Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cubs Ownership Situation Causes Heartburn

I get the sense that if I start putting pennies in a jar now I may be able to buy the Cubs myself, because they certainly aren't going to be sold anytime soon:

Cubs sources said one hangup is that the MLB owners must approve the new owner by a three-fourths majority, and the quarterly owners meetings are scheduled in May and August. If a deal is unlikely to be approved before August, as expected, the Cubs would wait until the end of the season to complete it.

These extended limbo periods are never good for a team. Ask Expos fans. Closer to reality, ask Braves fans, who saw lame duck ownership nickel and dime the team for quite a while before a deal was finally done (not that the new owners aren't nickel and diming too . . .) As for the naming rights thing:

As the Cubs contemplate selling naming rights to Wrigley, one fan complained about annual ballpark alterations and said he didn't like the idea of going to "Pepto-Bismol Park." McGuire elicited laughs by responding, "I do think there's a natural tie between Pepto-Bismol and the Cubs franchise."

Heh. But the seriously, what's with renaming the stadium?

[Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney] said he spent his childhood at Fenway Park and pointed to all the changes in that ballpark that led to new revenue streams and helped Boston win the World Series titles in 2004 and '07. "We're not going to ruin Wrigley Field in any way," Kenny said. But he said modern baseball economics demand new ways of thinking.

I assume he's referring to things like putting seats on the Green Monster and isn't under the delusion that the Sox renamed Fenway because, like, they didn't. More importantly for Cubs fans, I sincerely hope that Crane appreciates that whatever the Red Sox did with the stadium to "tap into new revenue streams" had way less to do with their ascension than did being acquired by a committed owner and assembling a smart front office that had a clue about how to build a ball club.

I mean, sure, Pepto Park would be awesome, but Mark Cuban would be better.

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