In an effort to needlessly remind us how incompetent they are at pretty much everything, the Cubs, to their own astonishment, unveiled a new mascot yesterday and everybody hated…him? It? Whatever. Clark the Cub is meant to hug the shit out of little Cubs fans and sell a lot of swag to the gullible parents of those little kids. That’s it. He’s not going to be riding a four wheeler around Wrigley, crashing into the brick wall and dying…though, that would be awesome. He’s unlikely to dance on the dugouts or stick a pie in a player’s face after the rare Cubs win. What he’s supposed to do is wander around the concourses looking cute and distracting Cubs fans like the last Cubs mascot to not wear pants…Marla Collins.
The Cubs Convention is this weekend and so it was the perfect time for the Cubs to unveil their new mascot, and to have him go out to children’s hospitals with some of the players. They made our longtime girlfriend Carrie Muskat write an article about the truly awful backstory they gave him. They gave him a Twitter account and the Interwebs went crazy. People wrote mean things about Clark. People made crude animated .gifs of him.
Oh, and the Cubs had to respond to it, even though it made no sense to do so. As I’ve said before, it’s amazing that a franchise that is a joke, can’t take one. Hey, at least they were unsuccessful in getting Deadspin’s twitter feed suspended for 26 days.
Anyway, why would people pick on this?
Because he’s the only thing they’ve done this offseason. I mean other than acquire superstars like Wesley Wright, George Kottaras and Justin Ruggiano. Oops, I forgot Jose Veras. Why? Because nobody cares.
So mean people wrote mean things about Clark.
Some joker made light of Clark’s appearance at a children’s hospital and invoking the great ABC Olympics host Jim McKay said the effect Clark had on the kids was, “They’re gone. They’re all gone.”
OK, that was me.
And you know what? I don’t hate what the Cubs are doing right now. Oh, I think the business side of the operation wouldn’t know shit if they stepped in it (and judging by the string of brilliant Crane Kenney moves over the years, they step in it a lot), and their phony posturing about not being able to start renovations until the roofies (another wholly detestable lot) agree to not sue. But I don’t argue with what the baseball side is doing right now.
It was disappointing that a guy who is normally on top of things, Jeff Passan, wrote such a clueless article about the Cubs current rebuilding effort. Passan was echoing things that certified baseball nitwits like Gordon Wittenmyer have been harumphing about for two full years now. The Cubs payroll is too low!
What these guys never do is tell you who they should be spending the money on.
Look at this year’s free agent class. Of the best players, like Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin Soo Choo, they’re all too old to do the Cubs much good. It would be folly for the Cubs to pay Cano, inarguably a great hitter, for ten years, right now, when by the time the team around him would get good, he would be in decline. Same for Ellsbury and Choo.
The one things the Cubs should be paying for is pitching, and that’s why they need to go ass over teakettle for Masahiro Tanaka. You just don’t get a chance to pick up 24 year old stud pitchers for nothing more than cash.
Will they get him? They’re up against the Dodgers and Yankees, and while most people think the Cubs chances are slim because they can’t compete salary wise with them, that’s probably not true. What is true is that the Dodgers and Yankees do not currently suck, and the Cubs do. That’s a tough sell for anybody.
Though, perhaps the Cubs know something about Tanaka that nobody else does. Maybe the dude’s a furry?
Now, this creepy little bastard makes sense.
The Cubs are used to being a laughingstock. Hell, it’s their legacy. What they aren’t used to is being hated.
Given the tone deafness of their ownership and the hacks who do pretty much everything but scout young players, it’s something they need to get used to.