August 03, 2008

Cubs roundup

A few things:

1. With yesterday's win, the Cubs have now equaled the win total of the 2006 team. Furthermore, we passed the 2006 team's walk total back on July 23. Let us never speak of that team again

2. Great article in the New York Times today about Mark Cuban, and his potential to win the Cubs bidding. I'm a little less of a Cuban partisan than I used to be - I think he would be FANTASTIC for the franchise and would actually invest in it, unlike the cheapskate Tribune Company. I think we've only seen the tip of the iceberg in how the Cubs could be marketed nationally (see Boston, New York) and I would be shocked if Cuban didn't recognize this. His track record in Dallas is good with players too - he turned Dallas into a place that players wanted to play by, well, pampering his players.

That said, if Cuban becomes the owner I think we will see a much bigger focus on renovating Wrigley Field, which could easily be a problem. He clearly will want to fix the stuff that has needed to be fixed for years - terrible bathrooms (urinal troughs in this day and age?!), crummy concessions, the tiny clubhouses, and the lack of modern sports facilities. Luckily, even Cubes would be unlikely to move the Cubs away from Wrigley, but given his casual fan focus in Dallas we might see some changes that many Cubs fans would not be happy with - namely, a Jumbotron. Hopefully, Cuban will recognize that Wrigley does not need a Jumbotron or similar gimmicks to sell out Wrigley and keep fan interest in the team...but if the Cubs start losing (and losing attendance) we might start seeing the slow slide to video fandom.

3. Great article in the Hardball Times yesterday about the Cubbies. It breaks down how the Cubs have done so well this year - the main reason being the the Cubs are incredibly balanced. You can't write off the team as an all-pitch no-hit team (like the Angels) - the Cubs are well above average on offense, defense, starting pitching and relief pitching. Like the article suggests, I'm hoping the Cubs have a big August, in which they play mostly home games against non-contenders, and rest up their players down the stretch in September so we're fresh for the playoffs