The boys at work thought it was funny, and after the CPR and defibrillator paddles, so did I.
I got to work today, and upon opening the Associated Press sports wire, I saw the slug, or the story’s title, which read “Cubs-Fukudome ACL”.
While I initially thought that this could indeed be related to nothing more than April Fools’, I had to be sure. So I opened the file, which read:
Fukudome tears ACL in clubhouse mishap
AP Photo CHI0407, NYOTK
Eds: PMs CORRECTS Piniella spelling; SUBS 3rd graf to EDIT.AP Video.
CHICAGO (AP) — Kosuke Fukudome went from a near Wrigley Field hero to another footnote in the cursed history of the Chicago Cubs Tuesday afternoon when the Japanese sensation tore his ACL in the team’s clubhouse.
Fukudome went 3-for-3 in his Cubs debut Monday, hitting a tying, three-run home run in the ninth inning in the Cubs’ eventual 4-3 loss in the season opener against Milwaukee. Despite the loss, his debut had the city of Chicago and the Cubs’ faithful buzzing after the start of the Cubs’ 100th season since winning the World Series.
Manager Lou Piniella refused comment to reporters Tuesday, a day after telling his team not to worry about the Cubs’ past and forge its own reputation.
Cubs officials have not given details as to how Fukudome suffered the injury, but a press conference has been scheduled for noon Wednesday, two hours before the Cubs take the field for the second of a three game series against the Brewers.
Fukudome is listed on the Cubs’ Tuesday injury report at day-to-day.
Clever, boys, they are, doing well to recreate an actual AP wire story. Including “Eds: PMs CORRECTS Piniella spelling; SUBS 3rd graf to EDIT.AP Video” was a wonderful touch.
I admit, however, that I was a more than a tad worried. But I figured I’d try to play it cool. Without a word, I calmly, quietly and with tiny beads of perspiration forming on my forehead, checked out espn.com and chicagosports.com looking for verification. Finding none, I looked around the room — and noticed the entire newsroom was looking at me, waiting for a reaction.
That’s when the house came down, the roars of laughter banging off the walls at my expense. Herald sportswriter Randy Quis, who can see my computer screen from his desk, got the most enjoyment out of the charade, and will enjoy telling that story for a while.
They got me, and they got me good.
A Kerry Wood “injury” would have been more believable. But then again, as Cubs fans and my co-workers know, ripping away hope is harder on the heart than a cajun filet biscuit combo at Bojangle’s.
I’m just glad I’m still breathing.
And that “Fuku” will be on the field today.