The Chicago Cubs have decided to forfeit the rest of the season, with the news coincidentally breaking on April Fools Day.
The story was picked up (or perhaps invented) by Bing, saying that Cubs manager Rick Renteria was bagging the season before it even started.
The report noted:
“Cubs manager Rick Renteria forfeited the rest of 2014 season today, saying, ‘Maybe next year.’ Cubs fans, unsurprised, ordered another sausage.
The April Fools Day report could be a sting for Chicago Cubs fans, who are used to perennial losers and heartbreaking endings when their team finally appears to break through the decades-long curce (see the 2003 NLCS).
But the report that the Chicago Cubs will forfeit the season wasn’t the only baseball-related April Fools Day prank this year. Another report from Bing noted that the New York Yankees were moving to Toronto.
“Jeter’s retiring. I don’t even like crack anymore,” said Mayor Rob Ford in the faux report. “I’ll be the new shortstop.”
Baseball and April Fools Day have a long history together. April 1 is the traditional opening day for MLB, so many teams and baseball writers like to start out the season on a light note.
One of the most famous pranks was a 1985 Sports Illustrated profile of a mysterious pitcher named Sidd Finch. The profile noted that the New York Mets found Finch in the mountains of Nepal, and that the pitcher wore only a single hiking boot when he played and had a 168 mph fastball.
Writer George Plimpton even got the Mets to play along. The team gave him a jersey, and posed the fictional Finch for a picture with young catcher Lenny Dkystra and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre.
A number of fans fell for the story, looking to the rookie pitcher to bring the Mets to a championship, while others caught Plimpton’s hidden message admitting the hoax. It’s not clear if anyone fell for the April Fools Day prank that the Chicago Cubs decided to forfeit the season.