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clark hatersIf you – or the Cubs – expected anything different, then you don’t understand the current state of Cubs fandom as it exists today, especially on self-selective platforms like Twitter.

I am referring, of course, to the predictable backlash the Cubs faced yesterday (most visible on Twitter, to people like me, anyway) upon the announcement of Clark the Cub, the team’s first official mascot in modern history. In the way that Jar Jar Binks was George Lucas’s obvious ploy to make Episode One accessible to small children, the Cubs were simply trying to come up with something to connect the team to little kids (and their parents). If you judged solely by the tweets yesterday, you’d think folks would rather have Jar Jar donning the backwards Cubs cap.

For the most part, that’s just the way Cubs fans are right now, for better and worse. Hostile and deeply cynical, but also very, very funny. Poochie jokes, pantsless jokes, #RejectedCubsMascot jokes, and on and on. I laughed. I even participated a little (with love and respect, of course). These kinds of rallying moments, ironically, are what remind Cubs fans that we do have a bond, despite the deep crappiness of the team in recent memory. Cubs fans just want to commune – and if it’s shredding Clark together, then that’s what they’re going to do. It was preordained, no matter what mascot the Cubs revealed. (Unless it was a .280/.360/.500 hitting third baseman on a reasonable deal. Or a ninja.)

Soon, the Clark-related anger will sublimate into Cubs-performance-related anger, and all will be well again. Er, not well. But, normal, I guess.

That is to say, this will all be forgotten by May. When folks see – or, more accurately, don’t see – that Clark is barely visible to the average fan who isn’t seeking out something to entertain their young kid, there won’t be any more furor. Clark the Cub will just be a thing that exists, and will be adopted into our world, eliciting countless shrugs.

You know who won’t be shrugging? Kids.

Last night, the Cubs demonstrated why they created Clark, and what he’ll actually do – last night, together with Cubs prospects in town for the Rookie Development Camp, Clark visited children at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Pediatric Developmental Center. Together, the Cubs said in a statement, they helped reinforce positive activities being taught to children with autism and other developmental challenges.

So, the next time you want to rip the Cubs for creating Clark, just remember that this is what he’s about:

  • jadebuddha

    I don’t understand the backlash, it’s for kids, and I’m guessing a majority if not all of the bashing was not done by children.

  • Jon

    You know what would cheer up sick kids? A team that doesn’t lose 96 games a year.

    • Patrick W.

      Yes, in all of my experience of going to baseball games, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt the very single most important thing to a 4 year old is whether the team won. Nothing beats that for a 5 year old also.

      • hansman

        My 3-year old openly weeps every day the Cubs don’t win and when I told him about the mascot last night he proceeded to use his Hulk action figures to destroy the house.

        • BWA

          You have taught him well

      • Chet Masterson

        My young sons are especially fond of booing the hell out of players they think are overpaid. The three of us love to bond by determining if a player ran hard enough out of the batter’s box to satisfy us and spare the player the shame and humiliation of our relentless booing from Section 9,249

    • fortyonenorth

      Those who begrudge an insignificant move to make Wrigley more family oriented deserved a 96-game loser–in perpetuity. What would they suggest? Maybe an obscenity spouting mascot who vomits on fans between innings. That would be apropos.

      • BD

        Don’t they already have these in the bleachers?

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Yeah young kids only care about the record, do you have kids? Seeing Clark will mean more to them than single game.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      This is a really eff’d up thing to say for so many reasons.

    • Greenroom

      wow. I cannot believe you typed this and then said, “yes, lets hit submit”. heartless

    • brainiac

      very sad and very funny. it reminds me of the seinfeld episode where paul o’neill promises to hit 3 homers, but only hits two and a half on a technicality. in the cubs’ case they promise to hit a single and settle for three fielding errors.

  • Blackhawks1963

    The problem is that the Ricketts are awful at PR and timing. It’s like the stupid macaroni noodle or Toyota sign all over again. If the payroll didn’t sink to subterranean levels this offseason and if the marquee additions weren’t dumpster finds in the form of Veres, Wright and Kottaras and if there was any blankety blank progress on the interminable Wrigley renovation product and etc… Well then the common fan would be much less opinioned on this mascot crapola. The impression given is that Tom Ricketts spent full months doodling the likeness for a new mascot instead of making progress of any sort on the big important crap that all seems mired in the mud.

    • mjhurdle

      “The impression given is that Tom Ricketts spent full months doodling the likeness for a new mascot instead of making progress of any sort on the big important crap that all seems mired in the mud.”

      Even my 9 year old knows enough about business to not get that impression from this. Who, besides the people who feel the need to complain about everything, would get that impression from a new mascot?

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        People who have an agenda to complain about everything Ricketts.

        • hansman

          People who have an agenda to complain about everything Cubs.

          FTFY. To each there own, I suppose.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Again quit bring naive and irrational Ricketts didn’t spend months on this his PR and advertising team did this he just said yes/no I bet only a few hours if his time was on this, but if you need more reasons to add to your Ricky is Horrible narrative I’m sure this helped.

  • http://kempfintl.com pfk

    I’m looking forward to seeing the new female mascot, “Addison.” Then the wedding of Clark and Addison. Then their twins, “Sheffield” and “Waveland.” Seriously, I think its great and perfect for kids just as shown with the hospital appearance yesterday.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Oh this Addison joke is as old as the rest.

  • hansman

    “Unless it was a .280/.360/.500 hitting third baseman on a reasonable deal.”

    Wait, we signed a 26-year old Aramis Ramirez!!!!

    “Or a ninja.”

    Oh, just Tony Campana

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    How dare the Cubs create something that kids love… obviously Theo is a moron and this team doesn’t care about anything besides turning Wrigley into Disneyland.

    My kids have loved it so far and can’t wait until the websites games and “fan club” starts up. With my daughter I’m fighting for her Cub fandom with my ex-wife’s family that are Tiger fans and she’s part of some young Tiger club there. Clark really helps and I’d love to see cartoons and even an app developed. GoClarkGo

  • Jon

    I’d take my kids to see the mascot, oh that’s right I can’t afford tickets cause they still charge the 3rd highest prices in the game.(to watch one of the worst teams in the game, to boot)

    Maybe I’ll see Clark at my local JC Penney

    • Patrick W.

      3rd highest average prices because of an abundance of high priced seats. In 2014 there will be 45 games you can buy tickets for between $9 and $22.

      • hansman

        If the Cubs accurately priced those seats to the product on the field, they’d pay us to sit there!!!!

      • Patrick W.

        Also, I don’t know which is more surprising, you DON’T go to Cubs games or you DO go to JC Penney :)

    • V23

      Get a different job. You can’t afford to go to a bronze game?
      I’m glad you won’t be at Wrigley this summer. I will. Can’t wait to see Baez and Bryant.

      • mjhurdle

        “Get a different job.”

        well played sir, that had me laughing at my desk when i read it :)

        • Isaac

          I was thinking…”you probably can’t afford to go because no one wants to pay you to sit by them all day”.

      • Jon

        $200-300 bucks

        (100 for family 4,tickets shitty obstructed view seats….20-40 on parking and another $100 on food)

        is too much to watch a minor league team.

        • hansman

          Man, life is just too damn tough for you isn’t it?

        • V23

          Dude, you can buy seats for under $20 to a lot of games. Parking is $5 a car with a free shuttle.

          Bring your own damn food, I know we did when I was a kid. Or, stop procreating.

          And you’re lying. “obstructed view”, cmon, there aren’t even that many seats in the ballpark. Also, did you noticed there were plenty of empty ones last year.

          With your posts, I will guarantee I’m funding your family in someway through my tax dollars.

          • Internet Random

            “I’m funding your family in someway through my tax dollars.”

            He’s funding yours too… but he was cool enough not to mention it.

        • Chad

          If $200 or $300 is too much to take a day and enjoy Wrigley with your children then that is fine, but don’t complain about it. It’s not the cub’s fault. When my son is old enough I will buy reasonable tickets and take him to a cubs game. It might cost $300 and might only do it once or twice a year, but that’s not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of life. And if you don’t enjoy going to cubs games when they aren’t playing well then it shouldn’t matter if it is $1 or $300, don’t freaking go. I love the cubs and I love going to Wrigley. That is something I plan to share with my kid. If you can’t afford it, I understand, but that’s not that pricey (think Disneyworld, holy crap), and if $300 stops you from doing things you enjoy, what do you enjoy doing?

        • Patrick W.

          I think you aren’t trying hard enough to take your family to a Cubs game.

          1: Go to a lower tier game, really good seats available for as low as $9.60 a ticket with tax.

          2: Take a free shuttle. Don’t be afraid to ride with strangers to a game. You can park for $5.

          3: Bring your own food. Wrigley allows you to bring in food, and you can bring up to a 1ltr bottle of water per person if it’s unopened.

          I guarantee you I can get your 4 person family into a game for less than $30 per person, if you follow a few very simple steps.

          • JB88

            You can also find parking farther east of Wrigley where it is unzoned or farther west (where it is zoned, but where the zoning only kicks in on night games). You are probably walking roughly a mile, but seeing the actual Wrigleyville and surrounding neighborhoods isn’t terrible either.

            You could also take public transportation to the game. There is cheaper parking at Cumberland and then you can take the Blue to the Red line, all for less than the $40 in parking you claim it would cost.

            • Patrick W.

              Not to mention you can park at the police station on Addison for $15 on lower tier games. I paid $40 for opening day last year, and $25 the next day. I don’t like parking east on the streets because some of the restrictions kick in at 4pm, which can be a stretch. LSD is an example.

            • Jon

              I said $20-$40. $40 is what you will pay within a block of the stadium and $20 if you are willing to go a few blocks out. That’s the reality of prices there, and driving and parking close maybe is the best solution if you have really young children.

              The reality is the White Sox have much better fan family promotion such as kids get in for $1 (13 and under) on select weekend games.

              That’s what the Cubs could be focusing on, instead of this mascot crap

              • TWC

                It’s just so unfair that the Cubs aren’t focusing on *your* needs, Jon. It really is.

                • Jon

                  It’s just not mine. The White Sox just in general do a much better job with their “family day” themes. Go compare them side by side on the web sites.

                  • JB88

                    The White Sox also, historically, have had a much harder time drawing fans to their park than the Cubs have had drawing fans to Wrigley.

                    Sometimes supply and demand plays a part in this as well.

                  • TWC

                    “The White Sox just in general do a much better job with their “family day” themes.”

                    Clearly. The Sox (avg home attendance 22k) are really packing them in to the ol’ Cell). Why *wouldn’t* the Cubs (avg home attendance 32.6k) want to copy that approach?!

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      Exactly as much as I like the idea of family friendly things and prices it’s a matter of what the market dictates. So Jon if you want these deals you should be rooting that the Cubs have losing seasons for the next ten years so the Cubs are forced into these promotions.

                  • Chad

                    Then please be a WS fan and visit their blogs. We are all fine with your switching of allegiances.

              • Patrick W.

                Fine. I’ll find you parking within 1000 ft of Wrigley and still get your family of 4 into a game with unobstructed views, with food, for less than $120.

                Just let me pick the date and the food and the seats.

                Did you know from gate opening to one hour before the game all food is 25% off? (excludes alcoholic beverages)

              • hansman

                “The reality is the White Sox have much better fan family promotion such as kids get in for $1 (13 and under) on select weekend games.”

                Well, if you want, I am sure the White Sox would welcome you to their fan club. Hell, they’d probably even send Hawk out to personally great you. I think you two would get along marveously.

                • Jon

                  yeah, I figured a “Go be a Sox fan den!!!!!”” comment was coming….

                  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                    Nah you just need to hope the plan fails and attendance drops dramatically. Then $1 tickets will be a reality.

                    • Jon

                      If attendance dropped dramatically they would before to provide a better experience for the fans, from the on the field product, to kids promotions they offer at the stadium.

                • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                  He gone

              • V23

                Jon you’ve been proved wrong on every point.

                No one feels sorry for you and you attempt at relevant hyperbole has failed miserably.

                Do you know another way to get to the park cheaply….the train! It drops you off across the street. You’ve been given a lot of advice but you are just here to be a troll. Move along.

          • blublud

            At 9.60 per seat and $5 parking, thats $10.85 per person. If his budget is on $60, that leaves him 16 bucks to get chips, peanuts, water and a couple unchanged from wal-mart. That actually a very cheap family outing.

            • ClevelandCubsFan

              Seriously. Try to hit Crapplebees for that.

        • ClevelandCubsFan

          You’re doing it wrong.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Wow whatever you need to keep your narrative alive buddy glad this helps push the stick further up your…

    • CubFanBob

      Just a tip kids two and under get in for free. Also if you are waiting really cheap seats there are $8 upper deck outer bronze games. Also keep an eye out on stubhub for cheaper prices, especially in Sept., if the Cubs end up losing 90 + games again.

      • V23

        CubfanBob is correct. I took the family last year at $6 per ticket to one game and $8 per ticket for another.

        If you want to see Cubs Yankee platinum game, I’m sorry, it’ll be more. Crying poor about see a major league baseball game makes me sick. What does it cost to go to a Bulls or Blackhawks game? Minimum Bulls is like $60.

        I bet “jon” who forgot his H, also forgot that he probably has an iPhone plan and an iPad which he is hate messaging from, but the Cubs should lower prices so he can see whatever game he wants.

        • Jon

          What are you talking about? That’s how I spell my name. Go play in traffic and stop obsessing over me you fucking creep.

          • V23

            Funny comments are good here. There are also many many many opinions here. Most come from well-meaning cub fans. When I read your posts, it’s like pollution. I’m hoping you wafe away from this website.

            • Jon

              From the spelling of my name, to the allocation of my disposable income, you seem way to interested in my personal life. I’m hoping you stay far away from where I live. I don’t want to be putting the “lotion on the skin” if ya know what I mean.

              • Ron Swansons Mustache

                If you’re spending $100 on food for 4 people at Wrigley then you have no idea how to properly allocate your finds if your discretionary income is limited. Bring food from home or the Subway, Taco Bell or McDonald’s nearby.

                You wouldn’t do that though because it would take another reason away to bitch.

                • Ron Swansons Mustache

                  Finds = funds

          • Chad

            That’s the kind of comment that will get you banned around here. Or it should. No need for that.

            • willis

              Wow, that was pretty good entertainment to read for the last few minutes. Keep going. Went off the rails quickly.

          • cubzfan23

            so much for Bretts improvements

  • hansman

    SEE THE CUBS ARE ALREADY STUFFING HIM DOWN OUR THROATS!!!!!!

    FOR OPENING DAY HE IS GOING TO PARACHUTE INTO WRIGLEY PLAYING HENDRIX’S VERSION OF THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER WHILE FIREWORKS GO OFF AROUND HIM AND MAKE A MOCKERY OF THE GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • itzscott

      If we’re all lucky, the parachute won’t open.

    • mjhurdle

      that. would. be. awesome.

      • hansman

        While eating a Twix.

        • mjhurdle

          you just ruined the image forever.

          Im now switching to the Anti-Clark crowd.

  • V23

    It’s a fricken mascot for kids. Screw everyone else. I kept hearing about Deadspin and the likes yesterday.
    Deadspin is the worst sports website around. It’s like the national enquirer for sports.

    So if you are like 10 or under you can see a mascot and give him a high five. What’s wrong with that?

    Sports are supposed to be fun, and the mascot will give kids a smile.

    • Jim

      Well put. “Sports are supposed to be fun”.

  • V23

    People like “Jon” above are why people call cubs fans “arsehats” . If you hate the cubs, why are you on this website? Go to the score or somewhere.

    • TWC

      Jon doesn’t hate the Cubs. He just loves them so much that he’s a total prick about everything to do with them. Can’t you see? It’s as plain as the pants on that mascot.

      Oh, wait.

      • JB88

        Comments like this makes me wish there was a “like” button at bleachernation.com …

        • V23

          thought the same thing.
          TWC WINS .

  • hansman

    I wonder how many Cubs fans are reading this news today and saying: “We didn’t have a mascot before? Hmm.”

  • Mr Gonzo

    Maybe the mascot the Cubs’ adult fan base needs right now is Robert Paulsen (from Fight Club) at a booth on the way out of the stadium so grown men can cry into his bosom after every loss.

  • Noah_I

    This reminds of the oft repeated line from “The Hudsucker Proxy”: You know, for kids.

  • shammai

    I guess people are upset because they somehow think creating a mascot is a substitute for trying to put together a competitive team? Personally, I don’t see how the two things are related. The mascot will be good for the kids, and it won’t bother anyone. I understand people being unenthusiastic or indifferent about the mascot, but ripping it to shreds? I just don’t get it.

    • Edwin

      I think people are upset because the Cubs have won 75, 71, 61, and 66 games the last four seasons, and are primed for another 70 or so win season. This while charging one of the highest prices in baseball. And so far, the mascot is the biggest story of the offseason. Fans want a reason to be excited about 2014; they got Clark. It’s probably not the most rational thinking, but I understand why fans are getting tired of these feel good stories that have nothing to do with the Cubs putting together a winning team.

  • Patrick W.

    Here’s how I became a Cubs fan: I spent a lot of summer days at my grandparents house on Calumet Avenue in Hammond Indiana. Boy howdy did my grandma love the Cubs. Every minute they were on TV she sat there watching, and so I sat there watching too. Was it because I loved the Cubs and Baseball as a three year old that I sat there watching? Of course not, I couldn’t understand the game at that point (do any of us really understand it?) but I could understand it made my grandma happy, and so it made me happy. How many of us have stories of our fandom that started like that?

    Baseball is a complex sport that requires a lot of patience to enjoy. Other sports go left to right, something is always happening, but in baseball there are long pauses. Fielders go in any directions. Baserunners go in square! I don’t know a lot of very young children who are exceptionally patient. Anything in the periphery to keep their attention during the early years, when it’s so apt to wander, is a good idea.

    Like most things in life, the periphery wears away with time, and maturity. Sure, whenever I turn on Cubs game a small part of me remembers those summer days with my grandmother, but that smile quickly drifts away as I get to the meat of things, the game. The game I learned to love because of something only tangentially related, a single fan. So if the Cubs think they have something that almost every other sports team uses to keep the least mature amongst us engaged long enough to figure out that the game is the thing, why would we argue against that? If the destination is a Cubs fan for life, as many roads as you can build to that should be built.

    • TWC

      Awesome.

    • Fishin Phil

      Patrick, that is just crazy talk.

      I like it!

    • V23

      Well said.

    • JB88

      I very fondly remember watching the Andy Griffith show followed by the Cubs in the summer, growing up.

      • TWC

        ::whistles Andy Griffith theme from burned-in memory::

      • miggy80

        And if you were really lucky you could even catch a Welcome Back Cater episode

      • Patrick W.

        I’m probably a bit older, so for me it went like this: Bozo’s Circus at noon. Hazel at 12:30. Lead Off man at 1:00.

        • cubzfan23

          I remember those days… I always thought that ball in the basket game was rigged. How lame was I.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Mine is similar my maternal grandparents lived in Joliet and paternal grandparents south of Kankakee, so Cubs were always on there and when my parents got cable just before the 84 season WGN became (Bozo and Cubs everyday) but the real moment is when Grandpa cutting out color stat sheets of the 84 team and gluing them to cardboard. These were my baseball cards and I took them everywhere. I learned all their stats and even their mini bio. It was how I got hooked on reading box scores and talking baseball. I only went to a handful of games as a kid because my family told me later that I wouldn’t sit still and wanted to wonder around and since Wrigley had nothing for kids it wasn’t worth it. Now as Wrigley is remodeling and building there will be a reason and places to go with the kids. I can actually see “family friendly” seating areas happening (the minor league team here has that and it assures no vulgar drunks being near your kids.) I just don’t understand how having kid friendly things happening around or even in Wrigley is a bad thing. It doesn’t change how I’ll enjoy the game but it will be memorable for the kids. GoClarkGo

    • mjhurdle

      My Cub fandom began at 5 when i started collecting baseball cards. I asked my dad what team i should root for. He told me the choice was mine, but his house was a Cub fan house, so if i chose a team besides the Cubs as my favorite i would need a new family and a new place to live.

      27 years later and it is still one of the top 5 best decisions i ever made :)

    • Forlines

      Great Comment Patrick. It’s mind numbing to read some of the comments on BN alone, like it affects you in ANY way. *News Flash* It doesn’t. I haven’t even bothered to read any other site regarding Clark, and I really don’t want to. Clark is here for the kids, and this story is a prime example of that. Having two younger brothers with Autism, this chokes me up in a really good way, which is the exact oposite of what the Cubs have done for me the last few years. As another poster (I forget who, so if it’s you, props) said, Perspective people; gain some!

    • Pat

      I think some people would prefer the team spend a little less time on transference marketing and a little more on providing value on the field.

      • mjhurdle

        what do they have to do with each other, unless you are seriously advocating the Chicago Cubs marketing department spend time building the MLB roster?

        I for one do not like the idea of a marketing exec signing players and making roster decisions, but to each his own.

        • Pat

          It wasn’t the marketing department that came up with a mascot, it was the marketing departments job to sell it. The attendee surveys this supposedly came out of were one of the major projects of the Ricketts from the time they took over. To say they didn’t waste time one this, or only gave a final yes/no is highly unlikely.

          • mjhurdle

            “It wasn’t the marketing department that came up with a mascot, it was the marketing departments job to sell it.”

            How do you know who came up with the mascot? I would guess that it wasn’t someone who was hired because of the baseball talent or coaching/managing abilities.
            And if this is the case, it stands to reason that you would not want someone who was hired to create mascots to build your MLB roster, right?
            So how does a resident mascot-expert working on a mascot affect the quality of play on the field?
            Now, if Theo, Rich Renteria, and Rizzo were the ones putting in the time to create this guy, then yes, i will join your disgruntledness.

          • hansman

            “To say they didn’t waste time one this, or only gave a final yes/no is highly unlikely”

            What YOU think happened:
            Tom tallies the spreadsheets from fan repsonses and determines that a mascot is needed
            Theo comes in begging Tom to spend more money on the team
            Tom tells Theo to get lost
            Tom then orders stuffing, fabric, needles and thread
            Tom creates the outfit
            Theo comes in begging Tom to spend more money on the team
            Tom tells Theo to get lost
            Tom gets in the outfit
            Tom LOVES the mascot
            Theo comes in begging Tom to spend more money on the team
            Tom tells Theo to get lost

            What probably happened:
            Initial meeting where someone proposed it to Tom Ricketts
            Tom said, go ahead and look into that and get back to me
            Another meeting to tell Tom that a mascot would be a good idea
            Tom said, go ahead and get some ideas together and test them out
            Another meeting to tell Tom the results of the tests and he says to do it
            Team contracts suit construction and picks the wearer of the suit
            Mascot unveiled
            Cranky old dudes around the Cubs universe hate the mascot because back in there day they didn’t need no stinkin’ mascots (even though they would have LOVED to have gone to the park and seen one)

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              Obviously the first one is the better narrative.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Yeah just keep believing that false narrative that the FO and Ricketts spent on their time on this, anything to keep you bitter.

        • Pat

          Haven’t the attendee surveys one of Ricketts’ pet projects since the time he took over? But yeah, I’m sure he was totally hands off.

          • mjj1415

            And wasn’t there like 100 questions on the survey covering a litany of topics covering the renovation of Wrigley and all other aspects of the fan experience?

            You make it sound like Ricketts spent the past 3 years obsessing over the new mascot like some crazy combination of Jim Henson and Howard Hughes. It’s one small element in a plan to overhaul the Wrigley experience and, hopefully, drive more revenue that can be allocated to making the on-field product better.

          • hansman

            If you mean that Ricketts has been actively talking to and polling the fanbase since he has arrived, that is correct.

            If you think that Tom is actually sitting there tallying each response or preparing nifty charts and playing with slide rules all day long, you have no clue.

            Here’s the thing, the product on the field was going to be the product on the field regardless of the surveys or mascot. Two separate things. We didn’t pass on Cano, Ellsbury or Choo so we could get a mascot.

            • Pat

              “If you think that Tom is actually sitting there tallying each response or preparing nifty charts and playing with slide rules all day long, you have no clue.”

              Actually for you, this is a fairly civil response, so I’ll elaborate.

              I do not believe Tom was tallying the responses. I do not believe Tom was preparing charts. I’m not sure he’s even qualified to do that. I do believe, and would confidently bet that he was involved in most of the meetings regarding the direction of the mascot. Do I think he did the drawing himself? No. But I bet he was involved in the half hour plus discussion of whether the hat should be forward or backward facing. This is his pet project. And execs with pet projects micromanage them.

              And having a new mascot and a 100 year anniversary absolutely allows them to ignore the product on the field in regards to being able to run a marketing campaign.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        New rule: unless your team has a winning record, you may not do anything else in the conduct of your business. No trying to sell tickets. No trying to improve fan experience. No normal operations. You may only – ONLY – do things that put up W’s.

        Glad we got that squared away.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Okay we need to create a list of rules for the angry Cub fan and send it to the FO.

        • Pat

          It’s not so bad that they are trying to market to people who don’t care what is happening on the field. It’s pitiful that they have to market to people who don’t care what is happening on the field, because there is no way to market the on-field product to start the year.

          • baldtaxguy

            It is pitiful to market baseball to kids? Marketing baseball to young children means you do not care about the onfield product? You realize this is what you are stating? Unless, you feel Clark is being targeted to you as an adult to sway your attention away from the onfield product? That is where you are at on this?

            • baldtaxguy

              :) j/k

    • fortyonenorth

      I thought you were going to say the Danley Garage commercials got you hooked. Kidding aside, well said.

    • ChrisFChi

      The only fond memories of my father and myself is watching the Cubs on WGN. I still remember watching the first night game with him. Those were good times.

      My belief is Clark is here to help usher in a new generation of fans. With Xbox and iPads occupying children, the outlook for the game in 30+ years is dismal. Ask any random 14yr old about baseball and I guarantee they will have to resort to google to learn about their local team. Hell if 15% of kids 4-7 years old that interact with Clark become Cubs fans, then that right there is a victory.

  • Spoda17

    Wow… Brett, the “log-in” requirement crashed and burned today. I must say folks, this is the worst I have ever seen the comments. Quite frankly if you are this upset over a mascot you must lead one miserable life. I feel sorry for all of you that just can’t seem to stop complaining about everything.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      +1, like, high five or whatever button we don’t have. It’s sad that a child’s toy has upset this many people as an adult why should we care? As a parent this is great, for a child it’s amazing.

    • Pat

      But if you’re upset over people who don’t like a mascot that’s okay. Go ahead and call them total pricks, or insinuate they know less about business than a nine year old.

      I don’t really care one way or another on the mascot. However, to say he will won’t be visible unless you look for him is highly unlikely. The press release wasn’t from the community or customer relations department, it was from the marketing department. I will gladly bet $100 with the first person who wants to take it that Clark appears in print and TV ads this year.

      • mjhurdle

        to be fair, i didn’t insinuate, i said it outright.
        And i stand by my statement. If you think that Tom Ricketts spent months doodling out the likeness of the new mascot while neglecting any more important business decisions, then I believe my son knows more about business than you do. (not you in particular, but the person that might believe that)

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Well narratives don’t need logic or the mind of a 9 year old.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Of course he will be in commercials and print ads because kids watch TV and look at print ads sometimes. Why would that be a problem?

        • Pat

          I didn’t say it would be a problem. However, it runs counter to this statement by Brett – “That is to say, this will all be forgotten by May. When folks see – or, more accurately, don’t see – that Clark is barely visible to the average fan who isn’t seeking out something to entertain their young kid”

          I’d wouldn’t consider being featured in ads to be “barely visible”, that’s all.

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            Ads where children view and read and yes you’d have to seek those out (because you have children).

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Pretty sure people – me – saying he won’t be significantly visible unless you look for him are talking about the ballpark experience. Who gives a crap if he’s in marketing materials designed to sell tickets to families? That’s the whole point.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Precisely but this need to use Clark to add to the false narrative of Ricketts is the real childish aspect of this whole mascot story.

        • Pat

          The average fan probably only gets to a couple of games a year, and sees far more of them on television/

  • itzscott

    Actually, if you think about it, the mascot the Cubs have had has been the ghost of Harry Carey…. and I was okay with that.

    But that wasn’t good enough for some small town marketing whiz who felt compelled to bring that same small town mentality to a major market city.

    What’s next…. promoting the wave and rally towels?

    • JB88

      So the other 26 teams that have mascots, including the Mets, White Sox, Phillies, Diamondbacks, Rangers, Astros, Red Sox, Giants, and Marlins all have “that same small town mentality to a major market city?”

      Because last I checked all but a few teams have mascots. So I just want to make sure your definition of a “major market city”.

      • itzscott

        The Mets are an aberration playing in the shadow of the Yankees.

        The 3 major markets are NY, Chgo and LA.

        Which are the franchises acting like small town hicks by currying favor with the demographics of their fan base and which are the franchises upholding the dignity of the sport?

        How did baseball ever survive before mascots?

        • hansman

          “which are the franchises upholding the dignity of the sport?”

          So a person walking around in a bear costume is destroying the dignity of the sport?

          If 75 years of racism, a rich history of cheating and general low-lifes and two different drug scandals created some sort of “dignity”, WTF is a guy dressed as a bear high-fiving and hugging kids going to do?

        • mjhurdle

          Yankees, Mets, Cubs, White Sox, Angels, and Dodgers. Correct?

          Out of that list of 6 teams, 3 have mascots, 3 don’t.
          So half of the major market teams have mascots.

        • V23

          itzscott- It’s for the fricken kids!! Why do you care? Do you think they can’t sign Tanaka now?

          Um, Dodgers have one, Red Sox have one….almost every team has one. How this possibly offend your senses?
          “small town hicks”? what does that even mean. You are saying a 4-year old is a “hick” because they would like a mascot?

          Wow, I’m embarrassed that I root for a team with some of these lunes.

          • itzscott

            I get the whole parent with kids stage of life and how many of you treat it like you invented parenthood. Been there, done that and it’s probably the coolest thing in the world….

            But I can guarantee that at some point in your lives from this point forward all of you will get completely burned out on all things, all kids eventually.

            So what’s wrong with setting some things aside for adults which also pushes kids to be adults and forces them to pick up on the intricacies of the SPORT rather than encouraging them to view the SPORT from the standpoint of entertainment?

            I mean…. Isn’t that how it played out with you and was that a bad thing???

            • TWC

              “I can guarantee that at some point in your lives from this point forward…”

              Thanks or taking a moment to condescend to us, gramps. How was that walk to school again? Barefoot? Uphill both ways? In the snow?

              “So what’s wrong with … encouraging them to view the SPORT from the standpoint of entertainment?”

              It’s only “sport” if you’re the one playing it. If you’re watching it, whether in the stands or on TV, it’s just entertainment.

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              So since your kids are grown and you are sick of the Disneying of your parenthood you think future generations should have that? I’m sick of Elmo, Sid, Yo Gabba, Blue, Doc McStuffins, and princesses but it makes my kids happy and that makes me happy. So because your bitter you want current kids to not have any joy? Wow sorry being a parent was so miserable.

              • mjhurdle

                “its ok if you giggle, it will only tickle a little”
                Doc McStuffins is BIG in my house right now

              • Noah_I

                Man do I hate Sid the Science Kid. Why does he pretend there are multiple cameras he has to mug to every time he talks? It doesn’t make sense!

                On itzscott’s complaint, though, if you are there as an adult without kids, you probably won’t even notice the thing. If you’re there as an adult with kids, though, it could very well add to your child’s experience.

                And of all the things in the world that should be turned into “adult spaces”, a baseball park is not one of them. In fact, I think if anything we should all be reminded that it’s a game as much as possible.

            • Patrick W.

              How about me? I’m 46 and my wife and I have no children, nor do we plan on it. I still, somehow, don’t think this is any way stunting the maturation of the children who visit the ballpark.

              I told you how it played out for me. I spend a lot of time thinking about, analyzing, reading analysis, spouting my opinions of the SPORT because, and this may shock you, it’s ENTERTAINING. Sports are entertainment. How could somebody view it as something other than that? Who are we to decided how other people are entertained by something?

              But, most importantly, how does this hurt your enjoyment of the sport? How will this effect the game for you, personally?

              For me, it won’t change anything about the way I enjoy the sport in a real tangible way. But it might mean a few more seats in the ballpark. It might mean more kids grow up thinking baseball is awesome. That might lead to continued growth of the fanbase. That might lead to more revenues. That might lead to a better team on the field.

            • Oregon Cubs Fan

              So the thing you want to set aside to push kids into adulthood is a bunch of grown men playing a game for a living? I get it completely.

  • Big Daddy

    I don’t mind the mascot at all. I do mind that my best friend is a Red’s fan and I am catching hell over this. My little girl is 3, and if this connects her to the Cubs then I’m all for it. If I can take the abuse over Veras being our top off season acquisition, then I can take a little ribbing over a goofy looking bear.

  • Hebner The Gravedigger

    I have a two-year old son and I am very excited to drive over for a game. The mascot does not do much for me, but I appreciate management’s efforts to be more family friendly. It can be the small things that improve an experience and make a life-long fan out of a young kid. I would pay $10 / $100 / $1,000 for that experience regardless of the current on-field product. However, I’ll admit that this might change in future years if the product does not improve….

  • Revery

    The mascot should have been a goat in which you can take beer bongs from its utters.

  • When The Musics Over

    Writing this post was the perfect trolling fodder. Not sure if that was the intention or not.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The intention was what I said. Joking about Clark makes sense to me. Being genuinely angry about it makes no sense to me.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Yeah I liked the Poochie jokes and a fake Clark followed me in twitter and it’s kinda funny, but mist if these jokes have about 24-48 hour lifespan, but hating something like this and getting hostile over a kids toy concerns me just how trollish many people are about the Cubs right now. I promise you that my 18 month old and 5 year old don’t care if the Cubs win or lose but they love singing Go Cubs Go and watching games with their father and grandparents. Clark makes connecting to the Cubs easy for the young growing fanbase, and with the internet and ability to watch most teams (WGN got many of us hooked because there was the Cubs or Braves in our childhood) so hooking them with a cartoon, stuffed animal, birthday wishes, and other gimmicks helps grow that fanbase. If he becomes Poochie then who cares no harm but if becomes a household name for young Cub fans then great job Cubs.

      • When The Musics Over

        I didn’t think so, but it teed people up pretty well. I think the best thing to do with this topic is to just ignore it.

  • http://tootblan.tumblr.com wv23

    Oh, to be pure. It doesn’t require any thought or flexibility.

  • smackafilieyo

    Can we rename the bear “Tanaka da Bear”?! Haha…least we can be happy we signed a big FA…

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  • ssckelley

    I must be about the only adult that thinks this new mascot is neat. I have already set Clark as my wallpaper on my phone.

  • neuby

    I’ve been reading this site for a long time. Bret sadly your content has drastically fallen off. As your readship has increased you’ve become a Cubs management apologist. If you can’t understand the backlash on Clark it’s probably because your not in Chicago or spent enough time here. If your going to continue to try and profit off other journalists story’s by linking to original content and wish your site to continue to grow. Your best method might to provide content that you pre scrub to make sure you don’t upset the cubs pr people. Really disappointed you lost credibility over the last couple months with your toe the line approach on cubs $$$ and your failure to understand that the rooftops a small business owner like yourself have a contract and kids to feed.
    Sincerely
    Your last page view from me.

    • ssckelley

      don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out

      • mjhurdle

        ha! love the new picture :)

        • ssckelley

          It isn’t showing up on my end yet. :(

          • ssckelley

            oops, never mind it just switched

    • mjhurdle

      on ESPN Chicago radio, they did a poll about Clark. Only 27% of the responses said they were against it. something like 11% actively liked it and the rest didn’t care.

      So it isn’t like Clark is this universally hated thing by people in/around Chicago.

      • college_of_coaches

        Yeah, this comment had BS written all over it.

        • college_of_coaches

          (to be clear, the one by Neuby)

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Thanks for stopping by to make your point.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks for reading!

    • hansman

      “As your readship has increased you’ve become a Cubs management apologist.”

      No, he’s been a Cubs Management Apologist (CMA) for longer than that.

    • hansman

      “Sincerely
      Your last page view from me.”

      Sincerely
      Paul Sullivan

      Gotta give proper credit where credit is due.

    • Abe Froman

      Neuby, I hate to see you go but I love to watch you leave (great ass).

  • Rmoody100

    It is very concerning to watch adults argue over a cartoon Bear that was simply created to bring back the interest of the youth to baseball. I am pretty sure the percentage of kids that watch baseball is at an all time low and this will only help try and keep the next generation of Cubs fans interested. If having a guy in a Bear costume walking around entertaining kids ruins your baseball experience I would suggest you should reevaluate your priorities.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Yeah it’s really amusing to see adults acting like children over a product for children.

      • Rmoody100

        Honestly the Cubs apologist crowd vs the I hate everything Cubs crowd is really turning a lot of these threads into a game of “I know you are, but what am I?”

  • Fastball

    I am cool with the Mascot. I bet he dances on top of the Cubs dugout in between innings and rides his ATV around the bases and outfield. I bet he races the kids around the bases. I got no problem with any of this at the ballpark. Hell half the people at Cubs are drunk anyway. So they will enjoy watching the Mascot on his ATV running down apposing outfielders, stealing their gloves and throwing them over the fence. Baseball games are long and boring as hell most of the time. Especially when your team is getting it’s ass handed to it. I bet this Mascot becomes the Highlight of the season at Wrigley. Hell take him on roadtrips and let him fight the opponents mascot or hangout in the Cubs sections of the opposing stadiums. I love it. Bring on Addison before Opening Day.

  • Jon

    Even with the addition of the mascot, the fan experience for families with kids just sucks, plain and simple:

    1) Parking(and I realize with logistics, it’s mainly out of the Cubs control, but it still is what it is), far away, or playing planes, traines and automobiles with young children, say 7 and under can be fairly tough. Especially if they fall asleep and you are carrying them, or dealing with strollers, etc…

    2) Kids activities at the stadium? I haven’t been in over a year, but are there any kids activies in the concourse at Wrigley? Like a kids batting/pitching cage? Where can I take them if they get restless and need to blow of steam. And as I understand it, for the “running the bases” day you have to be one of the first 1K kids at the park to do this, after than they cut it off?

    • JB88

      You are following the wrong team with the wrong stadium if those are high priorities for you. They just aren’t feasible with the stadium’s current footprint.

      • Jon

        Are you telling me they couldn’t set something up like batting and pitching cages for kids? Even if that had to be outside the stadium?

        The reality is, they still get a healthy attendance and they don’t give a s%&% about things like that.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          There is not the space inside Wrigley for that stuff, again that’s why they want to build the stuff outside of Wrigley. Wrigley is very small compared to the modern super stadiums.

          • Patrick W.

            Wrigley Field is HORRIBLE FOR KIDS! Why are they DOING SOMETHING FOR KIDS???

        • Patrick W.

          Maybe they should bring in a mascot to keep kids interes….

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Wrigley is not kid friendly nor will it be due to the restrictions of space, this is why the triangle building and plaza area is important. For young kids going to Wrigley right now is not as easy than most minor league parks. This is why the remodel and expansion is important.

  • Fastball

    I go to a lot of Reds games at GA BP. It’s especially great for kids. The ballpark experience for families and groups is very good. Cubs could do worse emulating some of what they have going on at the ball park in Cincy.

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