So, the cubs are on their way to going from rags (as in owned by a newspaper group, The Tribune) to Ricketts (as in owned by Tom Ricketts, and I honestly cannot believe I am the first person to right that, at least that I've seen, come on, from Rags to Ricketts was begging to be used). The question is, is that a good thing?
I'm actually pretty optimistic about the whole deal. It seems Ricketts is a Cubs fan, he actually met his wife in the bleachers. And as much as I was hoping for Mark Cuban (after having seen first hand what he's done with the Mavericks) I realize that Ricketts could come with the same ideals that make Cuban great, i.e. he's a fan.
Of course, being a fan can be negative as well. It might mean you want to take too much control of the sport decisions. This usually only leads to disaster (exhibit A: Dan Snyder owner of the Redskins). But if you put smart people in charge of the sport operations, letting them make the (in this case) baseball decisions and you just pay the money and provide oversight, then it really gets no better.
Mark Cuban was a fan of the Mavs long before he bought them. He came in, trusted the basketball people, and provided an atmosphere that was far more conductive to winning then had previously been in place.
Ricketts might do exactly the same thing for the Cubs.
While I'm not a proponent of buying your championship, it certainly helps to have the ability to go out and acquire that missing piece. Sure, maybe you have 4 great starting pitchers, but there is a certain recent Cy Young award winner out there ostensibly available and who has stated that he would love to play for you. Under the old owners, that kind of money would be unrealistic, even if the baseball people say it would be a game changer type of move. Under the new owner, who is also a fan, the decision is a no-brainer, especially if the baseball people are behind making such a move.
Obviously Tom Ricketts has the opportunity to win over a lot of Cub fans with one move; bring in Jake Peavy. If Peavy joins this staff (as I've stated before on this very site) the Cubs have what is most likely the best starting five in the history of baseball.
It automatically strengthens the bullpen, because there are less games where they are needed to go long (all 5 starters are potential aces), there is less pressure on the offense (all 5 starters are potential aces), and there is less pressure on the defense (because all 5 start... okay, you get my point).
In other words this is the type of move that says, "We are for real, and we want to win". If Ricketts makes this type of move he immediately legitimizes his role as owner for these hungry fans.
Ultimately, I think that Ricketts might be the best choice for owner, even better then Mark Cuban. Because even though I love Cuban and think he would've been amazing, I'm judging that off of what he's done with the Mavs, a team he was a big fan of even before buying the team. That isn't the case with Cuban and the Cubs, but it is the case with Ricketts and the Cubs.
I'm trying to stay level headed about this new ownership, but I'm currently very optimistic. I'm hoping that Ricketts does away with any need for me to be optimistic by telling Hendry to go get that Peavy deal done.
I know that will fully win me over. (For the record, I have already made the trade on MLB2K8)