A League of Her Own

Friday Cubs Headlines: So Not A "Great" Week For The Cubs

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Photo courtesy Chicago Tribune

Before we get into Cubs baseball this morning, LOHO wants to throw out some big ups to the Chicago Bears for being the first team in NFL history to win 700 games. The Monsters of the Midway seem to be getting their act sorted at exactly the right time. Bear down!

Unfortunately for the Cubs, who are already mired in the midst of a PR disaster over the renovation of Wrigley Field, more details continue to emerge about the way the Cubs handled the non-hiring of Hall-Of-Famer Ryne Sandberg:

Sandberg said he heard nothing from the Cubs for four days after Quade was hired, not even as much as an offer to return as manager of their Triple-A Iowa team.

"In those four days, I was going in a different direction and figuring out what I was going to do to continue what I was committed to do," Sandberg said.

Sandberg went on to say that the most anyone in the front office saw him manager was 4-5 games, lending creedence to some beat writers' claims that Sandberg was never in the running for the manager position in the first place. I wasn't someone who was convinced that Sandberg was the right manager for this team, but I will never understand theCubs'  decision to put on an elaborate show of interviewing all these managers if Quade had the job from the beginning. Stop wasting money flying all over to interview people and wine and dine them and spend on some better players.

GAWD.

MLB is going to add another round of playoffs to the postseason, but not soon enough for Phil Rogers:

Expanded playoffs are coming to baseball, with a new tier of wild-card playoffs in advance of the current three-round arrangement, but they're not coming fast enough.

Come on, guys. Get with it!

Rather than try to push through a side agreement that could put the 10-team format -- two wild cards in each league, not just one -- into play next October, negotiators for the owners and players union have decided to put it on the table in bargaining talks that begin in earnest at some point in 2011. That means we will have to wait until 2012, even 2013 if the labor talks don't go smoothly, to have a chance for the drama we could have had this year: Red Sox vs. Yankees in the first round, the loser sent packing before the "real'' playoffs begin.

I cannot WAIT for Christmas Eve baseball.

I'm not sure anyone other than Doc has advocated completely tearing down Wrigley Field, but in case anyone does, Paul Sullvan wants you to know that he's against it:

The renovation plans the Cubs revealed on Tuesday were intriguing, and some of the ideas made a lot of sense. But if the Cubs never implemented any of their grand plans, Wrigley Field would be just as nice a place to watch a game, and the team's chances of ending the 102-year drought would not change a bit.

Remember, they had the highest average ticket price in baseball in 2010, according to Team Marketing Report, and the highest payroll in the National League. They still finished in fifth-place in the Central Division.

One of the renderings of the renovation plans showed how small the Cubs clubhouse is in comparison with the home clubhouses of the Yankees and Twins, both of whom moved into new stadiums in the last couple years. (The rendering, seen below, was so perfect it even featured Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez wearing his ubiquitous headphones.) The Cubs plan to dig beneath Wrigley Field next week to see if they can build the proposed underground clubhouses.

All righty. Speaking of things that are proposed at Wrigley, I finally got around to taking what's being floated as the "Jumbotron Survey," and there was at least one idea that Harry Pavlidis and I think should be getting a lot more support. One of the question on the survey was whether you'd want to watch replays on your mobile phone. Um. . YES! YES! YES! YES! In fact, Harry and I agree that the Cubs should scrap the jumbotron idea and just focus on a mobile app that will do the same thing. Get Verizon to pay you $10 billion dollars for the exclusive rights.

Do you see how much money I just made the Cubs?

Also, there was a question about being able to order food on your phone and pick it up at the concession stand, which I also fully support. If only there was an app that would allow women to reserve their spot in the line for the restroom while watching the game from their seats. . .

Over at the Daily Herald, Mike Imrem takes a look at what's going wrong in the owners' box at Wrigley:

As Tom Ricketts tries to figure out what to do with Wrigley Field, a good question is why his family bought the Cubs in the first place.

Naiveté comes to mind.

My sense all along was that sports-savvy men such as Mark Cuban and Jerry Colangelo dropped out of the bidding because $845 million for the team, ballpark and stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago was too much.

The belief seemed to be that Wrigley was a money pit that somebody would have to pay dearly to renovate. Apparently the Ricketts family figured it would be us.

Ballpark revenue streams weren't what, say, even Comiskey Park's are. Naming rights and other ads would be met with resistance. Ticket prices already are exorbitant.

The first window into any new Cubs owners had to be their view of the ballpark. Tom Ricketts' view, as expressed to four members of the Daily Herald's staff in October 2009, was sort of oh-golly-gee romantic.

I have to say, the way the Ricketts have handled the Cubs so far seems to be a weird combination of Wall Street arrogance and college-age Wrigley romanticism. Their view of the Cubs, Wrigley, the fans, seems to have been arrested at that age when you don't really pay that much attention to baseball and are more focused on running around Wrigleyville with your buddies; more focused on the beauty of the field and having a good time with your friends than how the Cubs are actually playing. Their assumption seems to have been that as long as we all still feel great about Wrigley Field, fans won't care all that much about the team's performance. Hence the endless string of ceremonies, feel-good-moments, and statue unveilings and relocations.

As I said yesteday, my understanding is that the Ricketts have their own PR staff and consultants, separate from the Cubs, and that there may be some tension between the two camps. I've heard a lot of fans wax nostalgic for the bad ole days of the Tribune ownership. This cannot be good news for the Ricketts family.

Over at mlbtraderumors.com, we've got precious little Cubs news, but here you go:

Carlos Zambrano has not asked for a trade and the Cubs have not asked him to waive his no-trade clause, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. The Cubs did meet with Zambrano's agent, Barry Praver, but the sides didn't discuss trading the right-hander. Here are the details on the Cubs and White Sox:

  • Praver and the Cubs also discussed Carlos Marmol, an offseason extension candidate who may be offered a long-term deal.
  • Cubs GM Jim Hendry acknowledged the team's need for a first baseman and said he anticipates "more volume at that position than what people need at that position." 
  • The Cubs have not yet talked to the agents for Adam Dunn, but the White Sox are still targeting the slugger. The Tigers are interested in Dunn, but ESPN.com's Jayson Stark heard that the Cubs may not pursue him as aggressively as expected.

Don't forget the Wrigley Talk Friday is up today at 1:00 pm CT. I'll post the link the comments section, on Twitter, and on LOHO's Facebook page as we get closer to air time.

And a reminder that tickets for Cubs Con are, remarkably, still on sale, but you don't need a ticket to come hang out with other Cubs fans Friday night at Kitty O'Shea's. Details and RSVP here.

It's Trust Tree Friday here at LOHO, and we want you to hit shuffle and tell us the first 5 songs that show up. No judgment.

Happy Friday, everyone!



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45 Comments

gravedigger said:

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i am in favor of tearing down wrigley. what a dump.

jarowcliffe said:

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New Bruce Levine article that mentions Chris Davis as a possible trade candidate for 1B...thoughts?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I just came across this, too. I'm a-thinkin' about it.

JulieDiCaro said:

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just looked at his season and career lines.

I'll pass.

plamorte said:

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he's a bust

jarowcliffe said:

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Numbers arent great but I'm not totally against the idea...it would be a risk.

Considering the other candidates?

He is also only 25...

JulieDiCaro said:

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who, pray tell, are we supposed to trade for this illustrious .192 hitter?

Arkansascubfan said:

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I say trade Wellington Castillo and give Davis a flyer. He has raw power and could find his stroke in Wrigley.

jarowcliffe said:

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Like the article says, they need a catcher so...again Im not proposing he will be that great but Im thinking stop gap solution that could have some upside possibly.

I dont think a veteran that is going to require millions is the way to go for a band aid solution when we can get a young guy with potential for thousands.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I can't believe so many people are being felt up by TSA. You couldn't pay me enough to shove my hand in some stranger's sweaty junk.

kiwibob said:

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But Fear keeps us safe!
And it's so cost-effective too!

Edelweiss said:

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Just because you are not a pervert does not mean the TSA is free of them.

berselius said:

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Be Good To Yourself - Journey
Forget Me Nots - Patrice Rushen
Piano Man - William Joel
I'll Never Tell - Once More With Feeling
The Window - Steve Miller Band

jarowcliffe said:

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Is it just me or has MLBTR's twitter feed from Orlando been really disappointing?

berselius said:

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Nothing was really expected to happen at these meetings anyway. I'm surprised there has been as much news as there has been.

jarowcliffe said:

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I wasnt expecting huge breaking news but and I was surprised at the amount of transactions but rumors are another thing...

jarowcliffe said:

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I wasnt expecting as many transactions as there has been but I thought some more rumors would be creeping up...

jarowcliffe said:

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Sorry about the double post

Teebob2000 said:

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Speaking as a fan/follower of the Rangers: please, no. He's their biggest bust over the last 2 seasons. Aren't we supposed to get other teams to take OUR losers and not the other way around?

Besides, he's so bad, he's probably off to Baltimore next...

Teebob2000 said:

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Replied to the wrong post... this is re: Chris Davis above...

jarowcliffe said:

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I understand the reservations but this is a guy who has less than 900 at bats...thats less than 2 seasons worth of experience...

He makes $414,000/yr...I dont think he should be penciled in as the first basemen of the future but neither are any of the other suggestions.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Wrigley Talk Friday is up in 10 minutes!

http://tobtr.com/s/1329615

jarowcliffe said:

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First time I have checked it out...good job, Ill be listening in the future!

Gzeeb said:

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It appears this will be another year of little movement on the Cubs part...I guess it is better to stand pat & rake in the money from us chumps, than to spend some money & bring a winning team to the Windy City & Cubs fans everywhere.....

My 5 for Friday is as follows:

1. Leon Russell - Slipping Into Christmas
2. Billy Pilgrim - Hula Hoop
3. Bob Schneider - Tokyo
4. Willis Alan Ramsey - Northeast Texas Women
5. Willie & The Poor Boys - Baby Please Don't Go

sloan peterson said:

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Hey- I can finally post! Thanks CN!

No Ipod @ work so 5 from the radio-all 1988
"Handle with Care"-the Traveling Wilburys
"Wild,Wild, West"- The Escape Club
"Bad Medicine"- Bon Jovi
"Like the Way I Do"- Melissa Ethridge
"God-Part II"- U2

The station I listen to plays 10 songs from a given year @10 am & 10 pm...

HackWilson09 said:

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Larry Rothschild is taken away by the Yankees.

And football teams are only allowed to play in one direction while on offense because of safety concerns at Wrigley.

What an embarrassing team this has become.

Where is everybody?

sloan peterson said:

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Maybe like me, CN keeps kicking them out of the page. LARRY ROTHCHILD IS GONE??? REALLY?? OMG-my wish has come true....Please Cubs call Trevor Hoffman.....

Rich Beckman said:

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A long term contract extension for Marmol is the best thing I see happening this off season.

I don't have an Ipad, the first five songs that came up on Pandora for me after work:

Something So Right - Paul Simon

If Not For You - George Harrison

Southern Cross - Crosby, Stills & Nash

End of the Line - Traveling Wilburys

Never Fall In Love - Dan Bern

Of course, Pandora does not play randomly. It is obvious that part of the scheme is to not play two songs that are too unrelated right next to each other.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Larry Rothschild has left the Cubs for the Yankees:

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/11/rothschild-leaves-cubs-for-yankees-deal.html

Didn't see that coming.

JulieDiCaro said:

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okay, so i took a nap and was a little late on this story.

sorry.

Doc said:

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I was even later. Boo me!

Arkansascubfan said:

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Let's bring in Mike Maddux.

Doc said:

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He'd be my top pick...but he's not going to leave Texas...especially with Nolan Ryan there. Leo Mazzone is rocking all alone in his house right now, but I'm not sure he want to come out of retirement. I'm guessing it will be an internal candidate...Mark Riggins (blah) or, God forbid, Lester Strode. The Cubs are really into internal candidates this year.

jarowcliffe said:

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Yeah I just saw this...biggest surprise of the off-season I think

kiwibob said:

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I'm pretty gutted Rothschild has gone.
On the upside I've got a real hope that, by April, I will be firmly convinced that the Cubs have zero chance of making the playoffs... I'm looking forward to watching a season when I have 0% expectations. It may make it fun?

In other news... now have an ipod!
Across 110th St - Bobby Womack
Sara - Fleetwood Mac
Soul Limbo - Booker T and the MGs
Suspicious Minds - The Heptones
Don't Cry Sister - J J Cale

JulieDiCaro said:

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YAY FOR KIWIBOB!

flyball said:

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bob it is more fun that way, more fun, less stress, a win win

I already have no hope they will make the playoffs next year

kiwibob said:

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Totally agree.... even the slightest shred of hope starts to mess with how much I can enjoy watching. Last season I started April with 20% hope... ruined it for the three months it took until the hope was reduced to 0%... after that I really quite enjoyed it!
Bring on 2011... the stress-free season. It's a way of (relaxing) life...

Arkansascubfan said:

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I-Pod 5...
Roxanne--The Police
Mr. Crowley--Ozzy
One--Metallica
Highwayman--Waylon, Willie, Johnny and Kris
Turn the Page--Bob Seger

Doc said:

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With Rothschild gone, that will be an extra $500,000 the Ricketts family can put into new bathrooms at Wrigley.

baturkey said:

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It's the nature of auctions that the most blindly optimistic bidder is likely to win, because they're willing to spend the most money.

Perkins said:

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Some observations on the last week or so:
Losing Rothschild hurts; he's one of the better pitching coaches out there. On the plus side, Greg Maddux is already on the Cubs payroll. Maybe he'd be interested in the job.

There's no reason to try to get Dunn for 1B. Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Adrian Gonzalez will all be free agents after the 2011 season. If the Cubs are serious about contending in the near future, better to wait until 2012 when they can get one of those three. All they need is a stopgap this year.

Mark Cuban would have made a really great owner.

Doc said:

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My personally belief is that neither Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder will hit the free agent market. If the Cubs want to compete this year, the have to get Dunn...its as simple as that. If they are looking to rebuild, well, unfortunately, with Hufflepuff gone, they'll have to go after someone. I think Paul Konerko would be cool to get, but might be too expensive coming off the season he had last year. I hate Nick Johnson. I'm not sure who else they could get for just a one year contract if they seriously want to make a run at Adrian Gonzalez in late 2011.

MillsChC said:

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No thread for a game at Wrigley today?... really?

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