Say it with me – there is no curse, only bad management

Cubs fans, do you really believe in the Curse of the Billy Goat?  Preposterous.

There is only one reason that your team has not been to the World Series since 1945 and it all boils down to bad management.

The fact that last season’s repeat playoff appearance was the first for the Cubs in 100 years (yes, you read that correctly) speaks volumes to the futility of a franchise that has consistently failed, despite its membership in the upper tier of revenue-producing ballclubs for many generations.

But now the Cubs have new leadership as the Ricketts family has purchased 95 percent ownership of the ballclub and historic Wrigley Field for the tidy sum of $845 million.  Approval of the sale by baseball owners is expected to be a formality – likely at the next owners meeting this November in, of all places, the Windy City itself.

So now, as this historic franchise changes hands for the first time in almost 30 years (Tribune Co. purchased the Cubs and the ballpark in 1981 for a measly $20 million), the questions for the Ricketts are obvious (but oh so difficult): What to do?  Where to start?

Well, personally, I could care less if the Cubs win a World Series in any of our lifetimes.  But odds are that they will.  Someday.  Maybe.

As for the moment, Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago penned a great article today titled “Ricketts family’s new team needs work”.  It’s actually very insightful and a good read for any baseball fan, regardless of your interest in the Cubs’ future success.

The bottom line is this – Cubs fan or not, experiencing a game at Wrigley Field is probably one of the five best things that you can do as a sports fan.  It is still an epic event for anyone to walk into that stadium at the corner of Clark & Addison for the first time in a world that has rid itself of too many of its classic experiences.  And it ain’t such a bad idea to go back. 

Sure, Cubs fans deserve every ounce of the less-than-stellar reputations that they have earned, but it does not diminish what a jewel this ballpark remains for the rest of us.  The role of the Ricketts family is to bring that experience up to modern standards while maintaining the history of the place. 

It can be done and has been done elsewhere.  As for that curse, they are best off ignoring it and focusing on taking steps to model themselves after winning franchises – something that Tribune Co. never seemed to figure out.

Leave it to Greenberg to sum it up nicely: “As much as I make fun of Cubs fans, the majority are good people who love this city and love their team. They deserve a good park, a good team and an owner who is more than just another rich fan with big ideas.”

Good call.  In the meantime, and until the team takes care of business between the lines, Cubs fans will just have to continue to accept this as the final statement on baseball in Chicago:

Barack Obama

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~ by acm213 on August 23, 2009.

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