Poor Ernie Banks. Poor Chicago Cubs fans. Today marks Banks’ 82nd birthday as well as Jackie Robinson’s 94th birthday. Instead of celebrating the birthday of one of the greatest players to ever wear a Chicago Cubs’ uniform, the Cubs faithful are being bombarded with negative stories about current and former Cubs players getting into trouble with the law.
Former Cub Mark Grace pled guilty to DUI charges and was sentenced to four months in jail. It was Grace’s second DUI arrest in a 15-month span. Grace will serve his jail time in a work-release capacity, will serve three years of probation, and will have a device installed in his car.
Grace is one of the all-time fan favorites of Cubs fans, and of fans around the game. He played the game well and finished 49th all-time in doubles before hanging up his cleats after helping the Arizona Diamondbacks win their only World Series in 2001.
To top it all off, Cubs relief pitcher Carlos Marmol has been accused by a 24-year old woman, Miledys Mejia Cepeda, in the Dominican Republic of abuse. As of yet, no charges have been filed by police, but a criminal complaint has been filed and is currently under investigation.
Marmol is currently penciled in as the closer for the Cubs but that could quickly change. The Cubs had a trade in place with the Los Angeles Angels for Dan Haren which fell apart, so it is obvious they are willing to move on from the 30-year-old reliever.
January 31st should be a day when Cubs fans, and baseball fans alike, look back fondly on the careers of Ernie Banks and Jackie Robinson and reflect upon their impact on the game of baseball. Instead of celebrating two all-time greats, Cubs fans are shaking their heads. At this point, Cubs fans have to be wondering if they will ever be allowed to have anything nice anymore.