Dear Cubs …

… I am getting very tired of this abuse. You couldn’t be bothered to win when it actually counted for something. You couldn’t even be bothered to give a living legend a decent sendoff before he headed home to take care of his sick mama.

You went out of your way to stink it up all season, but now that you are out of contention, you are bending over backwards to play .700 ball for a guy most Cubs fans couldn’t even have picked out of a lineup a month ago.


I wasn’t terribly concerned when Mike Quade was promoted to interim manager after Sweet Lou retired. After all, Ryno’s boys in Iowa were in a pennant race, and it wouldn’t have been fair to pull him away from them for a few meaningless weeks at the helm of a team that had performed abysmally all season. But because he was doing a great job in Iowa, he didn’t get a chance to “audition” for the job he wanted — and now, thanks to your pointless last-minute heroics, it looks increasingly likely that Quade is going to become Hendry’s golden boy, and Ryno is actually going to end upĀ being punished for a job well done.

This shouldn’t bother me. After all, Ryne Sandberg is enshrined in Cooperstown. He spent a decade and a half being paid obscene amounts of money to play baseball. He has a beautiful wife, hordes of adoring fans, and more money than God — not to mention a movie-star smile and the body of a 25-year-old.

If there is one man on earth who absolutely does not need to be pitied, it’s Ryne Sandberg. So why does it bother me so much to think that the Cubs might pass him over in favor of a smart baseball man who is making the most of an unexpected opportunity?

Well, first, I know how it feels to be penalized for being good at what you do, and it righteously sucks. Sandberg deserves better than that.

Second, it bothers me because I am terrified that if Chicago snubs him, some other team will snap him up, and once he leaves the Friendly Confines, he may not come home again. Give him a little taste of success, fit him for a World Series ring or two, and he’s liable to start running with the wrong crowd.

I’ve put up with a lot out of you jerks over the years. But if I have to look at Ryne Sandberg in Cardinal red or — God forbid — Yankee pinstripes someday, you and I are OVER. Capisce?