Over the past few seasons, the Cubs have battled each other in the dugout as often as they’ve battled opponents on the field. The latest altercation between Carlos Silva and Aramis Ramirez has caused concern with GM Jim Hendry, who has instructed his players to begin playing with boxing gloves instead of the traditional baseball variety.
“If our players are determined to keep fighting with each other, then I want them prepared,” said Hendry, who has also hired a referee to work the dugout during games. “As soon as any argument comes to blows, the ref is instructed to ring the bell so the entire team knows a fight is on.”
Some of the players are even taking this to a whole new level by hiring trainers, wearing mouth guards, and playing Mike Tyson’s punch out before games to pump them up. None of them wants to be caught off-guard by another teammate dissatisfied with their lack of production.
“If one of my teammates is going to come after me, I’m gonna be ready,” said Carlos Zambrano, while hitting a speed bag recently installed in the Cubs clubhouse. “I especially don’t appreciate the attitude coming from Kosuke lately. I think he’s talking smack about me in Japanese, so I expect a round with him before we pack up and leave for Chicago.”
Mike Quade understands Hendry’s approach, but he’s concerned that the boxing gloves will only result in more errors on the field, which was the cause of all the frustration that Silva recently vented.
“If these guys can’t catch the ball with baseball gloves, then how do you expect them to catch the ball with boxing gloves,” asked Quade, who witnessed 36 errors by Starlin Castro alone during pre-game fielding practice. “It’ll be especially hard on Geovany Soto. If he can’t catch the ball, Zambrano’s and Silva’s heads will certainly explode.”
Still, Hendry insists this is necessary for his team.
“Look, I really didn’t want it to come to this,” he said. “And if they keep this up, Tom Ricketts has already approved my plans to install a wrestling ring in Wrigley Field so the players can all go at it in one big Royal Rumble. And if that is the case, at least we’ll be able to finally sell out the stadium again.”
By Michael Kloempken