Hey!! Lookee what I found?
It's the gaping black hole next to third base at Wrigley Field!
Legend has it that Ron Santo himself cursed the Cubs when he was traded to the Hated White Sux, and used the dark powers that held him together throughout all his years with Diabetes to create the deep, sucking maw where he used to stand in the field. Some say that all third basemen that followed would surely lose their talents as they stood there. Some even say certain men, like Kevin Orie, were even sucked into the hole bodily, and were never seen again!
Most think that Bill Madlock left the Cubs over a salary dispute, or because owner P. K. Wrigley didn't want a Black man to succeed. Nah, Madlock just wanted away from The Hole. And Aramis Ramirez? Most folks gave him grief over not running hard, but shit, man? He was in a constant state of exhaustion from having to battle The Hole all the time. The one time he let up? You know what happened? Yep, shoulder separation, destroyed his 2009 and did a number on his 2010, too.
Seriously, maybe the old scouts that Theo Epstein fired recently knew a little something after all. Was it they who never gave Josh Vitters the thumbs-up as a prospect?
I asked to see him, and we have seen him. And, well. In retrospect, the Cubs did him no favors by bringing him up simultaneously with Brett Jackson. Both of them sucked like Hoovers the first 10 days, but while Jackson has started walking and has brought his average up over .200, Vitters has not followed suit. The major league strike zone is still a mystery to our former third-overall pick, and the braintrust has seen enough of him for now. For those of you still counting on the Cubs to get you through your September, strap yourselves in for a lot of Luis Valbuena.
They "love how he gets on base, and his clutch hitting". That's a line of .232/.319/.384, which is actually improvement from his career line. As for Josh? .093/.123/.185. Last week, he had the poor fortune of having an OBP less than his average! So when manager Dale Sveum says that they "aren't getting shit out of him", he's not exaggerating.
As for Valbuena? Unless he runs by his nearest BALCO office, don't expect to see an improvement on his line next month. In fact, he seems like the type that does better as a part-timer. His .311 August average might be attributed to the playing time he has lost since Vitters came to town. Expect him to end up around .200. Since the Cubs have divested themselves of their other utility infielders (besides Darwin Barney, and that's another fight for another time), perhaps Valbuena can cement himself a role on this team for the future.
Help from the farm is at least a year away, depending on how Junior Lake grows, and whether Javier Baez eventually ends up pushing Starlin Castro over to his right. But who's going to stand next to The Hole next year? Unless Vitters is able to soak up the major league strike zone this month sitting next to Sveum and LaHair, then Ian Stewart, probably.
As soon as they figure out how to yank his wrist out of the Hole.