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Aftermath

Well, I feel better this morning, though my post of last night got a lot of e-mail response.

Here's one, from Ross French, that I think pretty well sums it all up:

I have worked in college athletics for about 12 years and have seen this same malaise take over teams due to reasons behind the scenes. Suddenly, no matter how hard they try, nothing works right. Guys get frustrated, they lose the desire to win for their teammates. The fabric of the "team" falls apart. They bitch and complain about insignificant things. (My favorite was a second baseman on the baseball team complaining about an error I called on one of his teammates and telling me that I should get out there and take some ground balls.) And suddenly, as an observer, you realize how helpless you are to try to help things. The only hope is just blow things up and start again.

I look at the Cubs and see a team crying out for leadership. There just isn't any. Sosa isn't a leader, he is more concerned with playing his music after games. Alou is a DH. I love watching him hit, but everything else he does, including running, is a circus. Patterson is too young, Barrett and Lee too new. Garciaparra isn't going to do it, as shown with his career in Boston. Walker has never been a leader and Grudzielanek has one foot out the door. The guy with the chance to take this team and make it his is Ramirez, but he hasn't taken control yet. The starting pitchers are too young, hyper or inconsistent. Too many guys have reputations for being more trouble than they are worth (Farnsworth, Sosa, Alou, and Walker, who very well may be the baseball version of Gary Payton.)

So, what is to be done? Who knows? It is a factor that amateur GMs like myself never have to deal with on Strat-o-matic. I respect Hendry, but what I wouldn't do for a guy like Bagwell, Luis Gonzalez, Johnny Damon, Michael Young or any one of a dozen others known for taking care of business on and off the field.

Just remember, we haven't jumped off the bandwagon. We are just on the "Realist's Bandwagon."

There has to be someone in that clubhouse who can step up and be a leader. The time is NOW.