Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Cubs sale nears completion

The longest team sale of memory appears to be at an end.  ESPN is reporting that Cubs.com is reporting that the Tribune is reporting that they have reached an agreement with the Ricketts Family.

Of course, it's still not over -- the MLB owners have to approve of the sale. 

So here's the question -- do the Ricketts have any chance of not gaining the approval of MLB?  If not, and if they have been given an inside iggy that things will go smoothly, is it possible for them to give Jim Hendry pre-emptive permission to grow the team's salary before the trade deadline?

It sounds like a lot of "ifs" to me, and history has taught me that the answer will likely be "no."  Besides, we cannot quickly forget that the feet-dragging of this sale occurred primarily because Tom Ricketts had trouble ponying up the cash to finalize the near-$900 million dollar deal. 

As a long-time Cubs fan, I can't help but wonder what happens next.  It's like going to prom with a blind date.  Will she turn out to be a foreign-exchange student studying to be a model back in Mother Russia?  Or will she be revealed to be your best friend's thugly cousin who once started linebacker for the high school football team?

I'd like to think that Tom Ricketts is a baseball genius who will surround himself with verified, certified baseball men who aren't afraid to try new things and will not flinch at hitting the eject button on long-term Cub strategies that obviously do not work.  I'd like to believe that Mr. Ricketts will not only not cut salary on the team but will in fact open his checkbook up even more to help ensure that the Cubs can field a competitive ballclub now and forever. 

I'd like to think all that.  I can't help but be skeptical, though.

I have often said that in baseball there are a handful of teams that are always competitive.  The Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, Cardinals, and Giants have immense fan bases, large budgets, and smart people running their organizations.  They don't always make the playoffs, but they are expected to -- and if they fail then their fans are bitterly disappointed.  The Cubs belong in that category based on fan base alone. 

Maybe the Ricketts will build on that fan base and the Cubs will finally ascend into the ranks of Regular Winners.  We can't assume Tom Ricketts will buy the Cubs a World Championship, but we should expect -- nay, demand -- that he puts them in a good position every single year.  And the best way for him to do that is clean house, hire the right guys, and give them the budget to do their hard work.

Will he?  Can he?  I'm almost too nervous to find out.

even if he turns out to be a cheapskate

Having an owner is better than being in transition. I realize they won a division last year while in transition, but I attribute that to career years by certain parties. I for one will appreciate a clear-cut decision being made on whether we are buyers, sellers, or standing pat. I will appreciate closure on the whole Jim Hendry situation.

MLB's okay

I believe that MLB has already given it's non-offical okay to the sale. That is why Mark Cuban was never considered as a serious offer since MLB said off the record of couse that they would not approve him.

Kurt,
Off this subject I have a question that may have been answered and may-be I missed. Is there a rule that prevents us from offering Patton back to the Rockies and then trading for him. Since Hendry wants him so bad that sure would help solve roster issues.

I love this kind of question

I love this kind of question because I get to find out if my assumed knowledge of the rules of MLB are right.

If memory serves (in other words, without looking it up) the Cubs can negotiate to keep Patton. Historically this sort of thing involves cash exchanges rather than prospect trades.

Looking into it a bit deeper, I have found a short list of major leaguers who were drafted and then kept through trades, including Mitch Williams who the Rangers acquired from San Diego.

One Baseball Mind

I would like to see involved with the Cubs ownership is definitely Greg Maddux. I live very close to the Dallas area and have seen the short-term success that Nolan Ryan has had as Team President and would like to see the Mad Dog have some sort of relationship with the new Cubs ownership.

Anyone else have any recommendations any other possibilities?

Steve Stone

I would like to see Steve Stone. He called both the signning of Soriano and Bradley bad moves the moment they were made. He said during the Peavy frenzy that we should hold off taking on the contract since we may need the money to address other needs. He does know the Cub's and there should be no or very short learning curve. Everything I have heard him say the core to fixing the Cub's long term is to fix the minor league development. Yes, I know everyone says that, but I believe him since he believes that not only do we need to change the type of players we draft, but how we approach their development.

Rather than somebody like

Rather than somebody like Maddux or Stone -- both brilliant, but unproven when it comes to running or coaching a major league team -- I'd rather see the Cubs grab some of the certified success stories out there.

For example, teams like the Marlins and Rays have had a ton of success at drafting and developing talent. I would make a hard run at some of their scouts and minor league staff.

As for the General Mangership, without getting too deep into specifics despite not being fully aware of what I'm saying, I would look at perpetual winners and if their GMs weren't available I would look at the younger, assistant GMs.

As we've discussed during the Cubs 101 Series, one of the few great moves made by the Tribune was the theft of Dallas Green from the Phillies after he took them to the Series. I'm sure there are some ambitious, brilliant baseball men out there who would love the challenge of cracking the Cubs history of losing. They would be my targets if Hendry gets fired.

Re: your last paragraph, kind

Re: your last paragraph, kind like Lou Piniella, no?

Lou definitly fit the bill of

Lou definitly fit the bill of wanting to defy history when he came to the team ... then again, so has everybody who's been brought on for the last decade or so.

I still think he turned out to be way, WAY better for the Cubs than Johnny B. Baker, but that's like saying it's better to eat stale bread over dirt. I don't want dirt, or stale bread. I WANT CAKE!!!

Crane Kenney

I am not sure who Rickett's is getting his baseball advise from. I know I do not want him getting it from Crane "holy water" Kenney or from Jim "freeze roster spots" Hendry.

I should have been more clear in that I was looking at Steve Stone to replace Kenney on the baseball side. Or at least bring Stone in as and advisor. Other wise follow your blueprint to replace the GM, Ed "coffee boy" Lynch, Vice-Pres Player Personal and Director Amateur & Professional Scouting.

Kenney needs to go for the holy water move last year and the fact that he has allowed Ed Lynch stay on the payroll. The balance of the positions you have covered to the n'th degree in previous posts.

Also, will Ed Lynch be getting his due in your Cub's 101 feature?

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