The Cubs received a startling blow to their 2011 playoff hopes when their Opening Day loss to the Pirates mathematically eliminated the team from playoff contention. Baseball historians believe this is the first time a team has been eliminated from the postseason after just one game.

“Once again, the Cubs have made history,” said John Thorn, MLB’s official historian. “I believe 30 years from now when fans look back on the 2011 campaign, they will be very surprised to learn a team was eliminated so early in the season. When they see it was the Cubs, they will then probably shrug.”

Following the 6-3 loss to the Pirates, Cubs statistical analysts manager Ari Kaplan ran the possible outcomes for the next 161 games a million times through computerized game simulations. He notified the league office of the disastrous results and the Cubs were officially dismissed from playoff contention. The moribund Cubs now carry an asterisk next to their name in the standings to officially alert league followers of their stunning and history-making ineptitude.

“I had high hopes for this season,” said losing pitcher Ryan Dempster. “But 2012 looks pretty good on paper, just as long as they don’t run it through that stupid computer.”

By Jimmy Juliano