Shockingly, the Ricketts chose not to take the advice of a random blogger to nominate a member of their family to sound like a typical sports-radio caller. I get it. I'm not offended. I know it's a radical idea, but I'm convinced it would work.
Instead, the Ricketts kind of went the other way. Their plan involved welcoming home a team that has gone 5-15 in their last twenty games, committed 94 errors on the season, allowed 77 unearned runs, and lost 29 one run games by serving them caviar in the clubhouse.
Needless to say, this has not played real well with Cubs fans.
One of my podcast partners, Julie DiCaro wrote a letter to the Ricketts on her site:
"Dear Tom Ricketts,
I understand your desire to make things "first class" up here on the North Side. However, what Cubs fans want is a FIRST-CLASS BALL CLUB. Not a first-class clubhouse, or first-class, bathrooms with first-class troughs, or even first-class food. We want a winning ballclub. Period. And frankly, rewarding a pathetic performance over the course of the season with a delicacy that most Chicagoans would never buy for themselves, especially in a recession, is not going to endear you or this team to anyone.
Stop with the gimmicks and focus on baseball, for crying out loud."
That sentiment pretty much summed up most of what I heard from the guys sitting behind me last night in Aisle 424 as news of the caviar spread in the stadium. It also mirrored a lot of what I saw on Twitter.
But it isn't just us crazy bloggers and social media geeks that didn't like the caviar shtick. It also gave easy fodder to Paul Sullivan to poke fun at the organization in the Tribune:
"No one was blaming the caviar for the Cubs' 9-5 loss to the first-place Padres on Monday, but the mere idea of serving caviar to a fifth-place team that began the day 17 games out of first place was akin to the chairman of BP going yachting during the height of the Gulf Coast oil spill disaster."
And Gordon Wittenmyer also got in a couple of shots in the Sun-Times:
"With no champagne in sight this year, the Cubs were treated to a taste of caviar in the clubhouse kitchen Monday after their first series win of the month over the weekend...
... Then again, they might be looking at Spam and Cheese Whiz today after another collectively poor effort from the young pitchers the Cubs are hanging some of next year's hopes on."
But aside from the small minority of fans who get their information about the Cubs from major newspapers, sports talk radio, and blogs, I think it played really well.