Cubs Sunday Storylines

Cubs Sunday Storylines

In an effort to better express my thoughts outside the confines of 140 characters, but with succinctness in mind, I wanted to try my hand at a weekly recap a sorts. After a win Sunday, the Cubs have won 2 straight series and 5 of 7 games. Not bad for a team that jettisoned 40% of its rotation less than a month ago.

Here's a look at all the Cubs news that's fit to print and a lot that isn't.

E-Jax pitching himself into waiver trade?

Unthinkable after his previous start, Jackson looked sharp against the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. He went 6 innings, allowing 2 earned runs and striking out 6. While Bad Edwin has taken the mound far too often, Good Edwin might just be enough to entice another team to go Dutch on his remaining salary.

Renteria learning on the job

CSN's Patrick Mooney wrote a nice piece about Ricky Renteria's, um, questionable moves and how they may factor in his retention. There's a certain amount of slack you've got to give the guy as a rookie skipper dealing with a pretty abysmal lineup.

Then again, there are times, when that extra rope might be just enough for Ricky to fashion himself a noose. To wit: bringing in long reliever Charlie Newhouse for a 1-pitching appearance on Saturday night. Situational stuff is nice and all, but that move baffled me, particularly in light of all the extra innings for the team and the 'pen.

I can't see the Cubs showing Renteria the door, but he's got to prove that he can learn to better manage his bullpen and game situations. This team doesn't have a lot of room for mistakes, and still won't next year year either. But Ricky has proven that he can get the most out of his young stars, a huge mark in his favor.

Coghlan playing himself into the future

When he's not busy being generally awesome in the community, Chris Coghlan has been tearing it up at the plate for the cubs. He hit something like .376 for July and has started August with a bang, going 2-3 with a homer, a double and 2 RBI. In fact, that's 5 straight 2-hit games for Coglan.

Coghlan's carrying a robust .292/.368/.475 slash (.844 OPS) right now, but as water always finds its level, so will his stats find theirs. He won't be holding down a starting OF spot for the Cubs down the road, but I'll take him as the 4th or 5th guy every day of the week.

Rizzo's maturation continues

If home plate had an occupancy limit, Chavez Ravine's fire marshal would have been all over Anthony Rizzo for exceeding it. He has made it quite clear that that plate belongs to him and not the pitcher. It's reminiscent of Barry Bonds, sans body armor. But given Rizzo's proximity to the dish and his burgeoning star status, he'd perhaps do well to adopt padding of some sort.

The slugging first baseman has exhibited a confidence that he didn't seem to have in the past, maybe not even earlier in the season. Whether it's taking on the Reds bench, swatting a bomb after being plunked, or making a hard (and totally clean) slide to break up a twin killing, Rizzo has become the Cubs' leader.

Castro is no infidel

After a slump that appeared to be more bad luck than anything, there was a bit of rabble growing about a regressing by Castro, that he was looking like last year's model. But those folks were looking at the numbers, not at the situations. Despite hitting the ball on the screws repeatedly, Starlin was, well, he was getting screwed.

Balls ticketed for the gap were flagged down by phenomenal diving plays and hard line drives were drawn to gloves as if by some metaphysical magnetism. But lately, the BABIP gods have been kind; after seeing his average drop to .268, Castro has collected 7 hits in 3 games, including a clutch 2-RBI pinch hit on Sunday, to climb to .277.

Javy Bombs Away

Baez went yard twice, giving him 23 on the season, further proof that he's made all the necessary adjustments to AAA pitching.

AAA playoffs are not MLB playoffs

I understand the concept of playing in a postseason atmosphere, but I do not subscribe to the idea that it will help guys at the next level. Rather than develop confidence by competing against MiLB talent, I'd rather see them do so in the Bigs.

I am Groot

'Nuff said, but I'll say a little more anyway. Guardians of the Galaxy just posted the biggest August debut of all time with $94 million domestic and a little over $160 worldwide. If you haven't already, you need to see this movie; it might even remind you of the Cubs.

Well, there you have it. What other storylines would you have added? What did you take away from this week in Cubs baseball?


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  • The impression I got from the 2 WGN games is that the Dodgers can't be as good as their record indicates. The only 2 good fielders were Puig and Hanley Ramirez.Len seemed correct that Haren has stunk the last month and stunk again, and that LA is only 50% outside its division, which has 3 contenders for acing the Cubs out of the first draft pick.

    Also, Jackson helped himself with the bat today, which is a rarity.

    They also didn't explain who was the Cubs shortstop of today but not the future.

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    I'll add that Guardians of the Galaxy isn't that good, and is rather highly overrated. I'd give it a C+ at best.

    Does neither story & plot creativity nor character objective mean anything anymore?

    But at least... BIGBANGBOOM!

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Also - I didn't most aliens in the galaxy looked and sounded exactly like Earth humans... except with different skin colors.

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    **I didn't know

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Unlike Star Wars where they have baby names like Obi-Wan Kenobi,* Jar Jar Binks, etc., and except for the Wookie, sound like James Earl Jones and British nobility. Just plain Yogurt, I believe not. Industrial Light had to retrofit Jabba the Hutt into the rerelease of Episode 4, and disclaim that he was related to Pizza the Hut.

    *Sounds like Odieo Colognie on the Tennessee Tuxedo show (reference).

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    In reply to jack:

    Here are some links to Guardians aliens:

    Here's one link to a group of Star Wars aliens:

    The creativity between the two movies isn't even close.

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Typically, nothing that comes after an archetypal film, book, etc will be considered as unique. Pardon my troglodytic stance on this, but when I go to a movie I am looking to be entertained. GOTG did that with room to spare. It was funny and witty, with a little of the potty humor that makes people like me giggle. It advanced the greater plot of the MU and established characters that people actually felt for, despite their obvious foibles.

    Comparing it to Star Wars is a bit much; it's like comparing Anthony Rizzo to Ted Williams or something. Rather than comparing it to other movies that have gone before, I'm going to let it stand alone. As such, I loved it. And with that said, I'm going to table further discussion on the matter.

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    In reply to Evan Altman:

    I respect people who say they want to be entertained by movies... that's their prerogative. But I also think that mentality facilitates the "dumbing down" of movies.

    You make good points. The humor was witty, and it was nice to see a less serious summer blockbuster. But I just thought the story and character objectives were weak to the point of distracting.

    Anyway - agreed to disagree!

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    **Didn't mean for that to be an attack (dumbing down of movies)! Just my opinion perhaps not perhaps not worded perfectly well!

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    No, I get it. I appreciate that you presented your opinion in a very clear manner and without being rude. It's difficult to do so in this manner at times. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    I guess you couldn't tell that I wasn't giving a thumbs up to Star Wars, certainly not episodes 6, 1-3, and whatever the same Disney mill that owns just about everything else will churn out.

    Spaceballs was more my cup of tea.

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    I disagree completely, but that's what makes us cool.

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