Rebuilding ain’t what it used to be for Cubs, White Sox

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts speaks to the crowd during the team’s 2016 World Series victory celebration in Grant Park.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

This is the part of the trade-deadline aftermath in which Cubs and White Sox fans are supposed to do what, exactly? Celebrate?

This is the part of the rebuilding process in which Cubs and Sox fans are supposed to feel what, exactly? Euphoria?

Let me take you back 10 years and the beginning of the Cubs’ first rebuild. I promise I won’t leave you there. The team finished 61-101 under manager Dale Sveum (remember him?), but new president of baseball operations Theo Epstein had taught Cubs fans to appreciate that their suffering was for a greater good down the line. Those of us who asked why a big-market franchise owned by wealthy owners couldn’t spend money to build a great team were sent to a corner where we could share our hopeless ignorance without infecting others.

Rebuilding was the only way, we were told. Gather as many draft picks as possible and hope that the sheer number of them would produce some stars. It worked, for a while. The Cubs won that elusive animal called a World Series, and everyone lived happily ever after. Other teams followed suit, tearing down their major-league house, accumulating high draft picks and making a run at a title. That includes the current Sox team, which isn’t running so much as crawling these days.

About that happily ever after stuff: A rebuilding plan doesn’t guarantee that.

Cubs fans, upset over a second teardown/rebuild/money grab, walked away from Tuesday’s trade deadline wondering whom to be angry at and settling on everybody and everything. Before the deadline, they were angry at the idea of losing favorites Willson Contreras and Ian Happ. When the Cubs hung on to the two players, fans were angry about the possibility of getting nothing in return for Contreras when he becomes a free agent after this season. Mostly, they were angry with the Ricketts family, which is trying to pretend it owns a small-market team, and general manager Jed Hoyer, who has been given a budget based on Aldi coupons, not currency.

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Meanwhile, Sox fans, already fuming about a seriously underperforming team and a manager who might be asleep at the wheel, were left to wonder how general manager Rick Hahn could have come away from the trade deadline with next to nothing. If this isn’t a team in need of an infusion of talent and passion, no team is.

Hovering over all of this were the Padres, a purported small-market team that is going for it like the Yankees might. They landed Juan Soto, the biggest prize on the market, as well as flamethrower Josh Hader and first baseman Josh Bell. They didn’t seem to mind a bit that they were giving up …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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