Charles Murray’s book The Bell Curve argued, I’m told, that America’s wealthy upper class naturally accrues money but it is smarter, thereby proving any idiot can write a book. But how is it, then, that so many wealthy people are so stupid?
Case in point: Chicago Cubs owner and CEO Thomas Ricketts. Earlier this week a heavy rain interrupted a game, and the ground crew at Wrigley Field were unable to cover the field with a tarp, and the game was called. The reason the crew failed is that there weren’t nearly enough of them present to do the job. And the reason for that is that Cubs management decided to save money by limiting the number of hours the grounds crew could work so that the Cubs didn’t have to pay for health insurance or be penalized.
â€œCheap,â€ said one of three high-ranking officials from other organizations the Sun-Times contacted Thursday â€“ all of whom fall below the Cubs on Forbesâ€™ annual revenues list.
Speaking to the industry standard for grounds crew staffing, all three officials said the video of Tuesdayâ€™s incident showed an apparently â€œundermannedâ€ crew (of 15 pulling the tarp on the nightâ€™s first unsuccessful try).
â€œEmbarrassing,â€ said one, â€œand they got caught.â€
A spokesman for the Cubs, which are reportedly worth $1 billion and were the most profitable team in baseball in 2013, didn’t refute the claims when asked by the Sun-Times, but he denied personnel changes were responsible for the field tarp incident.
I guess one could argue you’ve got to be pretty smart to make the Cubbies the most profitable team in baseball in 2013, but they also came in last in the National League Central Division in 2013. In fact, the Cubbies were the only National League Central Division team that had a losing record at home in 2013. They were third from the bottom in the entire National League in 2013. It looks like they’re third from the bottom of the National League standings right now. Obviously, management keeps profits up by under-investing in the product.
Yeah, I know, it’s the Cubbies; they take pride in being losers. I don’t know why Chicago puts up with this, though. Eric Loomis:
The only problem with the Cubs enduring another 100+ years of failure is that it gives their fans a meme to organize around. Would another deserved 100 years help or make the franchise and its fans even more annoying, if thatâ€™s possible?
OK, so maybe it’s not Chicago Cubs management that’s dumb.