9:20 AM CDT, June 2, 2011
Tom Ricketts was asked what was wrong with his team that ranked among the worst in baseball, and he answered -- are you sitting down? -- “Nothing. Just a lot of injuries.’'
Nothing? Is he tone deaf?
Just injuries? Try bad. Ryan Dempster had an ERA of almost 10 in April. Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena had one home run combined for more than a month. The Cubs were just swept by the Astros to end a 3-6 homestand against bad teams.
Oh, and Carlos Zambrano doesn’t sound like he has a manager.
Sure, the Cubs lost two arms at the end of their rotation, but the Cardinals lost a perennial Cy Young candidate and are getting .262 from Albert Pujols, and they seem to be leading the Cubs’ division.
Oh, and you’re allowed to have a good minor-league system to withstand injuries. That’s not against the rules. I just checked.
Remember when Ricketts said he was going to divert payroll money to scouting and development? Yeah, Ricketts stated those intentions in a letter to season-ticket holders just before Suprisingly Still Employed General Manager Jim Hendry traded three prospects for Matt Garza.
It’s like the scene in the 1970 cult classic “Start the Revolution Without Me’’ where the king shows up at a palace dinner dressed in a chicken outfit because he was told it was a costume party. Where’s Ricketts’ beak? Who has Ricketts’ beak? Fess up, people.
But some of those Cubs prospects who were scouted and developed and not traded out from under the owner’s laughable prounouncement just learned the joy of losing three straight at home to the worst team in the league. You can’t get Cubbed early enough, I say.
But nothing’s wrong, folks. Just injuries. A little Dr. Oz and the Cubs win the World Series, right, Tom?
Tell you what, Cubs fans: You’re screwed. The guy in charge comes off as clueless. If you don’t know what’s wrong, you can’t fix it. The empty seats should tell Ricketts it’s not the injuries. Someone should tell the Fan-As-Owner the fans might think it’s the owner. Wise up, already.
My scouting report on Ricketts would read “means well, executes badly.’’ This “injuries’’ hogwash won’t help. Ricketts obviously doesn’t have a friend, so, because I’m a pleaser, not a teaser, I’m here to tell Ricketts that if he wants to know what’s wrong with his team, start with a mirror. The Fan Boy came in with great hope. The Fan Boy pitched a 1-2-3 inning on the opening day of the family’s ownership. And he has gotten taken to Waveland Avenue ever since.
If Doug Davis and Rodrigo Lopez can make your rotation, then you need a new general manager. Heck, you need a baseball guy at the top of your organization. But no, Ricketts retained Hendry and team president Clown Kenney.
The hopes of the fans who had one of their own running things has created greater frustration and anger and a virulent refusal to waste anymore money on a bad team run by a dope. That’s the way I see it. Ricketts didn’t have to do much to surpass Tribune Co.’s stewardship of the team. He wasn’t exactly following the Steinbrenner legacy.
But yet, Ricketts has looked dumber than any TribCo wonk who has run the team, even that goof Stanton Cook who was in charge when Greg Maddux took his Cy Youngs to Atlanta.
Ricketts has failed the fans by failing to make any productive moves. What has Ricketts done that banked some cred with ticket buyers? Name one Ricketts change that Cubs fans can believe in? Where is the hope? Looking. Looking. Look. Ing.
Nope. Nothing there. Just a bunch of Tom, Jim and Kenneys.
And a failure to sell out Wrigley on a glorious Memorial Day.
For all the talking and writing and communicating Ricketts does with the fans, he’s apparently deaf. He’s certainly tone deaf, as he insults Cubs fans by saying there’s nothing wrong with one of the worst teams in baseball, just injuries. Playing the fans for stupid, is what he’s doing.
But then, maybe that’s all we can expect from a guy who sounds like someone delighted to be holding a handful of magic beans.
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC