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It's been crystal clear from virtually day one that the Ricketts family is undercapitalized. The "rebuilding" plan is a pure ruse -- a necessity, not a good faith strategy -- and always has been.
Then why did Theo Epstein, probably the hottest GM commodity on the market, accept this job? Was he duped?
maybe USA Today Sports Weekly (don't remember)
(*) The guy had been fired from his previous job. Why wouldn't he take another job?
Well, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America, ESPN, Keith Law, and the Sporting News all prefer the Cubs so I reject the premise.
It was true two years ago that the Cardinals and probably the Pirates had a better, deeper system... but the Cardinals have graduated an awful lot, as have the Pirates.
(*) The guy had been fired from his previous job.
"We don't want you around here anymore, but you can stick around until you find a job somewhere else."
Happens regularly in offices around the country.
Getting fired has surprisingly little impact on a man's value.
When the Cubs return to a modestly competitive state, considering the history of the fan base, attendance is likely to swing upwards again.
I think a lot of people are counting on the days of 38K attendance for a .500 team that is simply not going to happen. Attendance always lags actual on-field performance and a .500 season in 201x still won't put 38K in the seats in 201x+1. Get to the NLCS and THEN you can realistically count on 38K per game the following year. The 25-year old Wrigleyville resident in 1991 had 12K in student loans and a decent job; the 25-year old Wrigleyville resident today has 80K in student loans and a part time job, they can't afford the luxury of Cubs games like they used to no matter how good or bad the team is; they can barely afford their rent.
The link from #7 is great, but it only reinforces what I think most people thought at the time: Ricketts overpaid.
The effect of the Cardinals Way/developmental coaching is likely overstated, they took an above average volume of first/comp picks and got a bit lucky on how it developed.
Too soon to judge the last few drafts. Starting back from 2010:
That's not to say Brett didn't do a fantastic job with his piece on the finances, it's worlds better than any beat guy or columnist has done, but he's trended more and more towards an owner apologist, and I just think he's gotten too close to the situation to view it for what it is.
Ricketts overpaid, given that no other potential owner wanted anything to do with the terms of the sale, but he wanted the team, so this works out perfectly for him. Finance the purchase of the team through its own revenues while being able to shrug his shoulders and say it's not his fault.
Well, Alfonso Soriano was a huge mistake on their part which backed the team into a corner when the team hit the peak of their success cycle. Thus forcing moves like signing Milton Bradley or flipping him for Carlos Silva instead of seeking real long term solutions that weren't high risk/middling reward. And yes having a failed farm system certainly put a bullet in their head but the Cubs should have been able to keep on being good even without a good farm system for far longer than they actually did.
Carlos Zambrano flamed out, Mark Prior couldn't stay healthy, for like ever and then the next wave of guys in the rotation couldn't pull it together either. Harden couldn't stay healhty and Hill flopped. Surprisingly Lilly and Marquis were rather good for the Cubs but the Cubs had to trade off Marquis to make room for a bat they needed because . . . .
The Cubs FA bats largely flopped. Soriano was for the most part a rickety bust, Fukudome was all flash in the pan, Byrd was "eh", and Bradley was a psycho.
Like I said above, obviously if the Cubs had a few more prospects develop and maintain the ability to hold a starting job at the major league level back in the years 2006 to 2012 or so the Cubs could have papered over a lot of mistakes but it was the failure Henrdy's acquisitions that really doomed the Cubs both in not fixing the holes and preventing the Cubs from fixing those mistakes because he maxed out his payroll.
I have never bought into the you have to hit rock bottom first approach to rebuilding. You killing your fan base by continuing to put dreck on the field. The stands look over half empty for tonight's game. The big offseason signing was Jose Veras. Yeah, there hitting prospects on the way but no pitching. I am a sadomasochist as I will keep watching. But there are times I feel like a child abuser for passing along my love of the Cubs to my son.
True or False: Theo Epstein will be Cubs President the next time the team makes the playoffs?
there are times I feel like a child abuser for passing along my love of the Cubs to my son.
I am a sadomasochist as I will keep watching.
That's exactly what firing is in the senior white collar world. The Red Sox said "We don't want you around here anymore, but you can stick around until you find a job somewhere else."
Happens regularly in offices around the country.
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