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posted: 7/1/2013 5:30 AM

Len Kasper: Busy week indeed for Cubs

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I have to start by sending props to the best NHL team from the first faceoff of the season until the final horn.

And as great as it was to watch Blackhawks fans flood the streets of Wrigleyville last Monday, it was impossible to not envision that celebration at some point soon being for the baseball team that plays at the corner of Clark and Addison.

I think we all have in our mind what that would feel and look like, but of course it will be way bigger than anything we can possibly imagine.

Meanwhile, lots of Cubs news in the past week, including Carlos Marmol being designated for assignment and Ian Stewart getting released from AAA Iowa.

On Marmol, it was simply time. His stock in Cubs fans minds had bottomed out, which is sad considering how important he was to the Cubs' fortunes in 2007 and 2008 in particular.

But he just isn't the same pitcher now. This breakup is good for both parties. The Cubs can look at some younger setup guys, and he can hopefully hook on with another team.

In fact, I am betting he will be in another big-league uniform this season and still has some life left in that right arm.

On Stewart, I'm not quite ready to invoke the infamous Pat Foley "good riddance" rant, but Stewart really messed up this one.

The Cubs had traded a lot for him and had stuck by him through injuries and underachieving play, and the way he handled things at Class AAA was pretty disappointing.

By saying he was comfortable at AAA in one breath and then speculating that the manager didn't like him in another, he pretty much hastened his exit, which may have been by design, who knows.

I guess if this is what he wanted, it worked. But getting paid almost $2 million to not play an inning for a team in the big leagues this season isn't something I would personally feel too good about.

Looking ahead to the next few weeks, we will continue to hear Matt Garza's name in trade rumors. And Scott Feldman's and maybe a few others, too.

Garza has been terrific lately, maybe pitching better than he has at any point as a Cub. The guess here is that he is dealt before the July deadline, simply because he may be the best starter on the market right now and the Cubs should be able to get a decent haul in return.

I will be curious to see if they can get a similar haul to what the Rays got from Jim Hendry when he acquired Garza in January 2011.

Lastly, an interesting situation in the outfield was developing before events over the weekend changed things.

With the emergence of Brian Bogusevic and the struggles of Alfonso Soriano, it appeared Dale Sveum was going to have some tough lineup decisions to make once interleague play ended.

Then Soriano got hot in Seattle and Ryan Sweeney suffered a broken rib banging into the wall Saturday. Sweeney is the second center fielder to head to the disabled list after a meeting with the outfield barrier, joining David DeJesus.

So, for now, while it hurts the club losing a productive Sweeney, it does alleviate the playing-time issue. Bogusevic can move to center with Soriano likely keeping his at-bats in left.

As Sveum said recently, those issues usually work themselves out, and, unfortunately for Sweeney and the club, this one did as well.

•Len Kasper is the TV play-by-play broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs. Follow him on Twitter @LenKasper and check out his [URL]blog entries;[URL] with Jim Deshaies at To post comments or questions for Len, click on the comment link with his column at[/URL]

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