Pirates 10, Cubs 8: Patriot Games

Damen JacksonCorrespondent IMay 26, 2009

CHICAGO - MAY 2:  Manager Lou Piniella of the Chicago Cubs looks on during the game against the Florida Marlins on May 2, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Filed:May 25th, 2009

80's icon Mr. T. throws out the first pitch at Wrigley Field on Monday. (Cubbie Nation/file)

Click here for the photo gallery of Monday's game.

Or you know, maybe I should call this post Living in the Land of the Stupid, because everything that I saw Monday, watching the Cubs lose 10-8, was a case of people who had taken the holiday off from sense.

Think I'm kidding? I'm not. Start with the appearance of Mr. T, who has convinced me once and for all that it's time to kill the celebrity guest for the seventh-inning stretch.

It was enough that he rolled up to the mound like a pot-bellied pig to throw out the first pitch, but his rendition of Take Me Out to the Ball Game was likely the worst I've ever heard. Worse than Ozzie. Worse than Denise Richards. And it even included an "I pity the fool" reference. Stop. Please, just stop.

Ted Lilly is another nut, who gets himself ejected from the bench for arguing balls and strikes with Bob Davidson, one day after Milton Bradley all but outright blamed the umpires for his crummy start.

You really want to do this, guys? Eight losses in a row, and you want to start a war with the umpires? Keep it up, and you'll be out of contention by the end of June.

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Oh, but it gets so much better. Even Lou Piniella got in on the act, the second day in the row he's left fans scratching their heads about his moves.

The offense is clicking. You're fighting to break this streak, and win a ball game. You've got the lead late. So what do you do?

Let's see. Jose Ascanio, in for the shelled Ryan Dempster, is allowed to hit for himself in the fifth, with a runner in scoring position. Now, this in itself is fine, given he'd had a real nice inning in the top half.

But instead of bringing him out to start the sixth, you insert Neal Cotts. Huh? Now, two of the next three batters were left-handed, given, but Cotts can't get anybody out.

And even if he could, would it not have been more logical let Ascanio at least face Nyjer Morgan (who scares no one) and bring in Cotts to face McLouth if Jose got into trouble. You know, let the LOOGY get one out?

Instead, he turns the inning into a hot mess, in the end serving up a McLouth homer, and another run when Andy LaRoche doubles his brother Adam home.

Lou, stop being part of the problem, and start being part of the solution.

And letting Carlos Zambrano pinch-hit in the seventh? On a cool night? With the team down? With runners in scoring position? Do you remember how your ace ended up on the DL?

Listen, I know the team is short-handed, with Lee sick last night, but letting Koyie Hill take an at-bat, or letting Fukudome take it would have made a lot more sense, lefty or not. Crazy.

It was one thing when the team stopped hitting; that's just baseball. But the pitching is going, the team is getting distracted, and even the managerial decisions have become questionable. Someone right this ship, because it's on the verge of veering off-course.


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