Notes For a Cub Off-Day reports that "(Alfonso) Soriano appeared to pass all tests during a strenuous workout on Sunday." Soriano is eligible to come off the Disabled List on Thursday, in time for the conclusion of this week's three-game series against the Brewers at Wrigley.

The Cubs have played 13 games since Soriano went on the DL, winning nine and losing four.

— Former Cub manager Lee Elia is trying to capitalize on the 25th anniversary of his famous Wrigley Field lockerroom rant (see above) to the benefit of Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities. You can read about the commemorative autographed baseball and accompanying audio chip being offered by a Chicago sports memorabilia company here. You can also learn, as I did, that Elia had a longstanding animus for Chicago sportscaster Les Grobstein, who taped Elia's original rant, thus ensuring its place in baseball lore for time immemorial.

— Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times identifies ten Major League teams which "keep hiring the same sort of skipper again and again." Can you guess which franchise's inability to "find good, new managers" causes Jaffe to characterize it as a "compost heap"?

If you can't, you're reading the wrong blog.

— A Paul Reuschel sighting: In "The All-Time Best Whatever," (subscription required), Bill James lists the three best bullpens of the '70s, based on the James-invented statistic, Win Shares.

Tied for first with the 1970 Minnesota Twins trio of Ron Perranoski, Stan Williams, and Tom Hall is the '70 Cubs threesome of Bruce Sutter, Willie Hernandez and Reuschel the Lesser. The same article identifies the '70 and '71 Cubs starting staffs--Jenkins, Hands, Holtzman, Pappas, et al--as the two best overall rotations of the decade.

Reading this article, it's pretty easy to understand how the Cubs won all those championships in the 1970s.

— I haven't even mentioned yet that Geovany Soto will begin the week having whiffed in eight consecutive plate appearances. Having seen the likes of Chris Cannizzaro, George Mitterwald, Dave Rader, and Barry Foote hold down the catcher's position for the Cubs in my lifetime, I think Geo will have to strike out a whole bunch more before I even take serious notice.


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