Monday, October 08, 2007

Back to Business

With the Cubs players playing golf and no activity on the free agent market due for close to a month, it's time to go back to looking at the cash flow side of the club. There's a lot of speculation about when and even if, Sam Zell will complete the purchase of Tribune Corporation and follow on with the planned sale of the team. The educated guess here is that the sale of the team is being delayed by the potential collapse of Zell's deal.

But that's not where we are going to focus today.

As noted, Cub fans should be proud of themselves for not only failing to cheer the team for a "successful" season as they left the field on Saturday, but actually booing the pathetic play of the star performers: Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez.

This brought to mind the old topic of who gets more attention from the brass at 1060 West Addison: The fans who continue to buy tickets and complain or the fans who fail to buy due to apathy.

Well, we have a definitive answer:

"It jolted me -- especially in September, when you started seeing maybe 17,000 or 20,000 people in here and we're used to playing in front of 35,000 or 36,000," (Cubs president John) McDonough said this week at his Wrigley Field office. "It was a real wake-up call that there could be a crack in this foundation."
But the White Sox's 2005 title, their first since 1918, reminded everyone that these things actually could happen in Chicago, and all those empty seats resonated louder than any boos at Wrigley, warning that Cubs fans who had weathered their team's failures for decades might not tolerate it much longer.

That's why McDonough felt he needed to send an immediate message to the no-shows, his players and his staff.
"You often hear that the difference between Cubs fans and Sox fans is if you put a bad product on the field, Sox fans won't go and Cubs fans are getting what they deserve because they keep showing up, that they're being played for suckers," (creative development director at ad agency DraftFCB Ron) Lazzeretti said. "But you did sense there was a certain unrest, an impatience that wasn't there before. It's bad enough when people boo, but when they don't even show up to claim the seats that they've already paid for, that really is people saying they don't approve of the way you're doing business."

If the cook repeatedly spits in the soup of customers, the cook only listens when the customers stop showing up. The customer who complains and shows up tomorrow for the same meal is ignored.

Bravo, Cubs fans. You made them spend money last winter and improve the team. Let’s hope John McDonough, who looks to be here for at least a few more months, heard your boos and silence last Saturday.

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