Mark Prior will start the season with Triple-A Iowa and he didn’t go down without a fight. In fact, the delicate starter put on “quite the crying game” when Cubs manager Lou Piniella broke the news to him in a meeting earlier this week.

“Mark immediately knew why I called him into my office,” Piniella said. “As soon as I asked him to close the door and take a seat, he started bawling. I didn’t know what to do other than hand him a box of Kleenex.”

Prior gave several excuses amid tears on why he should make the Major League club, even providing Piniella with a letter from a psychiatrist, citing the pitcher’s “fragile psyche” and “need for sense of belonging.” However, the hardnosed manager didn’t buy what Prior was selling.

“That letter he showed me was obviously written by his wife,” Piniella said. “There was even a reference to ‘snookums’ in describing Mark. I wish he would go to these kinds of lengths into improving his game rather than using all his energy into making excuses.”

heckler editorial staff