It's too early for this #@&*….

It's too early for this #@&*….

So the Chicago Cubs Press has come into camp in the best shape of their life, promising to lose the real narrative of this Cubs season in favor of silly Cub Cliche logic and "Woe is Us" spin. And Cub fans, not the reasonable ones but the larger mass of stupidity, is gobbling it up in an attempt to talk about anything Cub. It is a large early shot across the bow that this season will be the toughest one in the Epstoyer regime and maybe the toughest some of us Cub fans have ever faced.

For those of you living in a hyperbaric chamber or perhaps off in France with their wife, Tom Ricketts spoke to the press in which he said he expected the Cubs to compete and perhaps even be in the playoffs. This is what owners do. This makes Ricketts no different than the 28 other owners who came to Spring Training and declared their team was in it. ( Okay, maybe 28. I'm pretty sure Jeffery Luria of the Miami Marlins was to busy counting his taxpayers money to give a darn…)  These comments were about as harmless as stroking a kitten on top of a carton of eggs without breaking any shells. Usual Spring training fluff.

Instead, everyone done lost their darn minds.

Sports radio, beat reporters, columnists, and yes, even some bloggers, went nuts- questioning Ricketts' sanity and whether "Ricketts really understands Theo's plan at all"….. What makes this all the more galling is not like anyone really followed up- "Do you feel like you've given Theo enough resources to make the moves to win this year? Are Theo and Jed under pressure to perform this year? Will you be disappointed if the Cubs don't win this year?

None of these questions were asked. And they shouldn't have been, because this really wasn't news.

But everyone else MADE IT NEWS. It led updates on sports radio. It was the subject of many columns. It inspired many know it all's to get on their soapbox and re-educate the masses on how Theo and Jed are trying to turn around an entire organization and blah blah blah. And someone throw a fastball already!!!!!!!

So Ricketts can't show support for his team. Nobody covering sports in the city of Chicago can properly analyze these quotes as an owner saying owner things? If Jerry Reinsdorf said the same thing, would he be as scrutinized? Why not?

It would be one thing if this was just a rogue beat reporter. Or if this were Cubby-hate 670 up to their old tricks of playing to the stupid in an attempt for bigger ratings. ( Call it the Mike North maneuver…..). But it's everybody. And it's only February.

I want the Cubs to be important. I want them to matter and be a discussion point and be more than just a test of loyalty. They're going to be good. The sun is coming up over that horizon. But it's clear there's still a few hours of darkness left in the night. And all of us need to get our act together this Spring Training. Because if we can't handle the usual naive bravado that comes out of an owners mouth, words that have been ringing out of owner's mouths since PK Wrigley for crying eye, than we don't have a chance of getting through May with this team.

A very regrettable mulligan. Onwards.

 

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    I agree 100%. What is the alternative answer they expected out of the owner in spring training? "Yeah, we're probably going to lose 100 games again. F'ing rooftops."

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    Outrage is what sells on cable TV news, and it's also what sells on radio and newspapers. It's just the system; deep down, I bet those same reporters and whatnot knew the truth: Ricketts is saying what all owners are supposed to say, since they have a product to sell, but deep down he and Theo and everyone else know this is not a contention year. In fact, Theo and Co. have been pretty open about that.

  • " If Jerry Reinsdorf said the same thing, would he be as scrutinized?"

    I think you forgot that Jerry said in an interview that the Bulls were mediocre. Suddenly, they got better.

    What got the media's attention was the totally delusional statement, especially since Theo was essentially saying that the great hopes are going to be in the minors for the conceivable future.

    I'm sure that Ricketts has PR people, who could have come up with something better. Reinsdorf does, even if it is only their director of community relations. BTW, the Cubs sure need to work on that, too.

  • In reply to jack:

    +1 to Jack's comments. Felzz, your writing is one of my favorite things about this great blog, but from a messaging perspective the optics are (if you take everything at face value) that Ricketts and Theo do not appear in step. You point to PK Wrigley and the ways that the Cubs owners have "always" done things, but the entire Theo / Ricketts value prop is that they are taking this thing down to the studs (pun intended) to FINALLY rebuild this thing the right way. Why can't the messaging stay more in line with that, instead of just insulting the intelligence of frustrated Cubs fans that we are playoff bound this year?

    I know there are plenty of knucklehead Cubs fans and even more in the media that are just looking for reasons to get irate. I am a firm believer that this administration finally gets how to build a consistent organization that is in the mix perennially, but I have to admit that hearing how out of touch Ricketts sounded regarding the playoffs did not sit well with me from a messaging standpoint.

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    Chicago Cubs media has become one of the biggest jokes in the industry. Combine that withwith the fact that a good 3/4th of the fan base are bumbling idiots and you have this crap. Pretty much the entire reason I don't visit Cubs.com, the tribune, or the sun times anymore. They have been overrun by fools.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Well said, Marcel. I concur. Most Chicago sports radio I hear simply tries to engage the lowest common denominator, and let's face it, as many Cub haters have observed, there seems to be no shortage of meatball Cub fans around town.

  • In reply to Denizen Kane:

    ...been trying to educate the Cub meatballs on this here internet since about 1998. Percentages have gone down somewhat but there's still a long way to go. Some of the so-called humans I saw at the Cubs Konventions are uneducable.

  • A fine illustration as to why I rarely, boardering on almost never, get my news via standard TV or radio broadcast sources any more.

    They've all gone somewhat insane,.... parrot each other's claptrap rather than thinking,.... and seem focused on making every story into some tabloid scandal.

    I also expect the Cubs to field a team that competes this season,.... but I suspect my definition of 'competes' is somewhat different from that of the blathering hordes that claim to be informed media.

    If they play hard,.... never show quit,.... and display a consistent level of fundamentally sound play,.... while giving the youngsters a chance to continue to develop under live-fire (while giving them cover to make mistakes and grow as players),..... That'll be 'competes' to me regardless of what the final W-L record is.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Sports talk radio just got another 18 hours to fill.

  • What fans (and reporters) want to know from Ricketts is whether or not he's going to provide major market team payrolls. And assuming yes, when can we expect them? That's the subtext beneath the press mocking him for saying he expects a playoff team out of an $80M collection of castoffs.
    If we can't expect major market payrolls for four more years, for example, then that might mean we won't be real WS contenders until then. That's over 600 games from now. We've already endured record breaking loss totals, and fans/press want to know when it's all going to change. Ricketts unleashing his Quade impersonation ('Gee whiz if we play hard we can go all the way!') is galling because we don't know when the pain will subside.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    The answer is yes to providing higher team payroll. They have said that repeatedly. And the timeframe I would expect the higher payroll is when it would be smart to spend that amount of money on payroll. Spending a lot now would not make sense since we are not close enough. In other words, the money will be there when we need it. And Theo is the one who decides when it is needed for long term success. Blowing a boatload of money now is counterproductive for the long term success of the team.

  • Asking Ricketts when the pain will subside isn't going to help anyway.

    Does he know which prospects will fulfill their potential, and when?

    Does he know whether Olt will be healthy and productive?

    Does he know if Samardzija will sign a long term contract?

    Does he know which pitchers in the system will blow out their arm, and which, if any, will suddenly turn their career around as Wood has done?

    And assuming the team has enough money to be big players in the free agent market, he certainly is in no position to say when the proper time will be to enter that market.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    "Does he know if Samardzija will sign a long term contract?" Yes. And from all indications, he knows that the answer is "no." Especially when, after signing, Jeff acknowledged that he was probably trade bait.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Yes there are questions of timing. But fans want to know if the money is there. Do we have to wait until the new TV deal in 2020 to have a top tier payroll (972 games from now)? Who knows? Say a spectacular scenario happens this season where Castro and Rizzo are All Stars, and where Baez and Bryant tear it up and are promoted by season's end. Does ownership have the money to fund a top five payroll to bankroll a suddenly promising 2015 team? Do the Cubs have to do it on the cheap until 2018, 2020, or what?

  • In reply to baseballet:

    My bet is if in 3 years, Baez, Bryant and say AA play up to there rankings, the Cubs do what the Braves are now doing with there young stars and sign them to 6-7 year contracts. The Cubs already have done it with Castro and Rizzo.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    I suppose you can ask the question again to see if you get a different answer, but Ricketts has already been asked, and answered that question. He has repeatedly said that when the time is ripe, the money will be there. I haven't seen anything to indicate that he didn't mean it or that he changed his mind.

    When the time does come when it seems appropriate to add specific pieces to the team, we will not be limited to only those that happen to be free agents at that time. It is also possible to pick up players in trade that are under contract to some team, but no longer fit into the plans of that team. A couple of examples are Aramis Ramirez and Derek Lee, who were obtained from teams that no longer wanted to carry their contracts, for whatever reason.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    The payrolls have dropped each successive year of Ricketts's ownership. Over the past two seasons, Theo has stated that he spent *all* of the money he was given. He did not save money in a piggy bank for future seasons. This offseason was the first season where he kept some "powder dry" with the hope of spending it in the future; and that was because they didn't do anything this offseason.
    And so while Ricketts has downplayed any financial problems, so far he has not provided Theo with more money than what has been spent. In other words, the castoffs and platoon players Theo has acquired since he arrived were all that he could afford.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    At no time have I ever heard Theo say that he asked for more money and was denied it. And of course the payroll has gone down each year while they rid themselves of nonperforming contracts. But player procurement money has skyrocketed since Epstein got year, as did budgets for supporting staff, scouting, development and just about every other area of the team.

    Both Epstein have said over and over that bringing in free agents just to field a mediocre team is not their plan. They have also said over and over that when free agent spending is appropriate, the money will be their.

    It was there when it came time to bid on Tanaka, just as it was when it was time to bid on Sanchez, and for that matter, Jackson. I have yet to see any move that is not consistent with the plan they have described, and see no reason that they will not continue to carry it out.

  • To paraphrase the immortal words of Howard Beale, "I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!" Talk radio is entertainment and not a full blown news source so their outrage over Ricketts' comments is foolish. Ricketts has to say they are a contender. It would be a PR nightmare if he didn't and frankly with all of the other issues surrounding the Cubs, he can't open up another can of worms. I just feel bad for Tom, he no longer looks like he enjoys owning the team and the shine is off.

  • In reply to Gator:

    I just threw my TV out the window! Damn it Gator, you got me excited.

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    The FO has been completely forthright since day one. They said-"we're going to rebuild and it may take awhile. Once we're good, we're going to be consistently good."

    I have every faith that they will sign Baez, Bryant, etc..to long term deals. They have made it clear that free agents are an awful value and will only sign "value" free agents.

    I could see the backlash if they went against their promises but thus far, they've done exactly as promised. I'm most disappointed in Patrick Mooney. He's really turned against us. I expect crappy journalism from Paul Sullivan, Phil Rogers and Gordon Wittemyer.

    And Felzz-you should do stand-up-you always crack me up!

  • I have not seen too many free agents out there that fit our timing. The market for those that maybe could was too expensive in $$ and years. At this juncture the front office tas done what has made sense. As we have experienced in the past, there will be a time, but it's most likely not 2014.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Tanaka,... Ellisbury (maybe),.... Choo (maybe,... on a reasonable contract not the one he actually signed on for),.... Anibal Sánchez from last year,... could make a case for those guys,...

    But you're right on the mark 44slug,.... just about any of those guys might have made sense as a signing at some level IF they could be signed for no more than 4 years or so.

    Although it didn't pan out last year - the Edwin Jackson signing still makes some sense timing-wise. And if he rebounds to somewhere near his career averages this year - a lot of the criticism of that deal will subside.

    Assuming that we are going into 2015 after having finished out 2014 strong (and by that I don't necessarily mean a playoff appearance), with some of the 'kids' starting to filter up to Wrigely and find some success,... we'll be in a better position to go FA shopping.

    There are a few ML-level pitchers who might be entering FA this next offseason it would be smart to try to add. If Shark has a superior year (and we don't trade him) - getting his first couple years of FA locked up makes sense,... same for Wood if he shows signs of continued progression.

    2015, and 2016 will be the times to beginning hitting the FA market hard as long as there is a gap where a difference making FA is available.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Why even mention Ellsbury & Choo? You acknowledge that they would only make sense on short term affordable contracts, but what they actually signed was anything but.... They simply were not viable options and would have hurt us in the long term. Not worth an extra 2-3 (if that) wins per year right now.

    Yeah, we lost out on Anibal. Who could blame him for staying in Detroit for more money?... E-Jax isn't much of a downgrade from him... Tanaka may have fit perfectly... but there's more questions than answers with him and the Yankees simply made him a ridiculous offer....

  • I hate to discuss how full the media is of jacka$$es, and the sports media is some of the worse. I used to like Chris Berman a great deal years ago, now hes become a carciarture of himself. Hes not alone, just the best example I can think of at the moment. And the local media follows along.

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    Except I'm not sure that B & B get it right either though. At some point in time the Cubs will have to be players for FAs, not at $$ they want but at prices that are the going rate. And the going rate has been outrageous of late.

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    In reply to Lou Sofianos:

    That reply should be to @Mikethoms.

  • Great piece felzz. To be fair to The Score, and I hate doing that, Boers and Bernstein have been pretty good about not being Cub haters during this rebuild, and generally speak to your point about the larger mass of idiot Cubs fans, and the beat reporters like Wittenmeyer who pander to them.

  • Very good flex, glad to see someone finally write this... I agree completely.

    I think a lot of Cubs fans feed of negativity and the media knowing this want to feed it to the fans, create chaos... It's pretty convenient to mention the small part where Rickets say he thinks the team can compete but completely omit the question that prompted such comment.

    I'd be more disappointed if he would've said the contrary before a pitch is thrown.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Darn auto-correct, I meant to say felz, not flex...

  • In reply to Caps:

    I like Flex too. I think we make that work.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    I think Felzy just got himself a new nickname. Flex it is.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Well, Flex it is lol.

  • In reply to Caps:

    I thought maybe you two were close and that was your bro-name for him

  • You could create an entire blog dedicated to debunking every Gordon Wittenmeyer article. They are all total garbage, total pandering. He's doing a disservice to Cubs fans and he seems to have a personal vendetta.

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    In reply to Mikethoms:

    Gordon isn't the only one though. Watch SportsTalkLive, if you can sit through it all, on CSN....there's many, many, many more.

  • Taxpayer money. How about that Taxpayer money the Ricketts got from the suckers of Mesa 80M . Bet the Rickets's are laughing all the way to the bank on this one.

  • In reply to ironmik:

    Virtually every team in sports plays in a stadium funded by some or all public money so check your man-of-the-people outrage at the door

  • In reply to Mikethoms:

    Yeah, and when they're not blaming the Ricketts's for playing in a taxpayer funded stadium in Mesa (really, you're going to bash them for THAT?!?), they're blaming the Ricketts's for NOT taking taxpayer money to renovate Wrigley.

  • In reply to ironmik:

    I'll bet that the cost will be offset 7-8 years with extra tourist revenue.

  • In reply to xhooper:

    That is what most cities that help underwrite these facilities are planning on. They do tend to pay for themselves with a fairly short payback window.

  • There is nothing else going on in sports, so what do you expect? But to say that 3/4 of Cubdom is looney, just because they express a contrary view, is unfounded. This organization has made mistakes and underestimated the patience of fans. How is it the City found funds for DePaul and couldn't do so for the Cubs? Why did they choose to dump all the big bucks in on Jackson? Why him and why 4 years before they needed someone like him?
    Why are they taking so long to resolve the rooftop issues? Why did they make a big deal out of announcing "Clark" to us when so many more critical issues need to be addressed?

    I agree, too much of what was made out of Ricketts' statement. But on the flip side, there are many people out there that agree with the FO moves without question. That's equally looney.

  • In reply to xhooper:

    What do you have against the E-Jax signing?

    1). Why him?...you ask. because he was the best "plan B" after we lost out on Anibal Sanchez.

    2). Why did they choose to dump all the big bucks in on him, you ask? They didn't. Statements like this is what you gets lumped in with the 3/4 Loonies.... They just offered Tanaka $120MM... so that was far from your "all the big bucks in on him" statement. The reality is that after the 2012 season, we had Geronimo & Raley making starts for us. We needed SP, desperately. The FO also knew that the only viable s/t assets they could potentially flip for prospects were SP's. So we needed a guy who could A). stay healthy and eat up 180+ innings in the middle of our rotation. B). Was young enough to still be relevant when we're competitive in 2016. C). Would sign for a shorter term deal i.e., 4yrs vs 6-10.... D). that we could flip for more prospects if/when the time called. Not a bad signing, in light of the less than expected results in 2013.

    You'll have to be privy to the actual conversations of the Rooftop Owners & Cubs representatives before pointing the finger at either party... yet you seem frustrated with Ricketts & Co over this matter. Same with the City funding for Depaul. Is that really an issue to be angry with the Cubs organization?

    I agree they have made mistakes. I disagree about underestimating fans patience. This FO has been very open and transparent about their intentions and never specifically said a "timeline"... So for those who set a 2yr time-frame, they should be upset at themselves for setting unrealistic expectations.

    Clark was a PR joke. IDK what that was all about , so I'm as confused as everyone else. But I don't know why his existence bothers so many, so badly...

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    1). Why him?...you ask. because he was the best "plan B" after we lost out on Anibal Sanchez.

    Laughs.

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    In reply to Lou Sofianos:

    In the four years leading up to his signing, EJax had averaged 200 innings and a 4.06 ERA. Yes, he probably was the best plan B at the time. I do think the signing might have been a knee jerk reaction to losing out on Anibal Sanchez, but the point is still the same. If a career swingman like Feldman, with four of his last six seasons at 5.00+ ERA can get 3yrs/$30mil, then 4yrs/$54mil seems in line for a pitcher of jackson's ilk.

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Oh, I'm not saying he's not worth the contract. Your knee jerk premise is correct. Too soon to go after a SP like this.

  • It was something yesterday to hear the guys on the Score ripping into Gordon. Yes the Score defending the Cubs. As a reporter with complete access to a lot of information, he presents completely clueless arguments that are rants and do so little to inform and educate the public. He is a shining example of what is so wrong in print media. One day of Cubs Den has more content for a baseball fan than 4 weeks of his articles.

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    Problem with the media in general is simple. Rather than actually report news, they want to create news even if news isnt there. In todays media, how good the story sounds is often more important (to the media) than the truth. Lets face one truth the media never discusses about the rebuild. The rebuild got set back by the change in the collective bargaining agreements. Plain and simple. But no, rather than be honest, the better story to the Gordon Witlessmeyers of the world is to talk about how the front office is so lousy.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    'Zactly. If Wittlessmeyer didn't exist the Suntimes would find someone else just as obnoxius. It's their entire strategy for selling papers.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Or how about Wittenmyer talking about the poor financial state of the Cubs and how the debt has made the team act like a small market team and then "wonder" how the team was going to be able to afford Tanaka... Then "wonder" where the profit of the team is going...

    So, if he knows the financial state so well... Then there shouldn't be any need for him to "wonder" these things...

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    If Wittenmyer were on The Score free lance payroll like half the columnists at the Daily Herald, and until last Tuesday, half the columnists at the Tribune, the story would have been different. I remember that B&B tore into Ditka as a commentator only after he left the station.

    Otherwise, B&B will tear into anyone.

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    In reply to Cuyler:

    The guys on the Score do it to...in fact B &B have been known to go after their own stupid concepts in stupid ways....like bashing Boston Strong after what happened last year during the Boston Marathon. I think they're a few shades away from Wittenmeyer....if you don't like his reporting much.

  • I think Rickett's should have said, "Hey, we suck! Every one of the Cubs roster players suck!" That would have made the Chicago media feel better.

    I am not from Chicago. I am from Montana where we got channel 9. I am a Cubs fan, but I am not a fan of Chicago media or much else for that matter; well restaurants perhaps.

    There are many ways to win. General Fabius defeated Hannibal. How did he do it? Retreating! He retreated, had a start over, until he outnumbered the Carthaginians in men and resources. He never bought high priced mercenaries.

    I hope we get the #1 draft pick next year. The last top 5 pick! And I hope the players, Epstein, and Ricketts don't do anything to screw this up! Then we can fight Hannibal with a real army.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    I thought Special FBI Agent Will Graham defeated Hannibal lol.

  • This is how much I don't pay attention to Chicago sports media: I had no idea any of this occured.

    And I think I think I saved a couple thousand brain cells by being oblivious to it.

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    It is amazing to me that sports media in Chicago "speak" to Cubs fans like they are utter morons. Ricketts is no better, but he has to say that. What choice does he have, as Mike Moody said in the opening comment.

    And I think that the writers really believe their pens (or laptops I guess) will spew the rhetoric that will somehow make Tom Ricketts say, "You know, you guys are right. I'm doing it all wrong." Like that will happen. Ever.

    So I ask - who are the real morons?

    But, yeah, let's instigate and rabble rouse. It is probably a hopeless season that will be so bad after the trade deadline and before the kids come up that at times, scratch that, often, it will look like the 1962 New York Mets.

    I am told even Ernie Banks said this --- "The Cubs will leave you with an emaciated spleen in Two Thousand Fourteen..."

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    The real morons are those, like Tom, who went to the Cubs game to find a wife.

  • "The Chicago Cubs Press has come into camp in the best shape of their life...."

    I see what you did there.

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    The local press seems to think we'd save everyone a lot of time and trouble if we just went out and shot ourselves. I'm for wasting sportswriters time.
    -Lou Brown

  • Quick Poll - have the cubs been hamstrung "to date" in their rebuilding efforts because of the rooftop owners and the lack of movement on the Wrigley expansion?

    Key word here is "to date" - because 98% of what I hear from Theo is that the Cubs haven't built a sufficient foundation yet to warrant sinificant free agent investments. The 2% of the conversation is that "we are not as far along in the business plan as we had expected", which could be interpreted to mean (by at least those dumb, clueless, stupid, moron Cubs fans like me) that Theo would have bid higher on certain free agents if he actually had more money to spend.

    So again - the question is....if on the day Theo was hired as GM in November 2011, the Cubs, City and Rooftops had announced a joint agreement to expand Wrigley Field, how different would the 40-man roster look like right now?

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    The 40 man roster probably wouldn't look much different, but the ball park certainly would look different.

    The current 40 man roster is not a function of the amount of money that the Cubs have or do not have. It is a function of the amount of talent they have in the minors, how close they are to the majors, and who is available on the free agent market.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Thank you!

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Why did you thank him? Did you have a comment yourself?

  • Nailed it. My first thought after hearing everyone's ire was that we need some BASEBALL to actually watch and fret over. If this is any indication of the pent up anger in Cubland, I'm terrified for this season.

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    Felzzy, I just got a chance to read this and chime. After all, we can't have the empire running out of stainless steel. Anyways, I'm in 100% agreement.

  • It's not just the Wittenmyers of the world that disgust me, it's the ever increasing pervasiveness of the "what have you done for me lately?" attitude in this country. Neither Ricketts nor Theo/Jed has ever said they're going to try to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. What they have enunciated, quite clearly, is exactly what they are doing. But the ignorant (and sometimes stupid) don't see the value in building infrastructure for sustained viability on the field. Every business man with two brain cells to rub together builds for sustained success and will never sacrifice tomorrow for today. And there is an element of hypocrisy, too. The same people that hate the "rich" because they can buy whatever they want, whenever they want, hate this "rich guy" for not buying them what THEY want. And yes, "hate" is probably a bit strong a term, but the point stands.

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    In reply to cubs1969:

    Lately? I wouldn't call not winning a World Series since 1908 "lately".

  • In reply to Ray:

    Oh, so let's split hairs with semantics. Has Ricketts been the owner since 1908?

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    In reply to cubs1969:

    No, Ricketts has not been the owner since 1908. Here's what Ricketts has done for Cubs' fans lately though. He's putting any "profits" back into the organization. He put together a modern Front Office which has developed one of the top-rated minor league systems in baseball. He and the city have gotten together on a plan to renovate Wrigley Field. Those are all good things. Now the bad. The Major League product is worse than when he took over. Ticket prices are higher. He and the rooftop owners can't come to an agreement.

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    In reply to Ray:

    Another positive for the Cubs under Ricketts. Ownership will be paying for most, if not all, of the renovations to Wrigley Field.

  • In reply to Ray:

    Then we're in basic agreement, but to bring up 1908 is irrelevant. I'm talking about the fans and writers that only see your last few sentences. You can't put a playoff team together via patchwork when that very patchwork would be to the extent it is. Even attempting that would be ludicrous because it would surely harm the future.

  • Felz, I'm late to the party, but par usual you brought the house down.

    People seem to forget that Jeff S, Travis Wood, and combinations of Jackson, Arrieta, Hammel, etc could step up and get the job done.

    Isn't the playoffs about having starting pitchers who can get the job done? Is our bullpen not better, potentially loaded looking at the guys we have in Triple A and on injury standby?

    We have guys at every position that could be above average players. What's not to like?

    All of us would like more, more, more, and that will never change. But, these are humans, they are BIG LEAGUE ball players, and these games are not played on paper.

    Looking forward to 2014 and a winning season.

  • I've been a Chicago Cubs fan since 1958 when I was 7 years old. One of the first things I learned about being a Cubs fan is that everyday is a slow news day for the Chicago press, so they make their own news. I don't pay too much attention to it, and I would suggest that others do the same.

  • IIhad dinner with your dad in October at the GI with my son and another pal. It was great to see him after over 2 decades. He looks terrific.
    Anent your post. I agree that owners are gas bags, and rRckets fits in.
    Mostly I'm hoping that the team will be competitive, and that some of the prospects deliver for a change.
    Best wishes for a worthwhile season.

  • I don't really understand all the angst. I've learned to keep my expectations low. I think it is crunch time for Steinhoyer. I'm optimistic about Renteria. I really couldn't get behind his predecessor. Organizations either have it, as in St Louis, or don't, as in Houston. I'm not ready to give up on this one. They've changed the minsdset here in a good way. The past was just there to sell the franchise. This one plans to win.

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