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Some odd things that have happened to the Cubs
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff

Ryan Theriot has been a pleasant surprise for the Cubs this year with a team-best .394 on-base percentage.


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Published: 7/15/2008 12:05 AM | Updated: 7/15/2008 10:26 AM

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Of all Yogi Berra's sayings, maybe the most profound was: "In baseball, you don't know nothin'."

That sure applies to the Cubs in the first half of the 2008 season.

Although some things concerning the Cubs were predictable, these weren't:

• Theriot's first half. The esteemed baseball stats bible, Baseball Prospectus, wasn't enamored with Ryan Theriot this spring, projecting the shortstop to bat .270 with an on-base percentage of .330.

At the all-star break, Theriot leads all Cubs regulars with an OBP of .394. Perhaps Theriot's determination to work hard and change his approach at the plate are testament to the human spirit.

• He might not hustle ... but boy, does Aramis Ramirez ever walk. Ramirez, who quickly is on his way to being the most productive third baseman in Cubs history has drawn 47 walks this season. His career best is 50.

Ramirez's OBP is .386, second among Cubs regulars. And has anybody come up with more clutch hits than Ramirez this year? Ramirez has done a nice job trotting around the bases, with his team-leading 17 home runs.

• Hill's collapse: As spring training wore on, people wondered why Rich Hill was being relegated to the No. 4 spot in the rotation and not No. 3. Manager Lou Piniella said he wanted a right-hander behind No. 2 starter and lefty Ted Lilly, so that meant left-hander Hill would be No. 4.

Turns out Hill wasn't even No. 4 at Class AAA Iowa before long. The wild streak that began in spring training got him sent to the minor leagues in early May. It continued at Iowa, and Hill has been trying to get his form back in Arizona.

• They're cheering Edmonds? Yes, Jim Edmonds was a member of the hated St. Louis Cardinals for eight years, and he often tormented the Cubs. But the Cubs picked him up in mid-May, and after he got booed early on, Edmonds came up with a few big hits and suddenly found himself getting big ovations on his way back to center field.

Maybe it's some sort of weird karma thing for the Cubs trading Lou Brock.