- “Cubs fans will show up no matter how bad the team is, because Wrigley Field is the world’s biggest beer garden! LOL!” This is a stupid goddamn lie perpetuated by the media and jealous White Sox fans. Since you’re the type of person who likes actual statistical evidence rather than over-perpetuated stereotypes, just look at the numbers. Note in particular the attendance spikes in 1908, 1945, 1969, 1984, 1989, 1998, and 2003. Cubs fans show up more often when the team is good, just like fans of all sports teams do. Sure, there was residual attendance in subsequent years, but that’s only because Cubs fans reasonably expected their team to stay competitive the year after they fielded a playoff team, 2009 notwithstanding. If the numbers aren’t proof enough for you, just go back through the film and take a look at the stands during any game this past September. Paid attendance is a lie, Theo!
- Ronnie Woo-Woo: I mentioned this before, but I don’t think you’re following me on Twitter yet, Theo. There’s this homeless guy who is adored by idiots and who has inexplicably become the team mascot. This is not like the Indians fan who actually used to pay for all of his tickets and adds ambiance to the park by beating a drum at all their home games. This is literally a homeless man who gropes co-eds dumb enough to pose for pictures with him. He sort of looks like Ernie Banks, and he inexplicably has been wearing a Michael Jackson glove since Jackson’s death. He wanders around the park screaming nonsense, and he can even be picked up by the field microphones at Wrigley Field and at the parks of some of the Cubs’ opponents. He would literally be arrested if he was doing this anywhere else in public. Just to be clear, there is a line item somewhere in your budget that PAYS FOR HIS TICKETS. Oh, and you also bought him teeth one time.
- The Celebrity Seventh-Inning Stretch: Originally conceived to be a tribute to Harry Caray, it is anything but. Any dipshit actor shooting some idiotic movie or appearing on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars has sung it. Not only are a vast majority of the performances terrible, but the interviews that Len Kasper, Bob Brenly, Pat Hughes, and Keith Moreland have to conduct are uncomfortable at best, and agonizing at worst (please see the Richard Dreyfuss interview for reference). Bag the whole damn thing. You missed the opportunity to have Ron Santo sing it every game, but all is not lost. Either play a tape with Harry singing it, let Pat Hughes do it, or hire Eddie Vedder or Bill Murray to sing it every game. And, for the love of God, no more Jeff Garlin.
- Pat Hughes: I don’t know where he goes, but he disappears for one inning every game, forcing us to listen to Screaming Judd Sirott. You might want to look into his contract and see if you’re paying him for eight innings or nine. If Jim Hendry negotiated said contract, you might also want to check for a full no-trade clause, and a vesting announcer option if he broadcasts 300 or more innings.
- Things We’ve Seen in Wrigley in the Past Few Years: Sir Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Elton John, The Police, Dave Matthews Band, Rascall Flatts, Jimmy Buffett, a Northwestern-Illinois game, a Blackhawks-Red Wings game.
- Things We Haven’t Seen in Wrigley in the Past Few Years: A goddamn National League pennant.
- Crane Kenney: You remember him. He intentionally interfered with the negotiation of your deal, because he knows that he’s going to be exposed once he has to answer your inevitable question, “What exactly would you say you DO here?” He’s delightfully slimy and his mouth is tantalizingly punchable. Please fire him. And please don’t give him any type of compensation package. Let him find out how the other half lives for a while.
- Al Yellon: The guy who wrote you the love letter I mentioned above. He writes the most popular Cubs blog on the internet, so there are MANY MORE like him. He thinks he’s media, and the old regime perpetuated that idea. If you do somehow get backed into a corner by him, brace yourself. You’re going to have to explain your position with the team over and over and over again. Oh, he also buys tickets for 81 games each year to sit 400 feet from home plate.
- Cubs Convention: Imagine thousands of Al Yellons, sweatpants, and people wearing Cubs jerseys with their own names stitched on the back. Now, imagine all of them have swarmed to a hotel in downtown Chicago in the freezing dead of winter. Now, imagine you’re stuck in that hotel for an entire weekend with all of them, and that you’re forced to answer their questions about why you think you’re more valuable to a team than Trey McNutt. Speaking of which…
- Cubs “Prospects”: They all suck. Most of us are aware that they all suck. Most of us are hoping that you’ll trade nearly all of them away in exchange for good players. But no matter how terrible of a player you unload, these people are going to bitch about it. Rich Hill? PISSED. Corey Patterson? ENRAGED. Felix Pie? INCENSED.
- Kitty O’Shea’s: We’ll meet you there on the Friday night of the Cubs Convention. Let’s get drunk and prank call Crane Kenney.
- The “L” Flag: The Cubs actually own a flag which they fly after losses. This “tradition” came about in days before we all had personal computers in our pockets to alert riders of the El that the Cubs had lost that day. I just wanted to point out to you how fucked up it is that the Cubs own a flag that declares them losers, and they actually have people on their payroll who are paid to fly it.
- Female Cubs Fans: They are just going to LOOOOOOVE you, pretty boy.
- Darwin Barney: He’s not good, but he’s exactly the type of player an odd, yet large percentage of the Cubs fan base adores. Pocket-sized, bad, adorable, white, and “hustle-y.” There is a disturbing number of fans who think the Cubs’ middle infield and 1-2 spots in the lineup are “solved” by Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney. Exactly 50% of that is accurate.
- Jim Hendry: He did literally nothing to improve the team at the trade deadline last year, because your new boss fired him a month before he told anyone. He has left you a gigantic mess of bad contracts, poor pitching depth, and a terrible farm system. He also probably left a 30-pack of sliders somewhere in his office, so if it starts to smell, let Jed know.
- Mike Quade: He is frightening to look at, he’s bad at managing a Major League Baseball team, and he is probably going to call you “Eppsy” the first time you meet him. Please bring in a manager who isn’t terrible.
- Ryne Sandberg: Assuming you make the no-brainer decision of firing Mike Quade, many people will be bleating for you to “right” some phantom “wrong” by hiring Ryno as manager. If you think he’s the best choice for manager of the club, by all means, hire him. But let’s be clear. You don’t owe him a damn thing. The Cubs gave him a lot of money throughout the years, including the then-most-lucrative contract in the history of baseball. They also gave him a shot at managing at the professional level. Invite him to an old-timers’ day, hang a mural of him outside of Wrigley Field, build him a statue, give away Ryno bobbleheads, and do whatever you feel you should do to make Ryno feel good. Just don’t give him a job if he doesn’t deserve it.
- Chicago Media: Try to limit yourself to speaking to the following people:
- Greenberg, Jon
- Miles, Bruce
- Sullivan, Paul
That is all.
- Undercover Boss: God, I hope you haven’t been watching it.
- Cubs Fans: You remember how insufferable Red Sox fans got after they won it all in 2004? Well, for the first time in my life, I’m pretty confident that the Cubs’ front office is going to find a way to win a title. And when you do, our fans are going to be nearly as bad as the Red Sox fans were in 2004. Most of us haven’t been suffering for over 100 years, and nearly all of us chose this lifestyle, no matter what people might tell you. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a long list of obnoxious text messages that are going to go out to a long list of terrible White Sox fans when you finally win here. People will cry, people will say they’ve been waiting for a championship “forever.” Most of these people will be 23 years old, and most of them think one of my favorite all-time Cubs is named Kerry Woods.
- “Go, Cubs, Go!” Steve Goodman was one of the greatest Cubs fans of all time, and he wrote the terrific “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request.”
Steve’s honesty about the team naturally pissed off the Cubs’ brass, and they banned the song from Wrigley Field. The Cubs asked Steve to write them a new theme song for the team, and Steve wrote the very sarcastic and cheesy “Go, Cubs, Go!”
Steve intentionally wrote it to sound like ridiculously sycophantic crap, the Cubs and quite a few of their fans weren’t in on the joke, and now it’s the Cubs’ victory song. I hate it, but I’m cool with hearing it a lot more during your tenure.
- The St. Louis Cardinals: They’re already terrified of you. With their team in the middle of a 2-2 World Series battle, they’re writing about YOU. Please ruin their lives. Oh, and if there’s one thing upon which Cubs and Cardinals fans can agree, we hate it when ESPN calls the rivalry “like Red Sox-Yankees, but in the Midwest!”
- Ryan Dempster: He’s hilarious.
Now please trade the ever-loving shit out of him.
- Rudy Jaramillo: Everyone but the Cubs understands that hitting coaches don’t matter nearly as much as actual hitters do. Last year, the highest-paid coach in baseball led the team to the following National League finishes:
- Runs per game: 8th
- Home runs: 10th
- RBIs: 10th
- Walks: FIFTEENTH
- OBP: 10th
- GIDP: 2nd! Hooray!
I’m not suggesting he should be fired, because he’s already here. But I sure hope you adhere to the “I’d rather have good hitters than a good hitting coach” philosophy.
- Wrigley Field: Under the old regime, it was commonplace to see a corporate softball game on the field just hours before game time. Hell, the game might have even interfered with batting practice. It turns out batting practice is probably more important than we originally thought, so if you need someone to chase those people off the field with pepper spray, give me a call. Regarding the park itself, it doesn’t have much floor space, the food sucks, and you have to jiggle the handle on the toilet to get it to flush. But it’s quaint, it’s still a hell of a place to watch a baseball game, and the leaves on the ivy look REALLY pretty when they turn red in October. HINT HINT.
Good luck, Theo. We’re all counting on you.