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Can We Start Over?

This was not my day.

First, I did my usual trick of driving up to the park during my break at work, taking the train back, then taking the train to the game. Well, today for some reason the trains were unbelievably crowded so it took much longer than usual to get there. Then in a rush to get to my car and change clothes for the game, somehow I lost my ID card from work which was in one of those plastic pouches on my pants. Reported that and it's taken care of, though.

Then I get to the game and find out that my friend who I asked to save my seats today, since Jeff was in New York visiting Yankee Stadium, overslept. I mean, how can you oversleep when all you have to do is get to the ballpark by 11:20? Worse, is that a bunch of Phillies fans were sitting there.

Oh well. So for the first time in a couple of years, Howard & I (that's all that was there from our group today) sat with Tom, Marv, Howard the blind guy, Norb, Judy and Holly in right-center near the concession stand.

Here's all the good stuff I can say about today: the weather was gorgeous.

It was really two games, the half that Kerry Wood pitched lights-out, and the half-inning where he sucked and Dusty wouldn't come get him till it was too late, and the bullpen decided to spend the last three innings throwing batting practice, as the Phillies blew out the Cubs 14-6.

Sammy Sosa did hit his 21st HR, coming within one of Willie McCovey and Ted Williams for 12th place on the all-time list; I presume he'll pass them this weekend in Houston, where he hits very well. Hee Seop Choi, who didn't start (gee, Dusty, what a great idea, starting Karros vs. a righty -- he hit into a DP and struck out), hit a three-run homer that made it a game for a brief time at 10-6. That's about all that was good in the game today.

Unusual stuff: the infield overshifted so far on Jim Thome in the first, that when Damian Miller threw Marlon Byrd out stealing, the throw was taken by Aramis Ramirez at 2B, a rare 2-5 caught stealing at second.

During the Phillies' long sixth inning, Vicente Padilla attempted to go to the bullpen to warm up. Uh-uh, Vincente, that's illegal. The first-base umpire had to put a stop to this, not that it mattered for the Cubs bats.

I can just hear Kenny Lofton and Ramirez thinking, "Can we go back?" The Pirates haven't lost since the trade and the Cubs haven't won.

They had better start winning this weekend or you can kiss any fading playoff hopes goodbye.

One more stupid note on today's game: Phillies backup catcher Todd Pratt, who is hitting .276, homered to start the Philly scoring. When Pratt was a Cub in 1995, his signature moment occurred on June 14, when he was on third base with one out, when Giants pitcher Steve Mintz uncorked a wild pitch. Did Pratt score? Did the Cubs win? No, he was thrown out, and the Cubs wound up losing 4-3 in 13. That was also the game where Mike Benjamin had six hits. And unbelievably, because at the time I declared Pratt "Worst Cub Of All Time", eight years later he is still playing. Figures.

Oh, here's the thing I blanked out on this morning: the latest issue of The Heckler states on the front page in caps: "FREE - DO NOT BUY FROM STREET PEOPLE". Apparently some of the StreetLife vendors are grabbing copies of the Heckler and trying to sell it for a dollar.