So the Chicago Cubs Press has come into camp in the best shape of their life, promising to lose the real narrative of this Cubs season in favor of silly Cub Cliche logic and "Woe is Us" spin. And Cub fans, not the reasonable ones but the larger mass of stupidity, is gobbling it up in an attempt to talk about anything Cub. It is a large early shot across the bow that this season will be the toughest one in the Epstoyer regime and maybe the toughest some of us Cub fans have ever faced.
For those of you living in a hyperbaric chamber or perhaps off in France with their wife, Tom Ricketts spoke to the press in which he said he expected the Cubs to compete and perhaps even be in the playoffs. This is what owners do. This makes Ricketts no different than the 28 other owners who came to Spring Training and declared their team was in it. ( Okay, maybe 28. I'm pretty sure Jeffery Luria of the Miami Marlins was to busy counting his taxpayers money to give a darn…) These comments were about as harmless as stroking a kitten on top of a carton of eggs without breaking any shells. Usual Spring training fluff.
Instead, everyone done lost their darn minds.
Sports radio, beat reporters, columnists, and yes, even some bloggers, went nuts- questioning Ricketts' sanity and whether "Ricketts really understands Theo's plan at all"….. What makes this all the more galling is not like anyone really followed up- "Do you feel like you've given Theo enough resources to make the moves to win this year? Are Theo and Jed under pressure to perform this year? Will you be disappointed if the Cubs don't win this year?
None of these questions were asked. And they shouldn't have been, because this really wasn't news.
But everyone else MADE IT NEWS. It led updates on sports radio. It was the subject of many columns. It inspired many know it all's to get on their soapbox and re-educate the masses on how Theo and Jed are trying to turn around an entire organization and blah blah blah. And someone throw a fastball already!!!!!!!
So Ricketts can't show support for his team. Nobody covering sports in the city of Chicago can properly analyze these quotes as an owner saying owner things? If Jerry Reinsdorf said the same thing, would he be as scrutinized? Why not?
It would be one thing if this was just a rogue beat reporter. Or if this were Cubby-hate 670 up to their old tricks of playing to the stupid in an attempt for bigger ratings. ( Call it the Mike North maneuver…..). But it's everybody. And it's only February.
I want the Cubs to be important. I want them to matter and be a discussion point and be more than just a test of loyalty. They're going to be good. The sun is coming up over that horizon. But it's clear there's still a few hours of darkness left in the night. And all of us need to get our act together this Spring Training. Because if we can't handle the usual naive bravado that comes out of an owners mouth, words that have been ringing out of owner's mouths since PK Wrigley for crying eye, than we don't have a chance of getting through May with this team.
A very regrettable mulligan. Onwards.