As an avid reader of all things Cubs, I ran across this new release in Barnes & Noble the other day, and after reading a few pages of the introduction, I knew I had stumbled onto a great one. If you want the best answers yet to that universal Cubs fan question, "Why?" you must get this book and read every word.
George Castle follows up his initial book on the Cubs' ownership/management, or lack thereof, called "The Million to One Team" with "Entangled In Ivy". While giving a detailed recap of the first 25 years of Tribune ownership and all of the GM and managerial regimes of the era, the book's main focus is to debunk any theories that the Cubs' 99-year world championship drought, and 62-year World Series hiatus has anything to do with goats, black cats, or Steve Bartman.
The main reason for the drought is, as Castle so eloquently puts it, "the human factor". He goes into great detail about how the lack of a quality farm system (except for a six-year stretch under Dallas Green and Gordon Goldsberry), an understaffed front office, outdated and inadequate facilities at Wrigley Field, corporate meddling, conservative fiscal policy, and an overall lack of understanding of the Cubs and their fans have all contributed to where we now stand: 99 years and counting.
It's the brutal and honest truth, and I recommend it for all Cub fans everywhere. Castle also hints at something else throughout the book, although he does not actually verbalize it until page 262 (out of 264 pages): "Even if management updates it practices and upgrades to a fully staffed baseball operation--and it's the most painful cut of all in their attempt to win--the Cubs need to explore a successor ballpark to Wrigley Field." Painful, yes, but after reading this book, I'm sure you'll agree, as I do. I hope you enjoy it, and thank you for your time. Go Cubs!