Backlash Against Ricketts Stronger Than Ever as Cubs Totally Gut Team

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It was Cubs Convention 2020, about a couple months before the world shut down due to the covid-19 pandemic. Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts took to the stage, where he was cascaded by a chorus of boos. It was directed at him, sure, but the general vitriol was aimed at the then soon to be launched Marquee Network.

“You won’t be booing in a year,” Ricketts boldly proclaimed. Well, now it’s trade deadline day 2021, and we’re doing a whole lot more than just booing. The MLB Trade Deadline is like the market for a sports guest post, there is a ton of wheeling and dealing going on. And the Cubs were the biggest sellers of all.

This week’s roster blow-up started when they dealt away beloved middle reliever Andrew Chafin, and the last 24-48 hours have seen a flurry of deals announced, all of which scream “we suck again.”

You know the mantra of the World Series champion manager Joe Maddon “try not to suck,” well, Ricketts definitely tried to suck, as he waved the white flag like the Chicago White Sox in 1997, and engaged in a fire sale so brutal, it would put the 1993 San Diego Padres to shame. Don’t expect the Cubs to be contenders again until at least 2025. Dig in because this is going to be brutal.

Cornerstone of the rebuild, Anthony Rizzo, was dealt to the New York Yankees for two minor league prospects. We covered that in detail already here.

Middle reliever Ryan Tepera was sent to the crosstown White Sox, as was closer Craig Kimbrel.

It was minor leaguer Bailey Horn in return for Tepera, with Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer going the other way for Kimbrel. However, Friday wasn’t about the bullpen, no, not at all.

Thursday was all about the end of the Rizzo era in Chicago. Friday was all about saying goodbye to Kris Bryant and Javy Baez, and with that, the tear down was essentially complete.

There are now only three players who are still on the roster from the 2016 World Series championship team- Kyle Hendricks, Jason Heyward and Willson Contreras.

No one wanted Heyward, and his bloated contract for a player that can’t hit. (No one wanted Ian Happ either)

They got outfield prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong from the New York Mets for SS Báez, right-handed pitcher Trevor Williams and a cash consideration. Crow-Armstrong, 19, is ranked as the fifth-best prospect in the Mets organization by MLB.com

Over the course of 2018-19, Baez became the first player in major league history to start the All-Star Game at second base and shortstop in consecutive seasons.

He was named the 2016 NLCS co-MVP with Jon Lester, won a Silver Slugger award in 2018 and in 2020 earned his first N.L. Gold Glove award.

El Mago was certainly one of the most exciting and fun to watch players in recent Cubs history.

Additionally, minor league pitcher Anderson Espinoza was acquired from the San Diego Padres in exchange for outfielder Jake Marisnick.

kris-bryant

However, the real headliner, the true heart-breaker of the day was the news of Kris Bryant departing. The 2015 NL Rookie of the Year and 2016 NL MVP was shipped off to the San Francisco Giants for minor leaguers Caleb Kilian and Alexander Canario.

Bryant, or Sparkles as he was effectively nicknamed, leaves the Cubs as one of just three third basemen in franchise history with multiple 30-plus homer campaigns, joining Ron Santo (four times) and Aramis Ramirez (three times).

He was a four time All-Star, and indeed, half of Bryzzo.

Without Bryant, Rizzo and Baez, the Cubs as we’ve known them in the 2010s and 2020s are simply not the Cubs. Ricketts (well more so Theo Epstein) did end the drought, yes, absolutely, positively, no one can take that away from them.

However, Ricketts gave up, shortly thereafter, in trying to field a competitive team. All he cared about was his revenue streams, his TV network and his ballpark neighborhood gentrification project.

There is no Wrigleyville anymore, it’s just Oakbrook Terrace mall with some baseball thematic principles applied.

Dear Ricketts, please sell the team to someone who actually cares, ASAP. Nobody here likes you.

Yes, you have all the money in the world, but every Cubs fan hates you now.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the  Chicago Tribune.

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Comments

  1. You say every Cubs fan hates Ricketts and that’s very true, but I would hate him even if I weren’t a Cubs fan nor would it just be NOW. I’ve always hated the dude, even when he was a kid I dreamed of Big Bird taking a dump on his entire privileged entitled family. The guy is like an ingrown hair on my butt hole after eating a four cheese pizza the night before.

  2. paulmbanks says

    That’s a pretty awesome comment Echo. Love it. Thanks for stopping by

  3. Sport cucks will never realize their idol is a big, globalist, business.

  4. Bill Sindewald says

    This was a bloodbath. The players didn’t peak together enough to win more than world series, but it was clear for the last few years, the ownership did not care about winning. Which we are mindful on why, but this literally was the most talented group of players the Cubs ever had, and the team didn’t want to push in the chips when bringing in another all-star offensive player. Was Castellanos the perfect answer no, but why not try to find out!! He was over 1.000 ops when he played for the cubs. He also wanted to be here. Time for a new ownership group.

  5. Margaret Ann Melville says

    The Ricketts ruined the neighborhood surrounding Wrigley. Can hardly stand to go there. Ruined the ambience that made it so special. Glad my sons got to see the ball park b4 it was WRECKED. I lived on Waveland one summer. It was a real joy. Now its just a cash cow.

  6. Pat Greenwald says

    Hard to imagine but it happened…and so goes another iconic team of players who loved their team but also dedicated themselves to this city…for all those who felt that sincere heart of Anthony Rizzo, the spirit of Baez and the true character of Kris Bryant, we can say we knew the Cubs when they held the “ heart of Chicago” fans.
    So much for money, it will never buy what is not ever for sale! That’s was these three were all about- they had their heart, mind and true love for this team where all could see..but that’s over now….

  7. cubs fans matter– cfm– come fuck me ricketts seems that
    means. happ looks intimidated/ j-hey not really say hey
    free willy free kyle give rossy some players
    go big red nebraska hucksters go on back
    across the big red missouri trump’ s sucksters

  8. Robert Finger says

    In my 60 years as a Cubs fan, this is THE BIGGEST bone-head move they have made in the history of their existence. I would go so far to say that this is THE BIGGEST bone-head move in the history of Chicago professional sports. The Cubs front office has slapped the face of their loyal fan based. For me, I have moved my mlb.tv subscription to the White Sox. I will never cheer for another Cubs game (except maybe the for competition) as long as Ricketts is the owner and Jed Hoyer the general manager. So now my two favorite professional baseball teams? The Chicago White Sox and whoever plays the Cubs.

  9. Heisenberg says

    When Ricketts told the booing fans “you won’t be booing in a year”, he wasn’t aware just how true that statement was. He’s lost his fan base, and which will leave him with a depleted ballpark and low viewership. Kind of hard to “boo” when you don’t have an audience.

    Keep counting your money, as you delve into new ventures, instead of investing in your core product.

  10. Mr and Mrs C Klipowicz says

    What were you( Blep blep blep) thinking. These players helped bring a World Series Championship. I am sure this helps no one and especially the moral of the team and David Ross.Part of the joy of baseball is to watch your favorite team play especially after getting thru COVID. Shame on you Mr. Ricketts

  11. Great information regarding the sports industry. I really appreciate it. Thanks for sharing such great information.

  12. Great information regarding the sports industry. I really appreciate it. Thanks for sharing such great information.

  13. They returned the team to farm team status. 108 years will be a long time to wait, again. I’m sad I probably won’t make it to Wrigley now with my sons, no reason to go now. Thank you Bryant, Rizzo, Rossi & the rest of our once awesome team; you guys are the heart of baseball & we’ll be talking about you for years to come. Stay well gentlemen.

Trackbacks

  1. […] is just a ton of balls in the air now on all of this. As for the Cubs, they have a deal with an angry fanbase that is totally justified in their vitriol for an ownership group that waved the white flag of […]

  2. […] is just a ton of balls in the air now on all of this. As for the Cubs, they have a deal with an angry fanbase that is totally justified in their vitriol for an ownership group that waved the white flag of […]

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