WAIW Cubs Blog Rountable, Week 23: Playing God (or at least Playing Ricketts)

Friday, August 28, 2009

WAIW Cubs Blog Rountable, Week 23: Playing God (or at least Playing Ricketts)

. Friday, August 28, 2009

According to Google Image Search, this is Tom Ricketts. I thought he was great in "Battlestar Galactica."

We at WAIW are lucky enough to be acquainted with the operators of a bunch of excellent Cubs blogs. Every Friday throughout the 2009 season, we're going to bring as many of them as we can together to share their thoughts on being Cubs fans. This week - how to fix this business.

I don't want to jinx it for the 600th time, but it appears that we finally have new ownership at Addison & Clark. Let's say you're the type of rich bastard who could afford this beloved baseball team. Now that you've got it, what are your first moves? Bring in a new manager? Try desperately to clean out the overpaid contracts? Give Crane Kenney a Wrigley trough swirly? Cubdom is in your grasp. Use your power wisely.


I think my first order of business would be to have dinner with Milton Bradley. As the new owner, I'm concerned by his recent comments regarding our fans and his experience at the ballpark. What solutions does Milton have and what can we do to make Milton's stay more enjoyable? Additionally, I think Milton could become the face of our new marketing campaign. Perhaps while dining with him I can get his perspective on what message we'd like to communicate to the fans and how to best execute that message. As for clubhouse issues, I?d like to hear what Milton has to say about how we can make the Cubs more race-friendly.

After tackling operations, marketing, & clubhouse chemistry, I think we?d lastly focus on personnel. Considering Milton has been a winner everywhere he goes, I'd like to know what he thinks about the guys in uniform. Has Larry Rothschild lost his magic? Has Lou lost his compassion? Perhaps he knows which is the best lineup spot for Soriano?

Basically, I just want to know more about how Milton Bradley can help the ball-club because I think we all know, the man bats left-handed (sometimes?)


Like most Cubs fans, I always imagined that if I won the lottery (Mega Millions, multiple times), I would buy the Cubs (submit a bid, blackmail current owner into choosing my bid, bribe 75% of the other MLB owners for their required approval). But after seeing the steamy shitburger waiting on the Ricketts' table, I'm not so sure my hard-gambled money wouldn’t be better spent elsewhere. (Vegas.) Nevertheless, if I somehow found myself signing the Cubs paychecks, what to do first? Fire Jim Hendry, the man responsible for an overpaid, injury-prone, virtually untradeable team over the next few years? Put Lou on the next plane to Del Boca Vista Retirement Village? Free Beer Fridays? Nah…I'd concentrate all efforts on finding a way to not lose a fucking home series to the Nationals.


Here is what I would do if I were tom ricketts:

I'd come in and survey the entire operation. Take care of any of the immediate moves that need to be taken because of the change in ownership. Next I would reassign Crane Kenney to a less public role (i'd actually fire the guy, but it appears Kenney is staying.)

Now comes the heavy lifting. The minor league system needs to be evaluated. Not just the players, but the scouts, the scouting directors etc... When that's complete, I keep the good ones send the others packing. Next I beef up this entire part of the Cubs system. I go outside the organization to find a director for minor leagues and the draft. I go to a successful franchise and reassign Oneiri Fleita and Tim Wilken. when all of these new people are in place, i instruct them that a five year plan is in order to build the Cubs minor league system into one of the elite systems in baseball. I make this priority #1 over the next several seasons.

In the meantime Hendry and Piniella can focus on the major league level. It looks like Piniella leaves after next season and I'd encourage Jim Hendry to stay if he wants or go elsewhere if he doesn't like these moves. If they get lucky and win at the major league level in the next five years that's great, but meanwhile the minor league system has to be selecting, developing and producing good major league talent. This is a pretty farsighted plan, but it is a plan that this organization has lacked since Dallas Green abruptly quit in the fall of 1987.

On a less serious note, I'd like to see a better beer selection at the ballpark. It's 2009, for beers sake. I enjoy an Old Style light as much as the next Cub fan, but would it be that hard to get a few of the local micro brews into the ballpark?