After the Cubs lost their 17th game in 21 attempts, team marketing execs fired off the most heartfelt email they’ve perhaps ever sent fans, telling them the team understands if nobody buys tickets the rest of this miserable season.

“Let’s be honest, you are good, mostly hard-working people,” read the email, which had “Cubs keeping it real!” for a subject. “You deserve better than to waste your money on the rancid level of baseball we’re currently putting on the field, so please feel free to tune out for the remainder of the 2012 campaign — and probably 2013 as well — and we’ll catch up with you when we stop sucking so bad.”

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said he hadn’t seen the email, but was sure it was some sort of prank and was insistent no one would take the email seriously.

“How anyone could say no to baseball and bison dogs in a legendary and beautiful urine trough-free baseball stadium like Wrigley Field is beyond me,” said Ricketts. “Have you see our new ads on the outfield walls? Aren’t they just breath-taking?”