We Cubs fans typically could give a spit about what other teams are doing, but have you noticed the Red Sawx still do not have a manager after we allegedly stole Dale Sveum from under them?
Ask yourself this simple question: who do you think typically hires field managers? The GM, right? I mean, typically, yes, the GM. Maybe not with the 2011 Cubs, since Theo Epstein is by all rights and purposes the real GM, just with the fancier title that allowed him to leave Boston with the least resistance.
Now, let's look at Ben Cherington, the new GM over there. He wanted Dale Sveum last week, but something (/sinster music) held him up before he could make an offer, and the Suddenly Nimble, Agile, and Decisive CUBS (/fanfare) snapped him right up. Whether this is a good thing for us or not remains to be seen, but that's not the point today. Cherington then went out and decided on Gene Lamont, a decidedly lowkey guy, for whatever reason. Deed done, right?
No! (/sinister music) For it appears that "others" would prefer professional blowhard Bobby Valentine to run the show. And here's why Theo is here, and not there. Whoever these others are, whether it is the principal owner (John Henry) or the team President (Larry Lucchino), apparently they feel the entitlement to override decisions made by their General Manager. Could this be why the Sawx currently employ and overpay A. J. Burnett and Carl Crawford, two decisions that weren't "typical Theo decisions"?
I mean, shoot, the man built the team that won them their first World Series since Babe Ruth pitched, and then won them another one for good measure, and they still felt the need to override him on personnel decisions? Yes, the Sawx melted down this fall, but that is not why he left Boston, nor did his superiors necessarily want him to leave. He left because he felt he deserved more autonomy - hell, he felt at least he deserved to make the decisions whether to sign high-priced free agents, and deserved to make the decision about whether or not to fire his manager. Henry and/or Lucchino did not necessarily agree, and Theo left, and came here, and assembled his Boyquarium of analysts. And oh yeah, snatched up the Sawx managerial candidate after the Sawx paid to fly the man to the Winter meetings in Milwaukee for the purposes of interviewing him. The newly agile Cubs owner got his butt up there, had his say with Sveum, and in the end we rubbed another one in the faces of the Massholes.
Ah, good times.
But, outside of that, it has been pretty quiet on the North Side since then. While the Marlins make lots of noise and lots and lots of alleged free agent offers that nobody has accepted yet, the Astros hit complete rock bottom, and such also rans as the Mariners and Rays make diddly trades, there has been near total radio silence from Clark and Addison.
Until now, that is. Seems that the new CBA, with its caps and penalties on draft choice compensation, won't allow the Cubs to "overslot" like we did this year, where we perhaps overpaid some of our draft picks in order to bring them in. This changes the way the Cubs will approach things, a bit, in the process making the notion of paying huge money for one of either Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder more attractive than it was prior to the new CBA. In fact, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi think the Cubs would rather have the (much?) older Pujols. winky face. UPDATE: Phil Rogers doesn't think the Cubs are in on Pujols. Suck on this, Philly.
We might go for it sooner than we thought. Smiley face.