In the final regular season edition of Ask Paul, he discusses the sale of the Cubs, Lou's weight, Eddie Vedder's Cubs song and whether or not Cubs fans should get their hopes up for the postseason.
I feel Jerry Reinsdorf will have an influence over who the next Cubs' owner is going to be. I also feel he will push to have the new owner hire his guy Rick Hahn to run the Cubs. What's your opinion of this and do you think Hendry will keep his job when new ownership comes to town? --Rod, Chicago
I don't think Reinsdorf has any influence over who the next owner will be, and Rick Hahn is probably waiting for Kenny Williams to get booted upstairs so he can assume his job. Hendry will remain as GM if the right ownership group assumes control and the Cubs don't blow this 3 1/2 game lead.
When I was a kid in Cleveland, Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Early Wynn and Mike Garcia would pitch on three days rest and were expected to go nine innings. Feller made 100k; the rest, less. What happened? --Gary Fischer, San Juan, Puerto Rico
You got older and they all either retired or died.
Dear, Paul, I've been reading that players and managers are concerned about the poor quality of the turf in the Wrigley Field outfield. Some folks seem suggest that this problem began with the Police concerts this summer. I hope that concerts still can be held in the outfield, but maybe some thought should be given as to who should be playing. For example, why not schedule the Dave Matthews Band for a series of concerts/fertilizer treatments to the grass? --Bob Mellin, Valparaiso, Ind.
That's a joke only Chicagoans will understand, so if anyone else wants to know what he's talking about, google Bob Mellin and ask him.
Where would I go to find the song they play after the Cubs win at home? --Woody Bagwell, St. Joseph, Ill.
That's a good question for Ask Eric Zorn.
Paul, where do the Cubs keep their World Series trophies from 1907 and '08? --Colin Schurtz, Normal, Ill.
I don't recall seeing any World Series trophies from 1907 and '08. I believe they got a hearty handshake and a couple Old Styles.
How much weight has Sweet Lou gained since coming to Chi-town? Lou, stay away from the Italian beefs! --Brian Schultz, Bradenton, Fla.
I'd say about 20 pounds. Lou began the season working out with the Cubs strength coach, but has fallen off course, like the rest of us. I think he tried to get back on track with some dirt-kicking exercises in June, but he stopped doing that as well. I'm sure he'll go on the Stevie Ire diet this off-season, so we may see a fit and trim Lou next February.
Can someone please tell me WHY Ryan Dempster is still the closer? Every time he comes in it's a crap shoot. Marmol or Howry are much better suited with their arsenal of pitches. Dempster cannot handle the pressure now so what happens when they make it to the playoffs? --Marco Grande, Camarill, Calif.
Dempster is the closer because he's done a fairly good job in save situations, and a not so good job when coming in with a big lead. But giving up four home runs over the last few appearances does not give anyone faith that he's going to revert to Good Demp in time for the postseason. We'll see.
Talk to me about Eddie Vedder's new Cubs song. I heard it was fantastic. Is it out yet? Does he even plan on putting it out? I love "Go Cubs Go," but another song for this playoff drive might be what the Cubbies need. --Aaron P., Tucson, Ariz.
I spoke to Eddie about it at Wrigley and he said it was just something he wanted to play at his concerts in Chicago, and nothing that will likely see the light of day on disc. I think you can google his video from the Vic. Like it or not, "Go Cubs Go" is the anthem that's going to stick.
Why the flurry of trades between the Cubs and O's over the past couple of years: Sosa, Patterson, Bynum, now Trachsel. Who has come out ahead in these deals? --Ken, Baltimore
Considering how bad Trachsel is, I'd say it's even, though the Cubs did get Mike Fontenot and Kevin Hart in the Sosa and Bynum deals, so in the long run, they may get the better of the deal.
When is Dempster getting demoted? I watch the games, like you, so don't quote BAA and other BS stats. He doesn't have dominant stuff and should be replaced by Marmol if we get to the playoffs. Is that in the plan or is his ego and confidence too fragile? --Joe, Chicago
Lou is not going to demote Dempster now. It's too late, and he likes the roles everyone is in. Now if he blows a playoff game, it'll be interesting to see what Lou does then.
Thanks for the . The punch line to one of Royko's most famous jokes which is very appropriate to the Cubs in the playoff race, "An optimist looks at a glass of water and sees it as half full. A pessimist looks at the same glass and sees it as half empty. A Cubs fan looks at it and says, 'When's it gonna spill?' " --Paul Goldberg, Hollywood, Fla.
I'm not familiar with that joke, but Royko's presence will certainly be part of the Cubs postseason experience. Every time TBS or Fox mentions the billy goat, just think of Royko, who made it famous nationally.
Paul, I have a hunch that Alfonso Soriano has gone to more 0-2 counts than another other player in Major League Baseball this season. Is there some Tribune super-computer you have that you can look that up on? -- Phil "The Thrill" Golding, Chicago
I don't have a super computer that can look that up. Why doesn't Soriano get his props from Cubs fans? Overall, he's had a pretty good season, considering he was injured part of the time. Everyone knew he was going to strike out quite a bit, but he's also hit over 30 homers, which is nothing to sneeze at, even if you are Sammy Sosa.
Paul, I've only gotten to see the Cubs on TV four or five times this year. Would you say that they are a "smarter" team than they were the past couple of years? --John Anderson, Grove City, Penn.
They were until they traded for Trachsel, which lowered the average IQ in the clubhouse quite a bit.
Dear Paul, so has Ted Lilly's performance this year been a fluke? Is his good record a reflection of his switching leagues? Should the Cubs bring a career .500 starter over from the AL every year? Personally I think Lilly's great, and, aside from the wins, I especially appreciate the worried expression he wears as he delivers. Very appropriate for a Cubs pitcher. --Gus George, South Bend, Ind.
No, it's not a fluke. Lilly is a good pitcher and has had a good year, especially stopping losing streaks. He's harder on himself than almost any player I've ever covered, which shows what a perfectionist he is. Signing Lilly for four years was probably Hendry's best offseason move.
Paul, we all know the Central would be all wrapped up now if not for the Cubs giving away so many games this year. Once we are in the playoffs, though, do you think we really can win the NL and advance to the World Series? --Gary Price, Negaunee, Mich.
The NL is winnable, as everyone knows. But whether they have the killer instinct remains to be seen. Losing the first two games in Florida was unacceptable. The Marlins are just awful, and the Cubs are 0-5 against them going into today's game. Just embarrassing, really.
Paul, your sarcasm has been light of late. Is the postseason possibility softening you? I also sense you are relieved that the Cubs are playing decent ball. I never thought you cared, either way. Am I way off? Enlighten me, please. Wes Van Bruggen, Fishers, Ind.
The Tribune's new sarcasm policy has put some restraints on me. I'm trying to sneak some past the editors, but, let's face it, there is no room for sarcasm when covering the Cubs, as Jim Riggleman once told me.
Paul, with the news of Big Z changing his pre-game music selection, I'm surprised no one has asked him what he was listening to before the change to soft music. I'm thinking Pantera, Slayer, and Metallica, or a combination of all the above. --Brad, Elk Grove, Ill.
I think Z was listening to Len and Bob's podcasts before the turnaround. Thanks for all the relevant questions this year. If the Cubs make it to the postseason, we'll continue with a special edition of Ask Paul. If not, wait till next year.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times