No need for Chicago Cubs fans to wait till next year. Waiting till 2014 or 2015 is another matter. The team brought up highly regarded (by some Cubs enthusiasts) third baseman Josh Vitters and center fielder Brett Jackson on Sunday (Aug. 5). Welcome to the future.
These actions could be a cost-cutting meassure — for Cubs fans planning a trip to see the Class AAA Iowa Cubs play. Rather than journey to Des Moines, the big-league ballclub is bringing the minor leaguers to Wrigley Field. Is it September already? Calendar-wise would appear to be the only way the Theo Epstein regime might be ahead of schedule.
To make room for the rookies, the Cubs sent outfielder Tony Campana to Iowa and traded infielder Jeff Baker to Detroit for two players to be named.
At 43-63, the Cubs need to win 20 in a row to reach .500 (that is about the extent of the math skills of the statistical department at elliottharris.com). After that, the Cubs would need to go 27-9 to reach 90 victories, which would seem sufficient to win the National League Central title (or potentially a wild-card berth).
Even the most ardent of Cubs fanatics would have to admit going 47-9 — or anywhere close to it — is not going to happen with the 2012 Cubs. Even with first baseman Anthony Rizzo — who hit a ninth-inning, game-tying home run in what would become a 7-6 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers — doing his part to achieve legendary status before the next Cubs Convention.
On the other side of Chicago, the White Sox are leading the American League Central (with the Tigers making things interesting) with a 59-48 record. Meaning if they go 31-24, they will reach 90 victories. Whether that’s good enough to win the division is unclear.
What is clear with the Sox is an abundance of concern about the durability of the pitching staff. The starter Sunday, Francisco Liriano, left the game with a right quad contusion. Meaning there could be starting-rotation confusion if the injury is serious.
Back to the Cubs, Jackson started in center field and recorded his first big-league hit in the fifth inning. He also singled in the seventh and had a run batted in. Vitters flied out in a pinch-hit role.
“I thought we were going to get a little magic for our first game, but we’ll save that for a later date,” Jackson said. “It was exhilarating, but I was disappointed with the loss.”
“It’s really amazing,” Vitters said. “It seems like half the guys here are guys that started out in Iowa [or] I’ve known and played with growing up a little bit.
“I really just couldn’t think of a better situation to be in right now.”
Well, in terms of being in the major leagues and having a chance to play.
Winning is something else.
For those who would like to take a glimpse at what is supposed to be more of the Cubs’ future, here is some video from Tim Sheridan of www.boysofspring.com.
Featured are top 2012 draft pick Albert Almora and recent Cuban signee Jorge Soler:
Speaking of the Dodgers, here is some video from the recent Exxxotica Chicago. Among the fetching females attending was adult actress Ann Marie Rios, who makes clear she is a Dodgers — and not an Angels — fan:
Actress Laura Vandervoort, whose photo you may have notice before scrolling down to this part of today’s effort, is scheduled to be part of Wizard World Chicago Comic Con to be helped Aug. 9-12 (Thursday-Sunday) at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. The visual-arts department of elliottharris.com will make every effort to take some video of her at the gathering.
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