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How smoke and mirrorsy does the Cubs’ sweep of the Astros look now? I doubt too many of us are surprised to see the Cubs struggle now against a “real” team, but still, there was that tiny little part of you that irrationally hoped the Cubs could string some wins together. It makes no sense on so many levels (indeed, a winning streak probably would be the worst possible thing for the franchise right now), but such is the heart of a Cubs fan.

  • On the balance, Carlos Zambrano had a good start last night, despite taking the loss (and looking frustrated when he was taken out in the seventh). Here’s hoping the plethora of scouts in attendance came away believing Zambrano can be a useful starter (about that, Mike Quade’s comments before the game, and Zambrano’s comments after the game, much more later this morning).
  • Phil Rogers says any contender would take Matt Garza or Sean Marshall (which, like, duh), but that the price or each would be high (which, like, duh). Jim Hendry has said that the Cubs have no plans to trade either pitcher.
  • A former Cubs bullpen catcher has been sentenced in connection with some serious attempted marijuana possession. Dare I make the joke about Geovany Soto’s supplier a couple years ago?
  • Bruce Miles interviews Mike Quade about the struggles of the season, the pressure he feels, and how he deals with being at the head of a bad team.
  • Quade continues to favor expanded replay. So that’s what the problem has been.
  • A nice article on recent draft signee Michael Jensen, who has foregone a scholarship at USC to pitch for the Cubs (who are also going to pay for his continued education).
  • The Brewers’ owner wants to hug Tom Ricketts. With words.
  • Colby Rasmus’ dad blasts Tony LaRussa, blaming the manager for Rasmus’ stilted development and for the trade that shipped him out of St. Louis.
  • Bill Simmons’ long-form enterprise Grantland currently features an article by Jonah Keri about the lessons of the trade deadline. The “lessons” are a bit contrived (to fit to the deals that purport to offer the lesson), but it’s a nice retrospective on some deadline deals through the years. Remember when the Indians traded Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew for Brandon Phillips AND Grady Sizemore AND Cliff Lee? Yo. Hey, Jim: do that.
  • Toosh

    Remember when the Cubs made trades at the deadline for a playoff run? Good times.

  • Serio

    Are the Ricketts going to address Z comments about “changes”

    • Fishin Phil

      If I were Ricketts, I wouldn’t address it at all. Don’t talk about changes…. make changes.

  • ron

    How do the Cubs pay for Jensons school and he gets a bonus? Is he just taking class like a tuition reimbursment?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Probably something like that. I don’t think it’s too terribly uncommon. A related aside: once upon a time, the Cubs paid Scott Boras’ way through law school.

      • Joe

        God, why is everything that is wrong with baseball the Cubs fault…

  • Jeff

    It’s me, Dave…..open up, man…..I got the stuff…..

    • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

      Dave’s not here, man.

      • Jeff

        nice

    • Joyce K

      That line never gets old. The youngsters won’t get it though. Maybe smoking something will help them.

      • Jeff

        I think you’re right, and it’s definitely helpful for me too. :)

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