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Goat Riders of the Apocalypse
A Hundred Next Years
Just Read 'em!
Stick a fork in 'em.
The math is in, and the Cubs are out. Yet another season (#101) comes to an end without a World Series title, and even though it's been a mathematical improbability for about a month, tonight's Rockies win makes it impossible for the Cubs to reach the post-season.
However, like the good Cubs fan I am, there's still a few reasons to stay positive. First, we have a new owner. I'm a little worried about the next few years, but I think over the long haul, Tom Ricketts has what it takes to be a successful owner. Corporations aren't the best for baseball teams, their profit motives generally get in the way. Not that Ricketts is guaranteed to be the next George Steinbrenner, but he could be a good one. And that's better than living with Sam Zell.
Once Ricketts closes on the deal in November, (after the owners meeting), the Cubs will be under larger financial pressures than they were previously. Remember, we're heaping about $40 million of debt service on top of a hefty payroll, but I doubt we'll see ticket price increases for next year. Why? Well, because new owners are loath to raise ticket prices as the first act of their guardianship. We're much more likely to see a whopping ticket increase for 2011, but I doubt we'll get jerked around too badly in 2010. Plus, the number of no-shows toward the end of this year has traditionally scared the Cubs into pulling back on the reins of run-away ticket price increases. (See 2007).
With less money, this may force the Cubs to get rid of a high priced player or two to pare the payroll. As long as we're talking about Milton Bradley and Alfonso Soriano, and not Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, or Carlos Zambrano, I think that's a healthy direction for our club. Plus, maybe we'll have a few more young players on the squad. You know, those guys who feel like they have to work hard to keep their roster spots. Young guys on the squad = a more motivated team, IMHO.
So, 2009 is dead. Disappointing yes. But calling me a loser won't change the fact that I'm slightly afraid that I'll dislike the team (e.g. 2004 and 2009) the year the Cubs win their World Series. How much would that suck? Having a bunch of over-paid loafing veterans be your team that breaks the curse? 15 years from now, showing up at a Cubs convention to laud praises on an old washed up guy who was a jerk 15 years earlier but brought you a pennant. So, bah humbug! I'm glad we didn't win this year*. I'm talking to you Milton, Aaron, and Aaron and Carlos, and ...)
* Not really. I always want to win.
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