Big League Stew - MLB

Sportsline's Ray Ratto says he has been impressed with the way Cubs fans handled last week's sweep at the hands of the Dodgers, keeping the public whining and griping to a minimum.

The reaction of the actual Cubs players themselves, though, might be a different matter.

As reported by Rick Telander in today's Chicago Sun-Times, a water pipe in the visitor's dugout at Dodger Stadium was smashed with something near or at the end of Saturday's Game 3. The force was enough to cause the pipe to break and flood the dugout floor. Manager Lou Piniella was prevented from crossing the field to the postgame interview room.

No one on the Cubs has fessed up, though GM Jim Hendry is reported to have told a Dodgers official to "find out how much it costs and we'll pay for it."

(I should take the time here to note that this picture to the right is NOT of the Dodger Stadium dugout. Rather, it's an AP file photo from Turner Field during a brutal rain delay in '06. It illustrates the story rather well, don't you think?)

The whole incident makes for an interesting meditation, writes Telander:

"Maybe there is nothing all that bad about this incident. After all, no one was hurt, a pipe's a pipe, water evaporates.

"But there is the smell of cover-up to the thing, and the vandalism is, at the very least, part of perhaps the most bizarre and inexplicable fall from grace in the Cubs' curse-riddled history. Above all, somebody on the team should stand up and say, ''I was the guy.'' Maybe two or more of them should stand up and say they did it. If they did it. Explain their anger, apologize and we'll forgive."

Telander rightly compares this episode to the hotel-trashing actions of the U.S. hockey team at the '98 Olympics in Japan, embarrassing acts of vandalism to which no one ever fessed up.  

On its own, it's still a strange situation, though. While we Cubs fans wanted to see that the players cared just as much as we did about the downfall, seeing them trash the property of others wasn't the way we wanted to see that passion exhibited.

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