Cubs marketing wizard Wally Hayward anticipated a herd of eager fans practically throwing their hard-earned cash at his ticket sales force when single game seats went on sale this morning, but instead all he got was the sound of crickets. A few fans lined up early but by the middle of the afternoon crowd control staffers outnumbered fans buying tickets at the Wrigley box office. Those trying to buy tickets online or over the phone reported far shorter wait times than previous years.

However, Hayward’s got an explanation.

“Cubs fans are an ever-optimistic bunch,” said Hayward. “Clearly they’re just so excited about this year’s Cubs team that they forgot to spend boatloads of money on our extremely fairly priced tickets today.”

Hayward’s enthusiasm continued as he spouted off reason after reason he believes Cubs fans’ excitement for the 2011 campaign is what’s preventing them from buying tickets.

“Well, first off, Todd Wellemeyer, Augie Ojeda and Reed Johnson each have a chance of making this year’s roster so fans must be asking themselves, ‘Could Miguel Cairo be far behind?’ and you know what? Miguel Cairo might be the next rabbit we pull out of our hat,” said Hayward. “And then you have to take into account our ticket prices. Sure, they seem steep on the surface but where else would a family of four rather spend $500 on a random Tuesday night than historic Wrigley Field? I know it’s a question many families must be asking themselves right now.”

If sales don’t pick up like Hayward anticipates, he said another marketing campaign focusing on his team’s Central Division rivals might be in the works.

“Our ads this winter have featured Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter, but they haven’t featured Adam Wainwright’s blown elbow yet,” said Hayward. ” And that’s as good of a break for the Cubs as anything our front office has done so far this off-season. Maybe we’ll just show Wainwright in a sling with ‘Buy Cubs Tickets!’ as the headline. That’s gold! I’ve got to get some intern working on that right away.”

Photo by The Wrigley Blog.