Season ticket holders got a letter from Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney which spent 60% of the 2 pages talking about luncheons held with season ticket holders and a redesign of the cubs.com website area for season tickets holders.
Then a tiny little bit about how the "season was bittersweet" and how "Our disappointing performance in the playoffs continues to weigh heavily on all of us in the organization and fuels our efforts to improve the team this off-season"
He then goes on to bloat about Soto being named Rookie of the Year and Piniella, Manager of the Year. He closes by saying that "I also know this organization is on and upswing and we will win a World Championship for the greatest fans in baseball."
So there you have it, the classic magician's misdirection. "Lookie here, lookie here, slipped that by ya, lookie here, hey you're a great audience."
- MLB doesn't really call it the "World Championship" so I'm glad you're guaranteeing it (only guys to truly pull that sort of promise off was Muhammad Ali and Joe Namath), but it would be nice, Mr. Chairman, that you called it the World Series.
- However, I'm not a complete ass, the club is on an upswing, so I do agree with that.
- Efforts to improve the team in the off season.....hmm. Don't know about that one YET. "Kid K" gets the boot after all these years which truly IS bittersweet because he did everything the club asked him to, including rehabbing his arm so that he could contribute coming out of the bullpen. But as with Prior, management's patience wore thin and for the second year in a row, a player who was the "ace of the staff" at one point is released.
- They released him because they got Kevin Gregg from Florida. 7-8, 29 saves, 3.41 ERA last year in 72 appearances (18-21, 62, 4.00 in 6 seasons overall with the Angels and Marlins) Not sure here but we didn't trade much to get him. Interesting to get him when they are growing Samardzija and Hart. This does force Marmol to the closer role though. Just praying that his arm holds out.
I'm honestly not sure what the Cubs could do to improve other than show up in the post-season. Their 97 wins this year were the most by a Cubs team in 63 years!!
Lastly, with the SEC going after Mark Cuban, it's very possible that even if he were to blow the doors off that last round of bidding (all final bids due by December 1st per MLB), would the other owners really approve him? He's already hated by the majority of NBA owners, and that club is as tight with MLB/NHL owners as anyone, so his reputation will precede him. Add now that he could be put in jail for a year (a la Martha Stewart) and well, they don't need any other reasons to reject him. This will be a sad day if he doesn't take over the Cubs as we'll get another set of unknown white collar robbery artists who are in this just to milk the money and not for the "fun" of just winning.
I'll keep my fingers crossed that Sam Zell is just the greediest son-of-a-bitch alive and will tell the other owners that they BETTER approve a sale to Cuban or else he'll make their lives a living hell. That would be his BEST parting shot.