I won't tell you who this is from, but I will say that I can and do appreciate the gesture.
I'm not going to get too optimistic about the Cubs' chances this year because I have learned (over and over again) that this organization thrives on letting down its fans in the most heart-dropping, ball-squeezing ways imaginable. If you think that my use of hyperbole is not warranted, that it borders on being reckless, then you do not know what it means to be a fan of the worst franchise in the history of organized sports. Ever.
One of the few things that brings me solace is the fact that I have only been a fan for some twenty plus years. There are scores of people who have had to deal with this teams bullshit for 50 years, 60, 70, 80--you get the point. Did I mention that the radio hadn't even been invented prior to the last time the Cubs won the World Series? For all we know, it may have never happened.
So how have the off season and early stages of Spring Training been for the Cubs? Well, the team didn't address its need for quality starting pitching. Bedard and Haren were both moved to new teams, and I'm not sure why the Cubs didn't try to get in on that. Was it too costly (financially and/or in the number of prospects needed to make a deal)? Maybe. But I'm convinced that the Hendry's love affair with having 25 available second basemen had something to do with it. The Cubs did get Fukodome, which rocks; but they were swept by the D-Backs in last years playoffs due to poor or over matched pitching. Hendry did sign Jon Lieber, who will compete with other lame-ducks like Jason Marquis and Ryan Dumpster for a starting pitching position. Yeah, mediocrity!
Mark DeRosa, last years team MVP, was diagnosed with arterial dysrhythmia and had a procedure yesterday to correct the irregular heartbeat. Fantastic. I guess Hendry will pursue Brian Roberts more aggressively to ensure that the second base position is absolutely covered. DeRosa will be back with the team next week and is "expected" (past expectations, when it comes to health, haven't been positive for the Cubs--see Broglio, Wood, Prior, to name a select few) to be back to full-speed workouts by the 7th. Note: Patterson, Theriot, Cedeno, DeRosa, Fontenot, Cintron, Soriano all can and have played second base.
One of the newest members of the Cubs, relief pitcher Jose Ascanio, was punched in the face after someone tried to rob him. No respect. That's what happens when you sign with the Cubs. And Fukodome got hit by a pitch from Noah Lowry in his first plate appearance. Just what the Cubs need. Then some asshole on ESPN said that the Cubs aren't reporting any injuries, "which is a good thing." Thanks, prick. You had to say something to spark an inevitable jinx for the most jinxed team in baseball.
Finally, if you aren't aware the Cubs are owned by the Tribune--a poorly written newspaper whose articles tend to incorporate bias as liberally as an overly opinionated blog. The Tribune Company was purchased by billionaire Sam Zell for an obscene amount of money. He plans on selling the Cubs, but not Wrigley Field. This douche-bag wants to sell the naming rights to Wrigley Field because doing so could fetch between $20 and $50 million dollars annually for the next 20 years. The man is in his eighties. Chances are, he doesn't have 20 years left in the tank. Sound heartless on my part? Well, heartlessness loves company.
Douchey McDouche-bag is one greedy son of a douche. So much so that he is willing to pimp out the name of this historic and iconic ballpark. I know some people might say that Wrigley is a corporate name, but it's not the same as PetCo Park, or SafeCo and U.S. Cellular fields. The field was renamed to Wrigley in 1926 to honor the owner, William Wrigley Jr., not the chewing gum company that shared his name. When you go to Wrigley, you're not pegged with quarter-priced packs of Big Red and Juicy Fruit. There is little to no association within the friendly confines that would suggest such a thing. Sam Zell, when you make comments like, "when I bought the Tribune, I didn't get a discount because I wasn't going to use the naming rights that field represents," and, "I won't hesitate to sell Wrigley's naming rights," you expose your greedy, selfish ways for all of Chicago to see. And you will become the most hated man in the city if these plans come to fruition.
Son of a bitch looks like a fucking Billy Goat, too. I think I have an idea as to how this season's going to play out. It doesn't look good.
Please don't think of me some sort of pessimist. I assure you that my cynicism isn't a conscious decision. Years of frustration have warped my sense of hope. Dreams are the illusions of childhood ignorance. It would happen to you, too, if you wasted your time constantly rooting for a dead horse.