Cubs rebuilding shouldn't be so costly (ticket prices)

Cubs rebuilding shouldn't be so costly (ticket prices)

The reality has set in; this rebuilding thing is becoming really ugly.

Well, it already is really ugly, but yes it could get even uglier.

It seems like just a few weeks ago we were talking about this team being competitive in this division. I guess all the talk about this being one of the worst Cubs teams in team history is a reality. The only consolation is this team was supposed to be kind of bad; they weren’t trying to fool you.

It seems the front office is digging in their heels and reiterating their stance. This is going to take some time.

 ‘‘We’ve been transparent about the fact that we’re not looking for quick fixes or Band-Aids,’’ Epstein said by e-mail Wednesday. ‘‘We are trying to build a championship organization from the ground up.

‘‘That means there will be periods at the big-league level that are difficult to go through. Unfortunately, we’re in a stretch like that right now. But the process of building the organization continues 
behind the scenes, and it’s the type of work, if done right, that will help us get to a point where we are contending each and every year.’’

If you aren’t hearing Jed Hoyer talk about how patient he wants to be with Anthony Rizzo, you are hearing the preaching of patience in general from Theo.

I get it. I’m still down with it.

There is just one potential problem, the fans. The fans have been known to run the show around Clark and Addison. I know Tom Ricketts wants to see this plan of Theo’s through 100%.

The real test however, will be how many empty seats he can handle. You couple that issue with his recent set back (regarding stadium rehab) with the Mayor and he could be feeling the heat soon, if not already. It will be impossible to forsee Ricketts getting any public support now.

You have some ticked off fans that don’t like the political agenda his father was involved with. You also have fans that don’t want to pay big money to see a last place team. Gordon Wittenmyer says he keeps getting emails from fans wondering why they should pay $80 a pop for this.

Many Cubs fans have always said they want to rebuild, maybe they didn’t know what it meant?  There are some fans like me who want to fast forward to going as young as possible. There are some fans who just don’t want to see the Alfonso Soriano’s and Carlos Marmol’s anymore.

Those are all valid issues. Now if Ricketts really wants to consider throwing out a nice olive branch he needs to consider lowering ticket prices. You want Cubs fans to suffer for a couple of seasons for the greater good? Let’s see ownership put their money where their mouth is.

Ricketts could win back some public support and gain some patience from the fan base for his front office.

This thing isn’t all bad anyway. You have had some glimmers of hope like Jeff Samardzija and Bryan LaHair. Matt Garza may yet be a building block and you still have Rizzo, Brett Jackson, and Wellington Castillo that could all be starting by mid-summer. Travis Wood is also beginning to make good on the Sean Marshall deal.

The young players may not make the team markedly better, but at least more fun to watch while we suffer through the growing pains, especially at a potential discount.

 

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  • fb_avatar

    Nice article Tom. The way I see it is the formula we are starting to adopt is the same/similar to Tampa Bay's approach with even higher chances for success because of being a bigger market. Could you IMAGINE where Tampa would be if they had a top 10 payroll. They're rebuilding process took a lot longer than ours but the turn out has been staggering for them the last couple years and figures to continue. I think we can wait a year or two....or three lol unlike previous years I can actually see where this is going.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Thanks Marcel, I would LOVE us to be the big boy TB!

  • fb_avatar

    Tom, good read!

    Marcel,I agree. They're trying to build a.big market version of Tampa.

  • I see Ricketts sticking with Theo/Jed's plan and NOT throwing a bone to the fans. I believe the Ricketts family has bought into the "plan" set forth and will let it run it's course. If the Cubs do become a bigger market TB Rays, that would beyond great. That would mean contenders every year, I think Theo and Jed will take that.

  • I'm not sure who these fans are who are dropping $80 a seat. It's a buyer's market right now. I've found tickets available for lower than face value online for every game I've looked for this season. Furthermore, the Cubs haven't been selling out, so in theory there are seats available at the box office on game day.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Eddie, it's the season ticket holders like me. The other issue is even if the money is paid, they aint going. That costs the Cubs a lot of money.

  • Been a fan since age 8 (1958) and I am certainly sick of losing but I am 100% behind a true rebuilding effort. Right now I see the losing as something that will yield better draft choices. I also want the Cubs to deal playes when the leverage is best possible but I also CANNOT WAIT to see Soriano, Marmol and the rest of the pieces that no longer fit sent packing!

  • I definitely think T Ricketts is going to stick with the Theo/Jed plan and not do anything silly or gimmicky to appease the fans, ... anymore. Pretty sure that stopped with the KDub signing and promoting him for his after playing Cub career. Before he signed the Theo team he talked about building a foundation and developing from within, and it looks like hiring the Theo team was actually the first step in His plan. It definitely helps in a business perspective, which the Ricketts family are likely motivated by, to build that foundation, relatively cheaply and spend some of the bigger bucks sparingly when it is Needed.

  • These guys are on the "right" track. Looking forward to long term adjustments!

  • Hindsight is of course 20/20 Tom. However, had the Ricketts moved quicker to overhaul what most folks saw at the time of purchase as a deeply flawed team (including front office) incapable of winning a championship (and certainly of sustaining greatness) not sure the surgery required would be this radical. That said, not sure Theo / Jed would be running the show had we asked 2 years ago - timing is everything in life.

    You are dead on that many fans just have PTSD from Lou's last year and 2 years of Quade, and management is going to have to make sure that fans can see them putting skin in the game as part of this rebuild. Not sure whether that translates to lower ticket prices, more visibility from Tom R. / Theo / Jed or bringing up a bunch of the kids from Iowa come July, but I think many fans despite the amazing hires of the past year are still in show me don't tell me mode.

  • This rebuilding is like sausage-making - no matter how much you like the finished product few want to watch all stages of the process.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    LOL...this analogy cracked me up. Reminds me of my Pepsi story.

    I have a friend in Wyoming whom I try to visit as often as I can. I remember one of the first times I went there, I was spending some time with his family and they were trying to think of things to do in Wyoming (not realizing that the thing I love about Wyoming is that I love the slower pace after having lived in Chicago my whole life). Anyway, one of his uncles suggested visiting the Pepsi plant and his grandfather responds, "No, forget that. Once he sees how Pepsi is made, he'll never want to drink it again."

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Good points bruno14 and John. The whole rebuilding thing is an interesting dichotomy. Fans want to see winning. No reasonable person invests their time, money, emotions, etc and then hopes to lose. Here's the part that gets me a little confused, there are certain organizations that consistently win like STL, NYY, Boston and maybe LAA. If they draft lower, then how come they win often. It's more than just spending. I know expectations and pressure are a factor. It's not like they're getting the top players in the draft every year, but they win about every year, especially STL. So, it's not that well let's lose 100+ and get all the good draft picks. That's a soft science too.

    I guessed I'm pained with all this losing. It's like my fears are becoming realized. I didn't think they could win more games than last year. Yet, I knew this was a rebuild, the same teams seem to win and I'm supposed to be encouraged that higher draft picks will insure a better tomorrow. So, let's keep on losing. I don't know, it seems like a paradox at times.

  • In reply to Greg Shuey:

    It really is. I always say we live in a results oriented society, so it's hard to sell process at times. We all say we want good process, but yet we expect results right away.

    I think most of us here are on the same page when it comes to rebuilding, but it's the ticket prices that seems to cause much of the disagreement on how the Cubs should handle it publicly.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    Well said bruno.

  • I think the reality has set in now across the board, lowering some of the fix prices until they get good again would be the smart and right thing to do. We should all be in this together.

  • I think Joe Ricketts' political agenda is being way overblown as far as it's impact on the Cubs. Let's be honest, the Cubs fan base is probably about 80% Republican anyways. I highly doubt anyone is "boycotting" the Cubs based on Old man Ricketts' ideas. The team is bad, that's why there are empty seats.

    The Rahmfather is definitely pissed though. That is a speed bump, not a roadblock. Rahm knows the economic impact Wrigley has on the city. He will come through with some money when all is said and done.

  • In reply to Ratmoss:

    Are you kidding? 80% republicans in the City of Chicago???

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I'd like to see some kind of poll here on the subject

  • Rebuilding should be as costly as it needs to be, fans and ticket sales be damned. I don't for a second think Theo & Co. will make a move to comfort Cubs fans or help the team get to 70 wins instead of 60 wins. If they do, they should be fired immediately.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Agreed. They won't appease an impatient fan base. These guys are better than that.

    And I have to think Ricketts knew this would be part of the deal, this would have had to have been something they discussed during the interview process.

    Once the Cubs start winning, they won't have enough tickets to sell and this will be a distant memory.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I was implying that Ricketts should lower the prices though as a great PR move that he needs right now.

  • These types of articles and those by the Sun-Times just makes me laugh.

    What do these writers of these humorous nonsense think rebuilding meant? In many cases its these same authors who have been clamoring for a long long time that the Cubs needed to tear it down to its core and rebuild the club.

    Rebuilding is a painful proposition. Ask the KC Royals. Ask the Chicago Bulls. Ask any team in professional sports how difficult it is to tear down and rebuild. It's not easy on the fan base and it is not easy on the ownership. But it has to be done.

    What I find so sad is that the same people who have wanted the Cubs torn down and rebuilt want it done in a day....or actually they wanted it done yesterday. It just doesn't happen that fast. It can take years if not generations to turn a professional sports team or any business for that matter around.

    So stop your whining and suck it up if you are a true fan.

  • In reply to JeffK:

    Did everyone miss the point that I was talking about ticket prices????

  • It's hard to rationalize high prices with a team this bad. I think ownership and the front office complicated things by not being more up front with season ticket holders. Although they have been preaching patience this week, in the leadup to the season they refused to categorize it as a rebuilding year - rather they defiantly declared that they were NOT rebuilding. Parallel fronts and all that; jolly good and tally ho.
    But if you don't have star players, and you don't have a core of players about to become stars, then it's absurd frame this as anything but a rebuilding project. If Ricketts/FO would have been more honest with the fans, then I think there would be less reason for backlash. More honesty would have cost them some season ticket purchases, but it would have bought goodwill from the fan base.
    It would be easier for fans to take this season in stride and be hopeful about the future if ownership would have been honest about the state of the team.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    This is laughable. What planet have you been living on. It's been a rebuilding program from the day Theo was hired. They've said it loud and clear from the very first day. Just because they said they were going to make every attempt to be competitive doesn't mean at the same time they weren't rebuilding. The Chicago Bulls said the same thing...just so happens they had Derrick Rose fall into their lap. The Chicago Blackhawks said the same thing when Rocky took over. Just so happens they hit a fluke with the Stanley Cup.

    Just look at the Chicago White Sox. They are constantly rebuilding. It just so happened that they won the World Series in 2005. Other wise they've been not so lovable losers for as long as the Cubs have been.

    No one...and I mean no one ... is holding a gun to the heads of the Cubs' season ticket holders to buy season tickets. If you don't want to pay $80 a seat to watch them play miserable baseball and loose than don't buy a season ticket. But keep in mind there are hundreds if not thousands of people waiting to get your season and not let go of it.

    So you have a choice. Pay and watch. Pay and not watch. Not pay and watch your season ticket go to someone else and hope ...a chance in hell ...to be able to get it back when they are winning consistency.

  • The fact that Rizzo is still in the minors and Garza was not traded
    ,for any prospects, shows that Theo/Jed are on the right track.
    Long time Cub fans can, and should, wait until Theo/Jed have
    a least 2-3 more drafts and international signing periods.

  • The fact is that most Cubs fans "understand" the rebuilding plan. The fact also remains that few want to pay to see it live, even if you can pick up a scalped ticket for half face value. The Cubs have pre-sold most of the seats to season ticket holders, who are getting crushed by the lack of a secondary market.

    It will be interesting to see how many of us bail on our season ticket packages next year. I'm guessing the sales department feels pretty confident with a waiting list of 25,000 or so, but the price is a problem...one of the highest face value tickets in the sport to watch the worst team. It seems the magic is gone, I can remember horrible losing seasons a few years ago where Wrigley still had 40,000 packed in.

    The loss of half of your concession sales has to hurt the Ricketts at some point.....it will also affect advertising revenue sooner or later. I'm guessing that they will feel the need to put out a competitive team for 2014 at the latest, which will mean spending some FA bucks.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    Well said, I think this is exactly what Tom is saying. We're all for the rebuild, or most of us anyway. Tom is just bringing up some realistic concerns from a business standpoint.

    I do think Ricketts is willing to take his lumps -- and for that we have to thank ourselves that he's a Cubs fan as well as a businessman. If it was just the latter, he might hit the panic button. But Ricketts' fandom means he bought the team for more than just profit reasons. I know he's called a fanboy but that actually works to the Cubs long term advantage.

    I guess the way you look at it is as a long term investment. You take your lumps now but you win big later.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thank You John, I guess I didn't make the main point about the ticket prices totally clear.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Tom, you made yourself clear and your points are well made. The product is suffering, therefore drop the price to sell more. For example, I had tickets, skipped one game last year and ate them. I hated the product and wasn't going to waste a day plus all the other costs associated to watch bad, losing baseball. I can read about it, watch highlights, listen, whatever.

    I think the pain of losing is overriding everything else. It's a good article. That's going to be a hard sell with summer coming, tourism, kids going to games, etc. These seats are going to be very empty come August/September. That's when it will start resonating more.

  • In reply to Greg Shuey:

    Thanks Greg, I was worried the point was lost. Good points about the summer.

  • Very good point made about no one holding a gun to your head about paying what I considered for a long time to ridiculous prices to watch a game I have enjoyed for most of my life.

    I have always struggled with the american publics near ravenous appetite for professional sports an all things that are famous.

    Living in Silcon valley makes me shake my head even more, but gain, people are willingly paying prices that I long ago baled at.

    I used to attend 10-12 games at both bay area ball parks when I was a younger person and I beleived that pro baseball was competitively priced commodity.

    In the past 10 years, I have attended more games as a gift from others, rather than continue to pay overblown prices.

    I would hazard a guess that if John were to put up a poll, I would stand as an outlier when it comes to paying high prices for pro baseball.

    Prices will not come down for Cub games until people start exercising more control of the their pocketbooks and say no to the high price of major league baseball - it is that simple.

    Until then, it is just belly aching.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    Hmmmm...maybe I'll add a poll :)

  • In reply to JK1969:

    JK...you're not the only one unwilling to pay the ridiculous price to watch a professional sporting event of any kind in person. The last time I took in a ball game was a gift from a company having a seminar in one of the roof tops last year. And the only other time was about 10 years previous when a vendor gave me a ticket.

    Unless you're a large corporation it is almost impossible to pay the bills and watch a game in person.

    Players make way too much as do the owners.

  • The Cubs are who we thought they were.

    "Rebuilding is a painful proposition. Ask the KC Royals. Ask the Chicago Bulls. Ask any team in professional sports how difficult it is to tear down and rebuild. It's not easy on the fan base and it is not easy on the ownership. But it has to be done."

    This is what happens unless you're like the Utah Jazz who found some hapless suckers who are moving to Brooklyn and were willing to trade an absurd amount for a few games of Deron Williams.

    Just like that, right back in the playoffs. Orlando should be doing the very same thing with Dwight Howard.

    However... I didn't see any Deron Williams or Dwight Howards on the Cubs so it's gotta be done the hard way. So be it.

  • In reply to eaton53:

    But the Cubs don't have a Deron Williams type player. And that type of trade only happens in the NBA. It is very very rare that you see a superstar baseball player traded for a group of up-and-coming players.

    Secondly, even though Utah was back in the playoffs this year, they had a miserable season last year, and the year before that when Deron was still on the team.

    So you never get immediate turnaround.

  • In reply to JeffK:

    Well, the Jazz did have a bit of turmoil the last third of the season with Jerry Sloan quitting and all. Losing a coach that's been there forever is bound to have an impact. FYI... the Jazz were 31–23 when Jerry resigned and 31-26 when Deron was traded. Not great but not terrible... if it were the Golden State Warriors with such a record they'd be ecstatic!

    Yes, there's no Deron on the Cubs. Closest thing to a star besides Castro is Garza and I don't see anyone offering two top prospects for him like the Jazz got for Deron.

    If that happened Garza would probably be a goner...

  • Yikes....I'm not sure where to begin.

    First of all, Ricketts has to know/understand/accept/whathaveyou that when Theo and Jed put the rebuild in place that it meant signing off on empty seats in August, September, even July. It had to be factored in. Because Theo/Jed/Pi/Epsilom factor in EVERYTHING. But while they might be losing potential millions of dollars, it's not like they're seeing Red ink. Here's some simple 3rd grade math knowledge for y'all. The Cubs sell 2.1 million tickets at an average ticket price of $56 dollars. That's 117 Million Dollars plus change. Before they even open the ticket office to the public.. Before they get their TV money, Internet money, merchandising money. 117 Million in the damn bank. That's why there's really no comparison with the Rays, who draw maybe 10,000 a game and have of those have to leave before the fifth inning to put their teeth in a jar.

    Which is why I find the whole "They don't want to start Rizzo's service time" so utterly laughable. Are the Yankees worried about Robinson Cano going to free agency? Are the Red Sox worried about Jacoby Elsbury. You think Arte Moreno gives a damn that Mike Trout will become a free agent in 2017 rather than 2018. Winning teams that the Cubs are supposedly trying to be, lock up potential cornerstones from their own farm system. They just do. Which is why Rizzo's service time simply isn't an issue....

  • In reply to felzz:

    Some really great points Felzz. I really think the clock thing is less of an issue that Rizzo and BJax actually being ready IMHO. However, this front office will lock these guys up early if need be.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Maybe so felzz..but what's the difference in 2012 if Rizzo comes up now or in 4 weeks?

    Maybe a year less of control isn't as big a deal for the Cubs as it is for other teams, but you have to weigh it against 4 weeks of seeing Rizzo play early -- is the latter really that important in a season where the Cubs aren't talented enough to compete for a WS title?

    If the circumstances were different and the team was in contention -- but were getting killed by their play in 1B and/or LF, then you say forget the extra year, we'll worry about it when the time comes-- we've got a chance now. But that's not the case at all. When late June comes around, will it matter that Rizzo has had 100 ABs under his belt?

    I don't understand the rush...why make things difficult for yourself later for the sake of an extra 25 games or so now when the problems go way beyond one player?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    True John, we aren't in the same position as the Angels and Trout for one. I see both sides of it, do you believe Hoyer when he says it's more about development?

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I think there was definitely some truth to that when the year started. He needed to shorten his swing a bit, hit lefties better, and improve his lateral range on defense.

    He's done all of it, but now they're almost at the point of no return, it's too close. I think right now it has to do more with keeping that extra year of control... though they'll never admit it.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Slightly off-topic Tom - but man is that Trout something else, and he's 20 years old! Some of these kids coming up lately (Harper, Trout, and hopefully Rizzo here shortly) are going to be fun to watch these next couple of years as a baseball fan.

  • In reply to Ryno2Grace:

    Wilken and the Cubs were really big on Mike Trout and at one point it seemed like he would fall to them at the bottom of the round...or course, he gained some late momentum and the Angels snatched him up and the Cubs picked Brett Jackson.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    See John, I don't know what the difference is between Rizzo coming up now or in 4 weeks but the answer is BASEBALL related. The truth is Rizzo was in this exact same situation this time last year ( hat tip to Kevin Goldstein for pointing that out......get it? HAT tip....Kevin Goldstein.....he...he ...see he wears a lot of hats.....See what I did? Oh forget it.)

    My guess is there's one or two last things that Jed and Theo need to see. Maybe they're waiting to see Rizzo face.....Shelby Miller or some up and coming ace. Perhaps they're looking at a 12 game run in the schedule that has no lefty starters. Maybe they want to see 5 more hits that are driven to the left field gap.
    Or maybe they're just waiting for Soriano's knee to say Uncle. But it's a BASEBALL reason. I guaran-damn-tee it.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Maybe so...but I'm not convinced. It's not something they would talk about if it were true, anyway.

    We can look at it this way. They've always said if it's a big decision, they'll error on the side of long term thinking. Keeping Rizzo for one more year guaranteed is long term thinking. And the thing is, you can't know for certain when a prospect is ready, certainly not within a 4 week time frame -- so if you're going to make this decision, error on the side of bringing him up in 4 weeks since it benefits the team long term much more than it hurts the team short term.

  • In reply to felzz:

    What your comparisons to Cano/Ellsbury/Trout fail to mention is that each team was already in serious contention for a World Series title and has rosters full of All Stars and high priced talent. Bringing up a young stud when your team won 100+ games the season before is one thing... bringing him up when you're about to lose 100+ games this season and have no real shot at contention for 2-3 more years is another.

    When the Yankees brought up Cano they had just come off a 101-61 campaign and followed with a 95-67 run in Cano's first year.

    When the Red Sox brought up Ellsbury they had just come off a 96-66 season in which they won the World Series. His first full year of service followed in 2008 when they went 95-67.

    The Angels had gone 86-76 last year while limiting Trout's service time and after going balls to the wall this offseason to 'Win-Now' with Pujols and Wilson they have brought up their young gun to make a push to win a title.

  • little of the topic but on MLB.Com they have a fresh mock of the first 20 picks. nailed it 1-5 according to the polls here, See who they have Team Theo getting at 6, love the pick .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Have that coming up in a new and notes piece later...

  • My name is Quasimodo, and I know ugly! Yes, it is ugly, and the process unfortunately is being confused with emotion. It reminds me of politics and right now I see a lot of Cubs fans, particularly from Chicago who reflect the same mentality. If you want to see the typical sports fan, and in particular big market fans like NY, Boston, Chicago, etc. just take a peak at Southern Europe. I won't mention the style of governments they elected between 1997 and 2003, but they bankrupted the countries, endanger the entire world economy, then expect a bailout, and then say "don't take my free stuff!" Well baseball fans are similar. It is about the emotion instead of the plan. They rejected, "the plan". They want their free stuff, the quick fix, and they want it now! We got that approach with Hendry who tried to please as well as fundamentally save his job with perennial bad choices! And we reflect the same mentality right now. I vote for "the plan". We need to grow up!

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Welcome Quasi and agreed, I just want to see Ricketts not budge unless it's to lower ticket prices.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    This would be good business sense Tom. It is a price/demand factor. The demand is going down, so what must happen to prices? It is simple economics, and economics says that people don't want to pay for an inferior product! Especially when money gets tight, discretion becomes a factor in expenditures. So I would suggest to Ricketts that he listen to your perspective!

  • I agree on the ticket pricing by the way, no way i pay $80 a game to watch this team, I would pay full ticket price that is asked at Des Moines though . People need to realize that finishing around .500 does this team zero good in the long run, to get the Bryce Harpers of the world You need to stink . Losing 100 games is a real possibility but the #1 pick is a nice consolation prize, in return for patience Ricketts should at least give fans a break on beer and concessions ect if tickets arent going down .Cheap beer would help fill the place.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Agreed 100% Bryan! I don't really have an opinion on ticket prices during a rebuilding phase -- I see both sides of the argument, but how about some other incentives to draw more fans in? Family days, $1 beer days, more giveaways at the gates...

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    That could also work, you need more alcohol to watch this offense!

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    $1 beer... Yes!!

    If nothing else we'd find out if hearing "Hey $%^#*&^, you $%^#*&^,!!" in your home park is a good motivator.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Well that was an anti-craven comment Bryan! It isn't an $80 product we are watching unless you have copious amounts of beer in us.

  • Lower the ticket prices every season the team doesn't make the post-season.

  • Hey everyone, I added a poll to the end of the article.

  • Agree on giveaway days . give away a Castro , Wood , Lahair game worn Jersey or two every week , maybe signed bat days , love the $1 beer promo , great excuse to get your drunk on watching this team , $ 80 for the ticket and $20 for beer , Ricketts still gets a century note per fan that way and a few more filled seats. Ownership should be more fan friendly in return for asking for patience during a rebuild in a major market.

  • Damn right, dig your heels in, boys. We're doing this right this time. And when you're mentioning bright spots, don't forget Campana. He's a party in a bag.

    Wrapped in a pizza.

    Filled with chili.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    I think he should play in aviator glasses like Rocky the Squirrel, especially after that fabulous dive the other day.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    And a cape. But don't listen to me. I'd put you all in capes if I could.

  • What all this debate about whether to bring up Rizzo fails to address is how do you bring him up when LaHair is already first and you can't move LaHair to left field until Soriano is gone and Soriano isn't going anywhere gone unless the Cubs break down and release him.

    So they get rid of Soriano and you put LaHair in left field. Now you have an issue of where to put Jackson and all the others you want to bring up.

    You've got to move someone out to bring someone up and so far no one wants what the Cubs have. So the poll, and all this discussion is a mute point.

  • In reply to JeffK:

    Do you honestly think that if the Cubs felt that putting Rizzo and LaHair in the lineup together was best for the long term health of the franchise that they would let themselves be held hostage by Soriano's contract?

    When the Cubs are ready to make that move, they'll find a way to move Soriano one way or the other.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    They're already being held hostage by Soriano's contract. Because if it was so easy to trade Soriano it would have been done in the offseason. All I'm saying is that a lot of puzzle pieces have to be moved around before anything could be done with any call-ups.

    To the point, Kerry Wood was a puzzle piece that had to get moved before any potential pitchers could be brought up. The same can be said of the catching position. Until they can get rid of Soto they can have Castillo up full time. Needless to say nothing is going to happen with the catching situation until everyone is healthy again. And, Soto's value dragged down by his poor hits will be dragged down even further by the knee injury because knee injuries are the death of catchers -- even with today's medical advances. Just look at Joe Mauer.

  • In reply to JeffK:

    Sure, I agree they'll have to move Soriano but I think they'll dump him when push comes to shove.

    They figured they had about a 1/2 year of Rizzo/Jackson (maybe more with Jackson now), so they might as well hang on to him until someone else is ready. No sense paying his salary just to play Reed Johnson or Joe Mather. Even if Mather is doing well, he doesn't figure to be a long term piece.

    As for Soto, I'm getting past the point where I think we'll get anything great for him. All the Rockes got for a healthy Iannetta was a pitching prospect who projects as a 5th starter or relief pitcher. With Soto having a bad year this year and last, plus the injury, hard to imagine them getting anything more than a decent prospect.

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