Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Cubs avoid Adam Greenberg circus that opens in Miami next week

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Leave it to Team Dysfunction 2012 to cap off a week of chaos during a meltdown season with a publicity stunt that not even the Cubs would touch.

The Miami Marlins announced Thursday their decision to become the official laughingstock of major league baseball by caving in to filmmaker/Cub fan Matt Liston's incessant marketing campaign to get one-time Cub Adam Greenberg another day in the big leagues.

You remember Greenberg, the marginal Cubs prospect whose only big-league plate appearance, in 2005, lasted just long enough for Marlins reliever Valerio de los Santos' first pitch to hit him in the back of the head?

It was a frightening moment with a heartbreak outcome as the well-liked kid struggled with post-concussion syndrome and eventually failed in efforts with the Cubs and three other organizations to return to the majors.

But a made-for-TV, make-believe call-up to the big leagues at 31 on a one-day contract and the assurance of his elusive at-bat next Tuesday isn't a feel-good, storybook ending as much as it's a farce.

``This was never a gimmick,'' Greenberg said Thursday.

No, it was a much bigger, slicker, more crassly engineered snookering of any team or fan foolish enough to fall for it. It's baseball's biggest publicity stunt since Bill Veeck signed midget Eddie Gaedel in the '50s - or at least since the Cubs trotted out Kerry Wood and his new deal during opening ceremonies of Cubs Convention in January.

``This is going way beyond just one at-bat, and beyond sports,'' said Greenberg, who says the agreement with the Marlins brought him to tears. ``I got to the major leagues on my own merit, and I earned that spot seven years ago. So the fact this is not my first at-bat, that's important. It's just not `Poor kid, let's give him a shot.' ''

Whatever it is, the Cubs should feel fortunate their noodle-mongering marketing department didn't bring this circus to Wrigley Field.

``It's obviously not a fit for us,'' manager Dale Sveum said. ``But I wish him the best.''

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7 Comments

Lighten up, dude.

This was not by Greenberg's design. He's just along for the ride. If you're a guy trying to make it back to the majors, are you seriously asking Matt Liston to stop? C'mon! Don't be bitter just because your team wouldn't step up to the plate and continues to be a disappointment. The Marlins took you in 2003 and now they're taking what could've been the only bright spot of what is one of the worst seasons the Cubs have had in 50 years (and that's saying something - the Goat lives on!). Ya know, it might be difficult for you to remember sometimes, but baseball can be fun too. Just sayin....

U mad, dude? Too bad. You don't like the move, fine. But others do, so don't condemn it for being a "circus act", especially since it's the exact opposite of that.

Hey Gordon,

You make a living writing. What if the Sun sent you out to cover a story and you got hit by a freaking bus and survived. Then, the next week, they cut you free and said sorry Gordon you can't write like you use to. After rebah they never gave you another chance...

Sometimes doing the right thing might actually energize the fan base. What exactly are the Cubs cheering for now? I assure you it's for snow, a quick winter and next year.

Spin it the other way... look at the opportunity lost to create a feel good opportunity and fan base for a lost team. Use the force Gordon... there is good in you. You just need to find it.


What crap! The Cubs are somehow above a human interest story? The Cubs have been a circus for over a hundred years., and don't forget Sammy Sosa's cork and juice.

What an awful story. So unrelated to the Bill Veeck spectacle. Adam's a champion, in great shape, and has been playing the past seven years.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on September 27, 2012 1:56 PM.

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