I’ve been out of the loop for almost a week, so I’m trying to catch up on what’s happened this week in the realm of the Cubs. Then I volunteer to take the headlines thread the day after an off-day and find next-to-nothing to post. It feels like a day in the offseason, but I’ll try to make it as interesting as possible.
First things first, we appear to be on the cusp of Rizzomania. Or is it Rizzomas? Everyone’s expecting Rizzo to be called up this weekend when his service time is no longer an issue. According to Gordon Wittenmyer, even the current Cubs are all atwitter about the coming of the chosen one.
Soon-to-be Cubs teammates have been texting Rizzo in Iowa on the imminence of his promotion, especially after officials acknowledged the Bryan LaHair switch to right field this week was a prelude to the first baseman’s arrival.
But the level-headed Rizzo supposedly wasn’t biting on the anticipation. Look for the Cubs, in trying to keep the disgruntled paying fan base in their seats this summer, to incite the crowds with some Rizzomania when they return home for series against the New York Mets and Astros.
Do you think they’re texting things like: “Will you sit next to me on the plane?” “Can I oil your glove for you when you come up?” “What kind of candy do you like?” Any other suggestions, folks?
While we await the coming of the Rizz, Ian Stewart is waiting to come back from the DL.
“My options now are just to see if this cortisone works and give it four, five days when I’m on the [disabled list] to really let it sink in and work and then slowly get a program going off the tee,” Stewart said Wednesday. “If the shot works, then it’ll carry me through the season and maybe get another one in another six weeks or so. If it doesn’t, then we may have to go the other route. We’re just going to see how it feels.”
If this one doesn’t work, they may have to start thinking about surgery for Stewart. But when there’s someone with a name like Valbuena filling in, you don’t need Stewart to rush back. While the Cubs are on pace for a horrific 2012, Theo Epstein is just watching and examining.
“Organizationally, there are a lot of barometers we’re watching to make sure we’re moving in the right direction,” Epstein said. “And we know we’re going to make a lot of mistakes along the way. It’s really important to examine everything you do. … You want to make sure when you make mistakes you’re aware of them and figure out why.”
Let’s hope the team is figuring out the why part.