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Chicago Baseball Goes Bust

Let's hear it for the Blackhawks!

The longer they play, the less attention we have to pay to the bust known as Chicago baseball.

I'm not asking the Hawks to stretch this thing out on purpose, but a seven-game series would give us another 10-plus days of avoiding the soon to be unavoidable: The baseball season here is, as Hawk Harrelson would declare, OVA!

How many losses to the Pirates can you stomach? And is it time to scream FIRE SALE on the South Side?

It's hard to fathom two baseball teams looking so bad when the preseason prognostications had them being, well, at least mediocre.

But neither team appears as if they could be successful hitting off a tee, and their pitching staffs have discovered new roads to failure.

And it's only June 3rd!

What in the name of Carlos Zambrano and Jake Peavy is going on here?

It's pretty simple: Bad planning by management and bad execution by players.

This, by the way, equals no October, unless you factor in the last and meaningless regular-season games.

While Lou Piniella is tongue-tied trying to verbalize answers to the mystery that is the lack of run production on the North Side, Ozzie Guillen is stuck with the team he wanted at 35th and Veeck Drive. This would be Veeck as in Wreck as in White Sox baseball 2010. If general managers need 20-20 vision, the two we have here might advertise for a Seeing Eye dog.

How in the world did I predict each team would miss the playoffs yet still win 87 games?

Have you heard the term "One too many"?

Jake Peavy is costing the Sox dearly. So are Mark Buehrle and Bobby Jenks. They represent $36.5 million in salary this season.

Since his perfect game last July, Buehrle has gone 5-13 with an ERA of 4.80, which is a run higher than his career number.

This is numbing enough until you wonder what went wrong with Peavy. He said the Sox must play like "Dirtbags." Meanwhile, he's been pitching like dirt while the Sox season appears pretty much bagged.

And Bobby Jenks has fashioned just one, 1-2-3 ninth inning all year.

Have I mentioned the decline of A.J. Pierzynski, the disappointing Gavin Floyd, and the collapse of Carlos Quentin?

Kenny Williams declared he still believes in his guys, doesn't have a deadline to clean house, and hopes his team can put something together resembling a streak. Before applying for that Seeing Eye dog, Williams will have to discard those rose-colored glasses.

Just don't send them to Jim Hendry.

The Cubs' architect of calamity has seen an $18 million pitcher demoted to the bullpen, the cornerstones at first and third base looking as if they need headstones, a second baseman that used to be a shortstop walking as often as a six-month old, and a pitcher who is on the disabled list with a bad knee when in fact he's helped paralyze this team with a bad left arm.

Carlos Zambrano, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and John Grabow . . . come on down. Your checks are waiting.

Much of what has occurred at the mausoleum on Clark and Addison is as much to blame on underachieving players as it is a manager whose days have passed him by and a GM who ruined this aggregate after the 2008 season.

I'll give Hendry this much - he dumped Milton "The Martyr" Bradley for Carlos Silva, who might be in line for a berth on the All-Star team if not sainthood.

Meanwhile, the befuddled Piniella has juggled the lineup more often than a circus performer simultaneously tosses knives.

Unfortunately for Lou, some of those knives have lodged in his back.

The Cubs should be better. So should the Sox. And how often have we heard this refrain over, say, the last number of decades?

There will be no lengthy winning streaks on the South Side, and when the Cubs start hitting, first place will need a telescope. Trades will be made. How that will affect our baseball teams for next year remains to be seen.

And just who will be running them in 2011?

Can the Blackhawks add another round to the Stanley Cup Finals?


That's all she wrote, which happens to be the name of my blog on ChicagoNow. You can also follow me on Twitter at @georgeofman and on Facebook. Comments welcome.

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