Wednesday, September 20, 2006

the darkest days of cubdom

last year about this time, this page offered a celebration of the macfail era as the cubs ran through the gutter of the 2005 season and proved that this page had been too optimistic about their quality that year. we further hoped where we should have known better.

of such a magnitude is this collapse -- on a team with, mind you, a $104 million outlay in player payroll, it has few precedents in the free agency era of baseball -- that heads must roll, even in the uniquely unresponsive world of dollar-obsessed corporate management. such a total failure is so embarrassing that it must seek accountability, as it threatens the very apathy and nostalgia upon which profitability depends.

as you can clearly see, dear reader, this is not so. the cubs last night lost their ninetieth game, bringing home the fifth season of 90 losses or more in the twelve years of andy macfail's tenure with the cubs. that is no mistake, unfortunately -- in nearly half the years of macfail's run in chicago, his clubs have lost 90 or more games, despite being one of the wealthiest clubs in all of baseball. the team's overall record under macfail has now run to 912-1005 -- a .476 winning percentage that is not only a significant decrease from the previous twelve years (925-963 from 1983-1994, a percentage of .490) but puts the cubs in the bottom third of the national league by record since 1995.

teamwinslossespercentageplayoffsrevenues ($mm)

consider this table for a moment, especially minding where the cubs fell with respect to 2005 national league revenues at second only to the mets -- a number that surely expanded this year with a record number of tickets sold. consider that they have been outplayed by expansion franchises florida and arizona, and have only barely stayed ahead of colorado. consider the sheer incompetence that macfail must certainly represent to make this so. consider how malefactory tribune company ownership must be to make this so.

and so again we celebrate -- with the cubs again the worst team in the national league, a place they seek and defend as though it were birthright, with blithering idiocy reigning in the front office and the dugout alike, with the very executive managment of the entire corporate leviathan assiduously destroying their brands across the spectrum of their businesses.

these are the darkest days of cubdom, dear reader -- you are living them. let no elder cub fan lecture you about the 1950s, for they were as a matter of fact no worse than this -- in the 35 desperate seasons bounded by 1946 and 1980, the club played under this year's .407 winning percentage just seven times. andy macfail has led this team into a black cesspit of confusion, lies, stupidity, ill will -- and, more than all else, losing.

let us hope against hope that someone in ownership recognizes true and real putrescence when they see it -- and knows that the gangrene can only be reversed by amputation.

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