9:20 AM CDT, August 22, 2011
Wait, Tom Ricketts is handing out books to the new Cubs on the pride of the most futile team in sports.
Wasn’t “Year One’’ all about denying the stench of the past?
But if the book includes the pride in being ready for the first pitch of an inning, then the Fanboy Owner needs to give one to Starlin Castro, who showed a national TV audience that even the Cubs’ good players come up with too many bad habits.
Tip to the Cubs: If you’re trying to change a failed culture, then don’t remind people of your failed culture.
The new guys --- especially the new general manager --- don’t need a book. They don’t need to grasp the Cubs’ culture and history and whatever pride is supposed to be gained by failing to win a World Series in more than a century. I mean, an organization doesn’t get better by giving pop quizzes on Harry Steinfeldt.
No, an organization gets better by developing and acquiring players who can work a count, who can take walks, who can move over runners, who run out of the batter’s box instead of pose, who hustle all the time, who know how to run the bases, who can field the ball, who can throw the ball, who know where to throw the ball after they field the ball.
Oh, and know when to be ready for the pitch.
Speaking of those players to be developed, what are the recently signed draft choices to make of the credibility and honesty of the organization that just signed them?
Remember, the Fanboy Owner fired general manager Jim Hendry on July 22, but kept him around until all the draft choices were signed. The personable Hendry was the closer. He was the guy who would convince the draftees to join an organization that he would be leaving as soon as all were signed.
Seems deceptive. By design, too. That’s the flipside of a well-kept secret. An organization’s most precious commodity is its talent, and now some of those players signed after July 22 might wonder how honest their chances are. If the organization looks deceitful before you even get a pair of sanitary socks, how can you trust it the rest of the way?
Maybe it’s not an issue. Maybe those players don’t care. Maybe they believe they’re good enough and smart enough not just to chase the dream, but accomplish it. Hope so. Because an organization gets better by acquiring and developing kids who play good and smart baseball, who hold each other accountable in playing smart baseball, who are afraid the manager will bench them for not playing smart baseball, who have the discipline to modify their lives to excel at day baseball, who revel in being part of an organization that teaches and demands all of that at all of its levels.
An organization does not get better with acts that could be interpreted as deceptive or by boning up on Peanuts Lowery.