Bam! Just Like That, Tom Ricketts Made Me Excited About The Chicago Cubs Again!

These guys are excited! Aren't you?!
Today, Tom Ricketts and Ricketts family announced the firing of Cubs GM Jim Hendry. They had decided on the separation in late July, but somehow managed to keep the decision the franchise's best kept secret until today, when it was announced in a press conference. (This reminds me a lot of the Rays ultra-tight-lipped mode of operation; which is a good, good thing.)

I listened to almost the entire press conference and felt like I was not hearing Tom Ricketts, but some other owner, in charge and professional. The truth is, Ricketts was apparently doing what I had hoped he was doing all along:
I think Ricketts may well be a far better owner than we can tell. Yeah, I may not agree with the whole "let's paint over the dilapidated gravestone that is Wrigley Field" policy, but a new owner cannot come in, remove Wrigley, and expect anything but a drunken riot.

And, rather than clean house in an industry he has no experience in, perhaps Tom has decided to slow play it, learn the ropes, give the present regime a chance to repeat their past success, and then execute a new strategy.

Of course, if the Ricketts do not significantly restructure after (or during) this present season, then I think the problem may be deeper, but I'm willing to wear the goggles until then.
It turns out the fanboy owner was indeed the poker player all along. In today's press conference, he really exuded a sense of in-chargieness. Yeah, exuding a sense of something and being something are two very different things. But, altogether, with the momentous announcement and the good vibe I got from Ricketts, all I needed was some choice words to make me thoroughly excited. Well:
Our focus will be on what we focused on the last couple years here, and that’s player development. We believe very strongly that the way to build consistent success in an organization is through identifying talented players, bringing them into the system and developing them into productive players at the major league level. … [The next GM will] have to share a commitment to player development. … We’ll look for guys that maybe have a stronger analytical background than we have here. … But I think we all have to keep that in perspective. The sabermetric stuff is important, but it’s just a piece. We’re not running the baseball organization by a computer model.
I'm a sabermetrician — and a proud one at that. But even I am not interested in running a team by a computer model. What I am interested in is a team that blends advanced analytic tools with excellent scouting and the necessary people-skills to deal effectively with other GMs, entice free agents into the locker room, and build an all-around successful organization.

That is the direction I feel like the Cubs are moving towards, and that is why Ricketts has instantly made me excited about the Cubs again.

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