Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The People v. Clark The Cub

There has been a fevered debate since the introduction of Clark the Cub, Chicago’s new mascot. I personally needed a few days to mull over my thoughts before writing this as my initial reaction was not a pleasant one. But after taking a few days I can see the good in Clark. I can see the good intentions. I think now I realize the issue lies more in HOW the Cubs went about it.

Exhibit A:

This in itself was downright maddening to me. I understand you’re trying to be more family friendly. To have this cool, hip bear with his hat on backwards greeting kids at the ballpark. So why does Clark have a Twitter account? Was there a sudden influx of five year olds on Twitter I was unaware of? There is absolutely NO reason for Clark to have a Twitter account. And this post is the exact reason why. @Cubs can handle any public events that Clark is involved in. I think it’s great for Clark to visit a Children’s hospital. To do public events. But an adolescent bear on Twitter? Stop. Just stop.

Exhibit B: Timing

The off-season for the Cubs has been quiet. The renovation of Wrigley is slow-moving. The Cubs are making minimal moves personnel wise. To the average Cubs fan, this likely felt like a deterrent. Classic misdirection.  Don’t mind that essentially nothing is changing with the team, there’s a new mascot! Everyone look! It’s Clark! Two terrible seasons have many Cubs fans frustrated, and this isn’t the news they were looking for this winter.

Exhibit C: Budget

This isn’t a free endeavor. Clark the Cub costs money. The time, the people involved. All of this costs dollars. Dollars the Cubs say they need from the renovations to be competitive. The renovations that are dragging along and are yet to be completed. So the funds the Cubs have go to this and not the personnel the Cubs put on the field?

The Rebuttal

When Theo Epstein introduced Wally the Green Monster in Boston, the feedback wasn’t all that different. Young fans loved Wally, but the older generations of Red Sox fans didn’t embrace him as part of the franchise. Theo garnered similar criticism then as he is now. But in 2012, Wally was named the #5 mascot in all of sports by the New York Post. Quite the turnaround. Wally, as well as the plan Theo instituted in Boston, is very much in line with his plan here in Chicago. It’s hard to see the forest from the trees, but the Red Sox went 86 years without a title. Wally was introduced in 1997. Since then they have won three times. Based on those numbers I’m willing to be more lenient with the sentencing of Clark.

The Verdict

In time, Wally was embraced by Red Sox nation. (Three titles can do that.) So in turn, it should be believed Clark can become the same with the Cubs. Five years probation, with the probability of early release. (World Series Only) And for goodness sake, Stop. Using. Twitter.

Court is adjourned.

Clark the Cub. Great Move or PR Blunder?

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