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Monday · November 20 2006

Cubs sign Alfonso Soriano
If I didn't at least mention this, you'd probably think something is up. 8 years, $136M. On one hand, I'm happy that the Cubs are finally looking like they want to plunk down the big cash, but on the other hand, it's pretty sad that the team has been so inept at growing position players within their system that it comes to this.

Rather than adding veterans to a core group of young players, this move makes the Cubs look like they just want to buy wins because they haven't been able to do it any other way. It's hard to keep team loyalty when the guys you're rooting for almost completely turn over every 2 or 3 years. The Bears and the Bulls are much easier to cheer for in this respect. Urlacher, Olin Kruetz, Kirk Heinrich, Ben Gordon…these are all Chicago sports guys. Jacque Jones? I just can't get into it. Zambrano is about as deep a core as the team has. (Kerry Wood has to actually play to get anything more from me.)

The Cubs have Soriano for 8 years. It's really hard to be upset with that no matter what they paid. I've given the team enough of my money in tickets over the years. Please spend it. You could do alot worse than Alfonso Soriano leading off and playing the outfield.

Archived: Cubs » November 2006
What you had to say:
November 21 2006

I know where you are coming from: we are now pretty much cheering for the uniforms and ballpark, not a group of players. For most of the years I have been going to Cubs games I have been doing that already but because the team stunk not because the Cubs were made up of paid assasins. If it takes millions of Tribune dollars to rid Chicago of the goat's curse, so be it. I say "cheers" to the Cubs and their free-spending ways. Besides, a number of players like Lee and Ramirez have been here long enough to have earned Chicago status through suffering.

November 22 2006

As I was telling Jason (I think) baseball is headed in the direction of European soccer - a handful of massive clubs that develop few of their own players and spend huge wads to get established pros from the smaller clubs.

If it's going to be like that, we might as well split MLB into an upper and lower division and have promotion and relegation. Not that that will ever happen.

November 22 2006

Football has been this way for years and everyone still loves it. With free agency guys move around all the time...I know Jason mentioned Urlacher and Kruetz, and I suppose we can add Thomas Jones and a few others to the list (Mike Brown, Lance Briggs), but there is turnover every 3-4 years, if not each year, for most teams, especially for the offense positional players (QB, WR, RB) - which are really the main guys you cheer for. Unless they lock a guy up at a decent pay rate and the guy avoids injury you're rooting for shirts.

Here is Seinfeld's take on it from Season 6, Episode 11:
"Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify. Because the players
are always changing, the team can move to another city, you're actually rooting
for the clothes when you get right down to it. You know what I mean, you are
standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from
another city. Fans will be so in love with a player but if he goes to another
team, they boo him. This is the same human being in a different shirt, they
*hate* him now. Boo! different shirt!! Boo."

As far as the Cubs spending money, I didn't realize that for 2006 they were 7th out of all teams. Of course $94M is still $100M behind the #1 Yankees. And $8M behind the #4 White Sox. I don't know enough about the right way to build a winning baseball team - growing players, signing big names, getting pitchers on 1-year deals...

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© 2006 Jason Keglovitz