Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cubs 2010 in Review: January

The Cubs were determined to rebound from all the clubhouse chaos and injuries that torpedoed the 2009 season and began the year of 2010 with fresh new owners, a new spunky good guy centerfielder, fewer pounds on their torsos, and a lovely new marketing slogan that is unfortunately sadly true.  Let's see how such a tried and true formula for success went awry:

January 1 - Cubs fans basked in the glow of the Marlon Byrd signing on New Years Eve, and nobody would ever speak of Milton Bradley ever again.  Except for every single media member who always mentioned him as a comparison to Byrd in every story where Byrd is mentioned.

January 4 – Ken Rosenthal’s imaginary friend whispers to him that the Cubs are the front-runners to sign Ben Sheets and he writes a piece for FOX Sports that he would have undoubtedly ripped as irresponsible if it had been written by a blogger.

January 5 – The Ricketts discussed the structure and potential ramifications of the financing for the purchase of the Cubs in the Investment News:

The Ricketts’ spokesman says that converting the term loans into private placement notes with longer maturities provides “flexibility” for the family, and he insists that despite the heavy debt load, the team won’t cut payroll.

These people clearly had no idea what they were getting themselves into.

January 6Andre Dawson finally got elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and for some reason Cubs fans became irritated that he might not get to wear a Cubs hat because his most consistently successful years happened in Montreal where nobody noticed.

January 8 – A Cubs ticket representative said “thank you” to me upon dropping off my check for my season ticket package. It is assumed that representative was fired shortly after.

January 9 – The Cubs sign minor league first baseman Bryan LaHair, thereby supplanting Micah Hoffpauir as the crappy AAAA minor leaguer that sports radio callers are obsessed with “giving a shot to see what he can do.”

January 11 – Former slugger and newly hired batting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, Mark McGwire, tearily admitted to Bob Costas in a live interview on the MLB Network that he always wished he had a cool nickname like “The Situation.”

January 11 – The Cubs bring Greg Maddux back as an assistant TO THE General Manager, prompting a signal to the end of Jim Hendry’s tenure as the General Manager.

January 13 – The Cubs Caravan began their trip around Chicago and a few other non-Chicago locations. This annual trip is a great opportunity for the Cubs to give a glimpse of players and coaches to some school children that may not otherwise be able to afford tickets after the ticket prices went up again after a third straight .500 or better season.

January 14 – Bob Nightengale of USA Today helped put Cubs fans into a panic right before the Cubs Convention by predicting the Cubs would move their Spring Training facility to Naples, Florida, resulting in 80% of all questions asked by fans to revolve in some way around the Cubs staying in Mesa, Arizona.

January 15 - The Cubs Convention kicked off with a “slidr show” about the 2009 debacle of a season, which we should have all realized was a sign that the Cubs front office wasn’t exactly setting real high standards for results.

The Convention was the first real opportunity for the Ricketts family to interact with Cubs fans and they were treated like the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. Even Todd.

January 22 – It turns out the Cubs were just running one of Jerry Reinsdorf’s old plays by using a Florida community as a decoy to induce massive government funding to build a new facility in Mesa after all.

January 25 – The Cubs sign Chad Tracy as depth for third base on the strength of scouts’ raves that he is taller than Mike Fontenot.

January 26 – Xavier Nady is signed to play the outfield based on the logic that he can’t possibly throw worse with his surgically repaired arm than Juan Pierre or Willie Wilson could with their healthy ones.

Coming soon... February, when Ryan Theriot and the Cubs disagree on the value of scrappiness.


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