folks, i was wrong. i thought this club's outfield had improved somewhat when it got matt lawton to play left. i thought relegating hollandsworth to the lefty-bench-bat role he's so suited for was a good thing. i thought that they finally stood a chance of climbing out of their place as the worst outfield in the national league.
but i had forgot something. i forgot that these are the cubs, and i forgot that dusty baker is their manager (for now).
so much so that, when jerry hairston went down in last week's horror show, dusty used the unfortunate event to justify giving an everyday role to jose macias in center field. the stupefyingly underqualified macias -- who is essentially incapable of getting on base over the long term -- has acquitted himself reasonably well in the short term, going 5-for-14 with a couple k's over four games.
but the perversity of his daily inclusion has contributed to what appears to be a complete karmic breakdown of the team. let's face it -- a team that starts an outfield of lawton-macias-hollandsworth for even one game is destined to lose. a team that allows itself a 6-through-8 lineup of neifi, macias and blanco on any night is never going to win.
i can't explain why burnitz -- who played half of 2004 in center for colorado at spacious coors field -- isn't in center now; and i can't explain why lawton hasn't been shaded over to right -- where he played virtually all of this year before coming to chicago; and i can't explain why the servicable left field platoon of hollandsworth and murton hasn't temporarily returned awaiting hairston's recovery.
what i can explain is that, if you believe in a power that exists beyond the perception of a feeble man, it's hard not to view this latest losing streak as punishment from a god who would like to be benevolent but must be vengeful in order to maintain the balance of the natural world. he has smote the cubs for their manager's mocking defiance of him -- and will go on smiting them until order is restored.
to please god, dusty, return the gremlin to the bench where he belongs. better yet, make a sacrifice of him to quell god's anger. i don't care about the playoffs anymore. i just want to avoid the locusts and the north branch running red with blood and so forth.