The sports page is looking a lot more like the business page these days, in case you hadn't noticed, and the Cubs have spent the season making plenty of headlines that have little to do with the actual game of baseball.
"City OK's Plan For Giant Wrigley Field Video Screen."
"Ricketts Family Threatens Move To Suburbs, Citing Revenue Shortfalls."
"Cubs Trade Garza For Some Minor League Guys You Might Not Ever See."
"Cubs Pay Alfonso Soriano $17 Million Not To Play For The Cubs."
Stories like these are a welcome respite for a local media and fan base that will gladly leap at any excuse to ignore the on-field product the Cubs are pushing these days. The Cubs are awful. By design. We know this. We have all heard about how the best way to rebuild a team is to bottom out.
I have a basic understanding of how the plan is supposed to work. It's something about the new collective bargaining agreement structure for slotted money in the amateur draft, how the higher the draft choice you are awarded through being terrible, the better the players you can get and the faster you can be not terrible.
It's a great plan, provided the scouting department always picks good players with their draft resources. Fans must be patient and have faith in the process, which, hey, why not? Nothing else has worked.
That is the concept as I understand it. Like watching the actual Cubs, I usually fall asleep halfway through the articles I've read on the subject. I understand the idea, though. Lose like your jersey says "Houston Astros" on it.
And now that the trade deadline has come and gone, and the Cubs have emptied as much of their roster as they think is prudent, and the team can get back to the business of losing games. Which, if you think about it, is the ultimate destiny for Cubs fans. According to the current plan, you can actually root for losses. For once, you can't be disappointed in this team.
"Hey Chicago, what do you say, the Cubs are going to lose today due to a perceived advantage in the allocation of draft money as set forth in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement." Has a nice ring to it.
RedEye special contributor Ben Johnson is a comedian at iO Theater in Chicago.
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