Ask Paul returns to answer relevant e-mails about the banishing of Michael Barrett, D-Lee's power outage, and whether calling them the "Cubbies" is detrimental to their psyches
If the Cubs don't win two-of-three or sweep the Brewers at Wrigley June 29-July 1, does the yard sale sign go up after the July 4? Will Zambrano, Ramirez and Dempster be gone? --Jim Oskola, Neenah, Wis.
Carlos Zambrano pitching again. Ramirez is going nowhere, but Dempster may be expendable if they think Carlos Marmol can fill his role. Dempster was pitching well before his oblique strain, and could draw plenty of interest.
Just seeing if I need a reality check here, and you're definitely the man: I'm thinking that with Theriot/Fontenot at SS/2B (can't tell you how much I love those two together in the middle, if for nothing else but the intangibles), and Pie at center, that's one hell of a middle of the field, and with Lee and Ramirez at the corners, Soriano in left, the last ingredient for the winning team (non-pitching-wise) is a right fielder like, say, Ichiro. Should I just go back to the happy farm now, or is there a shot? --Steve, Charlotte, N.C.
When Seattle was in town recently, I asked Ichiro, through a Japanese reporter, if he'd be interested in spending some quality time at Wrigley Field. The reporter told me Ichiro said he loves Wrigley Field, but thought the fans were a little too rough. In all probability he'll stay in Seattle, but Floyd is doing a nice job out there for now.
Why not declare a moratorium on calling the Cubs "Cubbies"? True enough, at times the Cubs have been known to play like Little Leaguers who might expect to be called Cubbies, but why rub it in? Is it just possible that big leaguers could lose some mental toughness when they are repeatedly given a cute Little League moniker? --Rick Kirgis, Lexington, Va.
I posed your question to a prominent psychologist, Dr. I.M. Kookie, and was informed that the use of the word 'Cubbies' probably led to feelings of anxiety and insecurity by many Cubs players of the past, including Farnsworth, LaTroy and Phil Nevin. But the only one I ever hear calling them Cubbies is Lou.
I was wondering if there is anything wrong with Derrek Lee's wrist and if not, why are his home runs down? --Kyle Weber, Bismarck, N.D.
Derrek Lee's wrist is fine, as evidenced by his .346 average. I'm not sure anyone can explain it, including Lee. When Fontenot hits a 415-foot shot and Lee hasn't hit one since June 3, you know you're living in Bizarro Cub World.
Hey, Paul, did you find it as ironic as I did that they played the music from "The Natural" when Sosa hit # 600? --Luke Pascale, Plainfield, Ill.
I did until I discovered that the Rangers play "The Natural" after every home run, which kind of dilutes its meaning. I did find it ironic that Sammy hit it off a Cubs pitcher who took his old number, 21, especially since he's not too happy about the Cubs giving it away. He's not mad at Marquis, however, and is glad they at least gave it to a real player and not a minor league prospect, as they did with Grace's No. 17.
Paul, I've asked this question a couple of times and no one wants to answer it. However, I'll try again. Why don't the Cubs recognize Fergie Jenkins like they've done for Williams, Santo and Banks? Before they erect a stature of Ernie, don't you think he deserves to be recognized? --Bill Buechel, Chicago
I do believe Fergie's number should be retired, but since it's the same as Greg Maddux's, it will eventually be retired for both, which doesn't have the same meaning. I'm not sure about a statue, though he certainly deserves more recognition than he gets for being an all-time Cub great. Unlike those other three icons, Fergie spent a lot of his career in other cities.
Why were the Cubs celebrating Tuesday's 10-9 win like they had just won the World Series? They had nothing to celebrate. Instead, they should have been reflecting on allowing six runs in the ninth inning. --Veronica, Antioch, Ill.
I think they were celebrating Anton Migursky's clothesline tackle of the idiot who charged Bob Howry.
After Derek Lee's appeal is over, and presuming he will be suspended for more than one game, does the suspension have to be served consecutively, i.e. could he play one day, be suspended a day, play a day, be suspended a day, etc.? --Joe Jordan, Papillion, Neb.
That's a good idea, and I'll pass it on to Lou. Then maybe he could get Eyre suspended and have him pitch a day, be suspended a day, pitch a day, be suspended... That way he'll always be fresh.
Sir Paul, while listening to banter between our beloved announcers, Brenly mentioned having always watched Cubs games in the clubhouse as a player since it was the only day game on. Do you think this gives an advantage to other players if the clubhouse widescreen always has the Cubs on -- the pitchers can see more of our hitters, the hitters more of our pitchers? Is THIS why we haven't won since '08? --David Windbiel, Lake Lure, N.C.
I've covered Sox teams that had the game on because it was the only game on, but no one was really paying any attention to it. Basically the TV is just background in the clubhouse, so even though I like the premise of televised Cubs day games denying them a championship, it's a hard one to sell, and my name is not Sir Paul.
Ask Paul Sullivan
The Tribune's Cubs writer takes a swing at his reader mail
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