So here we are around Christmas time and it’s yet another year of hoping for a Cubs World Series victory. Of course, baseball’s been over for two months so it’s not like a World Series could be given as a gift right on Christmas day, but the spirit of hope lives year-round. Around the holiday season, we normally watch Christmas-themed movies such as “Elf” or “A Christmas Story.” I’ve already watched “A Christmas Story” for the 700th time, so instead I’m going to watch “Die Hard” because it’s technically a Christmas story since the terrorists took over the Nakatomi building around Christmas Eve. A bit unorthodox, but it’s still one of the greatest action movies of all time, so deal with it.
Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…
This is out of order, but very appropriate because the Cubs were able to snag Theo Epstein away from the Red Sox and also get a solid front office together with Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod from the Padres. Chicago technically isn’t on a “coast” but since Lake Michigan is pretty big, we sort of look like a coast. The problem is that with the new CBA and the state of the franchise, the new front office finds itself cramped in tight quarters like John McClane in the ventilation shaft. They’re also constantly having to dodge media and fan bullets despite only being on the job for a couple of months. Just like McClane, they like to win and have shown in Boston that they can in fact win, and in San Diego that they can quickly turn around a farm system. So maybe now that they’re all together on this “coast” the Cubs will have the last laugh when this movie is done.
By the way, have you ever noticed that ventilation shafts in movies are always juuuuuuuuuuuuust the right size for the hero to squeeze through?
Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.
At some point in the movie, McClane is able to upgrade from his sidearm to a machine gun and some C-4. In a way, despite the MLB roster being in shambles, the Cubs have been able to upgrade because they’ve been injected with a heavy dose of intelligence. This hasn’t happened since Dallas Green tried to rebuild the team in the 1980s, but now the Ricketts have promised Theo and his staff almost full autonomy in turning the franchise around. With so many years of experience and success in the front office now, we might have a fighting chance. The Cubs might be outnumbered and outgunned at the moment, but now they have the machine gun…ho ho ho. Odds are against them winning the World Series within Theo’s contract (unless he’s extended) but maybe we can still be entertained.
Do you really think you have a chance against us, Mr. Cowboy?
We’ve talked about this a lot on the blog and on the Facebook page, but the odds are stacked against the Cubs right now, as alluded to above. The farm system is bare and the veterans are aging and/or unproductive and so trades are going to be difficult at best. The Cubs have already traded Sean Marshall, which is a start to the rebuild/retool, but there are going to have to be many more moves. The perceived cheapness doesn’t mean they’re not doing anything; they are probably doing a major assessment of the situation and trying to devise ways to maximize current assets and to set up transactions with the most return. They’re probably setting up the preliminary draft board and foreign scouting right now. This is the part of the movie where Theo is about to pull the fire alarm and contact the police from the roof and bring in the reinforcements. The Cubs have already thrown the dead bodies out the window and Al Powell is calling for backup. It might take a while to mobilize, but it’s going to happen.
It’s Christmas, Theo, it’s the time of miracles so be of good cheer…
The Cubs have the #6 draft pick in next year’s draft. They’ll get a supplemental pick from the Aramis Ramirez signing. They’ll get another one if someone signs Carlos Pena. Albert Pujols is out of the league. Prince Fielder may follow him. Despite the restrictions placed upon them by the CBA, the Cubs may be in a decent position to rebuild relatively quickly with the payroll being cleared as the expensive contracts expire. So be of good cheer.
The good guys usually win in these movies. John McClane zaps all the bad guys, then fades out of the limelight until the sequel. Except in the sequels he’s already battle-hardened and ready to kick more ass. Like McClane, the Cubs may be getting their asses kicked now, but they’re hard to kill (103 years!) and it’s only a matter of time before the tables are turned. So, bring it on, 2012 season. Merry Christmas, Die Hard Cubs fans!