folks, yours truly has watched plenty of bad cub baseball. anyone who has been watching for more than a decade has seen some. when you've been watching for a few decades, as this writer has, you've seen some more. and the poor old souls who have been hanging on for fifty or sixty years -- well, god bless them for what they've seen.
but this cub team is earning the distinction of being the Worst Cub Team I Ever Saw. they may not finish the year 65-97 like donnie baylor's 2000 club (though it can't be counted out) -- they may not be compared to joey amalfitano's boys when all is said and done. this writer continues to think that, no matter how bad they are, they are better than this. but the stretch of baseball they have played over the last four weeks is the worst four weeks of cub baseball this writer has ever seen.
losing is one thing. the cubs haven't stopped and have barely paused in that endeavor for 60 years -- nothing shocking there. but never even having a chance is another -- and this team has no chance. one can feel it before the first pitch is thrown. never mind a surprising win -- if they score two runs in a game, it's shocking. if they allow less than five, it's a moral victory.
but this club has gone yet further still. watch michael barrett show you. this team has completely come apart.
this team didn't have the talent to win from the get-go. it collectively hasn't put forward anything that resembles focused effort in weeks, aside a few scattered individual performances. now, even paragons of measured self-control like maddux are barking at umpires. and barrett, long in need of therapy and psychoactive medication to cure him of his intransigent white-trash-playground-bully insecurity complex, is absolutely running wild. barrett cleared the benches against dave roberts -- one of the more genial gentlemen in the game -- just over a week ago. faced with subtle antagonist a.j. pierzynski, he couldn't help but explode in a barbaric fit of selfishness.
barrett is going to take a nice vacation at the direction of the commissioner's office, and he earned it -- were this writer running this team, he'd already be facing ten games unpaid for conduct detrimental. such violent fits of self-absorbed petulance have no place on a good team, and barrett has seen fit to cost the team the use of one of the very few offensive threats jim hendry, in his incompetence, managed to assemble.
but to focus on barrett alone misses the root problem -- dusty baker has absolutely no control over this club at all. it is spinning utterly beyond him, and the end of discipline is the definitive sign. he should be shown the door immediately.
even rookie ronny cedeno, until now the quiet player any rookie should be, today turned on first base umpire paul nauert after being called out on a close play. this is the hazard of keeping dusty here -- there is a youth movement underway, and it is going to get stronger as july approaches and veterans are shipped off to contending teams. infecting these kids with the mental and emotional malfeasance that dusty enables does them no favors.
this year is lost. even the most obstinate of the ignorantly blissful are belatedly coming to grips with it. so go find the manager that can help this youth movement forward.