Chicago baseball can't catch a break during this 2013 season of discombobulation, dysfunction and discontent.
The White Sox' symbol is Adam Dunn, the failed slugger booed by his own team's fans. The Cubs' is Carlos Marmol, the failed closer booed by his own team's fans.
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The season isn't close to the midway point and already there's no reason to care about either of these teams. Not even baseball's latest performance-enhancing drugs scandal provided much encouragement this week.
Approximately 20 major-leaguers reportedly will be implicated. MLB reportedly will seek to suspend offenders for as many as 100 games.
Among players in jeopardy are Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and Gio Gonzalez. Then there are the likes of Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta. Then there are youngsters, oldsters and others still to be revealed.
All are innocent until proven guilty, of course, but since baseball's drug implosion of the 1990s the public views everyone as guilty until proven innocent.
A Cubs fan emailed me Wednesday morning with a hopeful question: Any chance Marmol will be one of the players suspended?
He was hoping against hope.
Certainly some Sox fans are mumbling a similar question: Any chance Dunn will be one of the players suspended?
They're hoping against hope.
Here would be my question: Any chance the Cubs' entire bullpen and the Sox' entire offense will be among the players suspended?
Talk about hoping against hope.
Something good has to come of this edition of baseball's war on drugs. Locally it would be ridding the Sox and Cubs of some of the players polluting the North and South sides of town.
Dunn and Marmol would top the list, but there are a few dozen others whom our teams would be better off without. The irony is that based on performance, the Cubs and Sox must not have anybody involved in this particular baseball scandal.
Heck, if any of them were they should admit their guilt, accept their punishment and sue the Miami anti-aging clinic that allegedly was providing performance enhancers.
More likely the likes of Marmol and Dunn are on performance inhibitors. Most likely they're guilty of nothing more than being bad at their jobs.
Those are the only explanations for the ineptness of Dunn and his co-conspirators in the Sox' lineup and Marmol and his co-conspirators in the Cubs' bullpen.
Actually it's unfair to single out Dunn and Marmol or even the whole Sox' batting order and whole Cubs' relief corps. Except for the briefest blips of competence, every aspect of each club has contributed to the mess.
Failure this season has been a team effort on both sides of town, from the owners' office to the front office to the clubhouse to the dugout to the field.
My goodness, wouldn't it be great if the whole gaggle of them was suspended for 100 games, stretching to the end of the season?
Then suspend them for another 162 games to cover all of the 2014 season, you know, just on principle.
That should be enough of a break for Chicago baseball fans.