A League of Her Own

Monday Cubs Headlines: Convention Hangover


"Let's give ourselves a round of applause!"
Tribune Photo by Phil Velasquez


The 25th annual Cubs Convention is now but a memory. I'm sure we'll all remember the good times and the new friends. But for Bruce Miles, the big winners of the weekend were the Rickettseses. I'll just pass along what he said, and wait for comment from those who were actually there.

Tom, Laura, Pete and Todd Ricketts seemed to say and do all the right things over the weekend.

They talked of winning, improving Wrigley Field with "respect" to its history and listening to the fans. The family members said they wouldn't be as visible - or as loud - as George Steinbrenner, but that they would be at the games.

The Ricketts family's presence alone this weekend seemed to put the fans in a better mood after they came loaded for bear following an extremely disappointing 2009 season.

Winning will be the ultimate measure of the Ricketts ownership, but you had to like the accessibility.

If showing up is 90 percent of life, the Ricketts are well on their way already.


Okay, they showed up this weekend. But what did the Rickettseses say?

Clubhouse changes in store: The Wrigley Field clubhouses are tiny compared with most teams' because the layout of Wrigley Field makes it difficult to renovate. Laura Ricketts said the "state of the clubhouse was shocking to me." Some changes will be made immediately. Todd Ricketts announced the team would renovate the clubhouse kitchen and bring in a nutritionist. The weight room will be a lounge, and the umpires room will be a weight room.

(snip)

Cubs all ears: The addition of a "Chief Hospitality Officer" by the Ricketts family was an indication the organization will listen more intently to fan complaints and advice. "We take our cues from you all," President Crane Kenney said.

That's all well and good, but I think we're all itching for news about the actual team rather than the facilities. Luckily, Lou provided a template for this season's lineup.

Since we like to post the lineups before games during the season, how about if we post one now, courtesy of what Lou had to say over the weekend:


Theriot, SS/Fukudome, RF
Fukudome, RF/Theriot, SS
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Byrd, CF
Soriano, CF
Fontenot/Baker, 2B
Soto, C
P

And some idea of what to expect on the bench:

On who the backups would be in the infield and outfield, Lou said: "(Andres) Blanco will probably be out backup infielder. Good defensive player. In the outfield, I think Sammy (Fuld), because he plays real well defensively, has a leg up as one of the extra outfielders."

(snip)

"Pitching wise, some young kids are going to be in our bullpen, no question," he said. "And we like the kids. I'm really interested in looking at the left-hander we got from Cleveland, (John) Gaub. And also (Andrew) Cashner."


I'm sure there's something important I've missed, but I'd love to hear first hand accounts from conventioneers. What was the overall timbre of the Cubs fans this weekend? Were you all as placated as the media portrays you to be?


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29 Comments

flyball said:

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morning everyone! as always getting back from convention I want Spring Training to start, like now.

Lots of stuff this weekend, it was great to meet a few new people, and hang with my friends. I think I did different things from Julie since I never saw her after Friday, maybe I'll try to recap in an orderly fashion later

AndCounting said:

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The thing I took away from, you know, not going to the convention but following tweeted updates religiously was this: the convention is a lot more informative when there isn't a never-to-be-consummated trade rumor beating us all over the head. That and Marlon Byrd is one smooth hombre.

flyball said:

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agreed on the first part

also it depends on what you do during the day, standing in line for autographs will only get you so far, my favorites are always the in the smaller rooms

Aisle424 said:

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Well since you asked for our takes, I'll shamelessly promote my post on the Convention: http://424tales.blogspot.com/2010/01/25th-cubs-convention-and-million-stupid.html

Doc said:

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Well done!

Now I feel as if I missed nothing but some good drinks.

Aisle424 said:

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Well, the drinks and meeting folks was clearly the highlight. Everything else pales in comparison.

JulieDiCaro said:

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One of biggest "headlines" that most people seemed to miss was the Rickettes annoucement that, once the Cubs' contracts with WGN and Comcast are up, the Cubs will start their own network.

flyball said:

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I am not sure when the Rickettes announced it, but Crane Kenny definitely talked about it in the Buisiness Management (aka Season Ticket Holders and Neighborhood Residents Face Off) panel discussion, I wonder what it means for out of market people, right now I get at least a couple of games a week on WGN, I'll be bummed if that goes away

Doc said:

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Well, as it stand right now, (and there isn't a lot of public info on this), the TV contract with WGN runs through 2022.

I'm assuming, since they own 25% of CSN, they can bolt from the cable network at any point.

JulieDiCaro said:

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2022? LOL!

No wonder it wasn't a bigger story. Heh.

JulieDiCaro said:

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That wasn't The Onion--that was the Cincinnati Enquirer.

AndCounting said:

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I got twitter-blocked by Paul Sullivan. I've never felt so honored.

plamorte said:

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Congrats! His dog probably hates you.

JulieDiCaro said:

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How did you find out?

AndCounting said:

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I saw Melissa had been blocked, so I decided to check my status. I went to his Twitter page and saw the "follow" button instead of the "Following!" checkmark. Clicked on follow, and it informed me of my blocked status. Fun!

flyball said:

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my brief impressions of the Convention

the video was happier than the past few years, and the team had done worse, and with a look back at 25 years of Cubs Sammy Sosa did not have a highlight, and was only seen in the program timeline

Micah Hoffpauir, Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner all seem very nice, Randy Wells even showed up 10 minutes early and rather than sitting around started taking photos

I do love the Meet Cubs Business Management session, its funny, and I feel the questions are more pointed than at the Baseball Management one. some tidbits, squirrels are to blame for the lack of wi-fi the last 2 months of the season, they are not going to follow a Fenway model for new in stadium advertisements, the Ricketts plan to put back all the money the business people can make back into the franchise which is evidently different from the Tribune's approach, there is no talk of PSLs but even if there were they would be "reasonable" and it could help to settle disputes with passing on tickets to family members and in divorse settlements

I went to the Baseball in the Dominican session which was pretty informal as far as these things go. For the baseball geek in me this was pretty cool, there was talk about the MLB and Cubs presence in the DR and how the camps work, the new regulations and investigations for verifying players names and birth dates, the culture differences and transitions from the camps to minor leagues in the US as well as playing in the Winter Leagues. Wellington Castillo is adorable and already has a good presence in front of the mic, Jose Serra was great with the explanations and Esmailin Caridad was pretty quiet, but quite the interesting guy.

and I love the new shirt I got

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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My most pressing question from the Convention... is Brett Jackson hot?

flyball said:

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I have to say the current and upcoming players are probably the best looking group in recent memory

JulieDiCaro said:

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What? Really?

Like who?

Designated Hotter is in dire need of some new blood.

flyball said:

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Wellington Castillo is really adorable, if he sticks around that smile is going to make him a fan favorite, Randy Wells and Micah Hoffpauir but we knew that, Andrew Cashner has that cute look


gravedigger said:

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a little rednecky for me

JulieDiCaro said:

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Podcast starts in 8 minutes. . . . http://tobtr.com/s/859930

AndCounting said:

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Great job, Julie. Tim as well. Sam Fuld: crashing into walls for league minimum.

Good stuff.

JulieDiCaro said:

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That was one of my worst podcasts ever because I couldn't stop laughing. Oh well.

Northside Neuman said:

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If Ryan Theriot is leading off for this team the majority of the season I hereby volunteer my time to lead the torch and pitchfork crowd on a disorganized march of the front office...

JulieDiCaro said:

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I right behind you.

(sharpens pitchfork)

gravedigger said:

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Seriously. What a dumb fucking idea.

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