Although he’s been invited to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at Wrigley Field, hip hop/R&B star T-Pain won’t be bringing his robotic funk to The Friendly Confines anytime soon.

The reason?

Cubs management won’t let the musician take his Auto-Tune equipment with him.

“I’ll be honest with you,” Pain said when asked about the rebuff. “If I were to sing without Auto-Tune in public, my career would be destroyed immediately. Imagine that ‘hocolate Rain’ guy on YouTube trying to sing after gargling a mixture of pine tar and broken glass for a few minutes. Now you have an approximation of my natural singing voice.”

In spite of T-Pain’s popularity, the Cubs are sticking by the policy.

“Look, we’re not exactly a high-tech studio here,” said Cubs marketing man . “And if we didn’t do it for Ditka, we sure aren’t going to do it for T-Pain.”

From the May 2009 issue by Brian Summerfield