From the mail bag of the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan :

Q: It was just a few short years ago that Detroit lost 119 games. It was just a few short years ago that the White Sox were a so-so team. If these guys can rebuild in a short time, why can’t the Cubs?

Chet Dombrowski, Texas

A : The Cubs aren’t allowed to rebuild like the Tigers and Sox because Wrigley Field is almost always sold out and they’d be accused of pocketing the money with a low-payroll team full of kids.

Replies Ben Schwartz,

Yep, every dime is right there on the field.  Who knew a .394 season to date could cost over $100 mil in payroll?  Well, now that the Trib has explained that the Cubs will never get into the World Series in order to maintain Tribco’s world class rep for ethical accounting, I feel much better about our losing streak.  At least it’s honest.  The news this week is that Derrek Lee is taking batting practice but won’t put a date on his return, and is apparently still resisting a stint in the minors before starting with the Cubs.  Lee’s point is well taken — my question for the reporter is, what’s the difference between starting in Iowa or Wrigley these days?