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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Come on Tribune Company: This is the Decade of the Cubs! 

Cubs GM Jim Hendry has been a busy man, having made about two major personnel changes per month since last June. And now he's got himself in three simultaneous games of tug-of-war.

The most dangerous of these involves a certain gaping hole in the roster and a certain ex-Cub who would fill it very nicely and a certain division rival and a certain very evil agent. This is the one that scares me to death. If Greg Maddux ends up with St. Louis, the Central becomes a very scary place. At the moment, people are saying the Cubs have the upper hand, which probably means they don't. Terrifying.

The strangest is the one between Hendry and Pudge Rodriguez. He wants to be a Cub. The Cubs want him to be a Cub. No one else wants him. Yet he remains unsigned. Irritating.

But by far the most important game of tug-of-war is the one between Hendry and the infamously stingy Tribune Company. Right now, Hendry has enough extra money to sign Maddux OR Pudge while retaining juuuust enough flexibility to make an emergency move during the season. But he can't sign both of them, because the Tribune Company won't give him an extra ten million bucks to play with. This is the same company that just successfully sued a bunch of their neighbors (You know, the ones with those adorable rooftop decks that help make Wrigley Field look so cool?) for millions of dollars. Infuriating.

Here's my advice for Jim Hendry: Screw the flexibility. Put all the pressure on ownership, and do it publicly. Come to agreements with Pudge and Maddux as soon as possible, even if it means going over-budget. The fans are on your side, man, and that's all you need!

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