In Cubs’ world, offensive song much worse than violent pitcher

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Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman smiles after getting three St. Louis hitters out on three pitches during the ninth inning Thursday. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

The song is “Smack My Bitch Up’’ by Prodigy, and its minimalist lyrics are “Change my pitch up/Smack my bitch up.’’ You don’t want too many words getting in the way of the message.

That the song played Sunday during a video montage on the Wrigley Field video board is bad enough, but making it worse is the fact it served as the background music just after Aroldis Chapman had pitched for the Cubs. Chapman served a 30-game suspension this season after being accused of choking his girlfriend.

The Cubs announced Monday that they had fired the employee responsible for selecting the music. If you’re keeping score at home, a closer who throws a baseball 103 m.p.h. and fires eight bullets in a rage after an argument with his girlfriend deserves a second chance, but a guy picking out the women-hating tunes does not. Welcome to the big leagues, DJ Whomever You Are.

Uncomfortable stories sometimes have a way of loitering. When the Cubs traded for Chapman on July 25, they said they were satisfied that he had made changes in his life. And perhaps they were satisfied, though there had to be some nervousness involved. It was a huge public-relations gamble, and they were braced for resistance, especially from womens’ groups. But the response wasn’t harsh at all, with many Cubs fans — men and women alike — seeing Chapman’s arrival as more proof that a World Series title was on its way. Some might have started double locking their doors, however.

I don’t know if what happened Sunday is a karmic event or simply somebody with a perverse sense of humor having his moment. All I know is that the uncomfortable story the Cubs had thought was buried is very much alive again. The wholesome image that they have carefully nurtured has taken another hit.

Or smack.

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