Tackling Carrie Muskat's Box

Sometime last night I got really bored and decided to read Cubs.com beat reporter Carrie Muskat's inbox where she answers people's dumb questions about the Cubs with remarkably dumb answers.

But shouldn't people get smart-aleck answers to their silly questions?  I think so.  That is why I found myself tackling Carrie's box this week.

What are the chances the Cubs could sign a top-tier leadoff man like Chone Figgins this offseason? It seems as though that's the thing the Cubs have been missing these past years. Even though the controversy started surrounding Alfonso Soriano as the leadoff man, I've always thought that, being a dead fastball hitter, he'd do much better in the No. 2 spot with a speedster like Figgins on the bases in front of him. That would make the opposing pitcher throw more fastballs. I like the fact that Ryan Theriot has increased his patience at the plate, but his stolen-base percentage doesn't seem to make him a particularly effective baserunner in the No. 1 spot.
-- Todd W., Bloomington, Ind.

Chances?  Slim.  Sorry to bust your bubble, Todd.  Not really, though.  See, Figgins is the perfect guy for the 2010 Cubs.  He's averaged a .373 on-base percentage and 42 stolen bases per year over the last four years and apparently can play every position known to man. Signing Figgins makes too much sense -- and that is exactly why the Cubs won't sign him.

When was the last time the Cubs did something, anything that was logical?

I read an article saying Mark DeRosa would be interested in coming back to the Cubs if they were interested in signing him. Do you think there is a chance we could see DeRo in Cubbie blue again next season?
-- Joe E., Chicago

Here's an idea, Joe. Go take all of your Cubbie blue gear, drench it in gasoline and lighter fluid and set a match to it.  If you happen to survive the blaze, take I-55 south, buy yourself some Albert Pujols gear and try to breach security in order to give DeRosa a reach-around. I read wrote an even better article saying why Mark DeRosa and his .254/.324/.442/.766 line should only return to Chicago as a visitor.

Or to provide David Kaplan something special for the spank bank.

Has the impending sale of the Cubs this year hampered Jim Hendry in putting a winning team together for the season?
-- Sig B., Annapolis, Md.

It's true, this dragged out sale has hampered Jim Hendry's ability to field a baseball team that doesn't suck.  But what about the other years in which the Cubs were not for sale.  This has been the biggest cop-out in the history of baseball front office.

And then Lou Piniella has the nerve to comment: "The fact that the club has been up for sale, there are things we could do and not do."

Yes, Lou.  You're right.  The sale prevented you from removing Kevin Gregg from a closer's role he has failed at his entire career.  It stopped you from moving Alfonso Soriano down to the middle of the order.  It kept you from sharpening the end of a Louisville slugger and driving it through the heart of Aaron Miles.

Lou, there's an announcers booth calling your name.  And while you're there, you can take that dagger and strategically use it against Joe Buck and Tim McCarver -- hurry -- before the playoffs start.

Do you think the Cubs will call up pitcher J.R. Mathes from Triple-A Iowa? He pitched well in the Minors.
-- Joshua O., Puerto Rico

Like textsfromlastnight.com, I'm gonna call "FAKE!!!11!!!!!one!!!!"  Allow me to channel my inner-Dusty Baker and say "Ain't no dudes named Joshua in Puerto Rico.  It's all Latin dudes named Jose and Jesus -- no Joshuas here, dude."  I hope J.R. Mathes enjoys Iowa, he'll be there for a while.

I know this is a stupid question, but what is the meaning of "TB" in the box score?
-- Barbara L., Melbourne, Fla.

OK, so how much are you willing to bet Muskat chose this question because it leads with "I know this is a stupid question."  If I was a beat writer, I would have answered that question individually and moved on to find a better question.

Seriously, after what she calls a lengthy drought, there weren't any better questions from anyone out there?  No.  Really?  Nobody wanting to know why Kevin Gregg thinks throwing batting-practice fastballs is a good idea.  No one wondering why Mike Fontenot stopped growing at the age of 13.  Not a soul searching for the true meaning of life.

As for Barbara's question, "TB" stands for lay-ups missed by Tony Boyle.

Hope you kids have a wonderful day.