Guess what happened at Wrigley Field last night? Surprise, surprise—the Cubs took a beating.
The 2008 Cubs are on the brink of embarrassment.
If they can't do what only three teams have done since 1995, they will once again treat their fans to a sadomasochistic buffet of hopes unrealized and prayers unanswered.
And we'll just keep coming back for more.
What should have been the first win on a focused road toward victory was instead a head shaker of poor managerial decisions, which dates back to last week when the Cubs went to Shea.
Chicago took two out of four in New York and set things up nicely for a Mets wild card victory. Piniella decided to rest his team and tryout his bench and bullpen in Milwaukee.
The result of this strategy was dropping two to the Brewers and assembling an incompetent bullpen for the playoffs, including Bob Howry, who has done nothing but choke all season long.
The bench tryout of Saturday was rendered meaningless when he sent Micah Hoffpauir packing. It's like Lou went with the team he wanted all along instead the team that was, all while getting matched up against Manny Ramirez, who has more playoff experience than the entire Cubs roster.
Batting Fukudome second? Batting Theriot eighth? Cooling everyone down instead of locking the team in place and attacking the Brewers and treating them like the first round?
That would have matched them up with the Mets instead of the Dodgers, who will beat us like the losers we are for taking it so easy and relaxing through so many games.
It's the same every year. The fighter's spirit is sapped out of the fans, and the players trot off the field like dismayed Holocaust survivors, while the winning team jumps up and down in a circle on our mound.
Victory is a concept so foreign to Cubs fans.
The last playoff victory they experienced came two games before Bartman got in the way. That's seven playoff losses in a row, with a poor attack strategy from our managers every time. Come on, Bartman doesn't deserve such a powerful hex over us. In fact, he's already gotten what he deserves and then some.
But our players look cold and unprepared.
Pitchers couldn't find the strike zone and hitters couldn't find the ball. The first five hitters in the lineup went two-for-19. A lineup we haven't used in months was employed as what? A surprise attack?
Is that why we minimized the at bats of the best hitter on the team, Ryan Theriot?
When is Derrek Lee going to be forced to swing at the first pitch and stop hitting out of a hole and into a double play?
Loney's grand slam was so predictable it was almost comical. 100 years means nothing for a team that will always find a way to lose.
The saddest part in all this is that the hopes of this Cubs fan remains.
In spite of the poor decisions, Zambrano and Harden still have to take the mound. "Z" has pitched terribly in his two outings since the no-hitter, so tonight's game will be a nail biter from the outset. But he is "Big Z" and he's clutch.
Harden looks good, even when he looks bad, but if they're 0-2 when he takes the field in Los Angeles on Saturday, none of that will matter.
So the question is: When are the Cubs going to decide to step up and play like winners?
There's no heart in them. There's no fire. If anger can drive them, so be it. If evil will get them a win, I'll take it. I'm tired of watching them blow it.
It's pathetic, and in the case of this team, stacked with talent, it's inexcusable. So here's a message for the Chicago Cubs: Pull your heads out of your asses and win tonight. If you don't, you will become like the 99 Cubs teams with which you have vehemently denied association.