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Aramis Ramirez to Visit Family: What This Means for the Cubs


The Cubs will be down yet another player for the next series against the San Fransisco Giants.

Aramis Ramirez announced that he will be traveling back to the Dominican Republic to take care of undisclosed family issues.

He has not, however, been placed on the bereavement list and will be back on Thursday for the series finale.

This leaves the Cubs with another hole to fill for the next series.

Carlos Zambrano was placed on the 15-Day DL and will be back for a start against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Alfonso Soriano is still out and it is unknown when he will make his comeback.

Reed Johnson is also gone, meaning that there is another hole in the outfield.

Mark DeRosa and Ronny Cedeno have both played third base for the Cubs this season, so they are reasonable replacements, but DeRosa spent the last series playing in the outfield.

This comes at a good time for the Cubs though, who are lucky enough to be facing a bad team during this time of injury.

Despite being swept by the White Sox, the Cubs still own the second best record in baseball, and hopefully they can pull out of their sweep soon.

Who Cares if the White Sox Win

The Chicago Cubs have just lost their second strait game against their Crosstown rivals, the Chicago White Sox.

But I’m still not scared (besides the fact that if the Cubs lose tomorrow I will have to do 30 sit-ups every time I go to my friends house) about the Cubs season, despite losing four of the last five games.

The Cubs may be slumping, but they are slumping without their lead-off hitter who can also hit for power in Alfonso Soriano.

When Soriano finally gets back into the game, he is going to bring a spark to the Cubs that they are going to need.

They are also missing their ace, Carlos Zambrano, who is on the 15-day DL. That means that there are three starts that we aren’t going to be bringing our best guy out there.

These guys are going to be major people to get back.

Also, the Cubs are expected to make a major move and acquire a good starting pitcher to bring consistency to the two-slot in the pitching rotation, possibly C.C Sabathia.

And, even with the slump, the Cubs still have the best record in baseball with a .605 record, .003 ahead of the Red Sox despite the fact that the Red Sox have won an extra game.

The Cubs also still hold a strong 3.5 game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals, which is definitely a good lead for over a team that can still fold due to lack of talent.

So, through all the scares, the three game losing streak, the awful record on the road, I still am not worried that the Cubs might lose their strangle hold on opposing teams.

There are just to many good times to go around.

hype it up!

Crosstown Classic Part Deux

The Cubs and White Sox are ready to start the second Cross-Town Series later today, and I couldn’t be more excited.

The Cubs won the first series 3-0, and if they can avoid a sweep, will have won the series yet again.

This year started with the Cubs and White Sox tied at 30-30 for the entire series that gives the winning Chicago team bragging rights.

In the first series, Aramis Ramirez was the shining star, hitting six hits, 4 home runs, and 8 RBI’s in just 13 at bats against the Sox.

The first game was a close one, won by the Cubs by a late inning comeback, whereas the second two games were won more handily by the Cubs.

The Sox need to make a big comeback to avoid being on the losing side of yet another Red Line Series.

The White Sox have only swept the Cubs once (1999) since the series started, but the Cubs have swept four series (1998, 2004, 2007, and 2008).

This is going to be yet another great series, where the Cubs and Sox go at each other’s throat.

Hopefully, all can enjoy some good baseball.

If I Were GM For a Day…

The Cubs are on the verge of a World Series this year, and they are likely to be making some moves.

If I were the GM of any team, I would pick the Cubs, and not just because of the likely-hood of a World Series this year.

You see, no matter how bad of a GM you are, you are still going to get butts in the seats night in and night out, so you don’t have to worry about getting a fancy little paycheck because, well, they can afford it.

Also, you have very few decisions to make. For this year’s Chicago Cubs, I have just two moves that I would like to make or would have made at the beginning of the season.

The first move that I would have liked to make would have been trading for Brian Roberts of the Baltimore Orioles.

I think Mark DeRosa, Daryle Ward, and a package of minor leaguers would have made the deal enticing enough.

With Roberts, you have a solid lead-off hitter, Fukudome can go second, and then the power portion with Lee, Ramirez, and Soriano.

The extra leadership from Roberts would have been huge while Soriano was out, and he would be able to add more speed to a lineup that doesn’t doesn’t have a guy with blazing speed.

The second move that I would make would be to trade for C.C Sabathia.

The Cubs are stuck at pitching. Ryan Dempster is having a career year, but he hasn’t been a great pitcher in the past and I don’t know if we can count on him to be continually reliable.

Ted Lilly started strong, but he always starts strong and fades right around this time of year.

With Sabathia, the Cubs have a deadly 1-2 punch, and if Dempster does in fact stay lights-out, then they have probably the best 3-deep pitching staff in baseball.

The pitching staff would then be set, as would the offense that is one of the best in the majors.

Also, the Cubs would be more likely to win more games on the road because although Sabathia is only 1-4 on the road, his ERA is only 3.43 on the road compared to 4.43 at home.

The extra runs that Sabathia would get the Cubs dynamite line-up would drive up his win total to about 15 on the year.

The Cubs are close to a World Series team this year, and if they can make the move for Sabathia, they will be the team to beat.

The Roberts move, on the other hand, is now a non-issue as he will likely not be a Cub any time soon.

Joe Willett also writes for Bleacherreport.com, the open source sports network.

Chicago Cubs Roundtable

Me and some other Cubs enthusiasts from BleacherReport.com started a roundtable for the Chicago Cubs, here is what we came up with for the first edition.

1. How long do you think Alfonso Soriano’s hot streak is going to last and do you think that he will fall out of favor with the Cubs faithful when he starts to struggle again?

Sam Wenk: Alfonso Soriano will never be consistently hot or consistently cold. He has and always will be a streaky hitter who can carry his team and also burden them. If he were to fall into a really cold streak, for example, something lasting longer than a month, then he might fall out of favor a little. However, Soriano is currently leading all outfielders in All-Star voting, despite his up-and-down season, so he still is popular nationally. If you’re a Cubs fan, you know by now what Soriano is and what he isn’t. You just hope his thermometer is more hot than cold.

Bobby Pimentel: Well, it’s hard to predict how long his hot streak is going to continue. Personally, I don’t even think he is on a hot streak anymore. Many people fail to see that Soriano is actually a good contributor. He only has 10 hitless games so far this year, 5 of which came before he got injured in April. Since May 1 Soriano has 5 hitless games (2 at-bats or more), compare that to Lee who has 9, Ramirez who has 8 and Fukudome who has 14. Granted, they all draw more walks. But it is something to pay attention to. Soriano does have even streaks where he does produce very well, and people should know that. But given that he can have the best week in baseball one week and the worst another week, it does frustrate fans. But I honestly don’t think signing Soriano was a bad move, he is a great player. I also think that he has a different demeanor than Sammy Sosa. Thus I think Cubs fans won’t turn on Soriano, even though they might voice their displeasure when he struggles. But that’s what real fans should do.

Bob Warja: I don’t know that he’s truly in what I’d call a true hot streak, but he’s hitting well. I think that as long as he’s healthy he will hit. I’m more concerned that his health won’t hold up, especially his legs. And yes, as I pointed out in my article comparing him to Sammy Sosa, fans love to build up their star atheletes, then we love to tear them down. It’s very much a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately society we live in. And anything Soriano does this year, good or bad, will be magnified because so many Cubs fans believe this is our year.

Tyler Huen: I think the “hot streak” is permananent. I don’t think he’ll continue hitting 13 home runs per month, but he won’t slow down much. Look for him to continue hitting about .290 for the year, striking out once per game, and knocking in about 85 runs this year and stealing about 25 bases. He is too good of a hitter to “struggle” for a long period. Cubs faithful needs to make sure not to jump on his back once he goes 0-10 in a couple games. He is a career proven streaky hitter. He’ll hit 10 home runs in two weeks, and not get one for two weeks.

Joe Willett: Soriano may have been really hot lately, but his up and down play makes me worried that he can’t be as dependable of a leadoff hitter as Pinella seems to think he is. I think Soriano should bat second. I really haven’t seen this put as an option, but think, instead of a leadoff homerun, the first batter can get on and then Soriano can belt one out to an early 2-0 lead. That is the way to start a game and I think Soriano can really play his best there.

2. Do you think the Cubs have what it takes with the current roster to make it to the World Series?

Sam: No, and here’s why. In the playoff, the name of the game is pitching. The Cubs other than Carlos Zambrano have no starter who they can count on dominating a game. In a short series, who is going to lock up that crucial Game 2? Ted Lilly? Ryan Dempster? One would hope so, but you just can’t say for sure. Looking at the other NL teams likely to be in playoff contention, the Diamondbacks seem to be the standard to win in a short series. They have three legitimate starters that can be counted on to win: Brandon Webb, Dan Haren and Randy Johnson. The Mets too are built for post-season success with a potential playoff rotation of Pedro Martinez, Johan Santana and Oliver Perez. If the Cubs can trade one of their extra outfielders (Felix Pie, Matt Murton come to mind) for a proven starter, than I believe they will have the final piece of the puzzle to not only reach the World Series, but win it.

Bobby P: Well, as far as the lineup goes, it is one of the absolute best in baseball. I don’t like that Lee doesn’t seem to be able to get his average back above .300 though, hopefully it’s just a funk. If Lee gets it together, I dare say that this is THE best lineup in baseball. Starting pitching is as different story. They need to make a trade for a pitching ace around the deadline for them to have a legitimate chance at breaking the World Series drought. The only reason they would even reach a World Series with their current rotation is if they go on an improbable run like the Rockies last year. But let’s not forget that the Rockies also got dominated by the Red Sox and got swept. They need another high-caliber starting pitcher to stand a chance against Arizona, Philadelphia, New York, etc.

Bob W: No. I think they need to add a starting pitcher. I’m still concerned about Arizona. They beat us three straight last year and added Dan Haren to their rotation. We added Fukudome. I don’t think that’s enough.

Tyler: Yes. They have what it takes to make it to the World Series. They have a great 1,2,3 punch in pitching with Big Z, Lilly, and Dempster. If Marquis, Gallagher, Marshall, and Lieber can hold down the 4,5 spots then they will be solid. Relief wise they are stacked. Best 8th and 9th inning set up in the NL. The offensive lineup is the best in baseball by far this year. To win the World Series, they just need to keep playing well and remain confident once they start a losing skid. I would like to see one more big starting arm to ensure success though.

Joe: I think the Cubs have the offense to make it all the way, but the starting pitching needs to be tweaked a little so that they can be more ready when they are in a long playoff series.

3. Do you think the Cubs are going to make a major move some time this season or are they going to stick with the current roster?

Sam: Knowing the way Jim Hendry operates, I believe a move is on the horizon. Hendry never has traded for that major-name player, usually choosing the safer route by adding veteran guys who add depth. If players such as Rich Harden, Matt Holliday and C.C. Sabathia are out there for the taking, Hendry should at least gouge some interest.

Bobby P: Despite my dislike of this front office, I don’t bel
ieve they are stupid enough not to make a move. Lou must realize by now that they need another starting pitcher, and the front office should understand that too. My guess is that they will bring in a big name pitcher around the trade deadline. Maybe the likes of Erik Bedard, C.C. Sabathia, John Garland, Pedro Martinez (if the Mets implode), maybe even Ben Sheet who is in the last year of his contract. There are many options and the Cubs can easily part with Cedeno, Fontenot, Kevin Hart and other young talent without hurting this team this year.

Bob W. Yes, I think Jim Hendry goes out and acquires a pitcher.

Tyler: Barring an injury, no. The reason the team is so hot this year is familiarity with eachother and Lou’s coaching style. Why bring in an outsider that could be a plague on an already awesome team?

Joe: I think that they need to pull the trigger on the Brian Roberts situation. We haven’t heard the last of him, why not end the story and make the trade eventually. I also think that the Cubs need another solid pitcher. We don’t need to go for an ace, just somebody that can keep a sub-four ERA and log a lot of innings to keep our bullpen ready for later in a playoff series. I think the Cubs should go after Aaron Harang, of the Cincinnati Reds. He may be 2-8 but his ERA is 3.86 and he hasn’t had an ERA over four for the last four seasons.

4. The biggest downfall for the Cubs has been pitching, are there going to be any changes to the rotation through trades or minor league players?

Sam: The Cubs need one more proven starter and one more veteran bullpen pitcher to sustain their success. Health will play a major role in determining how much movement is required, but as of now, I don’t see them making many changes simply because this team was built with pitching depth before the season began. If you have to, why not call up a young player like Kevin Hart, who emerged as a quality bullpen arm last season despite being a rookie.

Bobby P: As much as Sean Gallagher has given me hope for the future, I don’t really think he is ready for the playoffs. I doubt we have many options on a minor league level too. Rich Hill needs to prove he can come back and be a good pitcher, not just a capable one. With the internal pitching problems, I would have to say that there is going to be a change via a trade. At least I hope so. Whoever the Cubs sign (should be an ace or a legitimate no. 2 starter), it should be someone who can takes some of the pressure off Zambrano in the no. 2 spot in the rotation.

Bob W: See above. Also, I hope that Rich Hill can come back and still contribute this season before it’s over.

Tyler: I look for the final rotation to be like this: Big Z, Lilly, Dempster, Marshall, and Gallagher.

Joe: If the trade I had proposed were to happen, I would love to see a rotation of Zambrano, Harang, Lilly, Dempster, Marshall/Gallagher/Hill/Lieber, whoever shows up the most to take the fifth spot.

5. What do you think the final record of the Cubs is going to be this season?

Sam: If the Cubs say healthy and their star players can continue to perform to their ability, the Cubs should finish with a record of 100 – 62. I know that seems like a high win total, but don’t forget, this team has the best record in baseball right now, so the sky is the limit.

Bobby: I’m thinking mid-90′s in wins if they continue the way they’ve been playing lately. Probably 95-67 or 94-68, somewhere in that region. I think they are good enough to win 100 games, but pitching will stop that from happening. Besides, I’m only concerned about winning the division, which 90+ wins should almost guarantee. The question is whether it’ll be enough for best in the NL, which is something the Cubs should strive for given how good they’ve been at Wrigley this year.

Bob W: 93-69, 1st place in the NL Central.

Tyler: I think the Cubs will win the NL Central, finish with the best record in baseball with about 95 wins, make the World Series and beat the Red Sox in 6 games. How is that for a prediction? This team is too good not to end me, my grandpa, and great grand parent’s misery.

Joe: Somewhere in the mid-90’s in wins. Maybe 96-66, 1st in the NL Central for sure.

Is God a Cubs fan?

Are the Holy Ones draped in Cubbie blue?

It seems so. Let's take a look at the divine intervention that seems to be coming for the Cubs this season.

First of all, there has gotta be something behind the Cubs being World Series contenders in their 100th season.

This is either the coming of the apocalypse or Jesus working his magic after taking a break for a few decades.

Okay, a century.

Then, take a look at my personal favorite case in point...Alfonso Soriano.

He was awful. Soriano was playing like a man possessed; not the good kind of possessed where they have great skills, but Exorcist possessed. He wasn't hitting a thing.

But then God went "Devil Be GONE," but Soriano got hurt in the process. Afterwards, he has been great and I can only assume it's been divine intervention.

Kerry Wood has been extremely healthy all season and hasn't really made any major mistakes.

Come on, are you a believer yet?

Apparently God also has a sense of humor, as he has sent the Cubs two players with last names perfectly tailored for lovely nicknames.

First, there is Ryan Theriot, otherwise known as "The Riot." Get it.

Finally, we have Kosuke Fukudome. I won't go into detail of what that becomes because of the children, but for fun enough minds, you can add a few spaces and see what you can make. (I'm sure somebody will leave a comment with it.)

I really think that God didn't like what Sammy was doing and decided to give the Cubs a few years of bad play as revenge for that debacle, but now, He is back rooting for the North Siders where he belongs.

Don't worry God, now that you got the BoSox their long awaited title, we don't mind you coming and working your magic.

We know that you won't be seen at games because your supposed to love all equally, but we know in your heart of hearts who you're rooting for. That's fine, we won't tell.

Unless they read this article, then your secret is pretty much out.

Meet the Staff

Joe Willett

Hi there Cubbie faithful. My name is Joe Willett and I’m here to give you every piece of Chicago Cub information that you could ever want.

I started to take journalism in high school as a way to pass the time and as something that seemed interesting.

I tried news journalism but it just wasn’t for me, so I went to my passion, sports journalism and I am now the Sports Editor for my high school paper.

I have been writing for Bleacher Report and have achieved Senior Writer status along with 83 fans to date.

I have tried but failed to blog in the past, but am going to stick with this one because of more discipline.

I hope that everybody here can enjoy your Daily Cub.

Bob Warja

I am a lifelong Chicagoan who roots for all of the Chicago sports teams, not surprisingly, but the Cubs in particular. I am a sports fan in general, but I gravitate toward all things baseball, and as a Cubs fan, am no stranger to suffering. I am a Senior Writer for BR who has a passion for writing, but I must warn you: I am not shy when it comes to expressing my opinions. But the good thing is I’m always willing to hear another side of the story, so feel free to challenge me if you do not agree with something I’ve written. I enjoy friendly debate.

If you want to know more about me, Sam Wenk was kind enough to do a brief profile on me for BR:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/30048-bleacher-report-exclusive-meet-cubs-senior-writer-bob-warja

I am the Chicago Cubs Community Leader, and we’re always looking for fresh Cubbie talent, so drop me a line on my Bulletin Board below, or via my personal e-mail at rememberthecoop@yahoo.com – I’d be happy to help you in any way possible.

Katelyn Grabarek

I am a diehard Cubs fan, from South Bend Indiana (near Notre Dame). I am a college student studying communications, with a passion for journalism. I love sports in general, and I’m a tennis player.

I am a soon to be college sophomore at Saint Mary’s College, and I write for Notre Dame’s newspaper and get to cover a lot of their sports. It’s been a great experience covering Notre Dame, but my real passions are baseball and football.

I have more than a few quirks about stats I keep track of especially when it comes to the Cubs. I guess when you live and die every year with them, you become superstitious and an eternal optimist, or in my case pessimist who dreads the worst. Go Cubs!

Pat DeMarco

My favorite sports are baseball, football, and basketball. Baseball is clearly my favorite sport. Growing up in Chicago, I have always been a huge Cubs fan. I love watching and analyzing Chicago Cubs baseball. I’m also a huge Chicago Bears fan. It’s not to difficult to find me on Sunday. You will find me watching the NFL.

I graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Communications. I love following SIU basketball. I hope you enjoy my articles. I’m going to try and mix things up a little writing about baseball, football, basketball, and sometimes a few random articles.

Prior to working in the Transportation/Logistics industry, I spent a few years working in the Radio and TV industry. I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to cover numerous sporting events and teams. I covered the 2001 Chicago Cubs, and Chicago White Sox. I’ve also covered the Western Open Golf Tournament, and numerous high school, and college sporting events.

While attending Southern Illinois University, I worked at a local NPR station and PBS station covering soft news, hard news, Illinois politics, and local sports.

Hope you enjoy all articles.