With the Cubs’ drive to replace the Astros in the N.L. Central basement in full dive mode, the last thing one might expect to see would be a smile on GM Jim Hendry’s face. As the architect of a team failure so complete, most would think Hendry might spend his days weeping quietly while hiding in the bathroom, but he just can’t help himself from crowing about Carlos Pena’s .200+ batting average.

“Everybody said he’d be lucky to hit .200. You reporters, you fans, you ‘baseball experts.’ Even Carlos himself said it,” said a proud Hendry. “Sure, everything else has gone wrong. I thought [Aramis] Ramirez would have 14 homers by now. I thought our team ERA might be under 7.00. I thought our sucker fans would continue to fill this park despite a really, really poor product on the field. And I was wrong. But, what’s this? Our first basemen is hitting .220? That’s a lot more than .200. I don’t have to ask Einstein that, and I knew he was better than a .200 hitter when I dumped $10 million on him. And everybody thinks I’m the idiot? Fools!”

Pena himself is not nearly as happy with his performance at the plate as his GM.

“I can barely break .200 anymore,” said Pena. “But that’s not all. I can’t even break 200 in bowling and my credit score is down to 200, ever since Visa found out I signed with the Cubs. That number 200 is killing me.”

By Patrick O. Elia

Patrick O. Elia