now that even the diehards have been forced to concede, let the offseason demolition begin -- please! destroy it! destroy it all! i see only these pieces as unassailable in the 2006 reconstruction: lee, ramirez, barrett, zambrano and prior. and i'm frankly not too sure about all o' those.
in any case, we'll find out shortly just how serious (if at all) the cubs are about succeeding next season. the most obvious indication that 2006 will be no different than 2005 would be the inclusion of patterson on the 25-man roster. if he's still there in april 2006, it should be plain to god and everyone that the cubs don't care whether they win or not -- and neither should you. and if he's the starting centerfielder breaking camp, the management has actively decided to annihilate the team in a fiery blast on opening day -- you should seek cover underground if you live within a three-mile radius of clark and addison.
secondary indications that the cubs don't really care if they win or not next year:
these initial indicators might surface in october even before the conclusion of the playoffs, as the cubs try to formulate a plan of action (something you just know hendry and macFail haven't done yet) for 2006 -- so keep a lazy eye open as you immerse yourself in the kyle orton era (which appears to be flaming out as i write). more of interest may happen with regards to the cub franchise in the next six weeks than has in the last twelve.