Dallas Green can't see the light for Cubs jumbotron

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the first night game at Wrigley Field.

Well sort of, the game actually didn't count as the rains came and wiped it away. However, for those of us who were there we will never forget the electricity surrounding the park that night.

One person who was responsible for doing the heavy lifting for those very lights was former Cubs GM and President Dallas Green. Green fought with the Wrigleyville neighborhood for years, letting them know just how important having lights was for the Cubs to compete in then modern baseball.

That's why I found it so ironic that Green would draw the line at a Jumbotron.

“It’s going to mar the beauty of the ballpark, there’s no question about that,” said Green, who ran the Cubs from 1982 to 1987 and is a senior adviser to the general manager with the Phillies. “It’s one of the oldest in the game, and it has a charm to it. But it goes back to the same old thing. If you don’t put asses in the seats and you don’t have advertisers and you don’t have TV contracts, you cannot survive in today’s game.”

Green almost sounds like one of the silly neighbors that he fought against for so many years. Then he reminded himself that the economics of the game practically demand it. The Cubs say they need the jumbotron to compete in today's game. Sound familiar Dallas?

Gordon Wittenmeyer caught up with Green and the column delves much more into the parallels between Green and Theo Epstein's attempts at turning the Cubs around. There are some choice quotes, and even a cutting dig at a certain Trib suit holdover.

We here have drawn those same parallels many times between Green, Epstein and their respective plans. I've written before how disappointing it was for Green not be able to finish out his vision.

However, from what I was told years ago Green had only himself to blame for that. Green was power thirsty and wasn't happy about giving up the Cubs Presidency. He couldn't successfully wear all the hats, and he couldn't play nice with the Tribune suits.

“Theo’s got his work cut out for him, no question about that,” he said. “You go in there and you don’t have anything. Like the old saying: ‘You can’t polish a turd.’

“So you’ve got to figure out a way to be competitive so your people still come to the games and everybody’s still interested in Wrigley Field and coming to the ballgames.”

That is where this is a little different. The Cubs aren't competitive and there are plenty of fans who have stayed away during this reconstruction, but it hasn't derailed anything. Of course, Green didn't have the luxury of working for a non corporate owner in Tom Ricketts, who is also patient, for now at least.

“We just went about our work and tried very desperately to do it as quickly as we could,” said Green.

“And we probably did it too quick,” of the suddenly hyped expectations.

Unfortunately or not, that likely won't be a problem this time around.

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  • I was in attendance on 8/8/88.

  • Me too Ray. I was so excited and then disappointed. Seemed about right.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Well stated description of that night.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    "Of course, Green didn't have the luxury of working for a non corporate owner in Tom Ricketts, who is also patient, for now at least."
    The Ricketts family owns Ameritrade, which was bailed out by taxpayers in 2008 when all the major corporations went broke. Tom is a director of Ameritrade and also the Chicago investment bank Incapital LLC.

  • If the game was played at 1 pm it would not have been rained out

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Ha, nice.

  • I like that he's still bitter with the Trib suits. That man was passionately committed to building a winner for Cubs fans and he didn't have the full support & resources of ownership. I still hate them a little too....

    His inner power monger may have been his undoing. But Theo won't have that problem. Theo has surrounded himself with exceptional talent and delegated responsibilities like a real intellectual/strategist.

  • I can't say I'm wholly surprised. There's only so forward-looking a man can be at 79 years old.

    In time, those who opposed the video board will come to pass, and will be looked upon with confusion. There's not a bunch of people out complaining about the lights at Wrigley anymore.

    As for Ricketts, he's been an absolute saint of an owner. He hasn't done anything wrong yet. You could argue that he could have fired Hendry sooner, but he also clearly wanted to put Theo in charge of rebuilding the rubble left after the Tribune and Zell disasters, and wasn't really able to go for him until after 2011.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    I don't see anything "forward-looking" about a garish Jumbotron. Baseball gets a little more like football every year.

  • In reply to BudMan:


  • In reply to BudMan:

    The times they are a changing, and that's ok sometimes.

  • Tom, I want to the JumboTron and from the drawings I've seen it looks like the Cubs are gonna do it right. Very tasteful, classy, with an old school look that is sensitive to Wrigley's heritage.

    But I seriously question the assertion that the Cubs need the JumboTron to be competitive in today's game. How much revenue will the Jumbotron actually generate? I saw a Trib article a few months back that estimated it will only generate about $5 million a year. That's not peanuts, plus or minus $5 million shouldn't make one bit of difference to the team's competitiveness in the future.

    Seems to me its all about wringing every last cent out of Wrigley, but I don't fault Ricketts one bit for that. That's what businesses do. But when the whole renovation thing is done, I just hope Ricketts and the Cubs will spend every last cent of additional revenue or whatever it takes to finally, finally win a World Series! He owes that to every Cubs fan!

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    While it's Ricketts's right to squeeze every single dollar he possibly can out of Wrigley by saturating it in advertising, that doesn't mean he should do so. The ability to fund top tier team payrolls will largely be determined by the TV contracts the Cubs sign in the near future. It's greedy. The advertising onslaught, including the video boards, the wraparound video bands, and all the signage inside and outside of the stadium, is overkill.
    It is a false equivalence to say that the advertising saturation that is coming is just like when they installed lights at Wrigley. The lights merely extended the hours one could enjoy the Wrigley experience. Whereas all the added advertising actually detracts from the experience. The advertising will may make Wrigley feel more modern, but only in the sense that modern life is inundated with advertising.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    There's a lot of talk that the days of those lucrative TV contracts are over. That may not be an option anymore, at least not at the same level at which the LA teams did their TV contracts.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    On the other hand, I hear a lot of talk that advertisers really value programs that get watched in real time (avoid TIVOing and skipping commercial spots), and sports games are high up on the list of things that get watched live. So there may be something of an "added value" factor to live baseball programming that goes beyond the raw ratings numbers.

  • In reply to JoePepitone:

    Exactly. Live sports are a cash bonanza. For example, with their TV money the Yankees could easily afford to have a top-two player payroll without a Jumbotron, wrap-around video bands, or any video advertising whatsoever inside Yankee stadium. They choose to add all of that advertising out of greed. The Rickettses are doing the same thing, only they're blowing a smokescreen by saying they need it to win.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Cubs should still get much, much more than that crap WGN deal they have now.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    While that is no doubt true Tom, I hope the new carrier keeps the rights to "Go Cubs Go." My 7 and 4 year old love to sing that song, and we haven't heard it nearly enough after games the last couple of years!

  • In reply to baseballet:

    Well, as I said, it looks like the jumbotron is gonna be tasteful and we'll just have to wait and see if the advertising becomes "saturated." I don't think it will. It appears that Ricketts "gets it" and is sensitive to Wrigley's heritage so I don't think it will get to the point of overkill.

    Yet, I'm so over the whole Wrigley is a shrine/museum thing. At the end of the day, I place finally getting to and then winning a World Series above all else. While I'm confident it won't come to it, I don't care if Clark & Addison looks like the Las Vegas strip is the Cubs win it all. I've had 45 years of the wonderful Wrigley ambience. I'd now much rather have a World Series Champions than more of that ambience. But hopefully we can have both.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    " It appears that Ricketts "gets it" and is sensitive to Wrigley's heritage so I don't think it will get to the point of overkill."

    He wants to put up a "Welcome to Wrigleyville" bridge over Clark Street. He wants to build a patio over the entirety of Sheffield. He wants to build a JumboTron three times the size of the center field scoreboard.

    He does not get it. He does not have taste. He sees the bottom line, he sees the frothing herd of desperate Cubs fans for what they are, cash cows.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    "The advertising onslaught, including the video boards, the wraparound video bands, and all the signage inside and outside of the stadium, is overkill."

    Exactly. It will kill the Wrigley experience. Cathedral of baseball past no more. Does anyone remember the first time they stepped out of the concourse and gazed out across the open sweep of the bleachers for the first time? I do, and it pains me that will be gone forever.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    I agree it looks appropriate to me.

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    Think the article is a bit misleading. Reading Green's quote, his personal preference is that it takes away from the beauty, but then specifically says, that it's needed for the revenue.

  • In reply to Jon81:

    Wittenmyers articles headline was Green draws line at Jumbotron. However I did say he caught himself and realized it was probably necessary. It had a tint of irony for me. If Green were here today he'd be table pounding for it.

  • In reply to Jon81:

    That would be a boring and long headline. ;)

  • They should be able to earn as much money as they can as long
    as it does not hurt the image of the team

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    True. It is their right. I think as long as they keep it in good taste and it helps bring a title, nobody should complain too much. I'm old school in a lot of ways and I like the tradition and old charm of the ballpark, but I would like a title a lot more at this point.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The Cubs might add an estimated 45,000 square feet of new signage, not including the Jumbotron and right-field sign. It's so obviously in bad taste in my opinion, but everyone has their own tipping point for what they consider as bad taste.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to baseballet:

    They could cover every single inch of the ballpark with loud advertising, but as long as it brings in revenue that can be used in turn for players, I could care less. I just want to win.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to baseballet:

    I consider winning a world series good taste. Since they need the money from those signs to win a world series -- and in fact wanted more -- the signs are in excellent taste.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Trojan buys an enormous sign in right field that reads "Wooden bats break; rubber doesn't." If they're paying $50 million a year for it, it's a new Wrigley tradition!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That sign would fit on a condominium...

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    HA HA--Clever!!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Tribune was able to field a $130 million dollar payroll without a JumboTron, without 45,000 square feet of static signage, without a Sheffield patio, without seat licenses, with a two floor bar, without a 365 apparel store, and WITH a terrible TV contract (which obviously benefited them to a degree).

    So now the herd has been brainwashed that we need ALL of those things? In addition to the forthcoming multi billion dollar TV deal to field a competitive team? Keep drinking the Kool-Aid.

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    Would they have spent $130m a year if they weren't trying to unload the team in the near term?

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    You should also consider that the Trib wasn't paying the interest on a massive loan used to purchase the team, when they were spending that amt of cash..

  • fb_avatar

    Buster Olney has an article today (Insiders only) where he says he thinks we'll see some blockbuster type of trade or trades this winter.

    Two names on the list:
    Jeff Samardzija
    Travis Wood

    He talks a lot of what many here have already said in respects to Shark. His conclusion is basically that if the Cubs can't sign him they will move him. And a quote from one evaluator says, "I think the Cubs would do anything to make themselves better two or three years down the road."

    Another guy most of here have touched on is Giancarlo Stanton. But Olney thinks he will be extremely hard to move due to the return the Marlins would want back. Again, move of the same thing that CubsDen readers/posters have discussed.

    My take on the article. Why pay for an "Insiders" subscription when we already have the best source of "inside" information here on the CubsDen? And we always seem to be ahead of the national scene on our topics as well.

    Thank you CubsDen!!!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    In theory, I think a package headline by Baez could get Stanton.

    Fun exercise, compare Stantons first run @ AA, at the age of 20, with Baez' first run @ AA, at the age of 20

  • In reply to Jon81:

    Not sure I'd do that. I'm a bit weary of Stanton's health.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Ha, thanks. I still think Cubs will try like heck to sign Shark but if he's not realistic they will deal him without a second thought.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I think we've debated/discussed these guys until the cows did in fact come home. I'm just grateful we have a place that got to these topics way before the rest of the nation may even take notice. lol

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    If we want to talk about the future: I wonder if Castro hitting 7 is an attempt to send him a message or if that's an internal lowering of his ceiling.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    If you really think about it. Where would Castro be hitting in the 2016 lineup? If we are fortunate enough to have all of our top prospects making it to Chicago and they do in fact fulfill their projections, I'd see a lineup of maybe something like this:


    I personally think that if Castro is in this type of power lineup, he wouldn't be the main focus. If he's not the main focus, folks may really appreciate his talents much more.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I agree, I think we have to remember that castro did his best when he was not the focus in the lineup. When he had lee,ramirez,soriano in the lineup he could just go out and play free and easy. Now there is no lineup to speak of, the pressure is all on him and rizzo to carry the whole lineup.

  • In reply to seankl:

    Cubs will be better off when Castro is back to a good hitting SS who can defend the position at least average. Then you have yourself surplus value, which is what you want at every position possible.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John I don't know if you are replying to me but I agree with everything you said. I just think they need some better bats in the lineup around him and rizzo. I do believe he will be back to his old self next year maybe even better.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    i would flop Almora and AA in that line up myself

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Maybe he would appreciate his own talents more and actually start to hit again too.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I don't think it's sending a message. He knows what's expected of him and he has tried to do it. Has significantly increased his P/PA this year. I still question whether they've taken too much away from what he does best and maybe they should have been happy with what they had. They are likely just dropping him because he's not hitting well right now. Messages have been sent and received long ago.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree that they've taken away too much of his aggressiveness. What I don't get is why he's moved all over the lineup for poor production but Rizzo is only dropped to 4th/5th and mostly stays in the 3 hole when he is struggling a bit, too.

    I know I'm the only one beating this drum, but with Baez, Olt, and Alcantara nearing major league ready -- and with Baez making some truly spectacular plays at shortstop -- I have to wonder what the long term plan for Castro is. Olt's bat doesn't play nearly as well in a corner as it does at third, and moving Baez to a corner removes a TON of his positional value.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think they feel castro is the better shortstop, and they need baez to make the simple plays more often. Lets not forget baez has over 30 errors on the season. As for rizzo I agree that it seems that rizzo has every chance with dale. Even when castro is on a hot streak he still gets moved down.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to seankl:

    The 30 errors is a little unfair -- many of those were in the beginning of the year when the wheels were coming off. His defense has improved along with his bat.

    But this really isn't about defense -- it's fundamentally about Castro's bat. He is never going to provide the level of defense necessary to carry an OPS+ of 72. He probably is a slightly better defender than Baez -- but only slightly, and that could change as Baez matures -- but If you compare a near-ceiling Javier Baez's contributions as a shortstop and Starlin Castro's contributions as a shortstop in a vacuum Baez wins going away because of .300 average, 8% walk rate, 30+ home runs.

    Now, if third base continues to be a problem, you can stick Baez there and get a plus defensive third baseman with an outstanding bat. The issue, though, is that as people keep coming up, finding ways to shuffle the lineup becomes more and more difficult. If Olt and Alcantara ARE both up and playing well by the end of next year, that means Baez can play: shortstop, or the outfield. If he plays the outfield, that means one of: Junior Lake, David DeJesus, and Nate Schierholtz has to sit. Right now, the way Castro is hitting, I will take any one of the three of them over Castro in the lineup.

    But, it gets worse! Callis said the other day that he thinks Almora and Bryant could be up by the end of next year. Almora is the center fielder. No debate, he's already one of the 5 to 10 best defensive CFs in baseball, and he's 19. Bryant takes another slot in the lineup and, at the end of the day, it gets difficult to see how you can justify Castro's bat -- as it is right now -- in the lineup.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Why does your projection of castro stops at the age of 23 but your projecting a 20 year old in A ball to being better than a player than someone who has done it in the majors. This no knock on baez, he has a lot of talent. Its going to take a while before you are certain that baez ca cut it in the majors.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to seankl:

    Because Baez has been improving his approach, and the results have come with it. He's shown an ability to take the Theo approach and run with it. As John says above, the attempts to get Castro to refine his approach appear to have taken what's special from him.

    Also: 23 vs. 20. There is a difference. I know you don't want to hear it, but there is.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to seankl:

    Also, compare how Hoyer talks about Rizzo vs. Castro here:


  • In reply to seankl:

    Probably because Castro has not progressed this year.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    "as it is right now"

    Well sure! If we take Castro's present performance and project that it will not change, then he is likely not a Cub come 2015/2016. Why not leave that bridge for when we get there?

    And honestly, if the Cubs are at the point where there is so much performing talent that there is no room for Castro, I bet the general tone among Cubs fans is one of extreme excitement!!!!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Because this started talking about long term plans for Castro and where the front office sees him. And they need to make long term plans because it effects what they're going to do with Baez over the winter, in particular. So, thinking about where Castro is going to be in 2015/2016 is critical to that thought experiment.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    A lot of ifs in there Mike. First Olt has a lot of work to do to even be a consideration. Frankly a guy entering his prime that can't hit in a hitters league is on the fence at best.

    I LOVE Alcantara but it isn't a slam dunk that he is better than Castro. I hpe he is, but it isn't a sure bet.

    The way prospects pan out the % still say he is more likely than not to be a guy we need. Let's just say that if he really is pushed out we will probably have a very good lineup, very good.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    If Baez can hit like we hope, then I'm not concerned where he plays. Just get the bat in the lineup somewhere. The Cubs still have time to make these decisions so you don't want to react to much to what's happening this season.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Absolutely! If I had to rank the Cubs problems, Baez's position would be somewhere around 99 and a (position) switch ain't one

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    "I agree that they've taken away too much of his aggressiveness. What I don't get is why he's moved all over the lineup for poor production but Rizzo is only dropped to 4th/5th and mostly stays in the 3 hole when he is struggling a bit, too."

    All GMs in all sports want to place "their people" in the best position to succeed, so that they can say this is their team, if and when they win it all. They never like to admit mistakes, either. Jerry Angelo never liked to get rid of the players he drafted. Phil Emery has just brought in a #1 draft choice, DE that he drafted and who failed when he was in Atlanta.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Strongly agree, John

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree. The FO now knows what Castro does best and should stop messing with him. He's an outstanding young ss, and Jedstein should not try to change what he is.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    You're welcome. And thanks for the kind words!

  • i nkow it's not the game note thread AND it's a small sample size, but is everyone OK with the performance Shark has been putting out lately? i mean, he is just plain BAD. how many blown starts before the ACE-halo is removed and he is fair game for criticism? 8 ER through 3.1 IP? seriously?

  • In reply to Csanad:

    He is spinning a gem huh? I feel myself really wishing the DBacks or Pirates would have given a big boy offer at the deadline. I am firmly in the trade Him side of things if they can get good value.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    maybe the FO now can have that extension talk w/ money for a #3P

  • In reply to Csanad:

    I sure wouldn't pay #2 type money, too inconsistent. To me He is a 4/40 mil type guy.

  • In reply to Csanad:

    what does the philly pitcher have that Shark never will? A .500 record.

  • KC Cougars ?. Taking Kids to game tonight. Better seats? 105 down 1B line behind Cougars dugout no net/pole, or 111 behind HP but pole/net? Thanks much.

  • I wish kasper would stop calling shark an ace !!!!

  • Mr. Jeff is now seeing that when somebody guarantees you 50 million bucks starting two years from now, you take it. Ego and greed rears it's ugly head once again. Good luck on getting that money today. You want to extend somebody, Travis Wood is your man.

  • On a separate note, shark has laid another egg in Philly.

    Whatever 2nd half strides we were looking for from him are slipping away.

    I am still not sold on him as a long term piece unless he slotted in the middle to back end of the rotation. Time will tell if he is looking for big dollars, but I am looking for some restraint from the new regime in trying to sign him (if that's the plan).

    I really dislike the uncertainty that comes with "growing pains".


  • Mike Moody I can't reply above so I will do it here. There is not a difference between 23 vs 20 when you consider there are 23 year olds still in the minors. It is easy this year to say someone in A ball is better than castro by the numbers. I can pull someone at every position throughout the minors and do the same thing. I'm sure castro can hit A ball pitching, but can baez hit major league piching ?

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    In reply to seankl:

    You're avoiding my point. The point is, Baez is flourishing under Team Theo and Castro is really struggling. As John said: "I still question whether they've taken too much away from what he does best and maybe they should have been happy with what they had."

    The way things are going, it seems unlikely that Theo will say: "Okay, we were wrong, go back to swinging at everything."

    Other points:
    -The mere fact that there are 23 year olds in the minors does not mean those 23 year olds are at the same level of development as 20 year olds. They aren't.
    -If we want to compare offensive ceilings, Castro isn't in the same stratosphere as Baez. Castro could be an excellent offensive shortstop. Baez could be on of the 20 greatest offensive forces of all time.
    -Baez is in AA. The jump from A-ball to AA is significant, and, as has been said several times here, the success in Tennessee raises Baez's ceiling significantly.

    I want Castro to succeed. I want him to be the shortstop. But I continue to wonder if he can be the guy this administration wants and what their view on this is.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm not avoiding your point, people were just saying a week ago that baez strikes out to much. And your going overboard with baez having a chance of being one of the 20 greatest offensive forces. There are plenty of players that were suppose to be great but never got there. I like baez, so I'm not saying he can't be great i want him to be great. My point is lets stop saying what castro is at the age of 23. Why is it that every other young player in the majors of minors can learn and be better but castro is who he is. Shark has been on the major league team longer than castro but shark is given the excuse of still learning how to pitch. But castro is as good as he is going to get.

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    In reply to seankl:

    I think I'm missing the part where the very real chance that he doesn't get there affects his ceiling in any way. Very few players have the tools to do what Baez can do.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    There were players that had the tools but never made it. Again I want him to make it and he does have a high ceiling, but the front office is making a huge mistake if they pass or give up on players because they don't walk. Adam jones don't walk but he puts up good numbers. Ichiro did not walk but he is a hall of famer. It was never a good idea to tell castro to change his approach.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    "Baez could be on of the 20 greatest offensive forces of all time."


    Everyone needs to dial back the hype and expectations on all of our prospects. Some will likely succeed in the majors and be solid starters, maybe more than just solid, but to predict or expect more than that, and to even predict someone could be one of the greatest hitters in history is just crazy.

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    In reply to Just Win:

    Let me phrase it this way: His ceiling is .330 average, with 9% walk rate, and 40 HR/year. That's one of the best ever.

    You can also see it with other players gathering to watch him hit in BP. That is very rare.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    And if you keep saying his potential is to be one of the best players in history, you lose your credibility. It doesn't matter what a guy does in the minors, to say that about anyone is insane. He's played 29 games in AA. Stop adding to the crazy expectations by saying he's going to be one of the best players in history. Nobody can live up to that. Normally your arguments make sense, this one is so far out there you might as well start talking about UFO's and conspiracy theories. My problem isn't with Baez or his talent, it's with saying ANY prospect is going to be one of the greatest players in history.

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    In reply to Just Win:

    I never said he was going to be. I said the tools grade as high as anyone. Most guys do not have those tools -- Castro doesn't have those tools. Sano does. Buxton does. Jose Fernandez does. Odds are all 4 are not hall of famers. But all 4 have the tools to be. That is a VERY rare thing.

    That's all I'm saying.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    His ceiling isn't a .330 avg, at very best that would be a one season type Derek Lee type thing. His babip would have to be ridiculously high to support that avg.

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    In reply to bleedblue:

    Baseball Prospectus, June 1:

    Of note: "potential plus-plus hit tool" That's a 70 hit tool -- which means a .320 average. Care to revise your statement?

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Exactly, let's tone it down

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    "Baez is flourishing under team Theo"

    Baez is 20 years old playing in AA, not the MLB.

    When Castro was 20, he was in AA as well, except he BEGAN his age 20 season at AA. And he CRUSHED.

    .376/.421/.569 He struck out only 11 times in 121 PA's

    Baez has 132 PAs in Tennesse and has 42Ks

    And after about as long as Baez has been in Tennessee right NOW, Castro got called up to the show and hasn't had a single PA in inor league ball since.

    Baez is very advanced for a young age.
    Castro was an absolute PHENOM, and he did that with virtually zero coaching and development.

    Castro is struggling this year because, for maybe the first time in his entire life, his team is trying to coach him and to him, it probably feels a bit like fixing what was never broken. But he hasn't complained.

    In any case, the statement that Castro isn't in the same stratosphere as Baez is ludicrous. It's absurd, and you sound like you have no idea what you're talking about.

    Castro is trying to change his approach and game on national television, with the scrutiny of Chicago media, while Baez is playing in nondescript settings where no one gives two craps.

    If Baez was hitting .376 with only 11K's, fans would be protesting on Clark and Addison every day until they called up Baez.

    Seriously. that you could question Castro's ceiling?

    Castro did the whole Daytona to Tennesse thing a year earlier than Baez and with better numbers too. (except for SLG, yes, but it should go without saying)

  • I guess I'm just not that interested in such "thought experiments." There are so many variables that I just do not see the point. My thought experiment is that the talent level in the minors combined with the organizational approach to development means that I will probably be watching some exciting Cubs baseball in a couple of years. In the end, I will not care if Castro (or anyone else) is on that team or not, though I am rooting for him.

    Castro's having a down year. I anticipate that he will be much better in years to come. If he isn't, he isn't. I assume the front office will react appropriately.

  • As self-proclaimed stewards of the ballpark, you'd think the Ricketts would have thought of those cg ads that appear to viewers at home but aren't physically there at the ballpark. Seems like the perfect solution to increase revenue while still maintaining what's so special about Wrigley Field.

  • Getting pretty frustrated with Shark. How long does FO keep marching him out there. I would put him in the pen for awhile and bring up Arrietta.

  • What's he(Green) talking about, his team is a big pile of crap; just my opinion...Theo has less of an ego than he does...So the chances of this getting straightened are good...

  • I find it strange how people can be so down on Castro. So he is in a hitting slump this year. His defense has improved greatly, I think he has one error in the last 35 games.
    Come on, you are talking about a shortstop who had 200 hits in a season at the age of 21. Since he was called up in May of 2010, he has more hits than any player in the major leagues over that time frame. Keep the good young players and get rid of the aging past there prime ones Cubs.

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    Seriously, guys, my argument is not "Castro sucks."

    My argument is that Theo and Jed have a ton of faith in "their system" and tend to value system and process far more than individual players.

    Castro is an aggressive hitter with a God-given ability to barrel up balls that other hitters wouldn't come close to. That is exactly the opposite of Theo and Jed's system. Even worse, that natural ability masked weakness -- like, for example, pitch recognition.

    I believe that by removing his one huge advantage, they've allowed his weaknesses to take over. Unless they admit that their system won't work on Castro -- if, indeed, they haven't irreparably broken him -- I don't think he's going to fight out of this. And, given that they are process guys, I don't see them admitting that the system has failed.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agree with you that Castro is more of an aggressive hitter and doesn't really match up with what the FO wants. Its very hard to change something thats worked for you especially at the major league level. I still really like Castro just don't feel like he'll hit well doing it the Cubs way.Hope nhe proves me wrong. As far as todays game pfffffffffttttttt.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I understand your point, nothing wrong with a little debate. I respect your opinions.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:


    You make a good argument. But here's a monkey wrench in your evaluation. You seem to be leaning in the direction of Baez being placed at SS and I would assume you would trade Castro. (I may be wrong). I say this because you have put Olt at 3B. So your posts strictly deal with the left side of the infield. This would also make me assume that you would probably be ok with my lineup that has Alcantara playing 2B. Thus Castro must have been traded in your scenario.

    The first question I would have is this. Would a Cubs lineup with Baez and Olt be better than a lineup with Baez and Castro? If the answer is yes then..........

    Here's the twist. What if Olt is really the guy we see at AAA this year and not the guy we saw last year at AA? I'm thinking your ok with inserting Bryant at 3B. ok

    Who gets added to the OF? My outfield had Soler, Almora and Bryant from left to right. With Bryant being moved back to 3B, who fills the gap?

    Seems like keeping Castro right where he is and then batting in the 7 hole takes all the pressure off the kid. He wouldn't be the main focus but rather a contributor to one hell of a line up.

    Just something to also keep in our minds....

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    Right now, Schierholtz is substantially more valuable than Castro. If he doesn't turn it around, a placeholder outfielder will be a better offensive player than Castro.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Wow! Really? OK, we know where you stand....

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    Castro: .246/.280/.351, 72 OPS+
    Schierholtz: .273/.331/.505, 125 OPS+

    It isn't even close.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:


    vs left
    39 AB

    vs right
    272 AB

    Schierholtz has only seen 39 At-Bats the WHOLE SEASON against LH pithcing.

    Can we please stop pretending he's anything but a platoon player?

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    OK, but I do find it interesting that if you look at Castro stats in 2010 just before he was called up, his stats look better than Baez #'s in most things that this FO covets such walk rate, K rate, OBP

    Castro in 26 games at AA:
    .367 AVG
    .413 OBP
    7.4% Walk Rate
    9.1% K rate

    Baez in 29 games at AA:
    .273 AVG
    .333 OBP
    8.3% Walk Rate
    31.8% K rate

    Now we are measuring apples to apples. Extremely difficult to just offer Baez keys to the kingdom when viewed from this light, imo.

    I am also a very excited Cubs fan teetering on the edge of anticipation for a winner on the Northside. It is also extremely difficult for this Cubs fan to hear the words, "wait till next year." But deep down inside I know I have to take what these prospects do in the minors with a grain of salt.

    The one main difference I can say that we all know about these two guys. Baez has the gift to learn and develop in the minors in front of less than 10,000 fans each night in the stadium. He also only get a blurb or two about his errors from most sports writers.

    Castro has to grow up with his first taste of adversity in his whole professional career in front of millions after signing a nice extension. I'd give Castro the edge in real pressure......

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Schierholtz has been one of the few Cubs whose AVG has remained consistent with RISP (the others being Barney and DDJ, both of whom have higher AVGs with RISP). Take a look at some of our regulars:

    AVG / AVG w/RISP / Difference
    Rizzo .239 / .184/ -56
    Castro .245 / .235 / -10
    Castillo .277 / .162 / -115
    Navarro .284 / .214 / -70

    Until this gets fixed, the struggle to score runs looms large.

  • As I see it, the Jumbotron is intended to help fund the improvements in the ballpark and generate more payroll money in the future, rather than to make the Ricketts even richer. They've demonstrated the willingness to spend to strengthen the front office, sign draft picks and overspend on international free agents. If they really want to make a huge profit on their investment, the way to do that is to win a World Series or two and then sell the franchise.

  • was hoping EJax and Shark would make us forget last years post trade deadline rotation.

  • I met Dallas Green in Mesa during spring training 1985. He was really nice to all the fans, taking time to shake everybody's hand, and talk baseball, which he knew awfully well.

  • My birthday,Cal Ripken's & Anthony Rizzo's too, always thought it was so cool the lights first came on on my day too.

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