Can Rizzo save my writing, too?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Anthony Rizzo got promoted. BIG WHOOP. He’s going to play tomorrow night. HOW LOVELY. More importantly, HJE Fun Night is tomorrow night at Wrigley Field. The plan right now for the confirmed three of us that are going is to have the suburbanites meet at Harry Caray’s in Lombard at around 3:30. We will then board the Wrigley Express, get to the park around 6:30 or so, meet the urbanites, and (hopefully) buy tickets at the window. I hope the Rizzo promotion doesn’t cause a sellout. Because he’s not going to save the season.

Anyhow, we have business to take care of. That business being the Muskbox, which Carrie put into convenient “Q-and-A” format for us this week!

Q: To follow up regarding Bryan LaHair and left-handed pitching…

Was there an actual question before this follow-up? Because that would be awesome if he had a topper question from a thought about the flying of the white flag that he asked the Muskbox in 2009.

…what were his stats in the Minors against lefties? I agree we cannot fully develop his talents if we don’t play him against lefties. — Tony H., Los Angeles, CA

I can’t fully develop his talents because he’s not returning any of my phone calls!

A: In 2011, LaHair batted .284 (40-for-141) vs. left-handed pitchers. He had a .546 slugging percentage, .338 OBP, .884 OPS, with nine homers and 10 doubles. Against right-handers, LaHair batted .352 (111-for-315) with a .717 slugging percentage, .434 OBP, 1.151 OPS, 29 homers and 28 doubles. Dale Sveum was asked about LaHair vs. lefties this week.

“I think he’s got to get it out of his own head,” Sveum said. “There’s probably too much thinking, too much worrying about this pitch, guessing too much and not being aggressive enough early in the count, especially.”

“He’s got to get it out of his own head that he can’t hit lefties, even though every time we face a lefty, I hide him from the lineup like a gay leper in the Bible Belt.”
-Dale Sveum

Q: Did the Cubs sign Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler yet? I was really hoping for him to be a Cub. — Riley T., Dyersville, IA

I sure hope they put the CUB in that CUBAN! I don’t even know what’s racist any more.

A: Soler has not officially signed with the Cubs. There is still immigration paperwork to be processed, and he must pass a physical.

Hopefully his doctor is as good at grabbing balls as he is.


I’m in the RIZZONE! That’s Rizz Zone. Not Rizz-own-ee.

Q: Being that third base is our weakest offensive position, is it crazy to think LaHair or Anthony Rizzo could make that conversion? — Brian T., State College, PA


A: Yes, it’s crazy to think that.

They once said it was crazy to think the Earth revolves around the sun. Carrie was a girl of only 12 at the time.

Q: I have not heard anything about the progress of Wayne Gretzky’s son, who signed with the Cubs for a nice bonus. What’s his status? — John C., Hanford, CA


A: Trevor Gretzky, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2011 Draft, had a shoulder injury, and was rehabbing at the Cubs facility in Mesa, Ariz.

Are Cubs players contractually-obligated to have shoulder injuries, or do they just like it?

Q: I love the history of the Cubs uniform numbers.

Oh, do tell the tale of number 24, who once hit a home run with 19, 33, and 56 on base to win a closely-fought game over number 11!

Has a Cub ever worn 00?

No, but a lot of them sure played like it.

I remember Turk Wendell and Todd Hundley wore No. 99. — Ed W., Terre Haute, IN

Retire #99!

A: No one has worn “00″ on a Cubs uniform or a single “0.” By the way, the last to wear No. 99 was So Taguchi in 2009. Hundley was the first in ’01.

Holy shit, I forgot So Taguchi was a Cub. And only THREE years ago! How quickly the times change.