I imagine Theo and his gang of stat crunchers sitting around a table and working their way through the Cubs entire system.  They are probably using some advanced software, developed of course by NASA and Bill James, searching for talent to build off.  They have guys like Garza (asking for 10 million in arbitration by the way) and what could be the next great shortstop in Castro to look forward too, but the rest of the team is middling at best.  What are the options to build for the future?

One of the more disturbing trends of the off-season is reading the random fans quotes and concerns regarding the 2012 Cubs season.  People are worried about the quality of the product being put on the field this year.  They see Cashner traded and Zambrano gone too.  They also see a few signings along the way, however they are viewed as being about as sexy as a Rosanne Barr spread in Playboy.  It actually goes to show the idiocy and outright lack of vision by some fans. 

Here is my take, and hopefully this will help ease your pain…. if we finish above .500 it will be a gift from the baseball gods.  Yes, the 2012 Cubs might just suck worse then 2011’s version, however, they will suck with purpose!

People will actually have to be baseball fans to truly appreciate this season.  They will actually have to see what is going on beneath the top layer to enjoy 2012. 

Picture this, the Cubs are like an old run down house in the middle of a great neighborhood.  The previous owners put a new coat of paint on each year, usually doing minimal research to see what paint they were buying, and with the rain and the weather the paint slowly chipped away, once again showing the scarred and flawed framework by years end. 

Finally, a new owner comes along and buys the house.  He doesn’t know much about houses but he is a smart guy and knows that something is fundamentally wrong.  After living in the house for a year or so he realizes the need for a set of educated eyes to really take a look at the problems facing this old haunt.  An architect if you will, and not just any architect, he gets the best one available, or sort of available.

The architect shows up and does his initial assessment and immediately realizes what most of the neighborhood already knows.  It’s not the houses’ exterior that keeps it from being the home it could be, even though the outside is nothing to revel at, it’s the foundation that is at fault.  The problem? You can’t build the pride of the neighborhood on a rotten foundation.  The same problems will keep popping up down the road.

The architect hires a team of builders, designers, surveyors, brick layers and anybody else that can help build the house of the owners dreams.  The first thing they do is try to sell off (or throw away) anything with value.  Those floors made with Bolivian Wormwood? Sold at pennies on the dollar to the gentlemen down the street, who thinks he has the tools to buff them to a fine shine again.   The return?  Some regular old maple slats, slightly used but with some gentle touch could return to form.  You get the idea.

It will take the better part of the year to tear down the old home and rebuild a solid foundation.   The owners (and the neighborhood) will just have to enjoy the Red Roof Inn for a while as they wait for their dream home of the future.




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Chet West is an IT professional living in Minneapolis, MN with his wife and two daughters. He has a pug named Banks and loves photography. Follow him on Twitter @chetwest19