Q: The 2012 season isn’t over with but I’d like to think next year will be better.
Welcome to Cub fandom!
My question is what do you think the 2013 Opening Day lineup will look like? — Ty S., West Des Moines, IA
A: Here’s an early guess:
RF David DeJesus
2B Darwin Barney
1B Anthony Rizzo
LF Alfonso Soriano
SS Starlin Castro
Even her early guesses suck. Do we really think DeJesus and Soriano are going to be on this team come Opening Day 2013?
After that, I don’t know. These final weeks are huge for players like Welington Castillo, Steve Clevenger, Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters and Luis Valbuena.
Luis Valbuena might actually factor into the 2013 season?
Q: It’s time to start purchasing jerseys for the future.
Unless you’re the Cubs clubhouse attendant, a dumber thing has never been said.
Before I buy a Josh Vitters or Brett Jackson uniform…
The whole uniform? Are you Ronnie Woo-Woo or the old dudes at Wrigley Field who play the tuba?
…what are the chances they change their numbers? — Clay B., Paris, IL
Or make the team, even. Or ANY team.
A: Clubhouse manager Tom Hellmann asks the young players each spring what number they’d like if they make it to the big leagues, and since Vitters and Jackson were given single digits, not No. 88 or No. 75, I’d guess they’ll stick with Nos. 5 and 7, respectively. That said, you never know what will happen if the Cubs sign a veteran, and he has always worn No. 5.
Q: Against the Reds on Aug. 9, Steve Clevenger was ejected during an at-bat and replaced with Welington Castillo. Castillo struck out, which was charged to Clevenger. To whom would a walk, hit, put out or other play be charged? — Marvin W., Bellingham, WA
Walk or hit? On this team? LOL!
A: If Castillo had walked or gotten a hit or grounded out, he would’ve been credited. According to Rule 10.17 (b):
Chuck is always wrong.
When the batter leaves the game with two strikes against him, and the substitute batter completes a strikeout, charge the strikeout and the time at-bat to the first batter. If the substitute batter completes the turn at-bat in any other manner, including a base on balls, score the action as having been that of the substitute batter.
Finally! A loophole the Cubs can exploit to protect Brett Jackson!
Q: Would you know the dates for next year’s Cubs Convention? — Ben
She would if she ever asked the right questions.
A: Jan. 18-20, 2013.
HJE meetup on January 18th it is! Since Shitty O’Kea’s is terrible, anyone have suggestions on a meetup location?
Q: What is the all-time (not single-season) record of error-less games played by an infielder? — Ethan J., Chicago
If you’re still writing in to the Muskbox, I can only assume that you’re still watching Cubs games. If you’re still watching Cubs games, how can you have possibly avoided hearing more than you’d ever want to know about this record every game since around June?
A: According to the Elias Sports Bureau:
1B: Casey Kotchman, 274 games, 2008-2010
2B: Placido Polanco, 186 games, 2006-08
3B: Jeff Cirillo, 99 games, 2001-02, and John Wehner, 99 games, 1992-2000
SS: Mike Bordick, 110 games, 2002
Only because they moved Soriano to the outfield!
Q: How do you feel about Adam Greenberg trying to make a comeback? Is there any chance now that the Cubs are out of the playoffs they will give Adam a chance? — Yoel G., Hollywood, FL
Hey, why don’t you ask the Marlins to waste a roster spot, Florida boy?
A: For Greenberg to play for a Major League team, it would mean someone would have to be taken off the 40-man roster. I was there when Greenberg was hit, and certainly hoped he would have another at-bat. Right now, it feels like a publicity stunt.
Just because there’s a website and a personal plea by Greenberg himself put out to the public like some sort of stunt, doesn’t mean it’s a publicity stunt.
Q: I know the new management wants to build the club from within and help improve the club by improving the Minor League system but do you think they could at least bring in a couple free agent pitchers to help some of the young guys develop?
“I know new management has a sustainable plan for success based on previous successes, wouldn’t it be much better if they ignored that plan entirely and did something stupid, instead?”
I don’t know how beneficial it is for players like Brooks Raley and Chris Rusin to be lit up by Major League lineups when they are clearly not ready. — Joe S., Lansing, MI
That 24- and 25-year-old could sure use some veteran leadership on this team!
A: I wish pitchers like Rusin and Raley and Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood had someone like Ryan Dempster or Paul Maholm around to help them deal with the ups and downs in the big leagues.
DEMPSTER: Let me tell you young ‘uns about a hilarious little invention I like to call a Whoopee Cushion!
The front office will likely look at adding more experience for the rotation next season, either through free agency or a trade. What you hope is that Raley and Rusin learn from this experience, learn what they need to do, and become better for it.
And, if not, there’s always Chris Volstad.