Hours after it was extinguished, the cause of Wednesday morning’s small fire at Wrigley Field was determined to be team president Theo Epstein attempting to burn the remaining years on Alfonso Soriano’s contract in a last-ditch effort to free up much-needed salary for the team.
“Apparently Mr. Epstein felt as though he had run out of options to rid the Cubs of the $54 million they still have committed to Mr. Soriano over the next three seasons,” said Chicago FD inspector Frank Stanton. “In what can be best described as desperate hysteria, Mr. Epstein believed lighting all 200 pages of Mr. Soriano’s contract would somehow void the deal.”
Normally known for his cool and calm demeanor, Epstein admitted his panic attack was uncharacteristic of him.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” said Epstein. “I’ve been spending so much time trying to get Soriano’s contracts off the books that I just flipped out.”
Of course burning the Cubs’ copy of Soriano’s contract won’t void it, but Epstein — who won’t face charges — said there was some relief in the act, if only symbolic.
“There’s nothing I can do to make this stupid go away,” said Epstein. “So if nothing else I got some great therapy from lighting in on fire. I’ll have to keep that in mind when we start looking at Dempster’s and Zambrano’s contracts.”