Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What the Zell?

I ran into one of our sales guys at the office the other day. He knows a guy who knows Sam Zell, the owner of the Tribune Company and, by extension, the Chicago Cubs.

The sales guy told me that the rumored Jacques Jones to Florida deal was quashed by Zell himself. From what this guy heard, Zell didn't see the logic in paying Jones $5 million to play somewhere else.

Also, the sales guy said that Zell ordered Hendry and Piniella to play Jones. Because that's how Zell rolls -- when he talks he expects stuff to happen.

Accept this story with the grain of salt you should always accept stories that come from the friend of a friend of a friend. But if it is true, it makes me happier than ever that the suits at the Tower are going to unload the team.

Zell might be a big-shot business guy, but this move shows he has little idea about the concept of sunk cost. The money committed to Jones is already gone -- no GM in his right mind would take on that contract, not even in exchange for non-prospects (oh, how I miss Chuck LaMar...).

In Zell's thinking, sending Loria the Destroyer $5 mil for the privilege of playing Jones might be a waste. But since Zell vetoed the trade, we're paying that same $5 million and wasting a roster spot. Talk about a lose-lose situation.

I didn't think the Jones signing was horrible last year. However, I also hoped that Jones would be at least a marginally productive outfielder. He's fallen off a cliff this year, and the only way we'll be able to move him is if he starts hitting.

Maybe Zell should order Jones to start hitting. If that approach works at the Tower, why not at Wrigley?

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