Here comes the offseason

How much longer?

 

How much longer?

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing and falling. The temperature is dropping and hopefully will numb the pain of the early playoff exit and we’ll all turn our attention to other sporting interests. The Bears are better than expected, the Irish have more wins than they had all of last season (that was for you, Corey), the Bulls are young and can only be better with #1 pick Derrick Rose and, if you’re in to the sport of Pailin, the Blackhawks have some young talent as well and they’ll be playing outdoors at Wrigley.

But wait… I have a feeling that our beloved Cubbies won’t allow our attention to be diverted this offseason. With the pain of the severe beating still fresh in our minds it is easy to forget that the Tribune Company, everyone’s favorite ownership group, is trying to unload this team. They’re separately trying to sell Wrigley Field with little success. The team is in pretty good shape talent wise, which I’m sure they’re thrilled about, but Wrigley Field is a liability. Cubs fans love it, but to whoever buys this team it will be a thorn.

If the Trib is unable to pawn off Wrigley, the new ownership will face a cash-flow shortage after the purchase of the team and is unlikely to fund any necessary renovations with their own money. Then comes the naming issue. Wrigley is out. Boeing or Motorola (insert large Chicago company name here) is in. Ticket prices are up, beer is now $10, hot dogs $8, the once “cheap” bleacher seats $60. With all of their additional revenue they’ll be ready to renovate. If they hire the same architects as the Bears did for Soldier field we’re left with a space ship with a name we don’t recognize and no troughs to piss in.

Then there are actual baseball matters. How will new ownership, or lack of, affect Jim Hendry’s ability to sign free agents Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood or go get quality replacements if they prove to be too expensive? Hendry has done a great job in his tenure as GM, but it’s yet to be seen if he’ll get handcuffs or a blank check.

Brace yourselves Cubs fans. The potential pain of this off-season could trump being swept out of the playoffs. Oh well, I guess we wait…until next year.

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