The team responded by going 5-1 over the next six games. Clearly, the team was fired up by having a top-tier pitcher relegated to a set-up role. I believe Zambrano pitched in exactly one of those games, and gave up a run while doing so, but the results speak for themselves.
Unfortunately, the shock wore off and the team then proceeded to go 3-6 over the next nine games. Again, it was evident that the Cubs would need to do something shocking to give a jolt to their ballplayers. Something needed to remind the players that there was a new sherriff in town by the name of Tom, and he wasn't going to put up with lackadaisical play from his highly paid players.
The result was Starlin Castro skipping over AAA ball completely and pushing Theriot from his starting position at shortstop. Sure, there were potential contract ramifications down the line if Castro qualified for Super 2 status, but to hell with that. This kid is EXCITING! This kid can provide the 1.21 jigawatts of energy this team needs while batting in the eighth spot of the lineup. This move will surely solve all of the issues the Cubs have with their bullpen and corner infielders.
Once again, the plan worked perfectly... for exactly one game. Don't get me wrong, that was a great game, but the next two games featured more of the same malaise throughout the batting order and complete lack of fundamentals that we have come to expect from this team. It was like the team had already forgotten about the 20-year old messiah out there at shortstop.
Apparently, it is time for another SHOCKING move. The Cubs may have to start having a Shocking Move of the Week. It could be sponsored by Red Bull or some other energy drink that gets people super jazzed for a short period and then reduces them to sluggish wastes of space who don't know how or why they have woken up in the middle of Arkansas without any pants.
Luckily, I had some time this weekend and was able to come up with a few SHOCKING ideas so the Cubs wouldn't have to work too hard at it:
- Bat Soriano ninth so its like he's leading off after the first time through the order, but he's not.
- Move Ron Santo to third and have Aramis do the analysis with Pat Hughes in his muppet voice.
- Activate Greg Maddux and move Dempster back into the bullpen so he can teach the young kids down there how to properly prepare using only a rubber chicken, a whoopee cushion, and fake dog poo.
- Fire Lou Piniella, name Bob Brenly the interim manager, and have Ryne Sandberg join the TV broadcasts so he can criticize all the players for not playing the right way.
- Bring back Sam Fuld to run into fences again.
- When the Cubs hit a homerun at Wrigley, set off fireworks from a giant replica of Jeff Baker's ass mounted on top of the scoreboard.
- Every time a Cubs player strikes out with a runner in scoring position, he loses a finger.