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posted: 1/17/2014 5:35 AM

Why is Cubs mascot taking such a beating?

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  • Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has climbed up the NFL Draft lists. ESPN's Mel Kiper is the latest to predict Manziel will be the No. 1 pick.

    Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has climbed up the NFL Draft lists. ESPN's Mel Kiper is the latest to predict Manziel will be the No. 1 pick.
    Associated Press


As almost everyone should know by now, the Chicago Cubs have a new mascot named "Clark."

A lot of people have weighed in on the mascot -- and some in a vicious way. Maybe I am getting soft as I get a little older, which is natural, but what's with the vitriol over a mascot?

Theo Epstein, the president of Baseball Operations, has been a disaster, and he and his cohorts have been disgustingly inefficient at their jobs.

While I have always been harsh when it comes to the cluelessness of the front office, shouldn't some of this current angst be stored up for the regular-season?

The greatest mascot of all times was the San Diego Chicken. There were some other great ones -- the Philly Phanatic, the Phoenix gorilla and Benny the bull.

A good mascot is a great marketing tool for the teams and is terrific for the kids. You just have to see one Bulls game to know how much "Benny" adds to a game experience.

Look, the Cubs have made losing an art form. They have tried 108 different ways to win and haven't been successful.

Maybe their real mascot is Epstein. The young man is just overmatched at what he is doing. Owner Tom Ricketts is a guy who has a lot of money, and he really seems to think this guy will get it done. How long will he give him to succeed? Who knows, but when the Cubs are 13 games out in August some hot summer day and you're sitting in the stands, won't "Clark" be a welcome distraction?

I think so -- and a new shoulder to cry on. Wonder if he can juggle?

Manziel is No. 1:

For all you "draftnicks" out there, I've always been amused at guys who make a living predicting the draft. Doing sports talk radio, writing columns and just giving my opinion is a job (well, sort of) but is a "draft specialist" a real position?

I guess so when he gets hired for his draft stats and he is listened to so closely. That's why I was amused the other day when Mel Kiper, entertainer and draft expert, said quarterback Johnny Manziel was finally at the top of his board. Previously, Kiper had him in the middle or at number 18 or 19 for a good part of the season.

I really was surprised and said so numerous times this year. Kiper is the same man who said JaMarcus Russell would be an elite quarterback, but he has gotten other picks right.

The Manziel ranking was just plain stupefying to me. I couldn't figure out why he had Manziel behind others QBs in the draft. Wasn't he watching "Touchdown Johnny?"

I am happy to say Mel has Manziel at No. 1 now.

How hard was that? Welcome to reality.

Program notes:

Follow me on twitter at north2north and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports Radio and Sunday mornings from 7-11 a.m. Check me out on iHeart radio or

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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