We all knew the day was coming, but it was still a sad page in Cub history that marked the end of the lengthy chapter of clubhouse man Yosh Kawano's career -- its 65-year span going back two years before the Cubs' last pennant.
Kawano, who turns 87 in June, was removed from his clubhouse duties over declining health, a decision that apparently came during spring training when Kawano spent two days in the hospital with a foot injury. The Cubs plan to keep him on the payroll and reassign him to a more symbolic position, and they plan to honor him before a game later in the season.
The Cubs' clubhouse was named in his honor in 1984, and he was inducted into the Cubs' Walk of Fame in 1996.
But his name already has been removed from the list of clubhouse guys in the media guide. And, however necessary this move might be, it comes at a time when crusty, foul-mouthed, cash-grabbing Sam Zell has not only become the bitter face of the franchise but when the very face of the ballpark is threatened and when tackiness such as the yellow ``CBOE'' on the brick is starting to creep through the park.
Change may sometimes be necessary. But that doesn't mean you've gotta like it.