Is it so bad that an ex-Cub wants to write?

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Adrian Cardenas goes from fielder to philosopher.
The New York Times seems to specialize in Chicago stories that I'm sorry I didn't read in a Chicago newspaper, and the Saturday Times brought another, this one about former Chicago Cub Adrian Cardenas, who quit at the end of the 2012 season and is now, at the age of 26, "a senior at New York University, studying philosophy and creative writing."

But I'm not praising the Times. I'm carping. Said the Times story: "Since he gave up baseball, he has been called a quitter and ungrateful and has been accused of wasting an athletic gift of the type coveted by so many men."

Called a quitter by whom?

Was it by anyone who mattered? Did his parents, who'd wanted Cardenas to become a musician, call him a quitter? Did the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo, identified by the Times as his "good friend"?

Reporter Ben Strauss doesn't say. I'm sure the story is literally true; I'm sure that in online baseball forums, Cardenas has been denounced, usually anonymously, as an ungrateful quitter. (I bet he's been applauded in the same forums as a marginal big-leaguer who followed his heart.)

But I doubt if I was the only reader annoyed to find extra drama being ginned up gratuitously. The Times practiced one of those little tricks of the writing trade that I hope NYU is teaching Cardenas to avoid.

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