Monday, August 23, 2010

The End of The Piniella Era

Well another Cubs season is in the proverbial dumpster and another legend of the game has been sent packing with his tail between his legs. Remember back four years ago when Sweet Lou sneered at the idea of a curse in Chicago. I wonder what he really thinks now.

Although I am not a spiritual individual, some spiritual phenomena are just too empirically present to be ignored. I do believe there is a curse over the Chicago Cubs. I believe they are cursed to be run by organizations and individuals who know what running a business is all about. The Cubs are cursed to have had ownership that does to fans what a good magician does to an audience in Vegas, they create an illusion that they care about winning and then magically lift the wallets of the fans. Great act.

I don't blame anyone who owns a corporation from doing what they are supposed to do; make money. Judging from the recent sale price of the Cubs, I would say the past few owners did pretty well for themselves in generating a healthy income stream while escalating the price of the product to where it could be sold for a hefty profit to boobs like Tom Ricketts and his family.

The Ricketts family apparently had to mortgage the ranch to afford the Cubs and now must be wondering what it is exactly they bought. I'm sure they didn't foresee the debacle of 2010 and the possibility that next year's revenues might take a hit. I'm sure they didn't count on star players getting old and tanking or a manager who gave up a third of the way into the season.

So the Ricketts family will do what good business people do. They will cut payroll, cut expenses and try to raise the cost of everything they sell to the fans including tickets. The only hope fans have is that the Ricketts family will not be so good at misdirection and illusion. Maybe just maybe the fans will stop streaming to the ballpark like sheep and start to demand a better product. I cringe every time I hear about Wrigley Field being this baseball cathedral. That decrepit, relic of a ballpark should have been razed two decades ago. But, the sheep keep coming back, buying into the illusion that Wrigley is something special, when in fact it is one of the worst ballparks in the major leagues. Have these people even noticed what they built for the fans in Minnesota? Minnesota for goodness sakes!

I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it. I see a long stretch here where the Cubs will devolve into an abysmal product in their decaying shrine. The only winner in all this is Sweet Lou, he doesn't have to be here to see it anymore.

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