You might think Sammy Sosa being run out of town would make him a less attractive pinata for the Chicago Sun-Times’ Jay Marotti, but with Hawk Harrelson off the air and Dusty’s Cubs beating the Mets last night, a guy’s gotta be creative.

Sammy Sosa is running, you figure — running from the boos, ridicule, thrown pieces of cork and nonstop abuse he would have received from White Sox fans who always have tormented him and border-crossing Cubs fans who never had a chance to lather him for quitting on his last day in Wrigleyville. That must be why the Orioles, after days of hedging and claiming the injury was merely an hour-to-hour matter, put him on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to May 5) with an abscess and staph infection.

Staph infection being slang for Chicagofansandmediaitis.

I mean, doesn’t the American League have a lineup device known as the designated hitter? In a hot matchup of teams with two of the best records in baseball, couldn’t he have worn some sort of foot cushion and batted four times per game against the Sox’ killer starting pitchers? Healthy in the season’s first six weeks, Sosa suddenly comes up lame a few days before his only Chicago appearance this season? Is it just a little TOO convenient to be believed? Especially when — shocker — he won’t even make the trip to see all of his close friends and take a peek at his old wraparound lakefront condo?

Whether he truly is injured or pulling off his best acting job since downing too-hot Mexican food with a cold Pepsi, consider this a typical chapter in the ongoing saga of the Sammy the cartoon character. If his absence removes some drama from the Sox-Orioles series, it also should remind Cubdom that he can’t stay healthy and isn’t the least bit missed, even as the North Siders slop through a 14-18 start.