Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Will Cubs' Bling Bring a Ring?

After a quick but spirited bidding war between the Chicago Cubs, their crosstown rivals the White Sox, and the San Diego Padres, Japanese baseball star Kosuke Fukudome and the Cubs have agreed to a 4-year, $48 million deal, pending a physical. An outfielder for nine years with the Chunichi Dragons, Fukudome was named 2006 Most Valuable Player of the Central League, batting .351 and smashing 31 home runs, while leading his team to its first Japan Series championship since 1954. Like the Boston Red Sox a year ago, The Cubs are investing a huge amount of money in a player yet to prove himself at the Major League level. In adding Fukudome to a payroll that already boasts the eight-figure salaries of Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, Derrek Lee, and Aramis Ramirez, the Cubs 2008 payroll should well exceed $100 million. This becomes troublesome because Wrigley Field’s capacity is only 41,118, and even though Chicagoans filled it to nearly 98% capacity last season, cotton candy sales were way down.

Though it be baseball heresy, I say the free-spending Chicago Cubs must vacate venerable Wrigley Field for a larger stadium—one with a seating capacity of at least 50,000 and sporting all of the pricey luxury boxes and accoutrements that have made other franchises so lucrative. In fact, I suggest that the Cubs build a domed stadium...and name it—in honor of their latest savior, Kosuke Fukudome—the Fuk-U-Dome, with the lettering directed toward the South Side.

That would really put those hated White Sox in their place.

(Graphic enhancement courtesy of Mount Drinkmore's Dave.)

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