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Sun Times: Cubs can't afford Pujols

One last push of the broom as the Cardinals sweep the Cubs out of St. Louis:

A report Saturday in the Chicago Sun Times points out that the Wee Bears' inclusion on the MLB debt bad list not only means that the club won't have the financial flexibility to pursue Albert Pujols... Cubs fans should probably count out the thought of the team chasing after any other A-List players either.

Gordon Wittenmyre writes:

A source with first-hand knowledge of the Cubs’ purchase deal and debt structure says it involves enough annual burden that fans shouldn’t count on the Cubs going after any big free agents for two or three years.

That’s consistent with the message chairman Tom Ricketts has pounded for the past year and a half — emphasizing the importance of player development in select speaking environments but shying away from less controlled media interviews.

For Cub fans who spent significant parts of the past decade sensing the team was on the verge of finally breaking through that century of misery, the reality could be especially bitter — especially in the face of new gold- and platinum-level ticket-price structures and another effort by ownership to go after public money for Wrigley renovations.

What you see so far this year —specifically, what you saw Friday with a no-name lineup of prospects and fill-ins — might be here to stay longer than the already restless fan base might be able to stomach.

As one longtime talent evaluator said before Friday’s game, “Just saw your lineup. Who are these guys?’’

Get used to it.

I don't know whose uniform Albert Pujols will wear when the 2012 season begins. But I am relatively certain the people with the Cubs jerseys that say "Pujols" on the back are going to feel pretty silly for dropping $150 bucks on them.