Cubs Open Camp for Hopeful Youngsters – Tell Youngsters Hope of Playing in the Big Leagues is Stupid
April 22, 2008
(Chicago, IL) – The Chicago winds are blowing, and the ivy vines are growing, and the Chicago Cubs are getting ready to open up the 2007 campaign. Before they do, they hosted a group of local youngsters who hope one day to join them at Wrigley, in an “Attitude and Activity” camp this week. The local children – ranging in age from 6 to 9 – participated in hitting and fielding drills, scrimmaged with the team, and attended several “Talking Sessions” with current players. Might the Cubs have hosted a few future teammates?
No, the Cubs say. Most certainly not.
“I’m sure it’s fun for these kids to get to play at Wrigley with their heroes, but we want them to know that they will never make it to the big leagues,” new Cub Alfonso Soriano explained.
“I mean, there was one kid in a wheelchair for crying out loud. He’s never gonna beat out an infield single. Seriously. We tried like 12 times.”
“We just want kids to be realistic about their career goals. The major leagues aren’t for everyone. Not every crappy, hopeful kid can luck out like Cesar [Izturis].”
During his “Talking Session,” Michael Barrett showed the youngsters the scars he bears from his years of professional baseball. “At some point,” Barrett said to the children, “you have to ask yourself how many testicles you’re willing to give to play professional baseball.” He continued, “For me it was one. For you, it might be none. Or two. If it’s two, can I have one?”
Outraged at what he termed, “blind, [lousy] umpiring” at one of the scrimmages, Lou Piniella let young umpire Kenny Papek, 9, know what it’s like to be an umpire at the major league level. “Yeah, I threw a couple bases,” Piniella said. “So what? I didn’t tell the kid to stand there.” Fortunately, Cubs trainers were standing by to treat Kenny for his injuries, which the Cubs termed, “a minor setback.”
Kenny is expected back to school by the end of the week, and then out of school again for 11 months.