The final month of the Chicago Cubs' lost 2012 season will not include the feel-good moment of Adam Greenberg receiving an official at-bat in the major leagues.
Despite the "One At Bat" campaign that has received national media attention and over 14,000 signatures on a Change.org petition, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that the 31-year-old Greenberg will have to look elsewhere if he wants a chance to get an official at-bat. Greenberg was hit in the head with the first pitch of his first big-league plate appearance in 2005 and spent the next six seasons with multiple organizations as he unsuccessfully tried to return to the majors after battling the effects of a concussion.
The Cubs' "thanks, we're good" doesn't come as a big surprise considering they would have had to dump someone from their 40-man roster if they wanted to perform the random act of kindness. GM Jed Hoyer even echoed a lot of the opponents of Greenberg's "comeback" while telling Sullivan the Cubs would be sitting this one out.
"Adam made the big leagues based on merit in 2005," Hoyer said in an e-mail. "While it is unfortunate he got hit in his first at bat, he is in the Baseball Encyclopedia as a major leaguer and he should be incredibly proud of that. We wish him the best, but there are no plans to add him to the roster now or in the future."
Greenberg, 31 said he understands teams would look at a late-season signing as a publicity stunt.
"Would they just throw me out there? No," he said. "Would they bring back Roger Clemens for just one game to delay his Hall of Fame vote? Yes. There's no difference, though, as a publicity stunt."
There's also no difference with the Cubs crushing Greenberg's dream just as they have destroyed the dreams of millions of their fans over the past 104 years. Welcome to the club, Adam!
Oh, I kid. But as I said in our original BLS post about Greenberg, getting an at-bat for the North Siders in the Cubs' final regular-season series at Wrigley Field had almost no chance of happening. And while I advocated that the Astros might be able to offer that one at-bat with a 40-man roster that had an empty spot, that route has also been closed down with the promotion of September call-ups. (Greenberg shouldn't worry about Clemens getting another shot either as the pitcher said on Tuesday that he "doesn't see it happening.")
Look, though the "One At Bat" idea was a nice one and the outpouring of support for Greenberg was touching, it's probably time for him to put his sole focus on making Team Israel for next year's World Baseball Classic. Life isn't fair, but then neither is taking away someone else's roster spot in an impractical play for closure.