Huge lizard passes over the ‘too skinny’Woo-Woo and Soto

“Cubby Occurrences” come with the territory for members of the Cubs. Players slip in hot tubs and pull muscles while sneezing at regular intervals. Still, nobody could have predicted the latest Cubby Occurrence: Marlon Byrd being eaten by a large Mesa Gila monster.

“It’s a tough break,” said manager Lou Piniella. “He was a good kid, really swinging the bat well.  You can’t really see things like this coming, although that lizard was pretty gosh darn big. Maybe Byrd should have seen it coming.”

The tragic accident unfolded when Byrd arrived early to camp to hone his swing. The venomous Gila monster — typically known for eating small birds, eggs, and frogs — pounced on Byrd as the outfielder was digging into the batter’s box.

“We were really counting on Byrd to produce this season,” said GM Jim Hendry who signed Byrd to a three-year, $15 million free agent deal this winter. “But that Gila monster had some quickness. My scouts love his 40 time.”

The Gila monster initially passed over Ronnie Woo-Woo and Geovany Soto before settling upon Byrd as its meal. A local zoologist claimed Woo-Woo probably scared the lizard away with a series of ear-piercing chants, while Soto was too small of a snack to satisfy the ravenous beast.

From the February 2010 issue by Jimmy Juliano. Subscribe today!