Worried that cleaning house might give players the wrong impression, Cubs brass signed pitching coach Larry Rothschild to a new two-year contract this week.

“Larry is what the Cubs are all about,” said GM Jim Hendry. “He fails like a Cub should, and therefore needs to be rewarded. Hell, look at me. What have I done to deserve my job?”

According to Hendry, Rothschild will serve the dual role of pitching coach and “failure expert,” ensuring the culture of losing continues in Wrigleyville, despite the arrival of proven-winner Lou Piniella as the new Cubs manager.

“Once we hired Lou, we knew we had to balance that with someone like Larry,” said Interim Cubs President John McDonough, who holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. “The Cubs tradition must live on. Luckily, Larry guided the pitching staff to a 5.19 ERA last season, which was second worst in the National League. God willing, he’ll replicate that kind of leadership in 2007 and 2008.”

Closer Ryan Dempster was excited about Rothschild’s return.

“Nice,” he said. “Now I don’t have to worry about impressing anyone. Larry’s got really low standards.”

heckler editorial staff