First, let me just say that Daylight Savings and the whole "spring forward" concept sucks. Whew, had to get that off my chest.
In a recent interview with 670 The Score, Cubs president, and card-carrying member of baseball's intelligentsia, Theo Epstein channeled Bobby Flay:
"I was shaking my head at the notion that we should make baseball decisions based on giving our fans cookies. We're cooking the whole meal. We want to give them an annual feast. The only way to make fans happy is to give them pennant races and October baseball if you can pull it off on an annual basis. Nothing is going to get in the way of that."
It was certainly nice to hear the goal stated clearly: pennant races and October baseball on an annual basis. And as a purveyor of analogies that are often awkward and cryptic, I enjoyed the cookie/feast part as well.
But it's kinda hard to sit and listen to talk of feasts when fans are famished. Hell, I think most of us would be satisfied with a cookie at this point, unless it's one of the over-baked kind that just crumbles to pieces when you bite into it. *cough* Edwin Jackson *cough*
Still, I feel where Theo's going here. In fact, he sort of reminds me of the story of Joseph, he of the coat of many colors, the favored boy wonder who was sold into slavery by his brothers, only to rise to power in Egypt.
The Biblical scholars out there may already know where I'm going here, and I did write about my own revelatory dream in a recent post.
Long story short, Joseph was a smart, good-looking cat who was imprisoned for failing to acquiesce to the adulterous desires of his master's wife but was later freed in order to interpret some of Pharaoh's dreams.
Correctly prophesying that Egypt would undergo 7 years prosperity followed by 7 of famine, Joseph convinced the nation's leader to ration foodstuffs and store enough back for the lean years.
And if you're already blowing holes in my conceit, I'm ahead of you. Theo is sort of reverse-engineering Donnie Osmond's strategy. In this case, the Cubs are rationing and stockpiling during the lean years, building up stores of prospects and lining up advertising and -- fingers crossed -- TV deals to fuel future growth.
Of course, the Cubs' progress feels like it's trending more toward entropy than critical mass. And that's precisely the berm detractors of the rebuild stand behind as they huck rocks at Ricketts' glass house.
They hold that the Cubs are living out Zeno's dichotomy paradox instead of taking an appropriate big-market approach.
Rather than having hopes of reaching the goal, the Epstoyer regime is simply working to get halfway to the destination, then half of the remaining distance, then half again, and so on. But the thing is, motion is indeed a paradox; it defies philosophical logic. So the final destination is tangible, not just a mirage guarded by increasingly-decreasing fractional distances.
The Cubs have chosen to be the tortoise instead of Achilles, characters from yet another Zeno paradox. Only, in this one, the tortoise wins. So which is it: is this a team that can never reach its goal or one that defies "logic" to win big?
Time will tell, but in Joseph's case, the same brothers who sold him into slavery eventually knelt before him to beg for his help and forgiveness.
Damn, now I'm hungry. Where're those cookies?
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