Jonah Keri On The Cubs

I'm not sure how I missed this article, but about a week ago, Jonah Keri — author of The Extra 2% (good book, read it) and (full disclosure) an online acquaintance of mine — used his Grantland spot for not-evil:
The Cubs have exactly one young star in [Starlin] Castro, a decent farm system that's been whittled down, a front office that will need an influx of new talent beyond the GM chair, a possible managerial change, and some big contracts to cycle through. Build the foundation for the next winning Cubs team, then hit the open market in 2013, 2014, or whenever the time's right to find the next Pujols. When that time comes the ivy will still be green, the bleachers will still be full, and the drought will still be there, waiting to finally be broken.
He makes several right-on observations in this article. Allow me to enumerate them for you:

(1) The Jim Hendry Era, though frustratingly average, was not as terrible as can be (See: Royals, Kansas City),

(2) the 2012 Chicago Cubs will probably not be division winners,

(3) the farm system got stripped this year, and

(4) that means no Albert Pujols and no Prince Fielder — which is fine, the team can find sluggers in 2013 or '14 if necessary.

So, the article is good because it brings a sense of perspective and honesty to the expectations of the next Cubs season. Of course, it probably will have no effect on most Cubs fans, who will moan and lament endlessly when a shiny new GM fails to bring a playoff team to the north side.

I can hear it now:

"I can't believe Cashman/Beane/Friedman/other traded away Marlon Byrd and didn't re-sign Reed Johnson!"

"Why don't they bat Darwin Barney second?! And why didn't we trade all our prospects this winter and put together a real team?!"

"OMG, we were better under Jim Hendry! Sure, we had to build the pyramids, but at least we got fed!"

Well, rebuilding sucks, yes. But that's why we need it: We need a new front office who will rebuild the Cubs, and rebuild them in a sustainable fashion — so we won't have to rebuild ever again (See: Rays, Tampa Bay).

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