In a world where: the Big 10 is now the Big 14 because of "geography"; the owner of the Marlins can essentially trade the Marlins to Toronto, and the Commissioner just yawns and rubber stamps it; two weeks after declaring the Bears as Super Bowl winners, fans want to cut all the players as well as fire all the coaches; and last but not least, Danica Patrick announces her divorce on Facebook; no fucks were given about the Chicago Cubs this day.
While other teams make trades and designate players for assignment to manuever rosters in preparation for the Rule V Draft, the Cubs rest softly in the afterglow of the big free agent signing of Shawn Camp.
Let me admit something just now. I had to go look up Camp's first name. I could be suffering from early onset dementia. I'm not even kidding about that, but you admit something to ME now: did you remember his name?
There is absolutely zero Cubs buzz in Chicago right now. That may be as Theo Epstein wants it. That can't possibly be to Tom Ricketts' liking, though. Despite his much heralded 2013 "price cuts", it turns out they are nothing more than a re-categorization of games for bleacher tickets. I don't know how he plans to sell the vast majority of the seats this year. Please remember, most Cubs tickets for the year are bought well before the season even starts. Nobody figured they would lose 100 games. This spring? Everyone will expect the 100 losses...maybe even more!
And by the way: I have been convinced ever since the Ricketts took over, that the only reason why they own the Cubs at all is because Tom met his wife in the bleachers. I have said all along that the rest of the family could give a shit less about the Cubs, and Tom himself is less of a Cubs fan than a Wrigley Field fan, and the bleachers in particular. They've gotten the food and drink deals; they get the free t-shirts on Mondays. I may be the only one, but it rustled my jimmies that only Chad and Trixie Bleacherbum are getting price relief next year.
So you got owners who aren't really concerned about the rapidly decreasing buzz about their product; a so-called whiz kid president who probably welcomes the silence because media attention takes quality time away from their computers; and while young talent flies all over the country in trades, the Patient Cub Fans have nothing to do this winter but sit and contemplate whether it is best in the long run to trade Matt Garza at the deadline, or to let him walk and get a sandwich pick.
Wow. That makes me want to look into 13-game packs for next summer.
So, all this bitching, what am I asking for? I guess a bit more transparency from management. We always hear that Theo and Jed and the rest of the Lesser GMs currently on staff are on their phones all day, every day, trying to make the Cubs better. Really?
Seriously? I get it that the other GMs aren't stupid. I don't expect the Mariners to trade us King Felix for Bryan LaHair. But a month into the offseason, and LaHair, Casey Coleman and Steve Clevenger are still on the roster, and they've signed a 37 year old relief pitcher that nobody else wants, a Tommy John recoveree, and a catcher who can't hit. Really, how long DOES it take to close a deal with Dioner Navarro, especially when you're offering him three times the MLB minimum? 6 minutes?
I'd really like to know what the fuck those guys are talking about the 10-12 hours a day elapsed time they are on the phone? Do they and the other GMs call each other and purposely waste time just so their job looks harder than it is? Because unless the proposal-to-action ratio is like 500-to-1, then that's what they are doing. Is that how it starts? If for example the Cubs want to trade with the Mariners, does Theo seriously start his conversation with "I'll give you LaHair for King Felix"? And does the Seattle GM respond with "No, but I'll give you a guy in Low-A who throws 79 mph for Castro and Rizzo"? And then work from there? Do they start from such extremes? Because otherwise, I don't understand why it has to appear so time-consuming, and why fans have to sit here week after week and wonder if their team is doing ANYTHING whatsoever to improve?
Sorry. Just frustrated. I understand if management was to offer any sort of information about their process, our media and, God help us, ourselves would pick it up, even if no names were attached, and project all sorts of wild-ass things. But you know what? Like adding small wood chips to a tiny flame, at least it would provide some interest, maintain some semblance of a buzz amongst us. Which is important when you plan to charge major league prices to see a triple-A ballclub next year.