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A National Disgrace

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And THAT was worth delaying the ESPY Awards for?

Seriously.

There is really nothing more to be said about last night's 13-7 Cub loss to the Mets other than calling it disgraceful.

Here are some words that are synonymous with "disgraceful", courtesy of the online reference thesaurus.com:

blameworthy, contemptible, degrading, detestable, discreditable, dishonorable, disreputable, ignoble, ignominious, infamous, inglorious, low, mean, offensive, opprobrious, scandalous, shabby, shady, shocking, shoddy, unrespectable, unworthy

All of the 22 words above are true descriptions of last night's carnage, but none of them individually, or even together, begin to describe the depths to which Cubs baseball has sunk.

Records were set last night, and I know I have been called out before for saying that I don't mind seeing "negative" records set against the Cubs. That's a mischaracterization, but let me say that the 11-run inning, which was a Mets team record and equalled the largest single inning I have ever seen in person, was probably the most embarrassing play I have ever witnessed in person at Wrigley Field. All of it. From Todd Walker's two errors (too bad they didn't trade him Saturday night, and I have heard nothing new on this front, and last night's play didn't help Jim Hendry's cause in trying to deal him either), to the two grand slams (only the seventh time in major league history this has occurred, and a first for either the Mets to hit, or the Cubs to allow), I have never seen an inning like it, and I hope to never see such an inning again (unless, of course, it's a Cub team scoring that many runs).

For the record, the only larger inning at Wrigley Field in recent years was a twelve-run Montreal Expos rally in which Andre Dawson hit two home runs in that one inning.

Enough.

And that really IS enough. Look, all of you can express whatever outrage you want, call for firings and selling the team, and I am outraged too, but speaking realistically, you know as well as I do that the team likely isn't going to be sold, nor are the top executives going to be replaced.

And thus, it is time for Jim Hendry, who put this miserably bad team together, to be held to account. By the end of this month, I'll expect him, by either trade or release or DFA, to get the deadwood off this ballclub (and yes, Todd Walker, I'm talking about you. There is a reason he's played for five different teams). And I will also say this, and I expect to be held to account for using the same word that Hendry used and was raked over the coals for -- but I am going to "evaluate" my previously stated support for Dusty Baker. This loss wasn't his fault. I learned during the game that he had been seen on camera in the dugout throwing his cap to the ground during the "intolerable inning", about as much a public display as you'll ever see from him -- even though I suppose people will try to blame him for Walker's errors and the bad pitches made by Sean Marshall and Roberto Novoa -- but it may be, at last, time for him to go. I'll have more to say about this later, not necessarily today.

And all of this happened after the Cubs took a 5-0 lead and my friend Tom was lamenting what he felt was "game over, series lost" feeling -- even though I had to remind him that the Mets entered the day twelve games in first place. Sean Marshall hit his first major league HR. Juan Pierre had four hits. The Mets used seven pitchers, and the Cubs had fifteen hits, four walks, and scored seven times. You ought to win 99% of games in which you have that sort of offense.

Add "embarrassing" to the list of words that describe last night's game. Or how about "humiliating", "exasperating", "shameful", or any of the 37 other synonyms listed for "embarrassing"?

After the second grand slam, garbage was thrown on the field -- and just as the last time this happened on July 1, there's absolutely no excuse for this.

As you all know, I like to try to be the voice of reason while all those around me are out for someone's blood, but this one was just too much. Things have got to start changing, and this off-day would be a good time for Hendry to finally wake up and shake this club up.

All of this on a day when I met several BCB readers -- Sparkles and her parents and sister were all in the bleachers and stopped by to say hi; also Gary, who had sat with us once last year and emailed yesterday to say he was in town and "couldn't bear being in Chicago and not seeing the Cubs play" (wonder how he feels now?), and finally, John Hill, who is from England and writes excellent pieces over at the Cub Reporter, sat with us, kept score and took some really nice photos.

Phil Nevin's pinch-HR in the 7th (and we were all hoping he'd immediately be traded after that) did in fact fly onto the street about 30 feet directly over our heads. So if you think you saw me on ESPN, you probably did. Anyone have a vidcap?

Finally, yesterday the Cubs Wives had their annual grab bag autograph sale. Last year they had autographed photos for $10; I got lucky and wound up with a really nice Greg Maddux autographed photo.

Last night, they had autographed balls for $50. I happened to stop by the table where Greg's wife Kathy was sitting, and she said "this table's been lucky!" (I suppose she meant for a "popular" autograph.)

So I paid and picked a bag and opened it and there was a ball signed by...

... John Mabry.

As I was walking away I thought, "Maybe I should have had Kathy Maddux sign it; that might have been worth more than the Mabry ball!"

This is what we are reduced to. It's time to make some changes in this ballclub. Let the truck back up and begin, today.