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Life - and Baseball - Goes On

There's not much to say about the Cubs' lifeless performance last night in their 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay, so instead I'm going to regale you with this joke that Howard told us. I guess this is an old one and a groaner, but Jeff, Mike & I had never heard it before.

An old woman took her parrot to the vet since it seemed very ill. After a brief examination, the vet pronounced the parrot dead. "Are you sure?" she said. The vet replied, "Well, there is one more thing we could try." He disappeared in the back room for a second and came back, followed by a big black Labrador. He put the dog on the table next to the parrot. The dog sniffed the bird from head to toe, licked it a little, then jumped off the table and ran back into the other room. "Well, that confirms it," the vet announced. "Your parrot is dead." The woman started crying, and said, "Are you really sure?" The vet replied, "Well, there is still one last thing." He went to the back room yet again and came back carrying a cat in his arms. He put the cat down next to the parrot. The cat sniffed the bird up and down, then jumped off the table and ran back into the other room. "That settles it," the vet said. "Your parrot is definitely dead." The old woman sighed. "What do I owe you?" The vet replied, "$300." The woman was shocked. "$300! That seems awfully expensive. What did you do that cost $300?"

"Well," the vet replied, "it's $100 for the office visit, $100 for the lab fee and $100 for the cat scan."

I warned you it was a groaner.

I also told you yesterday that I wanted to believe Sammy Sosa was telling the truth about his bats. After 76 other bats were examined by MLB, it turns out that indeed he was telling the truth. It does say that he was pretty stupid to even have a corked bat for "batting practice", because the altered bats don't really help balls go that much farther anyway, and I think he realizes he'll take at least a short-term hit in his image, and it's obviously hurt his concentration -- he looked totally lost last night. But I was gratified to see the crowd reaction. I think people in general are very forgiving, and we as Cub fans more than most. Sammy's meant a lot to Chicago, the Cubs and baseball and that's what people were reacting to last night.

As far as penalties, the official rules of baseball provide only for ejection from the game for using an illegal bat; rule 6.06 further says:

"...uses or attempts to use a bat that, in the umpire's judgment, has been altered or tampered with in such a way to improve the distance factor or cause an unusual reaction on the baseball. This includes, bats that are filled, flat surfaced, nailed, hollowed, grooved or covered with a substance such as paraffin, wax, etc. No advancement on the bases will be allowed and any out or outs made during a play shall stand. In addition to being called out, the player shall be ejected from the game and may be subject to additional penalties as determined by his League President."

So MLB has a tough call here. Sammy came clean and told the truth; yet others who got caught with such bats had suspensions of several games. I'm sticking with what I said yesterday; even if a suspension is announced today, it'll be appealed, probably then reduced, and won't start till June 16 at the earliest.