Not to be a mope, but is this 2023 Chicago baseball movie almost over yet?

The Cubs and White Sox are co-stars in an irredeemable clunker. Who’s to blame? Everybody.

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Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs

Cubs reliever Mark Leiter Jr. after giving up the lead — twice — on Wednesday against the Rays.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Welcome to Chicago baseball in 2023, a mind-numbingly dark, painfully slow-moving, utterly joyless movie that has brought us to June with no real reason to believe that redemption is coming.

Tagline: Mope springs eternal.

Or maybe that’s just my own cynical outlook.

But it can’t be, can it? We’ve all been tortured by the Cubs, who entered the month a relentlessly underwhelming 24-31, and/or tormented by the White Sox, who were an egregiously underachieving 23-35. Perhaps most of us are invested in the results only on one side of town or the other, which is bad enough. But some of us — we fools — continue to hope the story will brighten at either Wrigley Field or Guaranteed Rate Field, let alone at both, and that makes this morass of mundanity doubly depressing.

So we’ve got that going for us.

Did I mention it’s a new month, June? Objectively, a clean slate of sorts? Or at least a less-filthy one?

“The turning of the chapter of this month,” Cubs manager David Ross said, “it feels kind of nice.”

It makes sense that it would for Ross, who was hammered with criticism from the public throughout the month of May like never before in his four seasons as skipper and surely like never before in his long baseball life. Lately, it seems every call to the bullpen Ross makes is cursed, swiftly and cruelly blowing up in his face. The team’s 4.60 bullpen ERA — worst in the National League — might have something to do with it.

But who stocked the bullpen that keeps letting Ross down? That was Cubs president Jed Hoyer, who seems to be of the belief that bullpens can be tinkered together year-to-year in dependable fashion. Well, 2023 has been a cold smack of reality where that philosophy is concerned. It’s no wonder Hoyer, like Ross, took heavy blame this week in a Sun-Times Twitter poll that asked who is the prime culprit in this season’s disappointment. Then again, the Ricketts ownership family was blamed even more heavily than either Ross or Hoyer, which probably ought to be the case when a major-market club that prints money rarely operates in go-for-the-jugular mode.

The Cubs’ players on the whole aren’t exactly crushing it, either, but Ross has had their backs.

“When things aren’t going well, it should be directed at me,” he recently said. “I’ll take all the heat.”

And Hoyer recently protected his manager, admitting, “I’ve put Rossy in a tough spot.”

A similar poll was posted about the Sox, whose bullpen ERA is a train wreck — 5.08, better in the big leagues than only that of the historically terrible A’s — and whose starters’ ERA of 4.92 ranks near the bottom, too. Put those numbers on the long list of Sox problems, and definitely put chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, the do-wrong duo of vice president Kenny Williams and general manager Rick Hahn, and the Sox players on this movie’s villains list. In our “culprit” poll, that’s the order — Jerry, then Kenny and Rick, then the players — in which blame was assigned by voters.

It seems almost no one is blaming Pedro Grifol, the beauty of a rookie manager’s honeymoon phase. But what are we to make of Grifol? As a Royals coach, he would look at the more-talented Sox, see a group that sometimes appeared unmotivated and low on energy and tell players, “They’re ripe for the picking today.” As manager, Grifol has, on at least a few occasions, seen the Sox in the same way — and admitted as much to the media — yet been unable to keep that from recurring.

“We’re not going to let it linger,” Grifol said as the Sox finished dumping five of seven games to the Tigers and Angels over their last two sleepy series. “I’m not going to let it.”

Really? Grifol is the one who can fix a team that started 7-21 — with a 10-game losing streak in that grotesque stretch — and has a run differential of minus-55? We’ll see about that.

“I think the frustration we all felt in April,” Hahn said the other day, “we haven’t completely rinsed ourselves off.”

Maybe groundskeeper Roger Bossard can get his hands on some extra hoses.

We could sit here forever and cherry-pick baseball indignities. The Sox have, for example, drawn the fewest walks in baseball, contributing to a catastrophically puny .298 on-base percentage. The Cubs are 4-11 in one-run games and have had bumbling road trips of 1-6 and 2-7. On the latter of those trips, they lost games to the Twins by 10 and 13 runs, blew a late 6-1 lead to the Astros in the most crushing defeat of the year and were, almost impossibly, outscored in a three-game set by the Phillies despite winning the opener 10-1. Does that sound like a team with a real chance to get better?

The Cubs are off on a tough 10-game trip against the Padres, Angels and Giants. They have 12 straight series against teams that entered June with better records than they did.

The Sox play on the road in June against the Yankees, Dodgers, Mariners and Angels. The Marlins, Rangers and Red Sox are coming to the South Side this month, too. All seven of those opponents entered the month with winning records.

When’s this movie going to end, Ma?

But now I’m moping again.

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