Nearly a dozen Cubs players, coaches and front office personnel have been implicated in a bribery scandal involving the National Broom Lobby (NBL), a group that represents the interests of broom manufacturers in the United States.
“Yes, the Cubs are being paid to get swept,” said Chicago city attorney Mark Williams. “From the inexplicable managing decisions to the horrendous errors to grooving meatballs down the center of the plate for Albert Pujols, it’s all one giant conspiracy being funded by people who want to sell more brooms.”
According to Williams, the NBL approached Cubs GM Jim Hendry in early March and offered to pay the Cubs every time they got swept – which would undoubtedly spike sales of brooms in the region. Once Hendry was assured 2-game sweeps would also count, he looped in manager Mike Quade and several players, including closer Carlos Marmol and pitcher Ryan Dempster.
“Lump sum payments were transferred from the NBL’s coffers directly to accounts set up by the Cubs in the Caymans,” said FBI spokesman John Griggs. “Sure enough, every time the Cubs got swept, a payment originated from Rubbermaid, Bissell or another broom manufacturer, then was funneled through the NBL to Cubs personnel.”
It’s not clear whether Hendry specifically put together a shoddy team in hopes of wooing the broom lobby, or if they simply saw the Cubs as a viable partner due to the plausibility of them being repeatedly swept without raising eyebrows around the league.