(Pictured, a view from one of Wrigley’s luxury sky boxes)
Hey, it™s Cub Mailbag time again. Here™s how it works: Fans send MLB™s official Cub reporter Carrie Muskat questions at the Cub web site, and I supply the answers her job description prevents her from giving. As the Cubs ride out April in first place, the Mailbag is feeling good. So what’s on your minds, Cub fans?
Sunday’s win put the Cubs in first place in the National League Central. Given that the White Sox are in first in the American League Central, I was wondering when the last time both Chicago teams simultaneously led their respective divisions.
— Tom B., Streator, Ill.
Tom — The Sox? Why do you care about them? You think Sox fans care about you? How often are the Cubs in first place at all? Next to never? We get to first and you bum my high out with a Sox question? Nice. As for our being number one at the same time as a team that™s managed to post only one more Series win than we have since 1908, and nowhere near our 16 pennants, I’d have to say not too often is the obvious answer. I think the Cubs in first at the same time as that 1-in-40 million giant asteroid hitting the earth is more likely. Don™t write mailbag with any more Sox questions. You’re banned from mailbag for a year.
Is anything physically wrong with Bob Howry, or did he have any offseason problems of any kind? I remember watching games last year and consistently seeing Howry hit 94-95 [mph] on the gun, but now he’s hitting 87-88. I know velocity isn’t everything, but it’s a huge part of Howry’s game and it seems to be a logical conclusion that if he can’t overpower hitters, he’ll continue to struggle. We need him to be solid if we’re going to make a run.
— Mike C., Chicago
In the post-steroids era, 87 is the new 95. But Mike, honestly, can you believe that Sox question? The balls.
After watching Carlos Zambrano’s huge game at the plate on April 16, I was wondering how many starting pitchers have ever had hits from both sides of the plate in the same game?
— Barney F., St. Charles, Ill.
Barney, Zambrano™s winning. He™s eating his bananas and laying off the Red Bull. So don™t take his mind off his pitching with this sort of thing and jinx him. Mailbag’s not even going to tell him you asked.
I noticed that when Kosuke Fukudome is on first (which has been often), Matt Sinatro appears to be talking to him about third-base coach Mike Quade’s signs. Does Sinatro speak Japanese, do they compromise and speak Spanish, or is Fukudome’s English improving?
— Jake D., Janesville, Wis.
Jake, signs are SIGNS. They™re not English or Japanese, for God’s sake. Quade rubs his nose, he taps his hat, and you think Fukodome needs subtitles? What a rube. First I get Sox questions and now one written by a guy who should be a Sox fan.
As DeRosa’s biggest fan, I would like to know what uniform number he wore as the quarterback at Penn. I need to order a jersey for my DeRosa shrine.
— Nicolas B., Bloomington, Ill.
Ok, I hate looking up stuff like that. What do I know from Pennsylvania football? And btw, a DeRosa “shrine?” Sounds more sexual or stalkery than you’re letting on, Nic. So, no, I won’t enable you. This, plus that Tommy Commiskey from Streator, Illinois “ today’s mailbag just bad-vibes me.
I received a white “W” flag for Christmas and have been flying it religiously this season. What is the official length of time I can fly the flag after a win? When does it need to come down? Please help.
— Jason P., Grinnell, Iowa
Jason, the œW flag is traditionally raised at Wrigley after the Cubs win a ball game and taken down when they lose. Please be careful with it. As you™ll see on the manufacturer™s label, they™re generally not good after 85 runs up a pole, sometimes burst into flames after 90, and over 100 is simply unknown.
Aug. 8 is the 20th anniversary of the first night game at Wrigley. Why is the game not a night game? Is there any chance they will change it?
— Liana W., Hiawatha, Iowa
Hiawatha “ cool name for a town. You know, after Obama won out there, I thought Iowa must be a lot hipper than I thought, and your town name proves it. It™s like your town has a really cool tattoo. Thanks for the question, Liana. Questions like yours are what keep me going.