Thursday, November 5, 2009
NKOTB Part 2: The Chicago Bartmans
History: The franchise opened on high note, winning the first 3 AL North titles as the Detroit Diesels. Then, a string of 5 owners, 5 cities (Buffalo, Chicago, Montreal, back to Detroit, and finally Kansas City), contributed to the team missing the playoffs for 8 consecutive years. dsmb and Kansas City brought some stability to the franchise, yielding division titles in each of the last 2 seasons. Now jywynkoop returns the team to Chicago.
What Happened? Former owner dsmb made his money in the music business, specifically in blues (hence the former franchise name). However, rough times, and a nasty BBQ habit put dsmb in some financial trouble. Despite its winning ways, the team was soon in receivership. In swooped Miami financier jwynkoop, who made his fortune with an internet trading scheme, to take on the team. After a complicated transaction that saw the new owner use vagaries of the tax law to purchase the team as a partnership in a new corporation, thus avoiding millions in imaginary income taxes, the team was made, and the franchise moved north, to the South Side of Chicago.
The Name: Despite his Miami digs, the new owner is a loyal White Sox fan. What better way to stick it to the Cubs than to name a franchise over the fan who much of the Cub Nation blames for the teams' unimaginable collapse in the 2003 playoffs. If Cub fans knew anything about baseball, they'd be blaming Moises Alou for peeing on his hands or Alex Gonzalez for booting a double play ball. Instead, they blame, and now the Chicago franchise promotes, this poor, 1982 headphone-wearing superfan.