News item…Ichiro Suzuki was traded last week from the Seattle Mariners to the New York Yankees. “He deserves a chance to play for a contending team before the end of his magnificent career,” said Mariner’s chief executive, Howard Lincoln. “The Mariners should certainly not stand in his way.”
Chicago Cubs Announce Banks Signing, Trade to Yankees
August 14 (Chicago, IL): The Chicago Cubs today announced the signing of Ernie Banks, their long-retired Hall of Fame shortstop, who will come out of retirement to join the club as part of a trade deal that will then send him to the New York Yankees.
Banks, now 81 and not, as he readily admits, “in all-star shape,” will play a limited role for the Yankees in their expected stretch run to another World Series title. “I will pinch-hit a few times, sit in the dugout, and root the guys on,” said Ernie, known as “Mr. Cub.” “It will be strange not to be at Wrigley Field, but I’m looking forward to being a Yankee and playing in a World Series…finally.”
Banks played for the Cubs for 19 seasons, none of which ended in a World Series appearance. He holds the Major League record of most games played without a postseason appearance (2528).
“He has meant so much to baseball, and we don’t want to stand in Ernie’s way of playing in a Series,” said Cub’s President Theo Epstein. “It never happened with the Cubs, it probably won’t happen with the Cubs, but this gives him a great chance to make it all the way. While there’s still time.”
In a separate, but perhaps related, announcement, Bud Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball, has revealed that the New York Yankees have received a special roster exemption. Effective immediately, the Yankees roster will be allowed to carry 80 players for the remainder of this season and into the playoffs, twice the number of other teams.
“Yes, this is unusual,” said Selig, in a hastily arranged press conference at Yankee Stadium, “but we’re excited about the opportunity this will afford other players—a bit gone, but not forgotten—to be in baseball’s spotlight again. We do not want to stand in their way.”
Selig also announced that the roster expansion, as well as the Banks signing, is part of a new marketing partnership with Anheuser Busch Budweiser.