First of all, I get the concept of a baseball club rebuilding. Having said that, I still wonder why the Cubs are so bad now. Is it part of the growing pains of a rebuild, or is it driven by financial components. Or to put it bluntly, are the Cubs too cheap to field a decent team and are they counting on blind loyalty of fans to let the team continue to be a cash cow, regardless of how poor the on field product is?
It seems like fans that are okay with the Cubs continuing to lose are almost arrogant about it. It’s like if you don’t think the Cubs should be this bad you’re stupid, and don’t understand “the plan”. Really? Here are some points to consider:
We’re constantly told the Cubs will spend money for pitching when the time comes. Pitching isn’t the problem. Particularly starting pitching. If the Cubs are just a couple of years away from contention, why not sign Jeff Samardzija instead of trading him? Who will they find that’s better? They offered Tanaka $120 million even though they say they’re a couple of years away. I guess it worked out well that the Yankees outbid them by about 40 million. Just like a Cubs 9th inning rally, they came up just short.
What’s the down side to having Samardzija next year instead of trading him off? You lose 88 games instead of 95? If you trade him, what are the chances of getting something back that could actually become a staff ace? Also, if you trade off your best starter, aren’t you prolonging the rebuild?
Also, how many years do you have to have a top 5 draft choice? If you’re counting on having to draft in the top 5 every year, you’re rebuilding is contingent on perennial failure. Admittedly, the Cubs seem to have that down pat, but it would be nice to have some success at some point. The Cardinals seem to be the model the Cubs are trying to emulate. I don’t see them trading off Adam Wainwright or counting on drafting in the top 5.
I don’t want to tell people how to spend their money, but why would fans go see a bunch of Cubs games until they get better? Wouldn’t fans be better off going to see the Cubs farm system?
Early on Theo Epstein said something to the effect that, “Each season is sacred.” Seems like Theo has lost his religion. If players don’t do everything they can to win an individual game, it’s wrong. If the front office of a MLB team tanks multiple seasons, it’s rebuilding. Yeah, I get the idea of building for the future, but there are degrees of that.
And about that Cub outfield, how could it be so bad. It’s like the Cubs are driving around looking for panhandlers that have a sign that says, “Will Play the Outfield for Food.” Maybe when Tom Ricketts is in the stands, being a man of the people, he can ask some of guys if any of them can play the outfield.
If the Cubs prolong their rebuilding while maintaining their high ticket prices owner Tom Ricketts may become known as Tom “Wimpy” Ricketts. “I’ll gladly build you a winner Tuesday for your money today.”
As I hear about the Cubs battling with rooftop owners and listen to talk about a new TV contract, I wonder if this is the on field product fans can expect until massive revenue streams are in place?
The Cubs spent big bucks on Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and other front office personnel. However, spending big bucks on the front office is still considerably cheaper than spending for decent ballplayers. Spending on Theo Epstein bought the Cubs some additional time for cut-rate futility while giving fans some hope.
And about the Cubs financial situation, I’m no financial expert, and I’m not sure what impact that the Ricketts agreement to buy the Cubs from the Tribune Company but it seems like the business side of the Cubs dictates what’s on the field. That’s ownership’s prerogative. It’s a business to them. If that’s the case, don’t try to paint it as a baseball decision.
I think that Theo Epstein has the ability to build a winning team in Chicago. He’s made some nice moves in acquiring Travis Wood, Mike Olt and C. J. Edwards. While the signing of Edwin Jackson hasn’t panned out as of yet, it’s shouldn’t be a franchise crippling move. Given more resources to work with, I’m sure he put a much better product on the field.
Interestingly, Jim Henry was widely portrayed as a buffoon while Theo Epstein is considered a wunderkind. It looks more and more like each was molded by the dictates of ownership.