It's easy to get a reaction out of some people. Take something called savethefamegame.com _ please.
Yesterday we asked Cubs manager Lou Piniella about the plans for the Cubs to participate in Monday's exhibition game at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Lou was being totally honest when he said, "It's something we really didn't need."
No, the Cubs don't need it, and nowadays, neither does any major-league club. But there's a group out there that seems bound and determined to save this exhibition game. Now, I've got nothing but admiration and respect for the Hall of Fame. But a game involving major-league clubs in the middle of the season is no longer viable. Others have suggested an old-timers or Hall of Famers game or even a game or games involving players from the minor leagues. What a thrill for those kids it would be.
But Lou's honesty brought a swift response from someone named Kristian Connolly, who bills himself as "savethegame.com creator." Connolly both wrote and quoted himself in a press release I found in my e-mail this morning.
"It is disappointing to read the recent comments made by Cubs manager Lou Piniella regarding the upcoming celebration of the national pastime in the sport's celebrated home," said savethefamegame.com creator Kristian Connolly. "The Hall of Fame Game is about something much bigger than the 2008 Chicago Cubs, and I hope that they understand and respect that on Monday. It is also disappointing to learn that the Cubs are intentionally making the trip to Cooperstown as logistically difficult as they possible could on themselves, and I hope that that they don't expect sympathy from baseball fans because of their poor planning.
"All baseball fans -- especially those who are true Cubs fans who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to see their beloved team play if not for the 2008 Hall of Fame Game -- want the Cubs to please respect the game and enjoy the event for what it is meant to be: a celebration of baseball on baseball's home field in baseball's hometown."
Ol' Kristian cut me to the quick when he wrote that, "In both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, it has been reported that the Cubs will remain in Toronto following their 1 p.m. game on Sunday, rather than fly to Albany early Sunday evening and then make their way to Cooperstown. Instead, the Cubs will leave their hotel at 7:30 Monday morning, catch a 1 1/2 hour flight from Toronto to Albany, catch a 1 1/2 hour bus ride from Albany to Cooperstown, and then -- hopefully -- arrive in time for the Hall of Fame Game Parade at Noon that day.
"Leaving yourself 4 1/2 hours to get from Toronto to Cooperstown is not wise under any circumstances, especially when then are 10,000 baseball fans eagerly awaiting your arrival at a celebration of baseball in Cooperstown. We hope that the choices made by the Cubs to travel this way do not affect their participation in Monday's events."
Hey, yours truly from the Daily Herald also wrote about it, and Kristian found time to respond to my column the other day, referring to "dismissive media types." I guess that meant me, among others.
Hey, look, as Lou might say, Kristian's actions are admirable in a way. It's good to have passion about something, and I won't even call it "misguided" passion. But a Hall of Fame game this time of year is no longer realistic. And if Kristian wants the regulars to play a "respectable" amount of time in the game, how are Cubs fans going to like it if Derrek Lee or Aramis Ramirez twists an ankle or gets hit on the hand by a pitch and is out for six weeks?
Yes, players make a lot of money and travel well (except to Cooperstown). But no matter how much money a person makes, the body needs a rest now and then. Monday would have been better spent by the Cubs catching a few rays (before they run into the other Rays) in Tampa Bay.