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

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.

A Dodgers fan since they were in Brooklyn, what was King after? Who did he want to talk to?

Did he think those were Michael Jackson's kids striking out against Jeff Weaver? Richard Simmons pitching the bottom of the sixth? Kermit the Frog talking to fans in right field? (Wait a minute, maybe that was Wednesday in San Diego).

Larry King? Makes no sense. Dr. Phil? The way these guys are playing, sure. Jerry Springer? Definitely.

Regardless, this much is certain. Whatever King might have been asking, he wasn't going to get any answers.

``I can't figure it out either,'' Aramis Ramirez said after another lifeless hitting effort against a middling Dodgers starter in Thursday's 7-2 loss - the Cubs' 10th in 14 games.

So many good hitters with big-time track records to come up so empty so often, Ramirez said.

It's become such an old theme and resulted in such a dramatic slide from first place this month that the Cubs have gotten to the point where they've stopped counting.

Six games out? Seven? Just another brick in that wall they've erected between themselves and a return trip to the playoffs.

``I'm not even looking at where we're at,'' manager Lou Piniella said after the Cubs' 10th loss in 14 games dropped them deeper in the standings than they've been since June of '07. ``I'm trying to see about winning some baseball games.''

With three more games in a West Coast trip that already is adrift, even the players admit the season is slipping away.

``Obviously it is right now,'' Ramirez said, referring to the big deficit.

Just do the math.

The first-place Cardinals have 39 games left; the Cubs, 43. If the Cardinals do just enough to play .500 the rest of the way (20-19), the Cubs would have to go 29-14 (.674) to catch them.

They haven't played so much as .600 ball over any 43-game stretch this season.

``Obviously, you always have to put things together quickly, but I don't think we're in desperate need to start something right now,'' said newcomer Tom Gorzelanny, who pitched a decent five innings in his start Thursday.

``We've got a lot of games to go. But we need to get moving and as a team find our groove. I have no doubts we can do that. Playing against this team for so many years, they always do it. I'm not worried that we're [not] going to start turning this around and win some ballgames and make it worthwhile at the end.''

It's probably worth noting that Gorzelanny came to Cubs from Pittsburgh, where I'm sure it did seem like the Cubs always got it done.

Wait until Gorzelanny gets a load of October, if he's still around when the Cubs get back to the playoffs.

Then King might have something worth talking to a Cub about.

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Cubs need to unload "superstars" i.e. Soriano and Bradley and bring in players that play with energy and effort. In addition, bring in players that understand and know the basics of baseball. I can't understand how you can keep a player like Aaron Miles and send a Micah Hofpauer back to the minors, where's the brain trust??? Time to think of the future and play Jake Fox and Micah Hofpauer.

If the CUbs only had a manger with GUTS that wouldnt cover the GM AS* and make good lineup decisions .. THe CUBS so FIRE LOU and get somebody that ia awake and knows whats going on..

BOB BRENLY for CUBS manager.. SUN times PUT up a VOTE if LOU should be fired. I know the TRIB wont ..

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on August 21, 2009 1:34 AM.

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Cubs say ``ouch'' but not ``uncle'' is the next entry in this blog.

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