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Tom Ricketts thinks we're all really dumb
Honestly, he might not be that far off. Let's make fun of his e-mail!
It was a busy week for the Cubs. First, they got to celebrate the White Sox crapping out in just four games in the ALDS. Another shot at actually convincing baseball fans in Chicago that they don’t have to keep watching the Cubs has once again eluded the Sox like so many routine flyballs to Eloy in left.
Baseball talk veered immediately from “maybe the Sox can take this series back to Houston” to, “could the Cubs bring Rizzo back and just move Schwindel to left” in a very stupid heartbeat. But that’s the way it’s always been. Chicago’s baseball fans are divided up 70/30 (that may be generous) and when the Sox are good (it hasn’t happened as much as you think it has) it shifts a little bit. But it never stays that way. And, no matter how odious and penurious and other us’s the Garbage Family That Owns The Cubs™ are, that’s not likely to change. And they know that. And they rely on it.
Maybe someday when Jerry Reinsdorf is in Hell, trying to convince his roommate Bud Selig to lock the players out again, it’ll change. But it’s not likely.
And so, armed with even more optimism that his dumbass fans aren’t going to abandon them, Tom Ricketts approved his annual “this time we’re going to figure it out” e-mail to season ticket holders, written by his own personal PR flak Dennis Culloton.
Let’s hold our noses and try to get through it, shall we?
Subject: Building the Next Great Cubs Team
I’m already retching.
Dear Cubs Fans,
In our 12 years together, never have we experienced so many ups and downs in one season.
Wait, when were the ups? And man, has it really been 12 years? I was so young and innocent when your dad bought you and your idiot siblings this team to ruin.
After 18 long months, we enjoyed our much-anticipated Wrigley Field reunion and celebrated some early season success on the field.
Well, not too early. Your team was 11-15 in April.
Following time at the top of our division,
Ahh yes, those heady 24 days you spent in first place. In May. It seems like a decade ago. For a minute there we thought maybe your team was actually going to play well enough to fuck up your grand plan to lose and sell it off for parts. Congrats on all of the losing you so obviously craved.
we also endured a double-digit losing streak and the difficult departure of players we all love.
It’s true, all of our favorites left, like 2016 heroes Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javy Baez, the weird guy with the Camaro who wore way too many Obvious Shirts, the outfielder with all the hair who can’t hit, the relief pitcher that the senile old dumbass in St. Louis accidentally gave an MVP vote to, and Craig Kimbrel for whom you got a guy who tore his tiny little hamstring all the way off his tiny little leg. Yeah, we remember.
As mentioned in my August 2 letter, we made some tough decisions that created near-term competitive challenges in return for longer-term competitive advantages.
“Near-term competitive disadvantages?” That’s a pretty creative way to say:
What I remember about your August 2 letter is that you couldn’t even be bothered to thank the players who finally brought a world championship to your once, and now once again, laughingstock of a franchise.
Our mid-season moves also paved the way for the emergence of new impactful players in addition to the infusion of promising prospects.
Yeah, instead of trading them for players we already know aren’t good, you traded them for young guys who it will take a few years before we figure out aren’t any good.
2021 was an emotional roller coaster, to say the least.
It reminded me of the time in the ‘80s when those three kids almost died because the cable snapped on The Edge at Great America.
In the midst of all the change this year, David Ross did an amazing job keeping our players focused and ready to play.
Yeah, he was great. Remember the time he got mad at Willson Contreras for calling out everybody other than Javy for not playing hard, even though we all knew it was true? That was fun.
The Cardinals fired the human dynamo Mike Shildt for going to the playoffs three years in a row. You want to give Ross an extension for barely avoiding being the only manager in baseball history to preside over three 10+ game losing streaks in the same season.
From our accomplished veterans to our remarkable rookies, our players didn’t let up in the second half of the season.
Your remarkable rookies averaged 28 years old. You might as well just lump those two groups of losers together into “unaccomplished veteran rookies.”
From August 12 on, we were second in OPS in the NL (.780) and fourth in the NL in runs per game (4.91).
“From August 12 on”? What the fuck is that? Talk about cherry picking stats. The trade deadline was July 30. You know what your record was from that day until August 16? You were 2-15! You lost 12 games in a row. After you lost 11 in a row in June. And then you lost `11 of 12 in September. So if you were scoring 4.91 runs per game you apparently were only about eight runs a game short of actually winning a few.
We also enjoyed some solid play from many of our new Cubs, including Patrick Wisdom, who set our single-season rookie mark with 28 home runs,
I like Pee Wiz as much as anybody, but more impressive than him hitting 28 homers as a 29 year old rookie was that he struck out 153 times in just 106 games.
and Frank Schwindel, who led all major leaguers in hits and was second in batting average from the trade deadline (July 30) through the end of the season.
How neat. You know what you get for having the most hits from the trade deadline to the end of the season? Apparently you get 20 wins in 66 games.
While we failed to extend our six-straight winning seasons streak and secure our spot in the postseason, we made important changes that put us in a position to succeed as we build the next great Cubs team.
Ooh, six straight winning seasons! How neat. The Dodgers, a team with the same resources as you, just had their `11th straight winning season, and while their streak of eight straight division championships was broken they won 106 games. You might not win 106 games if you add this season’s win total to next year’s.
Beginning to replenish our much-improved farm system was just the start.
Why did you need to replenish your farm system? Were you not allowed to draft players or sign international free agents for the last five years? Oh, you were? Well, I’m sure after getting that wrong all that time, the same guys who were picking those players who haven’t worked out got it all right this time.
Jed and the team are now focused on reloading our roster.
Trying to build a team around Ian Happ, Schwindel, Pee Wiz, Nick Madrigal and Nico Hoerner seems more like you’re trying to sell us a steaming reload of shit.
We have the resources necessary to compete in 2022 and beyond, and we will use them.
“Compete.” There’s a word you’ll be trying to shove down our gullet for the next decade. Good teams strive to win. You’ve purposely set the bar at staying kind of close to the teams who are actually doing all the winning. How inspiring.
We will be active in free agency and continue to make thoughtful decisions to bolster our team this offseason.
Ahh, there it is. “Continue to make thoughtful decisions.” We don’t want you to continue to do anything you’ve been doing. That implies that instead of trying to sign Corey Seager or Carlos Correa or Nick Castellanos, that you’ll “continue” to sign guys like Daniel Descalso, Steven Souza Jr., Austin Romine, Eric Sogard and whatever other cheap, washed up white dudes will take whatever you offer because nobody else is dumb enough to try to sign them.
While highs and lows are a part of our game and nothing novel for unwavering Cubs fans, I know 2021 was a lot to process.
Keep it up, you Jerry Mathers looking wanna be and see how unwavering we are.
Further, while making good long-term decisions with our roster looks good on paper, it doesn’t soften the pain of losing or the emptiness of missing the postseason.
Wait, you didn’t make the postseason? I was so used to your team playing the minimum amount of playoff games possible and not scoring that I thought maybe I just missed it.
With our attention now solely on the 2022 season, please know this: we respect your high expectations,
You got me there. Your entire family treats the fans with deep, deep respect. The kind of respect you show people when you just assume they are too dumb to call you on any of your constant, horrible bullshit.
we share your desire to win
No. You don’t. Because we actually have some.
and we commit to fielding a competitive team reflective of your unrivaled support.
It looks like you are trying to field a team reflective of the actual baseball playing ability of the fanbase.
We’re more than excited to enjoy both the journey and our ultimate destination of winning another World Series championship with you again soon.
The only thing you ghouls get “more than excited about” is tricking the fanbase into booking a $289 room in your Motel 6 covered in shiplap that you pretend is a boutique hotel you built across the street from the baseball stadium you turned into a federal tax dodge and presented yourself a plaque to commemorate.
Finally, in a year marked by the ongoing pandemic and significant on-field change, your remarkable support was certainly a silver lining.
Yes, yes, our cash was certainly a silver lining as we paid major market prices while you slashed $140 million off your payroll.
As always, thank you again for being the best fans in baseball.
Do not lump us in with those creepy bastards.
Sincerely? I guess that would be a welcome change of pace for you.
Yesterday, the Cubs introduced their new general manager. It’s a sentient dollop of mayonnaise named Carter Hawkins.
Can you imagine how humiliating it had to be for the poor sucker Marquee sent out to film Carter’s perp walk?
“Hey kid, grab the camera, let’s get some b-roll that shows that the new guy is good at walking and opening doors! Which one is he? I don’t know, he looks like the rest of the front office guys. White. Punchable. You know the type. Go get ‘em, kiddo!”
The press conference only lasted about 15 minutes, mostly because nobody asks questions at them anymore. The guy from the AP asked two questions, Bruce Levine gurgled his usual “welcome to Chicago” nonsense and somehow asked the exact same question that Jordan Bastian had asked nine seconds before.
Sahadev and Mooney were there but neither asked a question in the “gaggle.” Gotta save the real burning questions for the one-on-one time afterward. Sharma wouldn’t want anybody stealing a ponderous 140 word question about the pitch lab that doubles as his application for an assistant GM job.
What I wanted somebody to ask was about the real reason the Cubs hired a guy from the Indians, but to not settle for the obvious, wrong answer. The company line is that the Cubs want to tap into his familiarity with what the Indians have identified in pitching prospects because they have had quite a bit of success developing, and then trading away good young pitchers.
Oh, yeah, that second part is what they really want. Because in reality, the thing about the Indians that the Cubs are trying to emulate is perfecting how much payroll you can cut from one year to the next and still contend. (There’s that word. Get used to it. They’re going to cling to it like a door floating in the north Atlantic.) Every year after the Indians lost the World Series to the Cubs, they shed more and more payroll, yet kept contending in the American League Central, which they thought was great, even though they had no chance of actually winning anything important.
Hawkins said there’s no “special sauce” to this. But the idea that there’s a way to trade away everyone before they get expensive and still sell the rubes on how you might make the playoffs makes the Garbage Family special sauce themselves all over their pants.
I’m sure Marquee was disappointed that Hawkins didn’t bring have a cool dad story for the news conference, but that didn’t stop our gal Googles from working in the fam.
So, this happened last night.
Our large adult son is thriving in the playoffs, and now is a good time to remind everyone that the Cubs let him go for nothing and still could have brought him back for cheap, but he ended up settling for $2 million from the Nationals.
And as bad as that is, it’s going to get worse.
Because they non-tendered Kyle, these dopes will be afraid to do the same to Ian Happ. So they’ll pay him for fear that he’ll leave and do what Schwarber has done. Only, here’s the thing. Ian Happ isn’t Kyle Schwarber.
Oh, sure, like Schwarber he can’t really play any position on the field, but unlike Schwarber he’s never actually hit when it’s mattered. Or, in fact ever hit for more than 28 days in a single season. We’ve been watching this shit for five years now, and it’s always the same. It’s long stretches where he’s cluelessly overmatched, followed by a few weeks of him looking like he’s figured it all out, followed by even longer stretches of him being terrible. But hey, he’s got a podcast and coffee or some shit. You know what? I’m sure this time it’ll be fine.
So after this long newsletter about the Cubs what could be better than a link to our Bears’ podcast? Man, I sure know how to program this thing, don’t I? But check it out. Mike Pusateri’s very funny and I just get mad and say mean things about Matt Nagy and people from Wisconsin and the referees.