Good day, Cubs fans. Let me begin with my obligatory congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks. I’ve watched more hockey in the last week than I’ve watched in the previous four decades of my life and, well, what can I say? They’re young and strong and they got it done. The Blackhawks and their fans are enjoying one of the high points of the team’s history.

Turning to the Cubs, things aren’t quite so hot. In fact, looking at my list of stories for the day, I see that almost all of them are negative in one way or another – and this despite a rather rousing, home-run-laden victory against the once hated, now pitied Milwaukee Brewers last night. And DLee hit No. 300!

Yet things still seem rather dark at the moment. Have we hit an early low in the season from which the team will rebound and give us at least a little something to cheer about? I don’t know…maybe a run for the .500 mark? A perfect game? (C’mon! They’re happening every other week now! Carlos Silva’s done just about everything else!) Something?! Sigh…I don’t know. But here are a few stories to ruminate over:

The Toyota Sign is going up.  Could this be my last sign-related news story? Maybe. One thing is for sure: There’s no stopping the fiery red Toyota sign, which is being (ahem) erected as I type this. The article says “the sign could be in place within days,” but these pictures posted at Bleed Cubbie Blue indicated it’s going up right now – in time for the BP Crosstown Cup. (And don’t even get me started on that awful, unfortunate, embarassing sponsorship deal.)

Is trouble brewing in the Cubs clubhouse?  Normally, I would likely view a story like this with some suspicion – Internet rumors being what they are and all – but I know Al Yellon has some sources in the Cubs organization and is able to confirm reports like this with a high degree of certainty. So have a read: Apparently, there are divisions in the Cubs clubhouse – centered mostly on Aramis Ramirez – that are raising 2009’s “chemistry” issue all over again. Something to keep an eye on.

Update: Bruce Miles refutes this rumor – or at least the notion that the Cubs have a bad clubhouse – in this blogpost.

Another twist in the tale of the rooftop owners.  Not too long ago, the Ricketts invested in a Wrigleyville rooftop building. The move was seen by many as an effort by ownership to get a little closer with the rooftop owners, who have always had a rather contentious relationship with the Cubs. Well, that relationship took a bad turn this week as team president Crane Kenney sent a terse letter to the rooftop rowdies reminding them that game-day ticket sales are forbidden as they compete directly with Wrigley Field walkups. And, given the team’s dismal record at the moment, ticket sales may be more important than ever.

GRod: Blinded by his Cubs love – just like the rest of us.  In his opening statements this week, the attorney for disgraced former Governor Rod Blagojevich, Sam Adam Jr. (love your Dad’s beer!), revealed that one of the many reasons for GRod’s unseemly behavior was his obsessive, undying love for the Chicago Cubs. “He loved the Cubs like nobody’s business,” Adam is quoted as saying. Ha, yeah, certainly not the people of Illinois’ business. The Blackhawks have the Cup; The White Sox have the President; and we have…Rod. (Like I said, things are a little dark at the moment.)

And, last but not least, let’s close with these hopeful words from John Kruk.  I know stuff like this is supposed to piss us off, but I laughed.

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