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Bats Cigar Box Label Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

Maybe I’m bats, but daily I lose what respect I had for the thieves, embezzlers, boondogglers, ambulance chasers, and assorted miscreants that run professional baseball. And there hasn’t been much for a very long time...

I once had the opportunity to speak at some length with Bill Veeck, after he gave a lecture at the Community House in west suburban Hinsdale. I was maybe 15 or 16 years old — I’m too lazy to look up the exact date but I only lived there for a year and a half so it has to fall in that period.

You may feel free to imagine the kind of things Veeck would say, even to an audience of high-schoolers and assorted faculty. And afterward they threw down a feed, and the luck of the draw meant that I sat catercorner from Bill, and he explained some of the things he knew over plates of runny lasagna and honeymoon salad, to those of us at his end of the table, in his inimitable fashion.

Bill didn’t fit in, even then. His peer was Charles O. Finley, and that was basically all she wrote when those two gentleman left the game.

It isn’t that Veeck (or Finley) didn’t like money, but for him it was a tool that enabled him to do what he wanted, and what he wanted was to win games and entertain people, ideally simultaneously. And buy cigars. (Finley wanted more money but he wanted fun, too.)

To say that such isn’t the endgame current sporting people pursue would be to soft-pedal the truth. However, I fell off that bike onto the floor, which enabled me to see that the treadmill has become an escalator, running in reverse.

Thank you Rob (the poor) Manfred and company for allowing the likes of A. J. Hinch and Tony La Russa back into the managing game, and for the fabulous possibilities that Steve Cohen offers, and for the queasy feeling I experience when I watch my favorite team perform.

I’d rather have orange baseballs and midgets and bat-flips to the moon. Your mileage may vary. We now take you back to your regularly-scheduled programming.

Here at Cub Tracks News and Notes, we are closing in on our eighth anniversary overall. As always, * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome). {$} means paywall. {$} means limited views. Italics are often used on this page as sarcasm font. (In the comments section, use @ before and after your remarks @ to produce sarcasm font.)

“We’ve had conversations about coming back and being a part of this organization,” Lester said on MLB Network Radio. “We haven’t had any contract talks, but the feeling is mutual on both sides that we want to get something done.

Food for Thought: