by Kent Sterling
Cubs fans need to resist all temptation to buy into the nonsense Cubs management is peddling. Owner Tom Ricketts and team president Theo Epstein talk about hope for the distant future with the same zeal with which they battle the rooftop knuckleheads for the right to erect a giant video sign in left field.
Listening to Dan Dakich on 1070 the Fan talk to a very excited Ron Hecklinski about the 2014 Chicago Cubs made me angry. Hecklinski talked Dan into being a typical Cubs fan who will enjoy the experience of going to Wrigley Field and following the team as they always have. My head almost exploded.
The Cubs are the Mega Millions Lottery of baseball. They sell hope without any chance of a payoff. Cubs fans are just like the lemmings who invest their cash in a 258,890,850-to-1 longshot to get rich. “So you’re telling me, I have a chance!”
Fans mimic the front office types who sell that the answers to prayers to end 105 years of darkness with a championship are named Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Mike Olt, Albert Almora, Arodys Vizcaino, C.J. Edwards, and Arismendy Alcantara.
Sadly, the odds are very good that exactly none of those players will open the 2014 season in Wrigley Field. They will be scattered throughout the farm system to hone their gifts to the point where they can be expected to contribute to a winning culture.
If you are a Cubs fan and haven’t heard that madness before, you are excused from the group that I am going to waste my time lecturing to – the morons who repeat acts of baseball fan related idiocy like there isn’t another answer to the riddle of fixing the Cubs.
How about this for a litany of misery? Brooks Kieschnick, Corey Patterson, Derrick May, Ken Johnson, Gene Hiser, Herman Segelke, Vance Lovelace, Shawon Dunston, Drew Hall, Lance Dixon, and Lou Montanez. There are many more names of infamously inadequate first round picks, but when the successful first round picks in the history of the Cubs leads with Rafael Palmeiro and includes only two others – Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, how in the hell can anyone believe that these guys are going to lead a championship parade in 2018?
The point isn’t even whether these Not Ready-for-Wrigley-Players are going to be average, good, or great Cubs one day; it’s that buying a ticket to watch the Cubs in 2014 will not allow you to see these people play baseball.
Cubs management has determined that Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Donnie Murphy, Nate Schierholtz, and Ryan Sweeney are more likely to produce success than those players, and all are returning from a 66-96 2013 team.
Second baseman Darwin Barney, the author of the second worst offensive stat line in the history of the Cubs all the way back to 1894 will be back with a one-year, $2.3 million contract. The Cubs are likely to draw somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.3 million fans to watch this slop, so if my advanced math is right – a buck of every ticket purchased will be used to fund Barney’s haul for being better than exactly one Cub in the past 120 years, and I’m surprised the Cubs haven’t reached out to Ronnie Cedeno (the worst) to return.
The only answer to this level of managerial hubris is to stay away from Wrigley Field. Only then will Ricketts begin investing in players who can be expected to ring up more than 70 wins.
I’m no supporter of overspending on mediocrity available through free agency, but to trot out virtually the same group of mutts who stunk last year while selling an uncertain future is miserably disingenuous.
Tickets to see the Cubs are being peddled at boutique price while the product is sub-Kohl’s. Only the insane could find a reason to overspend to watch bad baseball for a fourth straight season. So don’t do it.
If you go to Wrigley Field this year, finding the reason the Cubs suck again should be easy – look in the mirror. Send a message with your absence. Empty seats will serve as an excellent educational tool for a management group that is in dire need of one.