Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

August 2009 Archives

Are we there yet?

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The more pertinent question: Are they done yet?

And if so, do they know it? Is that why the only things disappearing faster than games on the schedule are players from the clubhouse after the game?

Except for a few stragglers, the Cubs' clubhouse Monday was cleared of players quicker than perhaps any other postgame scene this season that wasn't affected by an early getaway charter or postgame fireworks shows on the road.

Cub fans: What do you hear?

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Whether Milton Bradley trusts anyone in the media to understand his perspective enough to truly stand up and say specifically what's going on around him when he goes on the field, he's obviously experiencing something harsh enough to let it spill without prompting the past few days.

Chalk it up to a credibility issue with Bradley if you want, but even the unimpeachable Derrek Lee said Thursday he's heard racially charged taunts from the Wrigley stands, albeit directed at others.

So what's the real deal out there?

Bradley on love and idiots

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A few hours after suggesting he's been the target of racist treatment from fans at Wrigley Field, Milton Bradley turned Tuesday night's ``hatred'' on a ``daily basis'' into a self-lovefest.

This, of course, after doing the hand-puppet thing to fans behind home plate again after his two-run homer Wednesday night.

Cubs' Bradley faces ``hatred'' daily

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The Cubs' inevitable plans to rework their underachieving roster under new ownership should probably start with an effort to move Milton Bradley and whatever they can of the $21 million left on the final two years of his contract.

And by the sounds of it, Bradley would welcome it.

In response to a mundane postgame question about feeling more comfortable - presumably at the plate - following his four-hit night, Bradley revealed that he's never comfortable here and talked about dealing with ``hatred'' daily.

Cubs say ``ouch'' but not ``uncle''

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Maybe the Ricketts-Tribune agreement will provide a little positive emotion going forward. Maybe getting home on Tuesday to open a long homestand filled mostly with also-rans will spur something. Maybe Carlos Zambrano's return from the DL Tuesday will do it.

But right now it doesn't look so good with 42 games for the Cubs - who lost a one-run game Friday night in L.A. because they (1) committed an infield error that led to the only runs the Dodgers scored, (2) watched both those score on a two-out double by the pitcher and (2) got exactly one hit all night.

``It gets painful watching this,'' manager Lou Piniella said.

King fishing, Cubs sliding

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What in the world could Larry King have wanted with the reeling Cubs when he stopped outside their clubhouse following another loss Thursday night and asked on the spur of the moment to be allowed in?

King didn't get in. But 20 minutes later, he was still staking out the floor where players exit the Dodger Stadium elevator to leave the stadium.

It's Showtime for Cubs, ``Muffet'' Man

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At least there seemed to be energy on this night, even if it looked more like a standup act for a while.

The manager said he took a ``rickshaw'' to the park to avoid the San Diego jaywalking cops and had some of the more gullible among us believing him until he started laughing.

Then Bill Murray joined Cubs execs Jim Hendry and Scott Nelson in the third-base box seats for Wednesday night's game and cracked up half the Cubs' dugout by riding third-base coach Mike Quade for nine innings.

And then Milton Bradley stole the show when he had what Piniella called a ``muffet conversation'' with a fan behind home plate after his sixth-inning home run - gesturing with his hand like it was a puppet talking. Then his hand ``conversed'' again with fans down the right field line on his way to his position after the half-inning.

Talk about laughing until you cry.

Because after all the comic relief - followed by more serious relief resulting from a 7-1 win that snapped an 0-for-5 in games at San Diego this year - the Cubs headed up I-5 by bus to play four against the team that still has the best record in the NL despite losing this week's series to St. Louis.

Consider it Showtime in Hollywood for a team scrambling to rewrite their script.

Where was the Cubs' energy or the RF?

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How about that closer change? Not that the Cubs had a chance to utilize it Tuesday night in another listless loss in San Diego.

They're starting to take on the look of a team that knows it's done. That's not to say there's not effort. But with barely a quarter of the season left and big deficits staring at them in both the division and wild-card standings, the Cubs are sagging in emotion, of not energy.

Cubs heading south? Tequila!

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Whether the Cubs close with Angel Guzman or Angels in the Outfield, they need to get out of San Diego with a series win if they want to keep their pennant race intact as they near September.

Because this week is already starting to take on a look of that 1-6 Colorado-Phillies stretch last week that dumped the Cubs from first place to the fringe-contender neighborhood of the National League.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from August 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2009 is the previous archive.

September 2009 is the next archive.

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