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Another letter from Tom Ricketts to you
It's that time of year again. To make fun of Tom Ricketts' season ending letter to fans.
Hello friends. It’s time for a tradition unlike any other. Yes, it’s time for me to translate Tom Ricketts’ annual season ticket holder letter1 here on Pointless Exercise.
Dear shut-ins and those suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning,
This past season ended too soon. We were nine games out of first just 26 games into the season. But yes, that was too soon. While we knew 2022 was going to be a year of transition, I mean, did you see the shitty roster Jed put together? I’d fire him, but he works for buttons and handfuls of those pastel party mints. we were cautiously optimistic that means we knew our team was going to suck, but we were hoping you were too dumb to notice with our offseason moves we could compete for a spot in the expanded postseason format. Under one format proposed during the lockout, 14 teams in each league would make the playoffs, we thought we’d have about a 40 percent chance of making it in that way. Obviously, our poor start ended those hopes early in the season. I hesitate to say “poor start,” but sure, we went 3-14 from April 19 to May 9, so maybe that’s poor. Who’s to say?
Yet as I look back, 2022 felt like two different seasons. Spring and summer. The first half of the year was defined by young players struggling to adjust to everyday roles “Young players” like Frank Schwindel, Patrick Wisdom, Rafael Ortega, Randy Hundley, Joe Tinker and Billy Jurges. and injuries that exposed a lack of overall team depth. How were we supposed to know that key stars like Nick Madrigal, David Bote and Andrelton Simmons would all get hurt at once? However, the second half of the season had a much different feel. It was considerably warmer. It showcased young players, particularly young pitchers, Uber prospects like Conner Menez, Locke St. John, Hugh Gewnit and Matt Dermody really impressed. And I only made up one of those names. growing into their roles and competing hard in every game. Nobody competed harder than Matt Swarmer, you should have seen how hard he ran to back up home plate seven or eight times per inning.
As the season progressed, It did progress. We know you stopped watching in May. We get the ratings from Marquee. I’ve never seen a line go all the way off the bottom of a page like that. it was clear that David Ross and his coaching staff were doing an excellent job leading and developing our young team. Well, except for the hitting coaches. I would assume we’ll be firing them soon. Some teams go to the playoffs every October, we fire our hitting coaches. We closed out the season's second half with a 39-31 record (a .557 winning percentage), which is fifth-best in the National League. We’ll be raising our “2022 NL Second Half Fifth Place Winning Percentage Champions” flag at the home opener next April. Good seats still available. There’s a bobblehead, too. Crawly already has one. I have no idea how he does that. Several of our position players proved that they belong at the major league level By several, I mean two. while our vaunted pitching infrastructure continued to improve Our infrastructure improved? I guess that means the magic cameras got better? I’ll have to check with Carter. Is that what he does? Does anybody know what he does? Usually I just see him in the media dining room before games eating Duke’s Mayonnaise right out of the jar with his hands. This improvement is perhaps best evidenced by our starting pitchers posting a 2.89 ERA following the All-Star break, Down slightly from the 47.96 ERA they had in the first half third-best in the majors. Wait, maybe that should be on our flag. CRANE! HOW MUCH WOULD IT COST TO MAKE A FEW CHANGES TO THE FLAG DESIGN? THAT MUCH, HUH? NEVER MIND.
To win the World Series again Remember that? We won it. It was just six years ago. Yeah, I know, six. Seems longer, right? I mean, it’s hard to fuck things up as thoroughly in that short of an amount of time as we have. Maybe we should put that on the flag? we need to build a team that can consistently make the playoffs Just make the playoffs. Not win anything. I’m told that costs a lot more. That means having a strong farm system. We need more strong farm boys. Just like the ones I’d see as a kid growing up in Omaha. I’d be riding in the back of our family’s Ford LTD Brougham and we’d go past fields with healthy, strong young boys throwing hay bales onto wagons with effortless, glistening efficiency. They were tanned and muscular, and often shirtless. Wait, what was I talking about? Ahh, yes, minor league teams. Let’s get back to that. In fact, the last 15 World Series winners were ranked in the top 10 farm systems in MLB in the years leading up to their titles Now, sure that stat sounds like made up bullshit, but I’m assured by our analytics guys that it might not be. Our system made tremendous progress this year We had nearly an 87% success rate in players not putting their pants on backwards this year. and it’s clear the efforts we have made in recent drafts and at the trade deadline are showing positive results Several of our best prospects didn’t need back or elbow surgery or a hip replacement. So, great news!. FanGraphs You know fans, until very recently I didn’t know that FanGraphs was a baseball analytics website, I thought it what Crane calls the charts he shares with us that shows how you idiots will continue to buy tickets, beer, non-bison hot dogs and Yan Gomes shirseys at an alarming rate no matter how bad we play. recently ranked our farm system 5th in baseball, Fifth. Out of, I assume seven? Wait, what? 32? No shit? Wow. a significant improvement over our preseason ranking of 8th Three might not seem like that much. Mostly because it’s not. and our 2021 preseason ranking of 22nd. Clearly, our plan to field a bad big league team for no real reason has turned out to be incredibly lucrative…I mean, incredibly successful. Additionally, our prospects are learning to win as a team as three of our four minor league affiliates reached the postseason, The fourth was, of course, the Iowa Cubs, and man were they terrible. with the South Bend Cubs winning the Midwest League championship. And don’t think I don’t appreciate it. I personally was chauffeured all the way to South Bend (Did you know it’s in Indiana? Yick.) so that I could present those young champions with their commemorative 20% off gift certificates to the 1914 Club at Wrigley Field. Offer good from December 1, 2022 to February 3, 2023, Cristkindlmarket dates excluded.
There is positive momentum Did you hear Jed say the word “momentum” 74 times in his press conference yesterday? Carter bet him a handful of mayo that he couldn’t. in our organization. Jed Hoyer and his team are building an expansive core Expansive core. Not expensive core. We’re not doing that crap again. of young high-ceiling players Here’s where Andy makes that awful joke again about how Nick Madrigal has the highest ceiling since he’s always the closest to the floor. while making investments in infrastructure Just like the Trump White House2 it’s always infrastructure week here with the Cubs! and technology I’m told that means computers or something. to help them reach their maximum potential Unfortunately folks, I’m told this really is David Bote’s maximum potential. We will be active in free agency Active doesn’t necessarily mean successful. and have the necessary resources available to substantially supplement Ahh, nothing fans love more than having “necessary resources available to substantially supplement” whispered in their ears. It’s something that sounds like something but turns out to be nothing. our current roster. As Jed has demonstrated, With all of his great signings like the Japanese guy who broke his finger and the highly paid starting pitcher who took June off. we will be driven by intelligent decision-making as we build a roster that can win games in the postseason – year in and year out. It shows how sketchy our history is that we need to emphasize that for once our decision making will be “intelligent.” I mean, great free agent signings like Daniel Descalso, Brad Brach, Jason Heyward and Steven Souza Jr. don’t just happen without some thorough vetting and a considered, thoughtful approach. I promise more of all of that.
On a personal level, Does this mole look irregular? I want to thank Cubs fans for their unwavering spirit and support. My family and I will never take your gullibility for granted. We truly, truly treasure and appreciate it. I always look forward to meeting fans on my gameday walks through the ballpark. And I can tell how optimistic you have become. By the end of the season I was covered in far less feces at the end of those walks than I had been last year. What those special interactions reinforce is your passion for our team, I never tire of seeing you squeezed into a Schwisdom Obvious Shirt, ballpark It truly gives me a warm feeling to watch your determination in fishing your cell phone out of a urinal trough. and mission to win another World Series.Yes, you’d think it should be OUR mission to win another World Series, but I guess it’s yours. So get on that, would you? My family does not take your loyalty for granted What we do take for granted is your capacity to ignore so many of the truly awful, immoral, sometimes allegedly illegal (wink, wink) things we do off the field all the time. Thank you. nor our responsibility to be stewards of this beloved franchise. I thank you, my siblings thank you, my parents thank you and our ill-gotten federal tax breaks thank you. It was certainly on display at the MLB at Field of Dreams game, which was among the most-watched regular season game on any network this year. It was awe inspiring to be surrounded by all of those Iowans and all of that corn. Sometimes I wasn’t sure which was which. And, being in that field in the middle of nowhere I harkened back to when as a kid growing up in Omaha, I’d be riding in the back of our family’s Ford LTD Brougham and we’d go past fields with healthy, strong young boys throwing hay bales onto wagons with effortless, glistening efficiency. They were tanned and muscular, and often shirtless. Wait, what was I talking about? Ahh yes, corn. I have no doubt that passion will again take the center stage during the much-anticipated MLB London Series in 2023. I truly can’t wait for the good people of the United Kingdom to get a good look at all of you decked out in your finest, nearly clean Cubs’ sweat pants. I hope you like boiled food!
So, as we look to the future, I want to say thank you. Thank you for your ongoing support of this team Your support means I can buy another huge house and tear it down and build a bigger one. I am a man who really enjoys his hobbies. I remain committed to getting back to championship baseball but more-so, I look forward to (and I know you do too) all of the intelligent-spending and look forward to sharing our love of the game together in 2023. See you at the Cubs Convention this coming February. Just kidding. I won’t see you there. I’ll be up in a suite hanging out with some mid-level executives from Sloan Valve, Prevagen and whatever company sells those worthless extended warranties for your car. They boo me a lot less.
I look forward to meeting more of your money,
If you want to check out last year’s letter, it was awfully similar.
I am not a season ticket holder, nor am I on the waiting list. Apparently they send these to everybody. So, this seems like the Cubs’ own fault.
Todd keeps sending me rescheduled invitations to Trump’s reinstatement ceremony every few weeks.