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Never Again

The title of today's post has nothing to do with the title of yesterday's post.

Instead, it refers to what we should do in remembering one of the worst things in human history, the Holocaust. I mention this because Rachel's school choir sang today as part of the city of Chicago's Holocaust Remembrance Day program, at which the mayor (I'll refrain from my usual criticism of him today) and other dignitaries spoke, and the keynote speech was from a 79-year-old woman who is a survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.

It was very moving, and as this woman and her children and grandchildren were introduced, I thought, "At least there are small victories from all that suffering."

Never again, indeed.

I did, however, in searching for some web links for this event, find on the city of Chicago's website a really old picture of the mayor, one that must be 15 years old or more. C'mon, Mayor Daley. Admit how old you really are (62 years old this Saturday, in case you are interested).

All of this really has nothing to do with tonight's Cub 12-1 demolition of the Pirates in Pittsburgh, a game that was over before most of the again sparse crowd was even in their seats.

The first eight Cubs reached base. And the first eight Cubs all scored, and it might have been more, except the ninth Cub to bat was pitcher Sergio Mitre, and with nobody out he laid down a nice sacrifice bunt. Josh Fogg, who has owned the Cubs before this year, has now been blown out twice by them in the last week (in the two starts: 4 IP, 12 H, 14 ER, 5 BB, 5 SO; ERA vs. Cubs: 31.50, ERA vs. league: 17.00), and left after the first six batters reached.

The Pirates' first baseman (and I use the term loosely), Craig Wilson (who is no relation to a Craig Wilson who played for the White Sox in the late '90s, or another Craig Wilson who played for the Cardinals and Royals in the early '90s, and can't we introduce a rule saying that you have to put at least 30 years between guys like this who have the same name, like the two Frank Thomases?) helped out by making an error, and then a real bad fielding decision (and there must be Hollywood actresses wondering who his hairstylist is, with blond curls reaching to his shoulders), when he threw home on a contact play, badly (when he could have taken an easy out at the base), allowing Alex Gonzalez to score. Fogg will thank Wilson, anyway: that made one of the runs charged to him unearned.

Sorry. I know there were too many parentheses in that last paragraph.

After that it was just fun, and Mitre threw six shutout innings on the way to his first major league win. Mike Wuertz, Francis Beltran and Joe Borowski finished up the win in garbage time, though Borowski got touched up for a run on three solidly-hit balls, and I still worry a bit about him. He hasn't thrown a decent inning all season.

This Cub team seems to enjoy hitting, and after yesterday's homer barrage, today's fifteen-hit attack included no home runs, just 11 singles and four doubles, and that shows how versatile this offense can be. Corey Patterson had the biggest day, with 5-for-6 including two doubles, and both the hot-hitting Moises Alou and Derrek Lee had three RBI.

Frankly, I wouldn't hurry Mark Grudzielanek back because Todd Walker is doing an absolutely fantastic job as a leadoff man, living up to his name, with today's 2-for-4 with two walks raising his BA to .333 and his OBA to .529. Yeah, he's a butcher in the field. So what? This is looking like the best free-agent signing of the entire offseason.

Also, continue to ignore all the Mark Prior scare stories. He threw off a mound again today at PNC Park, and next week when the Cubs travel to Arizona, he'll stay there and probably throw a game or two in extended spring training and then go to a minor league rehab assignment. The danger there isn't injury, it's the inevitable media circus that will follow him.

As I noted yesterday, after the big win there was a real chance that the Cubs could sweep the series, and even with Kip Wells, the Pirates' one real quality pitcher, going tomorrow, the Cubs counter with Kerry Wood. A sweep would be really sweet coming home to face the Mets on Friday, and count on the Cubs to want to do it in swift fashion, considering they play at night tomorrow in Pittsburgh (6:05 CT), and then have a 2:20 CT day game on Friday at home, one of only two times this year (June 17-18 is the other) that MLB's schedulers force them to work a short-turnaround shift.