Caution! Language of this weekís featured Cub may be unsuitable for minors. Not that great for the majors either but thatís Mark Grace. Got him in a bit of hot water on air a couple weeks ago. Enjoy this weekís excerpt from Carrie Muskatís compilation Banks to Sandberg to Grace.

Grace

Zimmer let me know who was boss right from the start. He wanted me to succeed. He didnít want me hanging with what he considered the wrong crowd. He didnít want me going out at night. He didnít want me hanging out with veteran guys. We had a ton of veteran guys.

Me and Rafael were the only rookies, and Rafael wanít really a rookie. Zim got wind of us going out ñ Sutcliffe, Gossage, myself, Jim Sundberg, Scott Sanderson, a bunch of veteran guys. He got wind of it and called me into his office and just chewed my ass out.

He said ìI donít want you hanging out with those guysî and all that. He told me ìIf I ever find out your hanging out with Sutcliffe or anybody like that, your ass is going to be in Des Moines faster than you can say ëJackie Robinson.íî

So I was a little bit dejected. I was pouting at my locker and Sut comes over and says ìHey, kid, whatís going on?î

I said ìSut, Iím not allowed to hang out with you anymore.î

Heís like ìWhat? Thatís bullshit.. Weíre supposed to go out tomorrow night.î

I said ìZim told me I canít go.î

He said ìThat little, fat, bald son of a bitch.î And he storms up the stairs and starts screaming at him, and the next thing you know, theyíre both screaming at each other.

ìLeave him alone, ***damn it!î

ìIím the ***damn manager.î
It was something.

Catching the final out of the wild card game? Better than sex. Better than sex. The feeling that went through me, it was a tingling type of numbness. If I had died that night, if I had stepped off a curb and got hit by a train or something that night, Iíd have died a happy man.

Iíve got a lot of great things. Iíve got a great family. Iíve got a great life. I love what I do but I couldíve died that night and had no regrets whatsoever. Instead, I had to live through í99.

Iím a Cub. This is all I know. They drafted me in í85. thereís a lot of loyalty there. I mean, they drafted me, they gave me the opportunity to play professionally, they gave me the opportunity to play in the big leagues, so Iím very loyal to the Tribune Company and the Chicago Cubs. Everything I have is because of them ñ the cars, the homes, the lifestyle, this locker room ñ is all credited to them. I wish a lot more guys would look at it like that.

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Regular writer for View From The Bleachers in 2005-06; Turns 50 this summer; Met Ernie, Billy and others back in 70-72; AKA VFTB Chaplain; Pastor in Pennsylvania when not obsessing over the Cubs; Wishes no harm to any opposing player; Married 26 years to a wonderful woman. Favorite player is Ryan Theriot