Saturday, July 01, 2006

dempster "gets it"

nothing at all happened at wrigley field this afternoon -- at least, nothing that was not expected. a really good baseball club beat a team whose problems would best be resolved by nuclear detonation. is that unexpected? hardly.

but even for a suffering cub fan, the poetic beauty of having a.j. pierzynski cram a corncob up michael barrett's and the cubs' collective posterior in the way one is supposed to exact perfect revenge -- on the field, not by stupid cheap shot -- is downright admirable. as this complete and total apocalypse takes on every frightening manifestation of an 100-loss season, with classic disaster following on classic disaster following on yet more classic disaster, one is as a cub fan reduced to abject laughter. this writer stayed an instinct to throw his clutched sofa pillow after a brief moment only to giggle uncontrollably as pierzynski's ninth-inning, two-out, game-winning homer cleared the wall. (the cub propaganda department's take: "ramirez single shy of the cycle" -- as though it mattered a whit.)

that the fans in the bleachers then littered the field with trash is something less than surprising, and this page cannot find the gumption to criticize -- after all, have cubs management been doing any different?

this page long ago noted the importance of the theatrical qualities of sport, but those are most often dramatic and serious, frequently enough tragic. but not always -- this cub team is demonstrating that the field of human social mimicry in athletics certainly transcends those forms and engages even in comedy, though perhaps only that of the most primitive, rudimentary, slapstick kind.

indeed, is there any way to greet the next great cub foolishness than with laughter? if there is, it is only in openly rooting for yet more devastating failure as an avenue to a scorched-earth renewal.

one is forced to wonder how long gallows-ready dusty baker can continue to run gallows-ready ryan dempster out to the mound in save situations. his trade value all but completely destroyed, having blown five of his last ten save opportunities and compiling an astronomical earned run average over the last two months in a terrifying but not unexpected bit or mean reversion, it looks now as though the cubs have once again signed yet another horrifying albatross of a contract with a player once again not worth a plugged nickel. this page was an ardent critic of dempster during the offseason -- here and here among many other places -- and feels fully justified in calling local buffoons jim hendry and andy macfail out for their idiocy in signing an historically-control-plagued relief pitcher to a contract that he simply will never justify based solely on a delusion derived of small sample size. that unfortunately joins a long list of reasons why these two should be nowhere near an actual major league franchise.

one is also forced to wonder how much longer gallows-ready jim hendry can continue to run gallows-ready dusty baker out there as team manager. then again, gallows-ready president andy macfail will apparently keep running hendry out there, and the fans continue to pay for anything that pours beer and/or smells of nostalgia, so why should anything change at all? maybe only because the stench that rises from this rotted ballclub also rises from the corporate management that oversees it all, and because someone has finally sunk a spade into this billion-dollar dung heap.

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