Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What To Watch

With today's game, the season reaches the 25% complete mark. The team continues to founder with a losing record, struggling to score runes, despite above league average starting pitching and hitting statistics.

Empty seats are springing up at Wrigley Field with regularity.

The Carlos Zambrano experiment has worked about as well as anyone with half a brain could have predicted.

(This debacle does have the singular upside of knowing how bad this makes people who supported moving Z to the pen look)

Lou Piniella is answering questions about his own job status and Jim Hendry is giving out votes of confidence.

But the one thing we all need to know about this team, the thing that has the greatest long term effect on the team, hasn't even been broached:

What kind of owners are the Ricketts?

Are they going to do nothing other than sit with Len and Bob in the bleachers?

Or, are they going to get their hands dirty and make some changes to set the team up for the next 20 years according to their vision?

Hell, do they even have a vision!

On the day the family took over control of the franchise, Tom Ricketts said one key thing:

"...in my business experience, the way I've been successful, is hire the right people, support them, and hold them accountable to the results."


So, Ricketts family, who is being held accountable and when are you going to actually hire some people? Everyone here is holdovers.

In business, when leverage buyouts occur, the acquiring company usually has a set management team in mind and installs those people as soon as the acquisition is complete. History is littered with mergers where new management is announced the same day. How can owners do this? Well, they've usually had months to review the company and decide who stays and who goes.

The Ricketts have had three years to do their due diligence. Time for them to do what they've said: Hold people accountable and hire the right people.

To see if they actually do this will likely be more important than what actually happens on the field.

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