Chet's Corner: Fix the team, not the stadium….
When I heard Mike Quade announce the starting pitchers for Tuesdays double header against the Giants I began laughing hysterically.
He was being interviewed by a Comcast Sportsnet reporter before the third game of the Sox series and was asked who would start in the double header against the Giants. His answer led me to laughter because it seemed as though he put thought into it. It was as though he was hemming and hawing over whether Doug Davis would lead us off or Rodrigo Lopez. At this point, Mike, does it matter? I liken this to waffling between Bologna or Hot Dogs for lunch…it’s all a processed part of the pig no matter how you slice it.
I’m not laughing at Quade either , I think I am laughing with him. While Tom Ricketts is playing Wal-Mart greeter to the fans at home games, trying to find out what type of hot dog they would rather eat from the concourse concession stand, the manager is trying to put a team on the field. I mean, come on, you have a double header and your two headed monster is a guy who couldn’t stick with a team and another veteran journeyman who was relegated to a far superior teams AAA affiliate. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…..our problem!
Vienna Beef for thought, when you’re entering a season and your staff ace recently had his head examined, you have problems. While we are at it, when you don’t have a clear staff ace , you have problems. Closer by committee works a lot better then staff ace by committee. With a preamble like this, one must come to the conclusion that your starting staff will be as smooth as an unfolding lawn chair for the bulk of the season. It was clear in spring training, but the kool-aid was fresh and they were passing rose colored glasses out to everybody from Mesa to Wrigleyville.
I am to the point where I ponder the concept of Len and Bob popping prescription pills in the booth to make it through these games. I know I would need something to do what they do. From home, I can distract myself watching this vanilla, error filled, and quite frankly unintelligent band of ballplayers flip and flop about the field, but they can’t!
Then again, and I have said this before, don’t be shocked if this team looks eerily similar next season. The selling point will be, “we just need to stay healthy.” How many times have we heard “health” being a reason for a failed season in the Jim Hendry regime? I can count three off the top of my head……this will be four!
By the way, if you have any thoughts of ownership improving this team, keep them locked away for another day. This owner is a business man. He is more interested in improving the surroundings of Wrigley Field, then he is putting a winning team on it. This leads to an interesting phone survey I received a few weeks back. As a Wrigleyville resident I was asked, in so many questions, if I was indeed a Cubs fan. I was then asked if I agreed with the rumored plans for the “Triangle Building” that was proposed for the open lot outside Wrigley. Then, and this is the kicker, I was told that the Ricketts family has $200 million of their own money set aside for the construction of this building. The point of the survey was to find out if I was opposed to city tax dollars funding the remainder.
Tom, we don’t need any more bars or restaurants or parking around Wrigley. We don’t need any more souvenir shops or bike racks or parks or whatever it is you want to build. I understand that you don’t like watching the businesses of Wrigleyville make a dollar off your product. I get it when you cringe at the fact that there are business opportunities in the neighborhood that are untapped in the Ricketts name. What I don’t get is your oblivious behavior when it comes to the actual team you purchased. You act as though we are in a slump, as though we have capable hands at the wheel. I wonder what will happen when attendance drops below 25,000 on a regular basis. When you can’t sell your buffalo dogs, or $7 beers, or how about those $100 tickets?
Maybe, just maybe, a winning team could pay for all of the “exterior” projects you have in mind? Chicago backs a winner like no other! I wonder what extra revenue would be available when “World Series Champion” follows Chicago Cubs?
Start worrying about the team and its leadership Mr. Ricketts, and the rest will fall in place. Until then, the Cubs organization looks like Bologna and Hot Dogs, or as some like to call it, lips and assholes.