Today the Cubs go for a fourth straight series win, which is easy to forget, given all the distractions…

  • Earlier in the weekend, CSN’s Todd Hollandsworth tore into former teammate Aramis Ramirez for what he perceived to be a lack of effort, and a poor influence on the Cubs’ younger players (both things at which we’ve all hinted around here, if not outright said). “When you’ve got your best player [Aramis Ramirez] — he’s your best hitter; we’ve watched it for years now — and you can’t seem to have a positive effect on the guys around you in the clubhouse … getting them to step up or play to a different level, it’s just hard for me to swallow, ­especially when you’re being paid to be that guy …. Then you bring into question effort, and that’s one thing in the game of baseball that really is inexcusable. One hundred percent effort all the time — there’s really no reason for you not to have 100 percent effort. He’s got impressionable kids around him right now — Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro. These kids are growing up, they’re watching it, and you know what? They’re not getting any better.”
  • Ramirez responded with a defense, and then some harsh words of his own. “One thing I got to say is I’ve never seen [Hollandsworth] in the clubhouse, so I don’t know how he comes up with that. He should ask the young guys before he makes that kind of statement. Talk to Barney, talk to Castro, and see what they say. That’s all I’ve got to say. Oh, and one [more] thing I’d like to say: I wouldn’t trade my career for his. I think I’ve got a way better career than he did.” Snap.

  • Mark Grace says the Cubs should have (and still should) hired Ryne Sandberg. “First of all, the Cubs needed a PR jolt and certainly Ryne Sandberg is a god in Chicago,” Grace said. “He is Walter Payton, he is Michael Jordan. He is that person. Chicago’s entertainment is sports, they are so passionate and they love their own. What Hall-of-Famer goes down and rides buses for five years and pay their dues? Hall-of-Famers don’t do that. It just made all the sense in the world to give it to Sandberg because he is a hell of a manager.”
  • Greg Maddux, who helps the Cubs evaluate their upper-level prospects, had this to say when asked about the potential for kids to step in and help the Cubs soon: “A couple of good relievers maybe that can help out. You never know what’s going to happen until guys get out there and do it. The potential’s there.” Yikes. I can read between those lines.
  • Andrew Cashner felt good after throwing to live hitters yesterday. He’ll throw again on Tuesday, and soon the Cubs will make a decision on the rest of his 2011 season. If he doesn’t return to the Cubs, they may have him throw in the Arizona Fall League.

  • Casey Coleman is expected to be called up to replace Carlos Zambrano in the rotation (you are a lucky man, Rodrigo Lopez) on Wednesday. In the interim, the Cubs may go with a 24-man roster, or may call up a reliever for a little extra depth.


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