Every week I do Power Rankings as a filler post for a week full of Kevin Gregg bashing and Jim Hendry fat jokes. This week's Power Rankings should be used as a guide by new Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, who's got a lot of work to do if he wants to make this franchise not suck.
1. Clean house in the front office. It's time to take out the trash at Tribune Tower. The Cubs have only four division titles and a Wild Card berth to show for about 28 years of TribCo. ownership, so needless to say it is time for a change.
If you want to go out and "re-assign" guys like Crane Kenney, Jim Hendry and others, that's fine. But some new faces and ideas need to accompany a new ownership. Unless you want the next 30 years to resemble the last 30 years.
2. Set the following ultimatum. Make a memo to whoever follows Jim Hendry as your GM, assuming you "re-assign" him to the local Dunkin' Donuts over on Addison & Lincoln. Tell the GM that anyone is tradeable. Anyone. Prospects. Big leaguers. Anyone. Everyone.
There are no untouchables. Looking at the Cubs' recent past of those deemed untouchable, none of them have lived up to the hype. Mark Prior was great until Dusty Baker threw his arm out. Kerry Wood was too, and if not for a stint in the bullpen, he would be out of the league too. Felix Pie and Corey Patterson were basically the same guy.
So it's simple: if someone calls and asks for this year's hot prospect, listen.
3. Develop a minor league system. Sign scouts. Lots of them. Send 'em throughout the country. Send them throughout the world. There is no reason for a major market team to ignore the fact that it needs a reputable farm system to be a successful ball club.
4. Get Pat & Ron a third wheel. Pat Hughes is one of radio's best play-by-play voices, don't you think it's time to get him an analyst whose analyzation of the game goes beyond screaming "Yeeeaaah!" when something goes well and "Nooooo!" when it doesn't. Keep Ron Santo in the booth, bring back Keith Moreland -- he was great as a fill in and I have no doubt he can do it over a 162 game season.
5. Hire a team shrink. There are more head cases on the Cubs roster than in most mental wards. We know you've got money Mr. Ricketts, let's get Alfonso Soriano, Milton Bradley and others the help they so desperately need.
6. Lower ticket prices. I shouldn't have to sell my first born son and a child to be named later to get a pair of good seats at the ball park.
7. Lower beer prices. I shouldn't have to take out an additional loan to have a brew or two (or 10) at the ball park.
8. Do not buy a jumbotron. Unless you like wasting money, of course. It would be an eye sore ... and real fans do not need animated buffoonery to tell them when to chant, clap and cheer.
9. Do not listen to Steve Stone. There's a reason the Stone Pony is spending his season sitting next to Hawk Harrelson and listening to his tales of Carl Yastrzemski and how unlucky you have to be to get a ticket in Caracas, Venezuela rather than being a general manager out there.
10. Read this blog. It's entertaining. Witty. And real. Some Cubs blogs think everything is hunky-dory. Others like to use cuss words to grab the attention their parents didn't give them as a child. This blog, at least when I write, is an independent thought that refuses to succumb to the pressures from the Cardinals & White Sox bloggers throughout this site -- and others.