The Cubs are trading their team away.

What in the name of Harry Carey is going on in Wrigleyville? The shocking descent of the Cubs this year has opened up questions about the club’s leadership and decision-making. Surely the Ricketts family did not expect this when they bought the club last winter. With a payroll north of $145 million and a respected manager, they thought this was a club capable of making another run at the Division title. After all, it was just two short seasons ago that the team won an NL-best 97 games.

Times are so bad at the old ballpark, Ernie Banks was heard saying “One game is enough today”. The spirit of Harry Carey cries “Holy Cow!” Ron Santo cannot take much more, he’s running out of “Aw Geez’”. The Cubby Bear went into hibernation. Bill Murray has stopped showing up. No one wants to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. Fans really mean it when they sing “Go Cubs Go!” The “Completely Useless By September” T-shirts are selling out.  As part of the deal to put up the unsightly sign high above the left field bleachers, Toyota agreed to counsel the team on how to conduct a recall.

Is there truth to the rumor that the team is again considering a rotating-manager system? In 1961 and 1962 under owner Philip Wrigley the club tried this using Vedie Himsi, Harry Craft, Elvin Tappe, Lou Klein, and Charlie Metro.

Did it work? The combined record for those two seasons was 123-191.

What Wrigley Field Attendance Will Look Like in 2011

But desperation breeds unpredictability and the Cubs have plenty of both.

Most skeptics will say c’mon it’s the Cubs after all, what else do you expect? But setting aside for a moment the urge to pile on, the pathetic showing this year has to go down as one of the most disappointing in a seemingly endless series of lost seasons.

Everything wrong about this team starts with General Manager Jim Hendry. He has shelled out massive contracts to Kosuke Fukodome, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, Carlos Zambrano and Ted Lilly. Injuries, disjointed personalities and sagging statistics are endemic in this group. No wonder the Tribune Co. went bankrupt!

By the time July rolled around, Hendry threw in the towel. He sent Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers for Blake DeWitt and minor leaguers. Next Mike Fontenot went to the Giants for minor league outfielder Evan Crawford. Finally, fan favorite Derrek Lee gets a chance to play for Bobby Cox in Atlanta in another deal for minor leaguers.

Lou Piniella had seen enough and announced his retirement at season’s end. As his mother suffered increasingly severe health problems, Piniella’s last day was Sunday thus escaping what should be a scathing off-season review of the situation.

If I were Tom Ricketts, I’d clean house beginning with club President Crane Kenney a hack leftover from the Tribune ownership. Next is Hendry who has squandered millions to try to make the team a consistent winner. I’d buy out Joe Girardi’s contract from the Yankees. Then, I’d try to trade Soriano by offering to defer part of his huge salary. I’d send Fukodome back on the first plane to Tokyo and tell Zambrano to stop taking personality lessons from Hugo Chavez so he can be more marketable. But I highly doubt anyone would be interested in a pitcher with receding skills and a mouth as big as his contract.

It’s been 65 years since the Cubs have been in the World Series. That was thirteen Presidents ago! Yet this team again will need to start over and long-suffering Cubs fans will have to go through yet another era of losing seasons.  And that will be too much for even Ron Santo to bear.


Ever want to get into a chat room and talk smack while your favorite team’s game was still in progress?

Introducing www.livebaseballchat.com. Just open the link, create a user name and password, find your team’s game and log in to chat. The site is very user friendly.

Once you have confirmed your email address you can log in and view the schedule page with all the chats listed and their start times.

LiveBaseballChat.com is a free site that allows you to chat in real time with other baseball fans live during the MLB 2010 season. A dedicated chat room for each MLB game is started 30 minutes before each game and closes 30 minutes after the game is finished.

The difference between livebaseballchat.com and a forum is telling.  If you use a forum for chatting during a game you have to keep refreshing your browser or keep jumping around the various posts. It loses that feeling of a having a live chat.

You can include friends in the chat room. From within the chat room just send an email that contains the CHurl (CHurl stands for Chat Room URL), you can post the CHurl to your Twitter account or you can post the CHurl to your Facebook feed.

The CHurl automatically links to the chat room that you are in.

You can also get a Buddy Alert email each time someone in your Buddy list joins a Live Chat, so if a friend of yours joins a chat you will get an email with the CHurl for the room they have logged into. Sorry,  no e-mail alerts from Red Sox nation if you are a Yankees fan, but that is a good thing since there will be plenty of people in the room anyway that you can diss during the game.

I went in last week just to take a look around and it was great. More people are needed to chat so sign up now and get the word out!

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