By Doug Halberstadt
Pass the forks, Cubs fans. After being swept by the Colorado Rockies last weekend, I think it is now official they are done for this year. With fewer than 60 games remaining in the regular season, the Cubs are 13 games below .500 at 46-59 (record as of Sunday, Aug. 1).
They know their manager, Lou Piniella, has called it quits—he recently announced he wouldn’t be back next season. Where’s the motivation to give it your all for a lame duck manager? I haven’t seen anyone playing with any purpose since prior to the All-Star game.
Derrek Lee runs like he’s trying to escape from an assisted-living facility. Is there a slower first baseman in the majors?
Aramis Ramirez has once again found another injury to keep him off the field. This time, it’s a thumb ache. Are you kidding me? Do you think Cal Ripken Jr.’s thumb ever bothered him when he was setting the record for most consecutive games played? I bet it did. Suck it up, Ramirez, and get back out there on the field and earn your salary! Do you think he’d be sitting in the dugout if the team were 13 games above .500 instead of 13 below?
Lately, it seems Alfonso Soriano is doing one of two things when I watch a game: either hitting into a rally-ending double play or hitting a solo home run. How about hitting those long balls with some guys aboard? There’s a novel idea that might help the team win a few more games.
The team recently traded away starting pitcher Ted Lilly and versatile infielder Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers. Is that the white flag waving? It might as well be in my book.
I actually talked to a friend this weekend who told me he had free tickets to an upcoming game. He didn’t even think he wanted to go because the team was so bad. Even the most loyal of fans aren’t afraid to accept reality this season.
Another August is upon us, and the Cubs are once again going nowhere. You’d think it would get easier, but it doesn’t. All together now, one, two, three go! Stick those forks in ’em, Cubs fans—they’re done!
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Aug. 4-10, 2010 issue