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The Cubs calamity at Clark and Addison

George Ofman

I know my stuff. 36 years in broadcasting. Sox Cubs Bears Bulls Hawks. You ask, I'll answer

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If the past weekend in Colorado didn't convince die-hard Cubs fans their team was dead, then no dose of reality will cure them. There was a record breaking 12 run, 11 hit barrage Friday night; a walk off homer by a guy who hit for the cycle on Saturday and then, Carlos Silva losing his breath and some of his heartbeat on Sunday. If the Cubs still have heart, the beat is far worse than irregular.

The Cubs also traded Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot and welcomed back (though not exactly with wide open arms), Carlos Zambrano who made two appearances out of the bullpen. Sunday's effort equaled 54 pitches, 2 runs, 4 hits and two walks in 2 innings. If progress is measured in pitches, Big Z is soon headed to the rotation. If it's measured in performance, Zambrano will need more than anger management to restore his ailing career.

And their lame duck manager was attending the funeral of an Uncle. The funeral for the 2010 Cubs is scheduled for October 4th. No word whether Lou Piniella will be one of the pallbearers.

The Cubs aren't merely a train wreck; they're a 20 car pileup on the Kennedy!  No emergency personnel can save them, not even Derrick Lee who decided to remain part of this disaster rather than except a trade to a contender. While cloistered in the studios of WGN radio over the weekend where I conducted "The Cubs 10th inning post game show",  callers (which numbered fewer than usual and with good reason) showed less outrage than in previous months when the Cubs were fooling them into false hope. The passion usually reserved for denizens who worship at the corner of Clark and Addison is fading faster than one run losses. And the Cubs have 24 of them, most in the majors. The chants of "Let's go Cubs" is about to replaced by "Let go of these Cubs".

And that's going to be an issue General Manager Jim Hendry will have to tackle while searching for his third manager. The payroll could plummet as attendance will for the rest of the season. What will he do with the nearly invisible Kosuke Fukudome and the all too visible Zambrano? That's nearly 60 million dollars to fret about.  Aramis Ramirez will opt in rather than out of his contract meaning he'll reap 14.6 million. And remember, Alfonso Soriano is due another 72 million over the next 4 seasons. If I'm Tom Ricketts, I would consider hiring an actuary and one of Zambrano's doctors.

Meanwhile, the White Sox are thriving on the south side, a first place team in search of a playoff spot that seemed so farfetched just 6 weeks ago. Jealous Cubs are in search of a new direction. How does next year sound....again?

You can follow me on twitter @georgeofman and on Facebook. I'm also a contributor to WGN Radio's "Cubs 10th inning post game show."



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