Ok, I am editing this after all.
The post below was meant more as a response to the sentiment that the Cubs' new ownership is inherently inept because they haven't overhauled everything. The vacation theme was a good part of the inspiration, but it grew as I typed.
In a nutshell, what I'm getting at is, let's not flip out just yet and judge the entire prospects of the franchise under the Ricketts family based on what has happened so far . . . their first season isn't over yet. That probably would have been a better way to put it in the first place, but that's not what I did . . . so I'm leaving the bit below as originally written.
At the 1999 Cubs Convention, when Ed Lynch was introduced during the opening ceremonies, I booed him. He did nothing to make the team better during the 1998 stretch drive (other than trading a future legitimate starter for a middle reliever), and the plan that he went into 1999 with was nothing short of absurd.
A guy in front of me turned around and shook his head condescendingly, as if being the architect of a team that backed into a wild card and was thoroughly outclassed in the NLDS deserved respect and admiration. Well, turns out I was right.
I am reminded of this now, as people are going the other way and flipping out because one member of the ownership team had the audacity to take a vacation during the season. How dare he consider spending time with his family when the Cubs aren't winning! What kind of leadership is this! He should be speaking out in the papers about how professionals shouldn't make errors, call in to radio shows saying Lou Piniella shouldn't bat Theriot leadoff, appear on television assuring us that this crisis will pass and hand out rice pudding!
The new ownership group has been in place for months, not years. We all knew when they took control that they were going to take a pragmatic, long-term approach of letting people do the jobs that they were hired for and evaluate those people. That has not changed - nor should it. Firing the manager of a mediocre baseball team isn't going to make said mediocre baseball team good - because IT'S A MEDIOCRE BASEBALL TEAM!
Bombast and/or change for change's sake is Steinbrenner-esque. And the Yankees didn't get consistently good again until George was less involved in the baseball operations. I think some people are more interested in an owner who wants to put on a show rather than one who has a plan and wants to follow it, for their own short-term gratification. I'd rather punt on 2010 in exchange for a better chance at the Cubs being consistently good in the long run. I suspect that the Ricketts family went into this season feeling the same way - they WANT to win this year, but aren't foolish enough to sacrifice a plan in exchange for a long shot this year.
As far as the criticism of the vacation goes, I may never get that. This is not a leaking oil well, it's not the economy, and no one's life is at stake. I'm pretty sure someone who created a multi-million dollar business is capable of running a baseball team via cell phone and e-mail - especially if other people are in place.
For those of you who insist that Tom Ricketts NEEDS to be there because this is a crisis, please explain why. How is his absence realistically affecting the players - or how anyone else goes about their job? How is it making your fan experience worse? My suspicion is, it's just something for people to grumble about.