (22) and three more RBIs than the previous season, played 16 more games, but hit .236. He struck out 51 times in '08, and 83 times this year. He seemed overmatched. Lou Piniella stuck with him because of his glovework, and to Fontenot's credit, he never let his problems at the plate affect him on the field.


Next up, Sean P. says it like it is. If Starlin Castro is such a big shot, then he might as well prove it next year in MLB at the age of 20. Because we know of no other prospects that have been rushed and subsequently faltered.

If Starlin Castro is doing so well, why not have Ryan Theriot move to second and promote Castro next year? [Cubs general manager Jim] Hendry could trade Fontenot and keep Baker because of his versatility. This potentially solves one of the Cubs' needs with players they already have. If it doesn't work out and Castro can't handle starting every day, Theriot can move back to short and Baker to second and Castro becomes the backup.
-- Sean P., Des Moines

Yeah! Make him the backup! That'll learn him for being so uppity and tearing through the minor leagues to this point. Because we need a potentially spectacular backup shortstop who has no confidence.

Castro, 19, is riding the bullet train through the Cubs' farm system. He was playing in the Rookie League in 2008, and this year went from high Class A Daytona to Double-A Tennessee and competed in the Southern League playoffs. Now, he's playing in the Arizona Fall League, which is a huge test as he's competing with some of the top prospects in the game. Castro did start at second base on Monday for the Mesa Solar Sox, the first time he's played there all year. I know Theriot won't like hearing this, but I'd move him to second and leave Castro at shortstop. One thing I would disagree with you on is having Castro be a backup on the big league team. He needs to play, and most likely will start the 2010 season in the Minors.
Oh Care Bear... are we advocating more time in the minors for Starlin Castro? I can't imagine why, as every Cub prospect of the last 20 years has turned into a perennial All Star. Especially position players.  And should Castro at short and Theriot at second not prove to be the answer, what do we do then? Where do we go from here? Luckily for us, Nick S. from Itasca, IL has all the answers:

I know you've gotten a lot of questions like this but since Mark DeRosa is a free agent, is there any chance the Cubs will bring him back? It seems that since he was traded, we have a big hole at second base and he was probably the most liked player on the Cubs in '08, and fans were pretty upset after he was traded.
-- Nick S., Itasca, Ill.

Dear Nick from Itasca, you're an idiot. Even Carrie Muskat realizes and chooses to acknowledge this.

If they signed players because they were popular, Mark Grace would still be starting at first. Never say never, but keep in mind, DeRosa will be 35, he'll be coming off wrist surgery and a .250 season in which he posted a .319 on-base percentage and struck out 121 times. DeRosa would love the chance to work again with new Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo again.

OOOOOOOOOH, snap! She done told you! But enough of this bullshit from the hinterlands, we need someone from Chicago to ask a decent question. Bruce H., we're relying on you:

Why doesn't this site keep us updated on the Arizona Fall League and all the Cubs prospects? Right now, is there anything more important?
-- Bruce H., Chicago
Yeah! Carrie, why haven't you told us the first bit about JOSH VITTERS, STARLIN CASTRO OR ANDREW CASHMAN. I don't know where to find any of this information, and google has blacklisted me. Help us Carrie Muskat, you're our only hope:

Actually, I have been posting daily updates on my blog. You can also check out MiLB.com for more info and stats.

Damn you Carrie, and your facts and logic. I will not stand for this! We demand results! And as for results, Dan from Iowa has something for each of us to mull over:

Why won't Piniella let Soriano bat leadoff next year if he's not battling injury. He might be as good as he was. We did go to the playoffs two years in a row with him there so why not give it a shot and see if he can break the record for most leadoff home runs in a career.
-- Dan H., Vinton, Ia.

Yeah! Soriano is plainly the second best leadoff hitter of all time! Why won't you let him fulfill his destiny?   We did go to the playoffs two years in a row with him as leadoff hitter, after all. I don't think there's any defense for this, is there? And while we're at it, why don't we go with my idea of opening day 2008, when I though Soriano should move to second base?

Soriano has 54 career leadoff blasts, while Rickey Henderson finished his Hall of Fame career with 81. I don't think that is Soriano's -- or the Cubs' -- goal. In 41 games in the sixth spot in the order this season, Soriano hit .268. He batted .228 when he led off. The main reason to drop Soriano in the order is to protect his legs. If he's leading off, he would be expected to run more, and batting sixth, the emphasis is more on driving on runners (that is, if there are runners on base ahead of him).

A note to emailers who suggest Soriano should move back to second base: The answer is no. Just look at the number of errors he made in the infield.






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22 Comments

gravedigger said:

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wow these are some early headlines

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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That's what happens when you're not sure you'll make it up early enough in the morning, but you're just drunk enough that you can't quite make the delayed publish work.

Perkins said:

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Well, to be fair, Fontenot was pretty excellent in limited playing time in 2007 and 2008. This year he kinda shat the bed, particularly against lefties. A Fontenot/Baker platoon would probably be the best/most cost effective option unless Placido Polanco can come more cheaply.

Castro and Cashner could be with the club sometime in 2010, though I'd bet on Castro for a September call-up. I'm not sure what they're going to do with Cashner, as he's about MLB ready as a reliever now, but they seem intent on making him a starter.

I wouldn't be opposed to making Soriano the leadoff hitter again, though if for some reason Bradley is still around, I'd put him there and leave Soriano lower in the order. It's kind of unfair for Carrie to use such a small sample size of data from this season to say why Soriano should hit lower in the order, when he was plainly injured from the end of April onward.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Someone in the comments section mentioned that down in Louisiana, the rumor was that Fontenot was having girl trouble. That's why he wasn't performing. Once he got over it, he was hitting over .300 in September.

Edelweiss said:

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That would explain a lot of things. Mike wants to have a family like Theriot does. Because of his genetic condition, a girl who is a little ignorant might be hesitant to have his kids. Actually as smart as he is, he would probably have super kids.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Someone in the comments section mentioned that down in Louisiana, the rumor was that Fontenot was having girl trouble. That's why he wasn't performing. Once he got over it, he was hitting over .300 in September.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Crazy game between Man U and Liverpool this morning. Liverpool wins thanks to stupid Nando Torres and his girl hair.

Maim said:

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What channel do these soccer matches come on, Julie?

I mean, "On what channel to these soccer matches come, Julie?"

JulieDiCaro said:

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LOL.

I have a soccer package, so I get them on GOAL Tv or Fox Soccer Channel. But you can always watch most of them online at justin.tv.

FrankS said:

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I guess that's better than watching the Bears

secdelahc said:

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Have we become the grammar police? This is an excellent idea!

JulieDiCaro said:

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This bears game is beyond painful. I feel like I should pack it in and head to the coffeeshop.

AndCounting said:

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I think I know the answer (Sam Fuld) but who is considered the greatest leadoff hitter of all time if not Alfonso Soriano?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Dear Chicago Bears,

You are in my doghouse right now, and the only way you're getting out this season is to beat the Vikings.

No love,
Julie

millertime said:

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Dear Chicago Bears,
I wrote but you still ain't callin
I left my cell, my pager, and my home phone at the bottom
I sent two letters back in autumn, you must not-a got 'em
There probably was a problem at the post office or something
Sometimes I scribble addresses too sloppy when I jot 'em
but anyways; fuck it, what's been up? Man how's your daughter?
My girlfriend's pregnant too, I'm bout to be a father
If I have a daughter, guess what I'ma call her?
I'ma name her Bonnie
I read about your Uncle Ronnie too I'm sorry
I had a friend kill himself over some bitch who didn't want him
I know you probably hear this everyday, but I'm your biggest fan
I even got the underground shit that you did with Skam
I got a room full of your posters and your pictures man
I like the shit you did with Rawkus too, that shit was phat
Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back,
just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan
This is Millertime

AndCounting said:

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Great. Now Dido and Elton John are stuck in my head.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Without head or facial hair, Nick Swisher looks like a giant baby.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Dive 6 inches to the right and fall down/miss the ball. Figgins is going to fit right in at SS for the Cubs.

JulieDiCaro said:

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This Yankees/Angels game is almost as painful to watch as the Bears game was. Boo.

MillsChC said:

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What's with the red moon up top?

MillsChC said:

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Oh... nevermind, my powers of observation failed me.

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