All true sports fans remembers the Billy Beane story about how he used statistics since the late 90’s to run the Oakland A’s in an economic way. I’ve been thinking about this, as it relates to the Cubs, a lot since the offseason after the 2018 season. My opinions have changed the more I’ve thought about it, listened to local sports reporters with actual connections to the team, and had discussions with others about it.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer did the same thing in Boston, then came to Chicago and have been doing the same thing ever since they arrived. The difference in Boston was that John Henry and Tom Werner were willing to spend when they had to in order to keep the team being competitive.
Back in 2020 when the 60 game pandemic-shortened season finally started there was another pending work stoppage due to the collective bargaining agreement expiring at the end of last season. At the end of the day that was the Cubs chance to open up their wallets and lock up the parts of the 2016 core that they wanted to keep. I think they always were never going to lock up Bryant and I am fine with that. There is literally no reason they did not lock up Rizzo and Baez though.
Fast forward to May the 28th the Cubs were heading into an eleven games in nine days stretch followed by a total of three days off the entire month of June. As I am writing this the Cubs have won five games since the start of the stretch I am talking about. I know many fans who are saying FIRE ROSS, FIRE JED, and some who are even saying fire both!
Is this a train wreck of the brand on Chicago’s north side? Yes, absolutely. The train started to crash when they did not lock up Rizzo and Baez last season, instead traded them at the deadline. The wreck will be completed when they trade Contreras this year at the deadline or see him leave to free agency. I blame the wreck on the owners though because they are refusing to open their wallet and give their President of Baseball operations the money he needs to field a competitive team. I hope I am wrong about and we are not watching Contreras’ days as a Cub come to an end. Sadly, though, I have to say I am probably spot on and as a fan it pisses me off! There is no reason in a big market the ownership team should be so greedy… literally NONE! They should sell the team to owners who will actually care or start paying players their market value so that their baseball guys can field a competitive team!
With that…. it’s time to play ball!!