Repent! Repent! Before it's too late! The end is near! The end is near, like 9 games near. Is that close enough?

Now "repent" means to "change your ways" and if the Dodgers don't change their ways, they are going to baseball hell. They ain't gonna' be saved.

The Dodgers left home with a relatively comfortable 4 game lead.

They squandered most of that in Milwaukee, Milwaukee of all places.

They stumbled home with a squeaky narrow half game lead, but with a 10 game series of home cooking.

Seven games of that "home cooking" has gone back to the kitchen for leftovers, for the cats, for garbage. The six games gone, that came come back, show four losses and only two wins, one miracles from the ages (Maddux) and one miracle for the ages.

Last place Jim Tracy is taking first place from the Dodgers.

The Dodgers once 10 games over .500 hundred - in September yet -- are slipping back to a .500 time with extra doses of Andy Granatelli's Valvoline Extra greasing the slide.

The turned the home stretch with a lead of more than a few lengths. They have faltered in the stretch and been overtaken now at the 8th pole. They put the whip on the horse yesterday with Greg Maddux, but the whip missed.

The two high notes, a no-hitter into the late innings and the barrage of homers also in late innings, remain highlights. But the highlights have obscured the reality.

The reality is the makeup on the actors is running badly.

The highlights were like a diver executing a perfect 3 1/2 gainer to the roars of the crowd and then failing to come up for air, drowning in the pool.

Hey, what happened?

We could put the crazies of the United Nations in Chavez Ravine and get more cheers than this. The difference between the UN and the Dodgers is the UN is already sunk and don't know it, whereas the Dodgers are sinking and we do know it.

Now there are rules for "repenting," for changing your ways. The Torah has five books of rules. Over 600 of them. About 250 of the rules are good thinks to do to find repentance. Over 300 are bad things not to do to find repentance.

But as the gospel says, there are two great commandments.

Baseball, and the Dodgers, know the two great commandments.

The first is: get more hits and score more runs than the other guys.

The second is: pitch better than your opponents. Of late, the Dodgers have broken both commandments with all too frequent regularity. And at the worst possible time - with everybody watching.

It used to be lots of baseball types hated the Dodgers, almost as bad as that Venezuelan two bit dictator Chavez hates the Yankees.

The Dodgers had money, they had a farm chock full of stars, they had movie stars, they had cheerleaders, they had arrogance. They were used to being in front. They had a never ending fountain of pitchers.

The Dodgers still have lots of money, but the rest has vanished, as the gospel predicts for the ways of the world.

A side part of "repentance" is prayer and throwing yourself at God's mercy.

Since the Dodgers ain't hitting, pitching or winning too good lately, may we all now bow our knees in prayer.

Pray for Grady Littler-than-before. Pray for outs (theirs), pray for hits (ours). Lord, we are drowning. Save us.