Tuesday, June 24, 2008

One Used Pie, Half Off

If I'm going to sell something on eBay, I don't write in the item description that it's old, ugly, worthless, and painted chartreuse.

If' I'm trying to sell my house, I don't talk about the weird smells in the basement, the fact that a tribe of cannibal squirrels have carved out a generations-old fiefdom in the attic, and the AC gets cranking with a noise like an arthritic dimetrodon.

If I'm trying to sell my car, I don't run it through axle-deep mud before taking display photographs of it. I don't park it in the bad part of town with fifty bucks on the front seat, and I don't leave a bag of fish tacos in the trunk for a week during the summer.

It's bad business.

Why, then, do the Cubs insist on treating their tradeable assets this way? They're a good team, but not a perfect one, and their best hope of patching their few remaining holes is by flipping their tradable assets for something useful. Felix Pie. Matt Murton. Rich Hill. All of these were coveted assets at one point. All three have been buried by the Cubs, devaluing what they might possibly bring back, an approach that makes no sense whatsoever.

It's good for someone else, of course. Someone else might get Pie for pennies on the dollar, and help him harness his prodigious skills. Someone might get Hill on the cheap, and uncover the pitcher who was fifth in the NL in strikeouts last year. And Murton, well, Cleveland could probably use him right about now.

But they won't pay much to get him.
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