You can make fun of the Chicago Cubs in a near-infinite number of ways, and while most of the jokes center around a goat or the fact that the team hasn’t tasted victory champagne in over a century, we can always find new things to mock. For example:
Is Clark the Cub a Deadspin Hall of Famer? Cast your vote here: http://t.co/lqHmmLwTMs
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) January 8, 2015
Then of course you have the announcement this morning of the Cubs’ new legacy partner, a toilet flush valve company (they do more than that, though). Between the owner wearing his silly Harry Caray goggles, the pre-Ricketts snafu with the TV deals that are causing the Cubs to set up bridge deals until 2019, etc etc., the Cubs have been a source of ridicule pretty much since they signed Milton Bradley. So why is it that I’m not too worried? Well, like I said once upon a time, there will come a day when the Cubs and their fans can strut a bit.
Humans, including fans of sports teams, have notoriously short attention spans. I liken this to watching paramecia under a light microscope; they’ll swim around until you drop in a speck of food, and then they’ll all gravitate towards that speck until it’s gone. Rinse, repeat with a new speck of food. Except in our case, it’s news. Maybe it’s a cake in a dumpster. Maybe it’s the possibility that the bleachers won’t be rebuilt before Opening Night. Whatever the case, there is actually one tangible benefit, and that is allowing Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and the other guys who run baseball operations to do their job under the proverbial radar.
I mean, yeah, those of us who do pay attention will actually keep track of what Theo and Jed are doing. But for the average casual fan, they just gravitate towards specks of news like Cubs-decked paramecia. And that’s just as well for Cubs baseball ops. Crane Kenney may get mocked incessantly, but he now gets to operate under ownership that seems to care, and in turn, his business operations department is funneling money towards baseball ops and allowing them to not-so-quietly build one of the more enviable farm systems in MLB. The toilet humor may be overflowing today (huh huh), but that money is going towards a free agent or better facilities down the line. Ditto with Clark the Cub, who is appealing to younger fans, and the occasional stupid promotion like the Zubaz pants.
We have tough skin; we’re Cubs fans, after all. And the important things to ask are…
1. Will this generate money for the franchise, no matter how stupid?
2. If 1., then does it really matter?
So there will be jokes to be told, many of them by Cubs fans too. But here’s hoping that the Cubs get the last laugh in October.