in any case, there was no need to rummage though the listings last night to get a front-row seat on a catastrophe. all one had to do was stay awake for the ninth. ryan dempster continued his sad but perhaps inevitable mean reversion with two hits, another walk and an error; he was assisted in his cause by ronny cedeno -- now just Ronny! -- whose game-losing between-the-wickets error became just another element of his ongoing implosion as he slowly rides a shaky glove and a .300 obp out of baseball -- two of the several sad spectacles of this damned year in cubdom.
one prominent feature of really bad baseball teams is how they seem to constantly invent miraculous ways to lose and dig for bottoms not imagined -- allowing many a fan to yet again adopt the full regalia of mock persecution consequent to that martyr complex above mentioned, and allowing this page to more fully quote milton:
Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand?
Thou hadst. Whom has thou then, or what, to accuse,
But Heaven’s free love dealt equally to all?
Be then his love accursed, since, love or hate,
To me alike it deals eternal woe.
Nay, cursed be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrauth and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threatening to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven.
O, then, at last relent! Is there no place
Left for repentence, none for pardon left?
you, dear reader, indeed had the same free will and power to stand that milton's doubting satan once had, and thou chose freely what you now so justly rue; but, unlike him, there is certainly place left for repentence -- somewhere under slim pickens. this team is in direst need of complete demolition, and ideas are flowing in from all quarters.
mr de luca has been an estimable bad cop to mike kiley's good cop over at the bright one, but this page considers him to be wrong when he says a total dismantling isn't needed. it is -- half-assed "remodeling projects" are how the cubs fell into this state, as any cursory examination of the recent past will reveal. the cubs have very little farm system, far too little major league talent and are paying a lot for what they have. the coaching is worse than useless, the philosophy bankrupt, the park a detriment and the ownership troubled. such a setting cries out to god for obliteration.
with the loss, the cubs fell to 20 games under .500 for the first time -- an eventuality expected hereabouts seven weeks ago, when this page said
the hard truth is that the vast majority of teams that go five down in may are on their way to going 10, 20 or 30 down. and there's no good reason at this juncture to pretend that the cubs should be an urgent special case.
for what it's worth, dear reader, 30 down is probably just around the bend as this club makes its run at 100 losses. one would hope that it has become clear enough for all to see that kerry wood, mark prior and derrek lee are not going to turn this thing around -- that the cubs are so bad so thoroughly and on so many levels that their participation is perhaps the difference only between 95 losses and 105.