The Anarchist's Brunch.

So the big news this week in Cub-land was Alderman Tom Tunney and his band of rooftop owners riding in on their white horses with a plan to help save Wrigley. Well, not quite. The rooftop owners have offered, suggested to put advertising signage and jumbo-trons on their buildings, at no cost to the Cubs. This would allow the rooftops to continue to have unobstructed views of the park and thus continue to charge the incredibly high prices they do and make the obscene amount of money that they make… the Cubs product.

I usually have no love for the rooftop owners. When Andy MacPhail put up the screens in the 90’s, I offered to help and asked if they had enough tape. Imagine if I walked into Murphy’s, took a couple of their kegs, walked across the street with them and started my own bar. They’d be pretty pissed, no? There’s a very parasite feel to how the rooftop owners operate.

But I’ve slowly been changing my tune about the rooftops. I’m not on their side by any means. The Cubs have every right to tell them to go scratch. But the rooftop owners have been giving the Cubs money, do offer a unique service, and quite frankly, took advantage of a situation the Cubs should have taken themselves. One of Sam Zell’s best quotes was “Who was the idiot at Tribune Co. that didn’t invest in real estate around Wrigley Field?

I get friends in from out of town all the time. And every so often instead of tickets I splurge for a rooftop. It’s always, ALWAYS, the highlight of their trip. And the rooftops do a great job of catering to the people who I don’t want in Wrigley anyway- People who are there to party and don’t give a flying fig about the game. Rooftops are almost like a daycare center for the rich and oblivious. What I’m trying to say is they do serve a purpose.

My guess is that the Cubs will tell them thanks but no thanks. But I hope they at least look at the viability of their plan. And possibly incorporate some of their ideas. The rooftops have kind of grown on me. And I think I speak for everyone when I say I’d rather see progress than bickering and fighting.

Emptying the Mind Junk drawer.

So Arguello goes to the hospital for “Fluids”, comes home and immediately writes about Soriano trade speculation and whether the Cubs can compete for the playoffs this year…..nice fluids.

18 year aged, oak barrel single malt fluids is my guess.

I’m so excited by Tony Campana being DFA’d and all his nitwit following crying that I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. It’s the kind of feeling only Cubs Den readers and intelligent Cub fans can feel. A proper organizational rebuild whose process has just started. I hope Campana can make it through waivers. I hope the tears of the Campana believers are as blue as in my dreams. I hope to see Jed Hoyer and shake his hand. I hope…

Nobody asked my opinion on Sammy Sosa, so by all means, let me give it to you.

One Friday afternoon against the Reds with a first pitch, two uncomfortable interviews with Kasper and Hughes and an unintelligible 7th inning stretch and this all goes away…

Rip the band-aid.

Rare is the day that i get so psyched to see a movie on the first day of it’s release. But my favorite directors new movie looks like that kind of film.

You could sign Michael Bourn to a 1 year deal, trade him at the deadline and get more to help your team than you’d ever get from that 2nd round pick right….? Right?

Same with Loshe and a 3rd?

And it seems to me that both Loshe and Bourn would love to re-do this free agency thing in one year without having the albatross of draft pick compensation tied around their neck. So they’d be on board.

This strikes me as one of those “market inefficiencies” that Epstoyer are famed for finding and exploiting.

Just sayin.

Been to caught up with Djokovic beating Murray that I haven’t played a Beatles album yet. But with “I me mine” running through my head, you can pretty much rest assured it will be a “Let it Be” Sunday.

I’ve changed my tune on Scott Hariston from “Meh” to “if anyone can surprise me this year. it will probably be him.”

So Meh to Meh-be.

Blackhawks are 5-0 baby!






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  • "Shawshank Redemption"? I agree about Bourn. Lohse can go fu@+ himself.

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    Great post as usual, Fellz. The "fluids" bit was hysterical.

  • I watched that trailer for Inside Llewyn Davis. John Goodman's resemblance to a billboard is really something. I've been a big fan of the Coen bros ever since I walked over and saw Blood Simple at the Biograph.

    After you finish Let It Be, put on Neil Young's Silver and Gold.

    I'd love it if we could stop teams from tanking for the #1 pick and institute a draft lottery for the bottom 8, it would also make it more interesting for those near the bottom.

    I completely agree with you - Ricketts & clan need to buy every building they can that faces the ballpark. Move the fire station to the triangle lot, replace the apartments with Cub-owned bars, restaurants, and parking garages and place a jumbotron atop them so they'd be visible on either side of the scoreboard.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I don't have Silver and Gold in my arsenal right now. Will "Live at Massey Hall '73" suffice?

  • In reply to felzz:

    One word - spotify

  • I'm all in favor of entrepreneurs making a splash and the profit that goes with it, as I'm a devout conservative. Not having been to Wrigley in years, I'm not all that familiar with the doings and nuances of the rooftop crowd, the owners, and the relationship with the Cubs, but the minute you said it's nothing more than a place for the rich to party, I got real pause about the whole thing. That's because of all the thousands - probably millions - of Cubs fans that have endured this hill over such a long time. If those rooftops are in any way a hindrance to the real, true Cubs fans realizing what we have all longed for all this time, then I say they can go pound sand and find some sports bar in which to party.

  • Felzz, are you just trollin with the Campana DFA bit? I didn't see anything on it. Or maybe it's too early yet this morning for me. Lol.
    I hear ya about the rooftops. It has always reminded me of an old black and white movie where some guy/kid is illegally watching a ballgame thru a knot hole in the fence. Invariably, a police officer comes by and shags him out of there for not paying to see the product.

    So.... the rooftop owners assume the city will just "let" them put up signage AND jumbotrons on their buildings?? While at the same time having lobbied the city to keep the Cubs from doing the same, because it takes away from the neighborhood and hurts their property values. Come on.

  • This roof top business gets old. All this is, is a negotiating ploy to hold up the cubs owners over their new wrigley renovation plan. You know the part whre they cubs owners say we'll pay ourselves just remove the restrictions? Well this is the rooftop owrrs saying yea remover our restrictions too, (restrictions equalling things like laws, codes, regulations and permits to the non 1%) . If the Cubs owners get relief and can ignore these current and long standing codes and city laws, then why shouldn't the roof tops get the same relief and be allowed to operate their business free from any restrictions? More signs more protits for their businesses. Who could possibly object to that?
    Tony Campana fans remind me of DeRossa fans.
    I can't believe it is sunday already, there's no football and we haven't really had any snow. Next thing you'll be telling me it is time for spring training.

  • In reply to eddie35:

    It does get old. But if there are truly no "restrictions", then the Cubs put up signage, jumbotrons, etc and completely block their views. I guess what bothers me most is how the rooftop owners are allowed so much skin in the game, that they truly don't have.

  • Oh, by the way, as far as that no restrictions thing, I've got a parking ticket from o'hare that i haven't paid yet and I would really like to get that "unrestricted" too! Who do I contact at city hall for this? The Chicago Office of Unrestrictions? Do they have a website? Be nice to take care of this online, save a stamp too.

  • In reply to eddie35:

    Apples and oranges.

  • Campana hasn't been DFA'd for those asking. It makes some sense that he'd be on the short list since the Cubs have a glut of OF'ers on the 40 man, partly because they had to sign Matt Szczur and Jorge Soler to MLB deals.

  • I don't know if trolling is the right term. because there isn't a Tony Campana faction that on here that i'm trying to get a rise out of. But there's been this huge "if" chorus surrounding the kid with the enormous glove and it's reached addict like levels. If he gets on base more. If he learns to keep the ball on the ground. If he makes more contact.... blah blah blah. He doesn't. And yet he gets the largest cheer at the convention all seems so misguided to me. And I think being sent outright to Iowa might sooth these waters...

  • In reply to felzz:

    I wonder what the FO (or Sveum) was thinking at that point. Here they've worked hard to acquire, develop, and retain core pieces like Rizzo, Castro, Samardzija, Baez....and the loudest, longest cheers go to a fringe ballplayer.

    I understand he's an exciting baserunner and when he's on base, he was probably the most fun player to watch on the team last year. But excitement and entertainment doesn't win ballgames. Getting on base does, saving runs on defense does. Right now Campana has to do more of that to be of real value rather than just entertainment value.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Read this elsewhere so I'm not sure it's accurate but the Cubs might be able to place one of their players with health questions on the 60-day DL. Supposedly players on the 60-day DL are excluded from the 40-man roster.

  • In reply to Raymond:

    Moving a player to the 60 day DL does open up a spot on the 40 man roster. But I don't believe players can be placed on the 60 day DL until spring training begins.

  • In reply to Raymond:

    There is no DL, 60 days or otherwise, during the off season. There is a 40 man roster, period. When the season starts, someone could be put on the DL, but not before.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Per MLB rules, the 60-day DL can be used starting 45 days before the start of the regular season.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Oh....after the Kerry Wood silliness of the previous convention I bet they had some bets as to which applause would make their eyes roll the hardest. I'm sure Jed, Theo, Pi, Epsilom know that they're dealing with a different type of fanbase here....

  • In reply to felzz:

    Generation after generation.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    People love the underdog. They can relate to the guy who is to little, not strong enough, not enough skills. That was them. Plus he plays with a lot of energy and looks like he is having fun out there.
    It's a shame he can't hit a little better, he would be a great 5th outfielder then.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    So Eddie Gaedel was just a gimmick and not a real prospect? I hate the Bill Veeck mentality of entertainment instead of wins. I want a juggernaut, consistency, a front-to-backer season year in and year out. By the way, if one one wants to take on a "what if" piece, my great Uncle Leroy swears Babe Ruth was almost sold to the Cubs instead of the Yankees. How different would the last 90 years had been if that happened?

  • In reply to Jive Wired:

    I think I heard some story where there was a plan for someone to buy the team and bring Babe Ruth in. The details escape me right now. At any rate it's probably just a Cub urban legend :)

  • In reply to felzz:


  • In reply to felzz:

    Sorry, trolling might not have been the ideal term. I did try to think of another one but got lazy and left it. Lol. Actually you got me excited that he had been DFA'd and I immediately searched for a news release. Personally I can't believe he has lasted this long, considering all the other players who have been removed from the 40 man. Especially the ones we lost. I guess Chicago fans love an underdog, but the problem comes in when people cling to a player emotionally and stop thinking critically/rationally. I agree about him being out-righted to Iowa. Maybe then some fans would see how every other team turned him down and possibly they could recalibrate the value they placed on him.

  • Campana isn't an accomplished enough bunter to keep the infield honest or hit the ball with enough authority to keep the outfield honest. I like watching him run the bases, but he is only on when he pinch runs.

  • Hear, hear! I am tired of the rooftop vendors being portrayed as the little man and victim. They were squatters to begin with! I don't blame them for trying, I blame a system that would allow it to perpetuate to this level. Eventually the bloodsucker doth suck too much!

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    The Cubs claimed that the Rooftop owners never approached the club with their proposal, rather they held a press conference immediately to present it. They clearly must think that they are only going to get a deal if they get the public on their side to exert pressure on the Cubs.

    I think that' s a bad miscalculation. Back when rooftops were a couple guys with lawnchairs and coolers hanging out, it was campy and about the "little guy". It's now billionaires vs. Millionaires, and the fans know it. Look no further than the $100+ ticket prices on those rooftops. It's just a business.

    I think the public, like myself, doesn't shed a tear for the rooftop owners, and judging by some of these comments, I think I'm right. If they spent all this money to build out all thier stands, etc, and now that's at risk, any good lawyer could have looked at their contract with the Cubs and told them that risk existed.

    So Boo-Hoo on the rooftop owners. They have every right to negotiate, but the Cubs have all the leverage in the world

    The party is over for the rooftop owners, certainly figuratively, and maybe literally.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Well said Zonk.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Guys longtime reader - first time poster -
    First off enjoy the Forum - and the Civility

    One comment on all the rooftop posts thats being missed
    is The cubs signed a long term contract - 20 years I believe with
    the roof top owners - where they get 17% of the total gross revenue proceeds - which amounts to several million a year. The City also gets its amusement tax revenue as it does with all sports tix.
    So thats how they have a seat at the table - the Cubs signed a contract with them - and now they are threatening to change the deal. Its all PR and posturing - and reeks of Crane Kenney.

    But agree Cubs could have bought all of them over the years for nothing. Even when prices went up they could have jumped in - that little A Frame house that used to be On Waveland that you see on Glenn Allen Hills monster bomb went for $750K in 1998 - the newest rooftops on Sheffield - that used to be a parking lot - by Sports Corner - dirt went for 6 Million 2 or 3 years ago.

  • In reply to deport soraino com:

    I have heard that the Cubs have a buyout in the contract, and the rooftops would take a bath if they were no longer able to sell views to the stadium. As you point out, they paid big bucks for the properties, which crash in value without the poaching ball games feature.
    Makes sense, because you are seeing real desperation and panic with the rooftop association. The guy trying to make the argument that people come to the area for the bars and neighborhood, and this helps the Cubs draw crowds, well that is just bizarro world.
    Kind of brilliant what the Cubs are doing now. The amount of revenue increase that can be generated by the new plan are staggering.

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    agreed - But we all know the real money is in the new TV deal. Dodgers I believe just signed something long term that is between 6 - 7 BILLION. The Cubs got like 800K for the toyota sign - thats nothing and at some point that stuff does take away from the park. Its a slow drip every year there is more advertising - Under Armor a couple years back, Toyota sign, the Bud Light Bleachers, the new LED sign last year, - I know it ads up but its peanuts - The Cubs will be literally Printing money when they sign a new TV deal - So I just dont think they should desecrate the place in the mean time for a couple Mil.

  • In reply to deport soraino com:

    Welcome aboard brother!
    I understand that the rooftop owners have a contract with the Cubs. That contract is separate from what the Cubs decide to do with their own ballpark/property. If the rooftop owners believe that the Cubs at some point have broken that contract, they can easily sue them for that breach. To me, that contract doesn't give them a seat at the table to dictate what the Cubs can and can't do.

  • If we signed Bourn for a year, and traded him in July, there wouldn't be a prayer of getting anything back resembling the value of a second round draft choice.

    With the new Labor agreement, purchasing amateur free agents has been so restricted that high draft choices have become gold.

  • There is Football today....6pm on NBC ...Touch Football with the NFL All Stars from Hawaii...

    After the third quarter last night, Spike Lee should have told the Bulls "Get on the Bus".....

    Blackhawks are looking good.....

    Sammy down fall began when he got hit in the head in Pittsburgh..... Kerry Wood smashed Sammy's music box.....then Sammy walked out on the Cubs and the stadium in the 7th inning in his last game........Kerry Wood should be our ambassador......Kerry showed class & love in his last game, especially the part with his son....sorry Sammy, what you did with steroids will stick in the minds of many of us have your money, now go back to D.R.....

    latest Soriano trade rumor is Texas and Baltimore in on talks.....

    This Wrigley Field / bar owners signage issue will end up in the courts.....and the Mayor & the city will side with the bar owners and put more restrictions on the Cubs.

    Breakfast smoothie for me this morning.

  • "Rooftops are almost like a daycare center for the rich and oblivious."

    Marvelous. Just terrific.

  • The rooftops have become part of the tradition, history, and landscape of Wrigley Field. I am always surprised by the many fans that comment and take interest in what has become a part of the experience of attending games at Wrigley. I would like to see an agreement that can be fair to all concerned.

  • I have no sympathy for the bloodsucking rooftop owners. But they really do add a unique vibe that has enhanced the charm of Wrigley. Cubs paid a ton for the McDonalds property. They should pay more tons to buy up all the rooftops and incorporate them into the whole renovation game plan.

    . . . The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

    . . . If Crawford can hold up his end, Hawks can definitely do it again.

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    In reply to Nondorf:

    McDonalds lot was $20 Mil - and I do agree with the Cubs that a hotel would be great for the area. Not a lot of options right now out there for out of towners exept for a couple bad spots on Diversey & Clark.

    But again part of this whole Cubs vs the City thing is they havent done what they said they would in the past. Triangle lot was supposed to have been built - and it was to have around 400 parking spots -
    which I think would be bad for the area - i walk or ride by bike - but point is - as part of adding 1700+ Bleacher seats & getting approval to do so - the cubs said they would build it - and they didnt.
    So now here we are again Cubs - saying theyll spend $300 million, create 2000+ jobs, build a hotel etc etc - but they didnt do what they said they would last time.
    Its all PR and posturing but they have a little blame in this thing as well.

  • In reply to deport soraino com:

    I think that the Trib's money problems may have had something to do with building that parking garage.

  • In reply to deport soraino com:

    You make some discussion points..... but I dislike your handle, especially with the misspelling, and slur, of a good guy's name.

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    A new ballpark wouldn't bother me but I do love Wrigley. And that's the next step, give Ricketts what he wants or he will explore more drastic options. If the Cubs leave, it will destroy that area. You can say they won't leave but the possibility does exist.

    The Cubs have every right to exert pressure on the Rooftops Association. It's almost a copyright violation (I'm in the music business) with a tenuous agreement in place, at best, to keep both sides playing nice. But the Cubs deserve a bigger piece of the pie. Forget about game tickets. Those bars are caked well past midnight during game days.

    Give the Cubs more night games, including weekends between June and September. Give them a higher percentage of game-related revenues derived from rooftop sales. Let the Cubs modernize Wrigley. Allow more concerts on off days (Pearl Jam -yes!). Basically kiss the Cubs ass. Why risk the team moving to the suburbs? And negotiating through the press? That indicates real fear IMO. I wish Ricketts would buy all those buildings and put their belongings on the lawn. The comment about stealing kegs and selling beer across the street? Spit on.

  • I get friends in from out of town all the time. And every so often instead of tickets I splurge for a rooftop. It's always, ALWAYS, the highlight of their trip. And the rooftops do a great job of catering to the people who I don't want in Wrigley anyway- People who are there to party and don't give a flying fig about the game. Rooftops are almost like a daycare center for the rich and oblivious. What I'm trying to say is they do serve a purpose.

    THIS. Excellent, felzz.

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