New Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano’s mood turned from jovial to sour yesterday when his first paycheck from the team bounced at a local Fifth Third Bank. The check, filled out for a hefty $325,000, was returned due to insufficient funds in the Tribune bank account.

“Initially, we thought my check was returned because the bank doesn’t cash oversized novelty checks,” said Soriano’s agent. “Apparently, that wasn’t the case.”

After an off-season spending spree of hundreds of millions of dollars, the Cubs simply cannot afford to pay their prized free-agent acquisitions any money at all. The well has dried up from money spent on bleacher improvements,concrete for new ticket scalping agencies and the recently christened Chicago Cubs Pitcher Rehabilitation Clinic.

Still, Cubs GM Jim Hendry expressed optimism despite the fledging team bank account.

“We just have to get a little creative with our contracts,” said Hendry. “We’ve back-loaded Soriano’s contract to make $74 million in 2087. Hopefully, Alfonso will still be alive to reap the sweet rewards of playing for the Chicago Cubs.”

heckler editorial staff