Good day to you, Cubs fans. It’s been a busy Monday Tuesday here at the ___________ Global Headquarters. I just spent over an hour at an Emergency Response Team meeting with a very chatty representative from the Chicago Fire Department. So I’m just a bit behind schedule – but prepared for anything! Let’s get right to some news stories concerning our embattled team:

Derrek Lee sees a series win in Pittsburgh. Or so he told Bruce Levine. If the Cubs are to finally take a series from the powerhouse Pirates, they’ll have to lay the groundwork without DLee, who will get today (Wednesday) off, according to Lou Piniella’s postgame comments yesterday. (More on those in a sec.) Expect Xavier Nady at the lukewarm corner this evening.

Is the venerable first baseman winding down his career with the Chicago Cubs? It would seem so. He’s well over 200 PAs into the season and is slugging a scary bad .368. Being the professional hitter he is, Derrek has been able to keep his OBP over league average, but it’s getting a little late to claim it’s early. As sad as it is to say, I wouldn’t be opposed to approaching Derrek about a midseason trade or letting him walk after the season. He’s been one of the greatest first baseman in Cubs history, but the future is now.

Sweet Lou is decidely dour. Check out his postgame “press conference” from a rather ugly armchair in the PNC Park visiting team’s clubhouse. I know it was really humid in Pittsburgh yesterday and, let’s face it, getting shut down by Russ freakin’ Ohlendorf would take the shine off of anyone’s shoes. But Lou looks beyond defeated in this clip. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Cubs May winning percentage (.464) was almost identical to April’s (.458). What’s worse, the team scored four fewer runs (112 in April, 108 in May) and allowed a rather staggering 20 more (107 runs allowed in April, 127 allowed in May.) Their Pythagorean record stands at 25-27 – pretty close to their actual record.

On the bright side, as you may have heard, John Grabow has been DL’d. Now someone get me Aramis Ramirez on Line Two. Oh, and it may be time to platoon Theriot and Fontenot. Just throwin’ that in there.

Josh Vitters suffers thumb injury. So our starting third baseman’s opposable digit is hurting – and so is our top third base prospect’s. What is going on here? Fortunately, it looks like the smooth-swingin’ Vitters owie is just a day-to-day thang.

Japanese female knuckleballer makes U.S. debut. This is just a fun story I’ve been following for a while, so I thought I’d share. Eri “the Knuckle Princess” Yoshida made her first start for the fightin’ Chico Outlaws (I hear they rob a lot of hitters of base hits…) and went three innings, giving up four runs on five hits. She also laced a single up the middle right between the opposing pitcher’s legs. (Actually, I’m not sure how the single occurred, but that’s how I envision it.) Good luck to Eri on following in Tim Wakefield’s footsteps.

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