The Cardinals trumped the Cubs and the rest of the N.L. Central Division this weekend by acquiring future Hall-of-Famer Mark DeRosa from Cleveland. Upon hearing the news, every team in the division except the Pirates folded and anointed St. Louis as N.L. Central champs.
“How can we compete with that one-two punch of Pujols and DeRosa?” said Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot. “It’s just unfair.”
On Monday morning, the Brewers, Reds and Astros sent notice to their season ticket holders that their respective teams would no longer play games this season and that all players had been sent home for the summer. The lowly Pirates, who haven’t had a winning season since 1992, decided to remain in the race, figuring that all the forfeit wins against the folded divisional foes could keep them neck-and-neck with the Cards.
“The odds of us taking the division have got to be 1000 to 1 with the reincarnation of Gehrig and Ruth over there in St. Louis,” said Pirates GM Neal Huntington. “But if we can keep this thing close through late-September, I’ve got a feeling that guys like Ian Snell and Zach Duke will pitch us to the division championship.”
The Cubs have also canceled all home dates at Wrigley Field following the DeRosa trade, but will replace the baseball games with approximately 50 concerts featuring bands that haven’t had a hit since the early 1980s.
By Jeremy Barewin