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This Has Got To Stop

I'm not even talking about the games; I'll get to that in a moment.

What I'm talking about is a person who shall not be named here, because I refuse to give him what he wants, which is recognition. But even without that you'll recognize right away who I'm talking about.

In the 8th inning of last night's telecast you began to hear loud sounds in the background and realized that it was the idiot who thinks it's funny to sit and yell at the top of his lungs in the Wrigley Field bleachers, whether you want him to or not. He had sneaked down into a front-row seat at Miller Park.

He was yelling so loud that the young woman sitting next to him (wearing a Cub jersey, incidentally) had her hands in her ears, and people nearby were looking around for help. Steve Stone even said (half-jokingly, I think ) that there was a guy a few rows behind brandishing a bat (the shot did show someone holding up one of those miniature souvenir bats). Stone also called him "unique", and you could just tell that Steve had more choice words to use, but decided to hold his tongue.

What these people should have done was immediately called Miller Park security, or the Milwaukee police, and have him ejected from the ballpark. This is unacceptable behavior. Having been subjected myself to this wailing in my ears for half an hour at a time, I can tell you that it is absolutely horrendous, and you know -- I do understand that he is a Cub fan, and that's OK, but when it's annoying and you ask him to stop, he should just stop.

Since he is apparently incapable of understanding polite requests to stop yelling in your ear, I am in support of any and all measures necessary to stop it. Fortunately, he has not been in the bleachers that much this year, apparently because he hasn't been able to get tickets and security has not let him in.

If you want this sort of thing, go to a circus. Me, I want to watch baseball.

Oh, and Chip Caray was wrong about one thing. Chip said that this individual went to Japan when the Cubs were there in 2000. Having been on that trip myself, I can tell you Chip was wrong -- he wasn't there. I suspect the Japanese authorities would have locked him up.

The Cubs lost to the Brewers 4-0, while all of this was going on, and there's not much more to say about that. Even Rachel's Cub cap didn't help last night. She's worn it for a week now, and perhaps it needs a day off.

The offense managed to generate two runs and only 16 hits in the three games, and as solid as the ballclub looked in the week ending with the exciting win on Sunday, that's as bad as they looked against the Brewers. You can see how clearly the Cubs miss Aramis Ramirez, and we hope he plays Friday, but there are no guarantees of that. Derrek Lee in particular looked like a lost little minor-leaguer during this series, going 1-for-12. It's quite a turnaround from last year, when the Cubs didn't lose a single game at Miller Park, and it is the first time the Cubs have been swept in a three-game series since Sept. 24-26, 2002. Only ten players (Sammy Sosa, Moises Alou, Corey Patterson, Alex Gonzalez, Kerry Wood, Matt Clement, Mark Prior, Joe Borowski, Kyle Farnsworth and Francis Beltran) remain from that sorry squad that lost 95 games.

I'm sure the naysayers and sky-is-falling types will say, "Trade for a closer! Trade for a shortstop! Trade for this! Trade for that!"

But let us not lose sight of the fact that the Cubs' record is still the second-best in the National League, that even if the NL Central is out of reach (and I don't think it is), that the wild card is a distinct possibility, and once you get in the playoffs, anything can happen -- as we found out to our amazement, both good and bad, a year ago. Six games behind is hardly insurmountable with seventy-eight games remaining.

However, it had better start soon. The Cubs are 3-4 in St. Louis so far this year (and 4-3 against them in Chicago, 7-7 overall) and it is imperative to win at least two out of three.

Pitching matchups for this weekend:

Friday, 7:10 CT: Greg Maddux vs. Jason Marquis (TV: WGN)
Saturday, 12:20 CT: Matt Clement vs. Jeff Suppan (TV: Fox, regional)
Sunday, 7:05 CT: Kerry Wood vs. Matt Morris (TV: ESPN)

Now, the final decision on Wood's start will wait till after his side throwing session on Friday, but based on his appearance at Iowa on Tuesday, I can't imagine he won't start. That should give the club a boost. If for any reason he can't go, Mark Prior will start on Sunday.