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Cubs pay newspaper deliverer $301,000


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MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) -- A messy legal dispute has developed between a former newspaper carrier and Chicago Cubs owner, the Tribune Co., which mistakenly put $301,000 of a former pro baseball player's salary into the carrier's bank account last year.


The case involves two men named Mark Guthrie. One delivered newspapers for The Hartford Courant. The other was a relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. Tribune owns the newspaper and the team.


Nearly a year after the troubled transaction, $26,000 of the athlete's pay remains in the deliveryman's account, and the Cubs want it returned.


The Tribune's corporate headquarters in Chicago deposited the pitcher's pay into the carrier's account last fall. The carrier said he waited for the team to call him as his bank account ballooned.


The Cubs caught the mistake five weeks after the fact. The last of three payments, totaling $301,102.50, was made to Guthrie's bank account on Oct. 30.


The Cubs had taken out $275,000 when Guthrie had his account frozen. The team sued Guthrie, the paper carrier, in February. Last month, the Cubs filed legal documents offering to drop the lawsuit if Guthrie handed over the rest of the money.


"We have no desire to embarrass Mr. Guthrie or bring undue attention to his actions -- we just want the money back," the company's Hartford-based lawyer Paul Guggina said.


Guthrie, 43, of Chester, said the matter is more complicated than that.


"I need them to open the books to me and show me I don't have any tax liabilities," he said. "It's mind-boggling. They never should have made the mistake to begin with."


Guthrie the pitcher, 38, is now a free agent.




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