When the goofy, nearly insane Ricketts family took over the Cubs, they failed to learn anything from history. They immediately proclaimed that it was "Year One" and that all the history of losing was finally over, because they took over from Tribune, I guess (I never really heard a rationale for their optimism). Soon the team went into an awful, abysmal slump, and I saw signs for tickets available on billboards in Chicago and had friends offering me decent tickets and games at face value as Wrigley Field emptied out in the heat and misery.
Anyone following sports even a little knows that Theo Epstein, the boy wonder who was a big part of eliminating the "curse" for the Boston Red Sox, is over at the Cubs as general manager, and seems smart enough that he has some sort of "plan" for turning the Flubs into winners. He did some obvious things, dumping or letting go some of the older and high priced players (even if he got little or nothing in return, it still made sense, just out of spite, to the average Cubs fan) although for some inexplicable reason Soriano is still with the team, and for a bit there the Cubs looked like they just might be on the far, far edge of respectable.
This Sun Times wrote an article when the Cubs losing streak reached nine along the same lines:
When new people come to the Cubs, it’s always the same: This time, it’s going to be different. This time, the club is going to turn into a winner. But you don’t whistle in the face of 103 years of futility. That kind of history has its own weight, and it tends to flatten anything in its path. We’re not talking about curses here. We’re talking about institutional badness. We’re talking about bad in bulk.The Cubs losing streak now has reached 12. I saw a bit of the game at the health club and it seemed like they were absolutely getting blown out. Garza, their big free agent pitching acquisition a couple years' back, got shelled, and the lowly Pirates were up 10-0 at one point. While the flubs scored 4 runs in the 9th, you have to figure it was against the absolutely worst relief pitcher of the Pirates, which means you are mathematically likely talking about one of the worst pitchers in all of baseball. Yes, the Pirates are almost at .500, but you can't even count the games against the Cubs since they are free wins nowadays.
And while the Cubs are getting crushed and the Wrigley faithful are starting to leave earlier and earlier, if they attend at all, Theo is out thinking about the baseball draft, rather than suffer with the fans and watch this terrible baseball in person. The fans would probably prefer that he watch it with his eyes held open like they did in a Clockwork Orange, so he could finally embrace the utter futility that is the Cubs. From this article in the Chicago Tribune:
As the Cubs inched closer to tying the franchise record for consecutive losses, the architects of the team were back home focusing on next week's amateur draft. President Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer haven't traveled with the team on the road trip, leaving assistant to the GM Shiraz Rehman and assistant GM Randy Bush to watch Cubs history unfold.The problem is, the baseball draft isn't like football. There are no Andrew Luck's or Cam Newton's that are going to join your team next year and turn things around - the baseball draft is part of a multi-year process of building up a farm system and then hopefully retaining the right talent when it hits the majors. And the fans really can't wait that long - last year I pretty much gave up on the Sox because they insisted on playing Dunn while he was having possibly the WORST SEASON IN THE HISTORY OF THE MLB. He was KILLING the team. The Sox may have paid too much for him and had to play him and hope that Dunn turned it around, but I couldn't stand to be part of watching it. And last years' Sox were like the '27 Yankees compared to how bad this years' Cubs are looking right now in the midst of this losting streak, which could challenge their worst losing streak EVER.
Theo - you don't have the time you think you have. Those nutso Ricketts can't just have 3 people and seagulls at the ballpark, especially when Cubs tickets are sky-high in price and amenities aren't cheap, either. You are going to have to try to start making moves this year, or get a bodyguard when you head to the bars in Wrigleyville. You'll need it.