When the Cubs introduced their new mascot, Clark, on an otherwise nondescript Monday in January everyone in the organization from Tom Ricketts to unpaid interns thought it would be a success. What they didn’t anticipate that it would succeed to the level it has.
“We were confident in our strategy,” Ricketts said, “but our initial experience proves that Clark is the single greatest revelation since Moneyball.”
ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney agreed. “Before Clark you had a dwindling fan base that was growing more and more upset with the product the Cubs were putting on the field. But now they’re not complaining about the biggest addition being Jose Veras. They’re talking about a mascot who somehow lost his pants without losing his shoes.”
Olney also emphasized the importance this distraction will play during the team’s inevitable failure to sign Masahiro Tanaka. “Two weeks from today the conversation was going to be all about how the Cubs failed to convince Tanaka Chicago was the place for them. Now everyone is going to overlook the fact they picked up Tanaka at the airport wearing those god-awful Fukudome hats and took him to Chinatown for each meal during the visit to make him feel at ‘home.’ Everyone is still going to be complaining about Clark when that happens. Brilliant.”
Cubs President Crane Kenney confirmed Olney’s assessment, but said it didn’t go far enough. “I admit we’ve rested too much on our laurels the past few years. No longer can we assume our fans are too drunk or sunburned to notice the inferior product on the field or the mark-ups on our merchandise off the field.”
The Cubs confirmed Clark will have a game day presence to provide that distraction. Clark will be present at Wrigley Field and dispatched based on a series of advanced metrics that maximize the value his distractions provide. While the Cubs won’t release specifics citing their competitive advantage they did outline some situations explaining how Clark would be used.
“Let’s say it’s the top of the fifth and Jackson is in the game,” Ricketts said. “We’re going to put Clark on the top of the dugout and have him lead some sort of trivia game on the jumbo-tron. Because in the time you were arguing with your friend on if the Rick Sutcliffe or Ken Holtzman had more career wins as a Cub you failed to notice Edwin Jackson just walked the bases loaded and gave up a slam to Brendan Ryan.”
Despite the initial success the President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein has asked fans to be patient. “Don’t expect Clark to come out and be the next Phillie Phanatic overnight. It will take time for him to develop. We’re looking until at least 2016 until Clark hits his prime and that’s only if he only progresses in bear years, so it may be 2023 before he hits all-star form. And we may trade him before he becomes eligible for arbitration anyways.”