Matt Stairs sues Cubs organization
The Daily Heckle, Friday, Feb. 4, 2005
Former Cub Matt Stairs is suing the Cubs, alleging his role as "fat white guy"
has been unfairly replaced with the recent signing of right fielder Jeromy Burnitz.
"The special doublewide locker, extra-large shower towel and padded changing stool were supposed
to be retired in my honor when I left Chicago," said Stairs through a statement from his lawyer. "This
addition of Burnitz to the clubhouse is simply disrespectful to the memory of my contributions to this
Asked about the role of "fat white guy," manager Dusty Baker chose to remain impartial.
"I didn't give it to him in the first place, so it's not up to me to take it away from him," Baker said.
"I inherited this situation. It's different when you create a situation or when you inherit a situation.
I've never had an official fat white guy anywhere. So if a guy's a fat white guy when you get there,
it's not up to you to take it away from him."
General Manager Jim Hendry, however, had a different opinion, claiming there was no conflict of roles
in the first place.
"Matt Stairs, affectionately known to this organization as 'Fat Stairs,' has not been replaced in any
way shape or form," said Hendry. "While it is true that [Jeromy] Burnitz may have a little 'junk in the
trunk,' his role will not be the same as Matt's was. We anticipate that Burnitz will fill the role of fat
white guy who gets hits, which is similar to Stairs, but significantly different enough that the charges
against this organization are unfounded."
The Cubs' lawyers have weighed in as well.
"This is simply ridiculous," said a Cubs lawyer. "If we allow Fat--I mean Matt--Stairs to take this case
to court, we'll be opening the door to all sorts of absurdities. Next we'll hear that Todd Hundley is
suing Todd Wellemeyer for stealing his batting average."
Further investigation has revealed Stairs' locker was not officially retired, but simply not used
because the seat in front of it had suffered irreparable damage. Burnitz, aware of this situation, has
agreed to bring his own chair for the home opener.
Burnitz, not one to put himself in the center of controversy, simply said, "I am not trying to replace
anyone in this organization. I am simply going to try to do my job every day, and eat a few hot dogs
along the way."