It all started when news broke Saturday that Phil Nevin took it upon himself to get traded from the lowly Chicago Cubs by calling the Minnesota Twins manager and begging to play for him. Two hours later, a deal was done.
“Most of us don’t have that luxury,” said Jacque Jones. “If we don’t want to play on this slack-ass team, you’ve got to invent some injuries.”
Jones left Sunday’s game with an inflamed tear duct, perhaps the most fake-sounding injury in baseball history.
“Inflamed tear duct? That’s pretty good,” said pitcher Angel Guzman, who admitted that all he could think of was an arm cramp, which allowed him to leave the same game.
Michael Barrett went so far as to bribe a Northwestern doctor, convincing him to perform needless, yet possibly season-ending surgery following a foul ball to the groin.
John Mabry joined in the fun by pretending his back was sore.
All the excuses lead to a one-win weekend against the San Francisco Giants. Because of the made up injuries, catcher Henry Blanco found himself playing first Sunday, as Derrek Lee took a scheduled day off. Many Cubs fans noted that seeing Blanco at first was almost as funny as the time Garry Gaetti pitched an inning in emergency relief.
On Friday, the rookies ruled the roost as Matt Murton and Ryan Theriot—both unable to think of fake injuries—hit home runs. The Cubs won 6-2 thanks to a nice eight-inning outing by Rich Hill.
Sean Marshall came off the disabled list to give up three home runs Saturday, including one to Barry Bonds, and the Cubs fell 4-2.
“What can I say?” said Marshall, who was unable to come up with a fake injury to prevent him from playing. “When you just come off the DL, it’s hard to convince a manager that you’re hurt again.”
And on Sunday, Bonds hit another homer as the Cubs lost 7-4.
Number of the Day: 0
Hits tallied by Buck Coats in his last stint with the Cubs. He was recalled this weekend from triple-A Iowa and probably will deliver much of the same.