I’m thinking that the blue “L” flag is going to end up becoming the official graphic of View From the Bleachers if this keeps up. The Cubs lost again in ugly fashion, and really, this team isn’t giving us much to take heart in. While the offense was a little better this time out, it was still inconsistent (14 men LOB), and the Cubs relied on their losing formula of a short outing by their starter (3.0 innings, 87 pitches for Angel Guzman) no help from the long relief (5 earned runs for Glendon Rusch) and lousy defense (3 errors in one inning). Throw in Michael Barrett’s tantrum at Dave Roberts and this game had the makings of a total meltdown. After seeing the team play keep playing this way, I’m not sure how Dusty Baker can keep his job. In fact, if anybody can tell me the logic behind this lineup, please let me know:

1.Pierre – CF
2.Neifi – 2B
3.Cedeno – SS
4.Ramirez – 3B
5.Barrett – C
6.Mabry – 1B
7.Murton – LF
8.Hairston – RF

Murton ought to be hitting much higher in this lineup. In fact, he should be hitting 1st or 2nd. I know Dusty’s got his strange pre-conceived notions about batting orders, but if he’s willing to play a 2nd baseman in right field, he ought to be open to batting a player with a .371 OBP higher than 7th in the lineup.

I would like to give you some reason to have hope for this team this year. It’s a terrible thing to realize that we’re going to be watching 4 and a half months of meaningless baseball (at least in the standings) but the truth is, I don’t see any way this team as currently constructed can win. Jim Hendry has pretty much announced that no help will be expected via trade (although he’s going to look pretty bad if Brian Cashman pulls off a deal for the Yankees) and Dusty Baker seems to think that simply shuffling the same players that aren’t getting the job done will somehow make them spring to life, while leaving others to rot on the bench without so much as a chance like Michael Restovich and Ryan Theriot. Not that I think either of these guys are superstars, but at this point, what do you lose by playing them? So instead of being proactive, the Cubs remain passive. Dusty figures eventually his lineup will simply start hitting, so why try anyone new, and Jim Hendry figures eventually Wood and Prior and Williams and Lee will be back, so what’s the point of making a trade and here we are. It’s May 12th, and the Cubs are much closer to last place than 1st. The team is showing little life, and Dusty Baker seems resigned to being fired. It’s not a good time to be a Cubs fan.

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe I’m missing all the signs of a big comeback. I’m going on vacation next week, and I’ll probably have little access to the Cubs while I’m gone, so maybe the break will be good. Maybe I’ll come back with a new attitude about the team. But only if they give me a reason.

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