Don’t Give the Cubs Your Money this Year and Here’s Why

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By now you have heard about the Chicago Cubs white flag trade that gave away Yu Darvish for mere cents on the dollar. The move, when paired with the departure of Theo Epstein, shows the franchise certainly has a direction, down.

The Cubs are moving towards something- falling into a ditch. Darvish was acquired in the last winter offseason that saw the Cubs actually adding on and trying to improve. The last two or three Hot Stove Leagues saw them essentially stand pat, which was very frustrating, but still not as awful as this off-season, which is pure selling off and tearing down.

If the Cubs sell off another key piece or two, without replacing them, well, you’re looking at going straight back to the dredges of 2012-2014 in 2021, except no light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to.

In addition to Darvish and Epstein leaving the team, Len Kasper and Kyle Schwarber are gone too. While Schwarber is overrated and deteriorating, and his knowledge of basic current events is just plain horrifying, he is no less a fan favorite.

The Cubs have given a clinic this winter on how to drive away their own fans. That whole “once we get our own television network, we’ll make more money and buy players to improve the team” line has proven to be complete horseshit, kind of like many us suspected it would be.

In November, a Cubs ticket sales rep sent me some personalized e-mails. They were pitching me on premium seating options, which are even more overpriced and obscene in cost than normal tickets. I should have just deleted, but instead I got silly and responded with this:

Due to the substandard manner in which I’ve been treated individually, by other professional departments within the greater organization, I am not interested in helping to further monetize the franchise’s assets. I am engaging in a paradigm shift away from my role as a consumer, and a win-win situation would see your department pivot away from including me in your client-centric public outreach initiatives.

It would be more strategic and efficient to seamlessly synergize with other potential stakeholders that could value add the Cubs’ best practices and core competencies.

She was such a great sport about it, in her response that later, I decided to just level with her, and be honest about why I can’t give the Cubs any of my money, and why I have become estranged from a team that I once loved.

Some problems are individual to just me and the club has turned me off in that way, while other problems are shared with amongst the community at large, and provide a glimpse as to why so many others are refraining from purchasing tickets. Not sure how productive this exercise was for either one of us, outside of just giving a focus group kind of feedback.

My own experiences, personalized to me that have turned me off from the team, I can email that to you upon request. I sent that to her as well. The second portion of the email, which covers why a lot of Cubs fans, in general, are fed up with the team is below.

A lot of Cubs fans, baseball fans, sports fans and Chicagoans joke about the club being a Trump Super PAC now. The political leanings of the ownership family are widely known, and many are turned off by the Ricketts’ giving money to the MAGA movement, Trump and his cronies. Staging a fund-raiser at Wrigley Field really turned a lot of fans off.

It’s common knowledge that Trump is widely despised, especially here in a heavily Democratic city like Chicago, and I despise Trump as much as anybody. I can’t give any money at all to Ricketts, knowing it could go to Trump, and a lot of people feel the same. There is also the element of the reduced spending on player acquisition in recent years.

A lot of fans are simply angry at the lack of activity in recent hot stove leagues. They see a championship window now closed, a chance when they could have won multiple titles, or at least come close, given the young, stellar core, but Theo wasn’t handed a war chest to work with in the free agent market.

This has gone on for a few straight winter offseasons now, and there is a real sense that the talent and depth on this club is in decline.

All those missed opportunities to upgrade the roster are gone, and well, now so is Theo, so pessimism abounds. The fact that they just went in house, path of least resistance, in finding Theo’s replacement, is symbolic of how many people feel the baseball side of the team is being run right now.

We don’t see any real motivation to build a winning roster, so we’re less motivated to pay ticket prices, which reside within the top tier in MLB.

trump bus

With money going out to help Trump, instead of going into improving the team, well, this is why so many are not interested in consuming the product that is the Chicago Cubs.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of  “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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Comments

  1. No one cares

  2. well, hopefully that’s true. so they won’t buy tickets or watch the games, and then the Cubs will get what they deserve for acting this way then

  3. James Hayes says

    I will never support the cubs while rickets owns the cubs and I’ve paid for those over priced tickets rickets is a rip off.

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