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To quote long-outta-the-CSTB-game contributor Ben Schwartz, “The Cubs got a mascot? I guess it’s to soften the team’s rep for spikes up, hard-nosed, winners-only baseball.”  The Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzalez provides further details :

<The mascot, named “Clark,” will make his first appearance Monday night in a private visit with children at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Pediatric Developmental Center. Clark will be accompanied by more than a dozen Cubs prospects participating in the Rookie Development Program.

In a news release, the Cubs stated that Clark will carry out the Cubs Charities’ mission of identifying improvements in health and wellness, fitness and education for children and families at risk. Clark will make appearances at schools during Cubs Caravan or Cubs on the Move Fitness Program visits; hospital appearances, and a number of family-focused Cubs events.

The mascot also will greet fans at Wrigley Field before and during games, as well as assist kids in running the bases on Family Sundays. Families can visit Clark’s Clubhouse at Wrigley.

“Identifying improvements in health and wellness” sounds like a noble enough task for a mascot, and while this does seem too little, too late for the retired Mark Prior, there’s no reason why a guy in a bear costume can’t perform a more accurate diagnosis than say, the New York Mets medical staff.