Watch any televised sporting event these days and, as the camera pans the crowd in the stands, you can’t help but notice most fans playing on their phones during the action. Fans of all sports, ages and gender seem to be far more interested in letting their friends know they’re at a game than actually watching it. However, during yesterday’s 1-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday, players for the Cubs were seen acting very fan-like by paying more attention to their phones than playing ball.

It all started with Cubbie lead-off hitter Emilio Bonifacio who, while striding to the plate to start the season for the northsiders, pulled out his phone to post a selfie of himself on Instagram before looking at the season’s first pitch.  Later, after being picked off first base in the crucial 10th inning, Bonifacio could be seen picking his phone out of the infield dirt (he later confessed he was checking his bank account online during the play).

Bonifacio’s teammates were also extremely active on their devices as well: First basemen Anthony Rizzo fired off more than 30 Tweets during the game on such topics as the NCAA tournament and how some of the Pirates didn’t smell like they showered before the game (most of these tweets were posted while he was in the batter’s box striking out three times) while Starlin Castro spent the bottom of the third playing Candy Crush.   Even starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija got in the act, busily adding dozens of Facebook posts between pitches (mostly sharing George Takei content).

Cubs’ rookie manager Rick Renteria had no comment when asked about his players appalling lack of in-game concentration but his newly updated resume was found on various job sites immediately following the game.

Patrick O. Elia