In a never-ending quest to find reasons to believe things could be worse, we should consider how dire the financial situation in Los Angeles has become. After taking private loans just to pay his players’ salaries, Bud Selig took the reigns from Frank McCourt yesterday, and the Dodgers are now the MLB equivalent of Amtrak. What it means for their future – both immediate and long-term – is unclear. And that’s exactly why, for Cubs fans, we should remember: things could be worse.

  • Mike Quade views Starlin Castro’s sojourn in the three-hole yesterday as just that – a sojourn. “A whole lot of things are evolving,’’ Quade said. “The more I think about it, we took the kid from 2 to 1 [successfully]. Would he be an option in the 3 hole if Marlon had a day off? … If you give Marlon the day off and Fuke’s playing and leading off, if you’re me, where do you go?’’ Quade is willing to leave open the possibility that Castro could take over the role someday, perhaps soon, but for now he’s sticking with Marlon Byrd. Hoo-ray.
  • Matt Garza threw 35 – THIRTY-FIVE – pitches in the sixth inning of the first game yesterday. Why is that insane? He didn’t give up a run. And the inning ended with a double-play!


  • Carlos Zambrano says a worldwide draft would hurt kids from places like the Dominican Republic or his native Venezuela because those kids need more time to develop before being signed. His point is a little unclear, but I think it’s this: once drafted, a kid has three or four years to impress enough to be put on the 40-man roster (or be subjected to the Rule Five Draft). If not drafted, a kid can work at clinics, train, develop, and then get signed when he’s ready. Zambrano says kids don’t play as much baseball in those countries when they are younger as they do here (which is news to me – they may not play organized baseball, but I’m pretty sure baseball is a popular pick-up sport). Ultimately, Zambrano’s position is fine with me: I don’t have to tell you that the ability to freely sign international prospects is a benefit for teams with deep pockets like the Cubs.
  • I had a post in the can for over a week about the whole did-the-Cubs-throw-the-1918-World-Series thing, which is blowing up all over the ‘net now. I just didn’t have a chance to give it the attention it deserved, and have been planning on sitting down and writing the thing the first time I got a chance. But now, it’s everywhere, so I might not do it. First lesson? Never sit on a post when you can beat everyone else to market. Grumble. As to the substance, the issue is not whether the Cubs *could* have won it all in 1918, and, thus, making our theoretical misery ten years shorter. The issue is whether throwing the thing in 1918 – and not some damn goat – is the origin of our curse. Sure seems like a more cursable offense, no?

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