Telander article paints a vulgar picture of today's newspaper industry

When I was a kid, I used to look forward to getting the paper.  I wasn’t worldly or anything.  I just wanted to read about baseball.  I wanted to read writers like Rick Telander.  I thought about how fun it would be to have such a job.  Writing about baseball and getting paid for it?  It seemed to good to be true.

As Telander continues to flail away at  the windmills, it is becoming obvious that the game has passed him by.  I wonder what happened to that dream job?  What has gone wrong? Maybe I have changed.  Maybe the world has changed.  I really don’t know.  I just know that I don’t read the paper anymore.

The uncomfortable, yet undeniable reality is is that the newspaper is the dead star of the media industry.

But oh, the plans they weave….

Rather than employing journalists who write to enlighten fans, some choose to get people to react.  The focus has changed from informing the public to the best of their ability to doing what they can to sell papers.

It doesn’t matter that Telander’s story is ludicrous.  It will get attention.  Even those of us who avoid the paper can’t escape it.  For some fans, Telander’s words ring true.  They go straight to their gut.  It speaks to them on an emotional level.  It articulates their frustration about the Cubs lack of success when it comes to bottom line results.  It males them angry.  It makes them react.

For others like me, it rings hollow.  Yet the reaction — the results — are the same. It goes straight to the gut.  It speaks to us on an emotional level.  It makes us angry.  It makes us react.

And oh. the sickening greed…

Either way the paper “wins” because it gets people to read the story.  It gets people to talk about it.  You can almost hear the  cacophony of clicks, ruffling papers, and the cha-chings of a cash register run amok.

Telander is an intelligent man, so why is he railing against an intelligent rebuilding process?  Why is he making fun of those who understand and embrace that process?  It’s a disturbing trend in the media. The message they are sending is this, “Don’t trust the educated and the intelligent”.  “They don’t care about you, they only care about themselves.  There is no interest in putting a good product out there.  They only care about making money…”

Well, I can turn that argument back on newspapers that print these type of articles.

 Why should the quality of your product matter if people are buying it anyway?

There is one consistency with this type of coverage and it is this:  Only results matter.  Who cares about how you do things as long as long you get immediate results?  Who cares about process?  Just sell out to get those instant clicks and cha-chings.  Who cares about the obvious long term repercussions?  That’s too far away for people to care.  Just worry about that when it comes and be sure to point the finger at someone for the mess. Why shouldn’t the local baseball team follow suit, pander to the masses. and sell out to get instant wins?  Why not?

What makes most people feel happy 
Leads us headlong into harm 

I’ve heard very nice things about Telander as a person.  There is a part of me that wants to believe that, as a writer, he is still better than this.  Somewhere underneath it all is the intelligent, talented, fair-minded journalist I knew as a kid.   Maybe he is just being swept up in a media trend.  Maybe it’s just a persona, a role that journalists play to satisfy the goals of their employers.  Don’t blame the messenger.    It’s not the writer, it’s the paper and the changing face of journalism that is to blame.    I truly want to give Telander a pass for these reasons, but for one thing,

You could have said no 
If you’d wanted to 
You could have walked away 
…Couldn’t you ? 

Filed under: Uncategorized

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Telander is just angry that Theo pretty much called him a fool after the ridiculous question he asked at the press conference.

  • In reply to jocman96:

    That would be petty of him if true.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, I worked in the media as a young man out in Los Angeles in the mid 70s as an intern while I was in high school. The thing that struck me most about them was how few of them really cared about honesty and telling the truth. Hate to say this, but most of them thought a dishonest but entertain ing story meant more than telling the truth. My experience at KABC radio(the Dodgers station. no less) is one of the reasons I never pursued media as a career. And Telander is just one of the many examples of such an attitude, particulary the reporters from large media outlets.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I worked in a field where I had to deal with the media on a regular basis. The vast majority do not care about the facts. It's all about getting the most sensational story out first and the hell with accuracy.

    Telander reminds me of the older retired players who poo-poo the entire notion of statistical analysis because they know better because they played. Granted, these retired players know more of the nuance of the game, but which one is an Ivy League educated statistician? Telander isn't one either.

  • In reply to AggBat:

    Thanks AGG-Ive actually met several national media figures down thru the years, notably Brian Williams back in the late 90s and Gwen Ifill of PBS not long thereafter. These 2 were perfect examples of everything you just pointed out. Arrogant and out-of-touch were nice ways to describe both of them.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to AggBat:

    Again, as I said to mutant beast, you are generalizing. Actually, those who rely on the media to get their information are often dishing PR, and it is the media's job to sort out fact from promotion. We aren't always successful.

    Now again, I speak only for print media. But any respectable media outlet will fail if it doesn't care about accuracy.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mutant beast:

    As you can see from my comments I am throwing print media under the bus on this like everybody else, but I've worked in newspapers of all sizes for 30 years as a reporter and editor and can tell you that entertainment over getting the story right has NEVER ONCE been the goal anywhere I've worked.

    Inadvertent mistakes, check. Incompetence on occasion, check. Not informed enough, it happens. Covering the stories that will draw the highest readership, definitely. But entertainment at the expense of the truth? I would say you're speaking without really knowing what you are talking about.

    Column writing is another beast. It's still opinion, no matter what you make of it. Though I've been involved a little with radio, I don't know nearly as much about it so I can't speak authoritatively there.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Greg, just back in 2008 I attended an event with over 10,000 guests at it, a charity event to raise $ for wounded vets. The local media said several days before the event they would send someone to cover it. Not a single ONE reporter from either the print or electronic media came to cover it. Meanwhile some stupid protest about our local county sheriff here with 6 protesters drew every single media outlet in town. Seems the organizers of the anti-sheriff event arranged ahead of time to call the local TV stations and tell them where the "protest" was and at what time. Its things like that Im pointing out. Creating "news" where none exists.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mutant beast:

    Sure, that's what I mean when I say that the media is sometimes going to cover what the most people are going to read (that's just good business, and it is a business). I'm just saying it isn't going to intentionally print lies, as a general rule. That's asking for a string of lawsuits for one, and two it's asking individual reporters to throw integrity out the window. When you lose that, as an individual reporter or editor, you lose everything because trust me, we aren't reaping any benefits from the bottom line.

    I can honestly tell you - and I don't doubt your story in the least - that where I work in the Washington, D.C. suburbs we regularly do stories on the wounded vets and the military in general. So it varies from paper to paper in terms of the decisions that are made and for what reasons. But willful disregard for the truth? - for all it's shortcomings, that's just not prevalent in the industry.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Gregory, smart response. Telander has a decent track record, so maybe it's an outlying, ill-informed rant after scarfing a tummy-rumbling bowl of stale Wheaties for breakfast. Who knows? Even Mike Royko whiffed on occasion.

    But the post by Rick points to something real: What do dead-tree print media do in the internet toobz era, twitter, blogs, et al? Newspapers and magazines are a shell of what they were 20 years ago when I was a business writer and editor, and real journalism jobs have been evaporating for years. The Telander post more closely resembles an angry rant on a political blog, preaching to the same-thinking choir, after brushing Cheetos off of the lap.

    I exclude radio and television because ... few do anything remotely resembling what I regard as "journalism". Silly old-fashioned me.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mutant beast:

    I believe you are correct, mb. I'm from a very small town that made the national headlines about 6 years ago. Several high school students were implicated in a beatdown by nearly 30 eye witness statements. CNN rolls into the small town and reports verbatim what the kids' parents say, parents who heard the story second hand from their children. A close friend of mine at the time worked for the assistant DA and was in the courthouse frequently. He said CNN was in the courthouse for over two weeks poring over the eye witness statements, but never mentioned a word about how nearly all of them contradicted what the students were saying. Yes, they gather (for example) 150 pieces of information and carve out a story to their liking with 30 pieces of it. Stories like Ferguson, MO... you are unlikely to ever know the truth. Freedom of the press is unfortunately a double-edged sword when ethical standards society-wide seem to be on the decline.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Joe Stallings:

    Now here you are talking about the electronic media, which is a bit of a different animal. And again, I don't have any inside knowledge there. And yes, things have changed from the days of Walter Cronkite.

    Thankfully, we have Fox News Channel to give us the truth. :-)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    yes it would be petty John. I met Brian Williams about 15 years ago. He was as much a petty jerk as youd ever want to meet. Not too often I get an immediate dislike of someone, but I did with him. Seems today there are way too many petty types in the media in general.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I have not been able to read much of anything he has wrote for 3 years. while he writes about sports his topics are not interesting. This article I smelled the garbage and moved on to something else. Not a fan of Ricks.

  • In reply to Tom Hack:

    I rarely read him anymore. Stumbled onto it today and felt I just had to respond.

  • In reply to jocman96:

    What was the question Telander asked?

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    He asked when will it be 2016 or 2019 when the TV money comes in. It follows the Sun-Times theme that we are being mislead for the next five years. Theo's reply was pure gold.

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    What did he say? Or is there a link to the transcript?

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    This was Theo's response to Telander's question:
    “Well, I think those that have been paying attention to what we are doing realize that we’ve made tremendous amount of progress in that the 2015 Cubs are in a much better position to compete and to win certainly than the 2012 Cubs."

    He pretty much just said that he wasn't paying any attention to what the Cubs have really been doing.

  • In reply to jocman96:

    Thanks for posting that.

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    Thanks jocman and Greggie.

  • I will occasionally watch some of Chicago Sports talk live on CSN and Telander is the worst. It's unfortunate what's happened to the newspaper media

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Javier Bryant:

    They are painful to watch. When I was a kid, and well into adulthood, these guys knew way more than we did. They had the access. They knew the team inside out.

    Now, not so much. A diehard fan who wants to invest the time reading most everything available out there knows more on a lot of levels than many of the writers. Maybe not the beat guys who are out there every day and have good contacts, but even for some of them, there isn't the exclusive privilege anymore.

    And many of them know this. They don't have that edge on all the readers. The guy who wants to immerse himself in his team and cares a whole lot more than that writer is going to spend more time reading about everything that is going on, keeping up with sabermetrics, etc.

    So now, all a writer like Telander can do is offer some red meat to those who are relatively uninformed.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    In "fairness," baseball is a lot more complicated now than it was when the print media was the only game in town. It's not just the advances in the collection of empirical data and the sophistication of the people who use that data, it's also the CBA and all the "moneyball" issues that go along with that when you're trying to put together a baseball team. It's OK to decry the role of money in baseball (in the sense that "it's OK to piss into the wind"), but you can't ignore it. Some of these older writers don't like the role of money and all the complicated new rules, and so they ignore them and that's professional malpractice.

  • In reply to Javier Bryant:

    Javy, its not only the newspaper media. Its the media in general, and the sports media is the worse of them all. Look at Kieth Olbermann. Talk about the worse, hes it.

  • In reply to Javier Bryant:

    How quickly we have forgotten Skip Bayless.

  • Can't help but think back to Jay Marriotti leaving the Sun-Times for web-based journalism, saying that the future of sports journalism was the internet. Marriotti would have been so at-home at the Sun-Times today and apparently nobody is interested in his stuff on the web.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    Marriotti is another who just wants people to react.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I was convinced Marriotti just wrote the crap he did to inflame enough people that he'll get invited to onto radio shows and tv shows. I really think he basically tried to inflame as many stories as possible to increase his exposure. I basically stopped reading sports sections when I realized that's what he was doing. There is no possible way someone could truly believe half the crap he spouted.

  • In reply to SenatorMendoza:

    That is kind of where I am at. I remember Telander in his earlier days and part me thinks there's no way he can believe what he is saying. I want to believe that, anyway.

  • The title of Telander's column is "Not Buying Cubs, Theo's Song and Dance." My comment would be: "Not Buying the Sun-Times, and Neither is Anybody Else."

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    Ha!

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    Touche'

  • The first thing to consider is that sports columnist have always been sports columnists. No different than say, Jay Mariotti, Skp Bayless, or Dan Bernstein.

    Second, you assume that everyone buys the Theo cool aid. Your followers were all demanding Theo get an extension. Theo about promised that the Cubs would be in contention for the wild card in 2015. Maybe he should make good on that promise first. He is "under control" for 2 more years. He should understand the word "control".

    Third, the Cubs ended tied with another team in this city this year--one that, while making some trades, did not intentionally tank for 3 years and knew that its fans would not pay for crummy baseball. Yet Theo won't throw the fans "cookies."

    Finally, with such things as a TV deal still not announced, and Athletico saying it would not renew its Cubs contract, even though it was sticking with every other team in Chicago, the business side does not look as promised, either.

  • In reply to jack:

    I always find the "Kool-Aid" term amusing, as if one person or group has the only handle on reality and the rest are brain-washed masses. What one person might find "truthful" another may find as a manipulative ploy to react and bypass thinking.

    Maybe you are taking healthy swigs of the Anti-Theo crowd's Kool-Aid?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    No, I am taking aim at the sheep who are apparently the only other commenters on this board. I don't know how you made your reading comprehension error.

    The facts I stated above are truthful, and I don't need Telender to argue them to me.

    However, the rest of your commenters are apparently of the view that they will only read columns by authors saying "we worship at the Temple of Theo, and ask, during Yom Kippur v' Epsteinur, that He give us absolution."

  • In reply to jack:

    Did you follow the team during the Dallas Green years? Did you see what he was doing in terms of a rebuild, and how ownership derailed the plans by throwing cookies at the non-"cool aid drinkers"?

    I actually view it as unfortunate that the "other team in this city" is paralyzed by a fan base that would not support their team through a rebuild like the Cubs are undertaking. It's sad. really.

  • In reply to Denizen Kane:

    Why is it sad?

    Do you like pissing away your money for an inferior product? Did you go to Bulls games when Tyson Chandler had perpetual back problems? Somehow that waiting list went to zero in no time.

    Or are you the kind of Cubs fan on which Ricketts has counted--going there to check out girls and drink Bud Lights?

    I noted before that I agreed with Barry Rozner's view--Theo may have a plan, but don't pay for tickets until it works.

    But I guess he is another sports columnist.

    But the next time, instead of using cliches like "sad," put some facts behind it.

  • In reply to jack:

    Hey man. I've scouted out a few really sweet looking bridges for you.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Why? I am not buying this junk. You seem to be the one with no brains willing to buy anything.

  • In reply to jack:

    No, I get it man. You're way smarter than all of us sheeple. All I'm saying is that you may not want to buy this junk, but there are some really eff-ing sweet bridges here that you might want to buy to live under.

  • In reply to jack:

    So we are.. be continually ruined by it

  • In reply to jack:

    "buying" ? Im not a season ticket holder. Havent even bought my Kris Bryant jersey (yet).

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    What is your obsession with bridges? Do you work for the bankrupt ITR?

    If you are intending an insult, I don't give a darn about your High Gloss and Sauce humor.

    Look all those up.

  • In reply to jack:

    ITR?! I wish!!! I'm such a moron, though, that I wouldn't even be qualified to work for a bankrupt business. I would also look up the other things, too, jack, but I'm too stupid to do so. However, it would make me even more idiotic if I didn't advise you to look up the relationship of bridges to trolls and what a troll is in the parlance of our day. Clearly you didn't get the allusion. I'll refrain from making allusions in the future as my simple mind seems to grasp them while your sophisticated mind doesn't.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jack:

    Now we are making Telander look good.

  • In reply to jack:

    What is your point to bring up my blog, Jack?

  • In reply to jack:

    why are you always talking about High Gloss and Sauce? You seem to be as obsessed with Jenna as you do with the Cubs.

  • In reply to jack:

    I apologize for using the cliched term "sad". What I meant to accomplish by using that cliche was to express my feeling of sorrow that the White Sox don't have a more loyal fan base, in particular after winning the World Series. I'll try to be more factual in sharing my personal feelings moving forward.

  • In reply to jack:

    Good point!
    As someone that moved from Chicago to Washington DC, and scored Nationals tickets to game one tomorrow (no worries, die hard Cubs fan), it's nice to know that I can root for the local team that never lost games to acquire prospects.
    Can't wait to see the Strasburg/Harper duo and realize that they got the best NL record the right way- by winning as many games as possible every year.

    Oh wait.... That's not what happened. They got two #1's in a row.
    We didn't even bomb as badly as the Nats did there for those years.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jack:

    Jack:

    If your daughter has a dance competition this weekend (assuming you have a daughter), I'm assuming it will be pointless that you went unless she wins the competition. Extreme example but I believe my point is valid.

  • In reply to jack:

    I've always sensed a vein of anti-Semitism in the Epstein bashers. He's either pretending to be "the Messiah" or everything he says has some calculated sinister double meaning behind it. You bring it to the surface well, Jack. Ugly indeed.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Considering that I am Jewish, and my mother was in a concentration camp, keep your condescension to yourself.

  • In reply to jack:

    I'm Jewish as well. And I find your comments disgusting.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    How would anti-Semitism enter into the picture? Does anyone here know what Epstein's religion is?

  • In reply to jack:

    So "about promised" constitutes as fact? Or is that just an inference you made? Maybe you didn't comprehend Theo correctly? Frankly, I don't see a lot of facts, just plenty of inferences/assumptions that you believe. Calling it fact doesn't make it so.

  • In reply to jack:

    I dont drink Kool aid, Im more of a rum-and -coke sort myself. Maybe you need to understand the word "rebuild". The White Sox spent a lot on Abreu and traded for Garcia-and it got them what, 5 more wins? I know its tough to take, but the losing unfortunately HAD to happen. Heres what Id like to know from Telander-If in 2016 the Cubs either win or even make the Series, is he going to write any articles apologizing to anyone in the Cubs FO? Im not holding my breath on that one.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    For me, I have always defined a "cool-aid" drinker as someone who can not logically or systematically make their argument. Instead they resort to insult or slander. Repetition is not intellect!

    So you sir, do not qualify, so I can't ask what is your favorite flavor!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Quasimodo:

    The term is more of rip on who is saying it than who is buying it. It's a way to say that you're being sold a bill of goods without investigating it or listening and processing other ideas.

    Obviously, most of us know this. But most of us have also spent three years thinking about and contemplating the alternatives to the complete rebuild. And to this point, I have not heard one of those ideas that make sense.

    The Cubs needed fixing from the bottom up.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    My guess is Jack must like burnt Orange.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I've found the "Mixed Berry" flavor of Kool-Aid to be the closest to Cubbie blue in color, and as long as this isn't Jonestown, Guyana on November 18, 1978 I don't see what's wrong with drinking it.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    LOL!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    As long as we get to see Kool-Aid man burst through a brick wall and make a loud, deep-rumbled "YEAH!!!", I will drink the Kool-Aid for several more years.

  • In reply to Joe Stallings:

    This is a great point :)

  • In reply to Joe Stallings:

    ...as long as it's not the brick outfield wall at Wrigley Field....that has landmark status. ;-)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thank goodness we have a rational even keeled poster to reveal what a charlatan you are John. I can now think for myself again. If I ever meet you, I'll wear sunglasses and not look you in the eye. No way I get hypnotized into buying you a scotch.

  • In reply to jack:

    John's followers? That's insulting man. We are all free thinkers. John encourages friendly debate, and it frequently happens here. You want to be frustrated, fine. But to assume that all of us are little more than sheep waiting to be herded is insulting and wrong.

    There are many different ways to build a team. And the Yankees are showing that the piece meal approach no longer works in modern baseball. The Cubs showed that putting a band-aid on it doesn't always work. The FO was transparent in their approach. And just because we are a large market team doesn't mean we should stray from it. Be a little more patient, it might do you some good.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Break The Curse:

    Yep. We wouldn't be on this site if we weren't inside baseball people.

    That said, tying this to Telander, I want to read people who know more than I do. Who make me think. And that includes John and some of "his followers."

    It doesn't mean that I agree with John and others on everything, and I think I have something to contribute to the discussion.

    Therein lies the second component, after wanting to read people who know more than I do. Views should evolve as more voices are heard and additional information becomes available. Those who dig their heels in on what they believe no matter what have little value to me.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Nice post. Agree on all counts. Even John has debated one way, seen a poster take an educated alternate view and altered his opinons a bit. It's what makes this blog great.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jack:

    I'm failing to see whatever logic you are grasping at here.

    The Cubs, who (according to you) were tanking...
    finished tied with the Sox who made trades because their fans won't pay for crummy baseball.

    So the Sox sucked...admirably?
    But the Cubs sucking is somehow unacceptable.

    See, if we are drinking the Theo "kool-aid," it's because we can see that the Cubs future is very bright. The Cubs and Sox are moving in opposite directions, so feel free to admire their mediocrity.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    C'mon Giffmo. The dude is using "facts" and we don't ever use any of those things. He's totally got us figured out! Let's just admit that he's a genius, we're morans (St. Louis Cards fan spelling), and let's turn this blog over to jack so that we can read lots of insightful, fact-filled posts along with lots of uncapitalized proper nouns. It'll be awesome!!!

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Gitmo, what makes you think that they are moving in opposite directions?

    The Sox had the current record because of injuries and a weak bullpen. The Cubs had their record because of former Sox,E Jax and Ryan Sweeney, among others.

    So, of course, the logic escapes you.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jack:

    You say that like there's logic there.

    So if Eaton would've played 25-30 more games and Avisail Garcia would've played another 90, then suddenly they are .500? Really?

    Man, you got me there.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Giffmo:

    (Referring to Jack)

    "We have a deserter! Someone bring him back to Johnstown. We need to tie him up and force Kool-Aid down his throat! Quickly, before the plain takes off!"

  • In reply to jack:

    "The Sox had the current record because of injuries and a weak bullpen."

    Yep, no other team had injuries and of course, the decisions as to which personnel comprised their bullpen was completely out of the Sox's control. They're not to blame for a poor bullpen.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jack:

    OH, and If you want to play the EXCUSES game, we can play that game.

    The Cubs had one of the hardest schedules in the league for the first quarter on the year, but after that rough stretch, we weren't that bad.

    The last ~3/4 of the season we were 60-62. 1 game off of .500
    the last 2/3 of the year we were 53-55. Again, 1 off of .500
    the last 1/3 of the year we were 28-27. Is that... ABOVE .500

    Sorry? What's that you say? Injuries you say?

    Toward the end of the season Castro missed the last 28 games and Rizzo missed 22 games.
    There were 12 games where their injuries actually overlapped and we had NEITHER in the game. We lost 9 of the 12 games they were both absent in.

    But yeah, if you would've just had Garcia, you guys would've smoked everyone!
    Even though the last third of the sox season they were 19-32, after *gasp* trading players.

  • In reply to jack:

    Cubs and Sox are not moving in opposite directions. It's actually worse than that. The Sox are moving towards mediocrity, which under the current CBA will doom them for a generation. So in terms of whose future I'd rather have, I'd say without hesitation it's the Cubs future.

    BTW: The Cubs did not intentionally "tank seasons." They made certain moves that were necessary despite what would happen to the won-loss record in the short term. But it was the abysmal seasons that Rizzo, Castro and Jackson had that doomed them in 2013 to White Sox levels of craptitude, something that no front office could have predicted. And in 2014 it was losing Rizzo, Castro, Sweeney and Ruggiano for significant periods of time due to injuries, plus Veras and Jackson's freakishly bad seasons that doomed them to White Sox levels of craptitude this year. Again, the front office could not have planned this. So either the White Sox are the greatest con artists in the world and have you and the media buying their story that they're not in it to lose it, or their model is flat out wrong.

    Notwithstanding all this, the Cubs had a 33-32 record post All-Star game despite the injuries, despite Jackson, despite giving significant playing time to struggling rookies, which is one of the great things you can do when you're rebuilding, and despite a schedule heavily loaded with contending teams. Sox were 28-38. For two straight seasons the Sox haven't been able to beat the Cubs record, despite the Cubs supposedly tanking seasons on purpose. And yet it's the Cubs losing that gets all the attention. Why is that? I'll tell you why.

    Nobody gives a crap about the White Sox, win or lose. They won the World Series in 2005 and no one gave a crap. This is a Cubs town and the only way to sell papers is to talk about the Cubs. The only way to troll is to bash the Cubs.

    And, yes, your comment about Theo was extremely offensive.

  • In reply to jack:

    The cubs had their current record because their rebuild plan hasnt reached its final stages.. so of course the logic escapes you.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    BTW, Gitmo, did the Sox trade Sale for 2 prospects? Or did they come to contract terms with him?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jack:

    Sale signed a $32 million contract before he turned 24.

    Shark, who was already 29, turned down 85 million.

    Oh, and Shark had already signed a 10 million dollar deal when he was drafted, while Sale's bonus was 1.6 million.

    Yeah. Let's pretend that's the same thing.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    why let facts get in the way of a bad rant. Jack don't want facts.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Well, Jack, I think it's settled. You don't know jack.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, why are you so angry?

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Giff, maybe the question that might be nice to ask Jack would be, ask 31 other baseball GMs whose team they would rather be GM of right now, the Cubs, the Stankees or the White Sux? Im betting 75% or better would disagree with Telander and Jack.

  • In reply to jack:

    "Third, the Cubs ended tied with another team in this city this year--one that, while making some trades, did not intentionally tank for 3 years and knew that its fans would not pay for crummy baseball."

    I'm pretty sick of this "tanking" argument, especially when held up against the White Sox's track record. What does it say about the other team in town in the Cubs were "intentionally tanking" and the Sox will be drafting in front of the Cubs for 2 of the 3 years that Theo's been in town? It says the Sox are better are unintentionally losing than the Cubs? Let the tanking argument go.

  • In reply to Boogens:

    This is a fantastic point. Also, the Cubs have been transparent about their process. If you were a season ticket holder and didn't like the process they were taking, you always had the right to not renew your tickets the next season. If you weren't a season ticket holder, you could "boycott" the team and not attend a game until they are successful. Whereas the poor Sox fans keep getting told they are competing every year and yet have been just as bad as the Cubs. Why isn't the anger being directed at the team who is clearly selling a bill of goods?

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    If anyone is drinking the Kool-Aid, it's Sox fans.

    And there's two very good reasons to extend Theo now: First, the progress made in the last three years is unbelievable and there's no reason to doubt that he really knows what he's doing, and second, he's assembled a fantastic collection of talented, forward-thinking executives, scouts, analysts and coaches who, if they are not given assurances of continuity, will soon be moving to other teams who are now recruiting these types of people aggressively.

  • In reply to jack:

    BTW Jack no one, especially John , ":demanded" that Theo get an extension. All he did was suggested Ricketts should consider it. And he was right, unlike you. You seem to be e troll who fancies himself as another Telander or Kieth Olbermann.

  • In reply to jack:

    RE: "sports columnist have always been sports columnists. No different than say, Jay Mariotti, Skp Bayless"

    It's interesting that you went right to scraping the bottom of the barrel with your examples of sports columnists, whose writing styles amounted to taking the most sardonic and superficial views possible in order to draw readers/eyeballs, regardless of the truth or complexity of a situation.

    Just because this city has had a few terrible sports columnist in the past doesn't mean that their aren't also plenty of excellent journalists in the world who base their articles on actual facts, and who write with the depth and nuance which reality requires if you are looking for the truth. Hitler & Mussolini were the leaders of nations, and yet we expect more from those who wish to lead today, despite the actions of past leaders.

    RE: "Second, you assume that everyone buys the Theo cool aid."

    No, you are assuming that their is such a thing as "Theo kool-aid". Despite the fact that you have no idea what it takes to run a winning baseball organization. Theo on the other hand is one of the most respected baseball minds and organizational leaders on the planet (with two Championships), and that is a view universally shared by people who actually have the knowledge, experience, and credibility to judge such things... unlike the baseless and contrived claims from some "jack" on the internet.

    RE: "Your followers were all demanding Theo get an extension."

    Neither John nor the Cubs Den has "followers" (unless you are talking about facebook). John and the Cubs Den do have a very large readership, thanks to the consistency and excellent quality of the articles and content that John and his staff produce daily. The opinions of that readership are vast and filled with countless opposing views and opinions. However the readership does agree when it comes to the facts, and those with false and spurious claims are quickly shot down. If you are looking for a place to proliferate false or dubious narratives, then you've come to the wrong place.

    RE: "the Cubs ended tied with another team in this city this year"

    What's your point? The Sox had a $91 Million team salary this year, the Cubs had an $89 Million team salary....yet the Cubs were tanking and the Sox were going for it? The only thing you are missing there is logic and common sense....Not to mention the fact that their isn't a Front Office in the game that would take the Sox future over the Cubs.

    RE: "Finally, with such things as a TV deal still not announced, and Athletico saying it would not renew"

    Again what's your point? I hope you are not implying that a TV deal won't get done? First of all, you have no idea what is happening on the business side...and secondly, why should it matter to you as a "fan"? The business side is not preventing the baseball side from doing what it needs to, as Theo and Jed have said numerous times. If we come to a point a few years down the line, where the Cubs are prevented from making a necessary move because of the financial implications, well then you have an argument...until then it's a false narrative with no basis in reality.

  • In reply to jack:

    White Sox fans don't even pay for good baseball. You were all high on the Sox going into the season, that what they were doing was superior to the Cubs plan. And for a while the Sox played pretty good baseball. They certainly appeared to try to field a winning team, and with Abreu how could you not be excited. But the park was still perpetually empty, unless they had some theme night that brought the rubes out in droves.

  • This is the same logic that keeps Skip Bayless employed. The Hot Take is a mockery of journalism.

  • In reply to Darth Stout:

    Agreed.

  • In reply to Darth Stout:

    Darth, logic and journalism dont belong in the same sentence. Journalism is supposed to be chroinicalling events, "journalists" today try to create stories where none exist. Thats why blogs like this exist and thrive. Theres a need for them.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    The problem with journalism today can be summed up pretty succinctly in my opinion. To those who practice it, it's a means to an end, not an end in itself. Whether that end is an ideology (including especially ideologies that deny the possibility of truth, or should I say "truth"), or personal aggrandizement, or a combination of both, journalists today are grinding axes.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    As someone who has a journalism degree and worked in the newspaper industry before becoming disillusioned and moving on a couple of years ago, that is a pretty large blanket statement and I don't think it is quite fair.

    There are plenty of journalists who still do great work. Unfortunately, due to the economic shape the industry is in, that work gets largely overshadowed by those who elicit a strong reaction.

    When Fox News emerged on the scene as a ratings powerhouse, it shifted the paradigm and caused everyone to adopt that style. MSNBC is the less-successful liberal counter to Fox News, while CNN is just a shell of its former self. Several newspapers, already in poor financial shape after the emergence of the internet, adopted a similar style. The fact is, presenting an unbiased report (whether news, sports or otherwise) simply isn't profitable in today's landscape. It's not a justification or an excuse for the sad shape of the industry, it's just reality.

    So, long story short, there is still quality journalism out there, you just have to rake through a lot more muck to find it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Kerth:

    Yes, Fox set the tone for a different kind of journalism in the electronic media. With newspapers, the tell the base what it wants to hear strategy is more confined to the editorial pages, though there is bias in terms of what is covered.

    Sports is also a bit of a different animal. And yet, there is a common theme, which is let's rile up the haters.

    One thing that must be brought up, however, is that for all its merits, blogs with anonymous comments really gets into the vulgar area (it's not usually the case with this blog, but some of you probably saw the comment posted on here in the middle of the night that has thankfully been taken off).

    I have my name on my comments. I think everybody should, but it would greatly reduce participation.

  • John, the only flaw with your post is that you assumed that we all read Telander. Have not read that column for years and years. Just a foolish man writing foolish columns. Don't need to waste time reading his stuff.

  • In reply to Greyhound Glory:

    I usually don't, maybe I was a glutton for punishment today.

  • Spot on.

  • John, I agree with what you're saying, which is why I refuse to click on the article or buy the newspaper. The only way we can protest this type of nonsense is to refuse to fund it because the corporate big wigs only care about the $.

    I know as one person, I won't be able to make a difference, but imm myobd, every little bit counts

  • In reply to JasonB:

    Imm myobd is the fat fingers on a mobile phone translation for in my mind

  • In reply to JasonB:

    We can all do our part. I usually avoid it as well.

  • What's a newspaper?
    I think my grandma told me something about lining a birdcage with something like that.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Haha!

  • fb_avatar

    I graduated HS in 1985. I remember me and my friends having the Sun-Times everyday to read different things. I even bought the paper after graduating for a few years. But then I moved to South Florida in 1992 and stopped reading the paper. Since my body was in Florida but my heart was still in Chicago, I saw no reason to pick up a Florida paper.

    Years passed. Last year September I went back home to see the family again. Funny thing happened. All of my landmarks had changed and the friends and family all got old "overnight." It was not only a shock but kinda depressing as well.

    Point is, the only constant is change. And the quicker I can accept this simple truth the easier time I have with such change. I didn't read the article and probably won't but it seems guys like Telander and Mariotti are trying everything they can to hold onto the past when they were top dogs in Chicago....

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    Amen.

  • So many of journalists have let America down. It's not just sports.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Youn and me agree on that 44. I worked in that business. Many of them are as arrogant as youll find anywhere.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mutant beast:

    This I can't argue. Especially at the bigger papers and bigger electronic media outlets.

  • Telander is one of those guys like Theo referred to in his press conference that doesn't follow the rebuild closely.

    Telander was the guy who took in an Iowa Cubs game later in the season and proclaimed on a talk show that he didn't realize that Kris Bryant was 6'5" tall.

    Telander has become irrelevant.

  • While it's become less of a free market than it should be, the market still rewards quality. For the most part.

    In John's case, he is clearly a superior writer to the majority of the people who cover Cubs baseball on the internet. Even the Cubs own Carrie Muskat, their beat reporter, gets nothing close to the quality and dearth of material John gets up for lesser thanks and pay.

    John also writes for the intelligent fan. This has positives and negatives, but for a person to stay true to themselves, they don't want to dumb something down if it's going to strip the message of substance.

    I just know that 5 years or 10 years from now, because of the fact that John is honest, earnest, and detailed in his writings, someone will take notice at the upper levels.

    Like baseball players, all industries have to adjust. If the newspaper business wants to be relevant, they have to get back to real quality. They have to figure out why and how a person would rather read a paper than read it on an iphone or on the internet.

    This is a tough logistical challenge. And, to use a baseball analogy, the Cubs sold out for wins by signing Alfonso Soriano. And, while anecdotal for sure, we know how that one worked out.

    You gotta wonder what these same writers will be saying in a year or two when the Cubs are cleaning house and taking names. You often don't get multiple shots at credibility, they would be wise to learn now.

  • Don't get worked up about Telander. His tactic is basic "opposition stance." Whatever the plan, take the opposite stance. If the plan fails, you scream "I told you so!" If the plan succeeds, you scream "why did it take so long?!" It is a perfect position with no accountability.

    Once the article stream turns to "why did it take so long?," no one will be able to remove the smiles from our faces. The Theo Plan is the best, most logical plan for consistent long-term growth that I can remember, including the Green years.

  • Yep, easiest stance to take, Always a way out.

  • One large factor of the degradation of Sports Writers was the rise of Sports Talk Radio. The sole goal of stations like SCR is to generate listenership, and the best way to do that is to create controversy. What better way to get fans to listen and call in is to advocate something that will make them angry.

    Creating interest through controversy is not new. When I was a kid, the sportswriters would advocate "lets trade Ernie Banks. we aren't winning with him here, anyway". But it didn't have a lot of effect because fans couldn't respond. Responsible journalism drew in as many readers as the outrageous ones. Once call in sports radio came along, it created a genre where outrage, even artificial outrage, could feed upon itself. It is more interesting to listen to angry callers and reporters for hours than it was to read the paper for a few minutes. And the papers suffered.

    SCR has it's purpose. It draws the idiots away from responsible sites like this.

  • fb_avatar

    Kind of like our politics today, right?

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Not just today. It has been going on for years.

  • Bottom line....fans have been OVER PAYING for the product on the field, for YEARS. Everyone is entitled to an opinion...especially if they have gone thru what Cub fans have, for a CENTURY. Agree or disagree, the product on the field is the court of last resort. As for print media finding itself in the position it's in today...a travesty...this is "progress?" Where does it say change is ALWAYS better? How many of you chased after another woman only to realize, to late, the the woman you abandoned was the real prize afterall?

  • In reply to Hey Hey:

    I am going to date myself, but I stopped paying major league prices years ago, when I started having a family and realized I had better things to spend my money on than 10 to 12 games a year at the local ballparks.

    I will also offer this tidbit of info - major league baseball keeps raising the price of their products for one simple reason. Enough "fans" are willing to pay for overpriced entertainment.

    So while I still have my hand in the barrel, I have elected to pull in the purse strings, simply because I perceive that it's no longer worth what the going rate is.

    I have transitioned from getting to the park as often as I could, especially when my favorite teams were in town, to partaking of minor league baseball or subscribing to MLB.TV on a month to month basis.

    Part of my long ago retirement plan was to travel the country and enjoy a day at the various parks, but I have amended that plan, as the value of seeing major league baseball no longer copmutes for me.

    It is my choice to steer my dollars away from the game I still love, simply because it is no longer the bargain that it was when I was young and foolish.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    Have you tried some AAA and AA games? Many have promotions where you can get in at reduced rates, if not free. I've been fortunate to see many of the top Cubs prospects and past / present / future stars come through.

  • In reply to Hey Hey:

    One thing that we should remember is that the "product" extends far beyond the one on the field. I have had more fun following the Cubs since the Ricketts family took over than I ever did under the Wrigley family or for most of the years under the Tribune. The minor league portion of the system, which used to consist of the Sporting News articles once a week has now become a large part of our entertainment. I certainly agree that if it doesn't bear fruit, it will wither on the vine, but up til now, Epstein has said exactly what he would do, and he has done exactly that.

    If, in two years, the Cubs are still a below-500 club, I will be extremely frustrated. But until then, I find great entertainment watching a plan come into fruition. I just hope they don't give in to the temptation to "win in 2015", at the expense of building a long lasting dynasty. I have seen similar programs under John Holland, Gordon Goldsbury and Hendry all run aground on the rocks while taking a shortcut.

  • Yes John, its just sad. The same goes for pretty much all news outlets these days. Much like twitter it is the reaction they seek not the disemination of the news or other media product. That is not to say there are no good folks out there trying to do better, its just that the money comes comensurate with the emotional reaction they can get. The talking heads on sports radio half the time must say something stupid or radical just to get anybody's attention long enough to get them to call in. I hate to say it but they are taking a page out of the book of politics and burning all the good outlets like so many books on their way to the bonfire. It's really more than sad. I can't even define it properly.

  • I would give guys like Telander and Wittmeyer more credence if the wouldn't just spew venom against Theo and his plan but actually come up with alternatives to what they should have done and could do this off season.

    Look at the Sox. They signed Abreu. Traded for Garcia last year and have tried to trade their assests not for minor leaguers but Major league ready talent. They have the best (arguably) pitcher in the AL and a solid guy in Quintana. Yet the last two years they have lost one more game than the Cubs. How can that be. The team that is always going for it, the team with the greatest GM/President has lost more games the last two years than the woeful Cubs. If anyone deserves scrutiny it is the White Sox.

    As many have said, it is fine to disagree with Theo's plan. I am fine with that and it has created some great discussions with fellow Cub fans who disagree with it. But don't arbitrarily rip on Theo/Rickets without understanding what they are trying to do or coming up with alternatives.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    It's not fair to throw Wittenmeyer into the same mix with Telander's column. He's written some critical pieces, but nothing remotely close to Telander's ridiculous piece.

  • In reply to TTP:

    I will say that Wittenmeyer at least tries to put something behind what he says. Whether or not you choose to believe it is up to the reader

  • In reply to TTP:

    Are you serious? Did you see Wittenmyer's garbage coluimn about the 5 best moments for the Cubs this year? Nothing about Rizzo and Castro being All-Stars. Wittenmyer has an agenda, he's worse than Telander because he's the beat reporter for this team.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I think it's also important to remember that the Cubs have traded for major league ready talent. It's like all of those critics of the rebuild forgot about Rizzo, Arrieta, Ramirez, Olt (ok ok), Strop.

  • I think I like Black Cherry Kool Aid the best. Keep the faith Theo.

  • To me that article comes across as blatantly dishonest. Writing such a derisive and hyberbolic article based off half truths and distorted informations is, as you said, vulgar.
    Also thought his Jonestown kool aid reference was tacky at best.

    But I guess he could be right. Not a lot of evidence of teams being successful/winning by building up a farm system, bolstering revenue and updating amenities.

  • Great piece John! I had the exact same reaction reading Telander's article last night before bed. The negativity that he brought forward in his writing because he doesn't agree with Epsteins long term approach in building a long term successful baseball team was appalling. He has been around the block enough times to know the Cubs have tried every other approach to winning except the complete tear down of the organization from top to bottom like Theo is doing. The hit piece he called an article was bush league IMO....

  • John:

    One of the many fine qualities of this site, is that for the most part,
    I think that it attracts similar fans of the Cubs: intensely loyal, optimistic, but not blindly so, occasionally skeptical, yet always hopeful. And knowledgeable.

    I am a journalism graduate of the U. of I, have written and published professionally and currently pay more than glancing attention to the media. Telander and his ink offend me.

    Your article struck a chord. Or maybe an artery. Telander is merely a symptom of the precipitous decline in sports journalism in Chicago. Rosenbloom is another.

    There are many problems with our writers. I will list a few. Laziness - many of the articles could be written from a bathtub,
    without interviews, web searches, or thought. Lack of analysis - when was the last time that any of them wrote a column which indicated any thoughtfulness or vision.
    Last - the condescending and smarmy tone - repeated over and over. See Rosenbloom - "death is not as option". How does he think this line is clever or cute?

    I am glad that you selected this topic. I know that the we do not want to become preoccupied with the shortcomings of the media - but every once in a while, not a bad idea to highlight their inadequacies.

    Great work - per usual.

  • In reply to tboy:

    Really, really good stuff tboy!!

    Telander was once 'must read' when he was at SI. Since coming back to Chicago he's become a cartoon character. He, Morrisey and Gordo are little more than a bad joke. The good news is I don't have to buy the paper or read their garbage online. There's more than enough information and sharing of opinions here and elsewhere on line.

  • In reply to tboy:

    You and me think alike Tboy. Its not just journalism , its the entire media in general. Talk radio and the internet blogs like this one sprang up largely because of irresponsible media. Telander is an insider whose had years in the sports media business, so his thought process is like many of those he associates with.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to tboy:

    Well said sir! I raise my glass to you

  • In reply to tboy:

    Thanks tboy.

  • I was so angry when I read Telanders article yesterday. I was scrambling to find a comment section to give him a piece of mind. Unfortunately, The Sun Times would prefer to not have any feedback. Telander is either getting stubborn and lazy. Or is naive and unintelligent.

  • In reply to Igotworms:

    the proper word is cowardice,many in the "media" actually beleive they are better than we are and so we cant criticize them.

  • I used to look forward to getting the newspaper sports section during the summer to religiously peruse the box scores. It was always fun to see who had a good day and see who the league leaders in stats were. Times have changed...

  • fb_avatar

    I don't really see a need to make a distinction between sports journalism and journalism ingeneral. Newspapers have become caught in a downward vicious spiral. They Dumb down their content and make it as inoffensive as possible to try and attract the broadest spectrum of audience, but what they've actually done is alienate their core market. I would never stoop to pick up a Sun- times, and the Tribune is just a print version of WGN radio – mental chewing gum, bland, inoffensive, Unthinking, non-nutritious, completely forgettable, and completely disposable.

  • John, I am disappointed and troubled that you took the opportunity of Telander's stupid column to trash the entire newspaper industry. Telander's column is an embarrassment and deserves to be mocked. But the Suntimes and the Tribune do in fact still employ "journalists who write to enlighten fans" and the public at large on sports and other issues of the day.

    The Suntimes, and newspapers in general are in trouble and have been for sometime. Thus, even though I usually read it -- and the Trib -- online, I still pay a buck to get one each day from a street vendor downtown to support that vendor and the paper itself. While it's seemingly gotten thinner and thinner with each passing year, the Suntimes does a better job of covering local issues and in serving its most useful function as a public watch dog. I fear the day we become a "one newspaper town." But I mostly fear the day when newspapers no longer exist at all.

  • In reply to TTP:

    It's speaking specifically about a certain type of journalism and the companies that encourage it, Not every paper is bad, and not every article within certain oapers are bad, but there is a trend toward shock value and polarization that is designed to make people, angry, react, and, and talk about it. They are resorting this type of journalism to get people to pay attention. And I think that is sad.

  • In reply to TTP:

    TTP, Johns not the problem. It is those like Rick Telander who use there positions as reporters and writers not as watchdogs or protecting the public, but to basically flog those who disagree with them or for there own personal reasons just dont like. This blog and others like this came about mostly because of the failure of the media to do what our system demands they SHOULD do, not what they want to.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    No, I certainly do not think John is the problem. Cubs Den is absolutely the best for all things Cubs. It has no peers. Not even close.

    But a quick review of the comments here today demonstrate that many lump the entire Chicago sports media into the same group with Telander and that's just not fair -- as I think you do by saying their has been a "failure of the media." I know, as some demonstrate here today, that many Denizens hate Sullivan of the Trib and Wittenmeyer of the Suntimes because they've been critical. First, I think they do a pretty good and fair job. But even when I disagree with them, I find value in the criticism itself. And while I love this site, I'd like to see a little more criticism and perhaps skepticism at Cubs Den too.

    Now I hate to defend Telander's piece because it does deserve to be mocked and scorned, but maybe just maybe, his over the top approach was simply intended for some Theophiles to say wait a minute, is everything really so hunky-dory? Moreover, Telander is not alone among old-time Cub fans in being mad and scornful of Ricketts and the FO. In no particular order:

    1. The planned Disneyfication of Wrigley Field and the surrounding area.

    2. Ricketts' seeming desire to milk every last dime out of the Wrigley experience, at the cost of the surrounding bars and restaurants.

    3. The strong arming of the rooftops.

    4. The monstrosity that will be going up behind the left field bleachers in time for Opening Day.

    5. The fielding of a AAA team the last three years while maintaining one of the highest ticket prices in MLB.

    6. The worst 2-year record (2012 and 2013) in the history of the most sad sack organization in MLB history.

    7. The request for patience from the most patient fans in the history of the game.

    8. Falling short on signing any of the top FAs we have targeted.

    9. Ricketts pocketing millions and millions and millions with the promise that that money will eventually be spent.

    10. Delaying bring up Bryant to presumably save money later.

    11. More and more night games.

    12. Ending the WGN partnership.

    13. The stupid debt convenants.

    Look, I know the response to everyone of these criticisms -- because I read Cubs Den. But even though there is a valid response to each, doesn't mean the criticism isn't warranted or justified. Criticism has its own value. And, unlike too many who have commented here today, I don't think we need to lynch or burn in effigy all those that raise these criticism, questions and complaints.

    I recall Felzz writing a piece earlier this year in which he took a swipe at the "Baseball Aficionados" who populate this site. The baseball aficionados know all the answers to the criticism, can recite them in their sleep. But I think what Felzz was getting at is that many here lose sight of the Cub Fan Forest because of the Proper Way To Do A Rebuild Trees. Many old time Cub fans just want to win, sooner rather than later. They don't even know of the existence of Cubs Den. And they see what's happening to their beloved Cubs, their beloved Wrigley Field and their beloved traditions and they don't like it. For them, the only thing that matters is what they see on the field. And so far under Ricketts and Theo its been as bad as its ever been. And they're right about that aren't they?

  • In reply to TTP:

    I don't hate any of those writers. I don't often agree, but they're all good people.

    We all want to win, we just don't agree on how to do it. There is the short cut that often has long term consequences -- which we have seen first hand-- and there is the long way, which has obvious short term consequences. The argument for long way is that it is much more sustainable over the long term, as teams like the Red Sox, A's, the Yankees of the 90s, and even the Cards, though they didn't have as far to travel when they were at their low point. And the more times you put yourself in position to win, the great the chance that everything rolls your way one or more of those years.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed.

  • In reply to TTP:

    You admit there is a valid response to all of your listed criticisms.

    And it is true that just because there is a valid response does not invalidate the criticism.

    But there ARE valid responses! When members of the media present the criticisms without mentioning the valid responses they are not doing their job.

    Yes, for the average Cubs fan, things appear to be as bad as ever. But who's fault is that? Who could have been educating fans about what has been going on and what the future holds and why the stuff done was necessary?

    What little Chicago sports talk radio I have listened to certainly was making no effort to explain anything. It seemed like impatience was the name of the game. Wouldn't a World Series team raise the ratings? Wouldn't it mean more money for all the talking heads? But they are too cynical and short sighted to see how everyone benefits if things are seen through to completion.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Richard, those are not all MY criticisms, although I agree with some. For instance, I believe Wrigley Field is sacred baseball ground so, while I applaud Rickett's commitment to preserve it, I really don't want to see the huge Jumbotron in left field and I don't want several other huge signs in the outfield. And I feel strongly about that. But I admit that I may eventually come to accept it, if not like it.

    Beyond that I'm listing the grievances I've heard for the uninformed "sheep" -- as some call them in comments today. And we have to admit that some of those grievances are legit. I don't think its the "media's" job to necessarily provide all the rebuttals and educate the fans in a manner of defending Theo's approach. But they do report what Theo says and what the Cubs position is. I do believe that while the print media has given voice to the general criticisms, they have also done a decent job at giving voice to the strategy behind the rebuild -- not anywhere near what Cubs Den does, but its been there.

  • In reply to TTP:

    I think you've performed a service in listing them the way you have. I've heard most of them before (and am unimpressed) but you did list a few that I hadn't heard before (though I'm sure they are held by many fans). If those are indeed all of the criticisms, then I feel very comfortable that the "old time Cub fans" who hold some or all of these opinions are dead wrong because I have crushing rejoinders to all of them.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Do you think Red Sox fans care about any of the isses you've laid out? Because a lot of them are the same issues that faced the Red Sox ownership as they tried to get as much money as they could out of Fenway. Red Sox fans also faced some pretty bad seasons in between winning 3 titles in the last 10 years, including this one and the one that resulted in Theo walking and joining the Cubs.

    I don't know why you care about the rooftops at all, especially considering what they have done is Disneyfied the rooftop experience that used to be so quaint and casual. You're mad at the Cubs for trying to milk as much money as they can out of Wrigley, but you don't care that the "mom & pop" rooftops have done the same thing.

    Your concern about leaving WGN is insane. It's a radio station. This is the problem with a lot of the fanbase, you are too stuck in the old ways and old times when things were better. Are you from Chicago? If you are, do you remember when the Bears were on a station other than WBBM-AM? Because for me it has become their home. But for a lot of Bears fans it was a huge tragedy when they moved to WBBM-AM. And yet everyone seems to have forgotten what station they used to be one. No one cares any more, they just want their team.

  • fb_avatar

    typical rag coming out of the suntimes (wittmeyer, as well). I have to the say the mainstream media in Chicago is completely out of touch of modern sports, where analytics, market inefficiencies are combined with traditional methods. Also, does the press not remember that fake "trying" that hendry did? or that the old way the cubs were run, which resulted in horrible bloated contracts? Yeah they have to try and spark emotion and sell newspapers (not to be people under 40) and get clicks, but they could be writing about how the league has a dearth of hitting right now, and the cubs are loading up on it in their farm system. Also they can point out the fact the Mets are doing the same thing, but they got a publicly financed ball park, shoot depaul got $65m, a privately owned institution that has a huge endowment. Gimme a break. Oh, and how bout the Braves leaving ATL for the burbs for their own ballpark neighborhood. These dinosaurs in the media don't have a clue, and next year when its time to write positive things cause thats what the public wants they will. The media loved jim hendry, cause he leaked every trade and rumor to the press and was accessible, and they hate Ricketts and Theo, cause one guy used his families money to buy the team, and Theo is secretive and maybe comes across as a intellectual elitist.

    The fact is simple, Rickets and his family had the money to buy the team, and that is their right. They have the right to treat it like a toy like some owners or they have a right to make money or at least break even, its really up them, its their money. If any of us had the money to buy we would have. The press can't accept that and want to rail on him for not just overspending to put a semi-competitive team out there. Instead he's leveraging the loyal fanbase (ticket sales) to build a team that will be profitable and talent rich with Theo and Co. Oh no, he wants to increase revenues and pay off his debt and turn a profit maybe? Maybe the press should get off their lazy butts and take a look at the economics of sports and see that if a team like the cubs doesn't do what they are doing with the ballpark and baseball rebuild they have no chance of sustained (not a 1 year run) success. There's a reason the suntimes office is now the Trump building. "Either you do it right, or you get eliminated" - Gordon Gekko

  • In reply to Niren Desai:

    "Also, does the press not remember that fake "trying" that hendry did?"

    The press forgets that it once owned the Cubs and employed Hendry, and not too long ago either.

  • In reply to Niren Desai:

    A couple who do it consistently right -- Mooney and Miles. Two of my favorite Cubs beat writers.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Niren Desai:

    Let's not lose sight of the fact that the mainstream media - though this is becoming less true because of social media - originates most of the news. Then it is aggregated by others and broken down in more in-depth fashion for the inside baseball crowd.

  • fb_avatar

    Look, for decades, the Cubs talked about rebuilding by starting with the farm system and developing prospects rather than go with the quick fix. I think Dallas Green was trying to do both, making trades to tide them over until the system started producing. But then Green was launched despite some success and we started over again. This is the first time the Cubs have actually stuck with the plan and it seems to be paying off. When was the last time the team had such a high number of top prospects and the system was viewed so favorably? Probably never. Have they won anything yet? No, but that day seems to be coming and other teams think so to. You can tell by their reaction to our young players. People can buy tickets now because they are Cub fans and want to see the team play. It says a lot more about you as a fan if you wait until the team is good and then jump on the bandwagon. Reporters are trying to sell papers. I'm sure Theo couldn't care less. We shouldn't either. Our day is coming. Theo was trying to tell us that. He wouldn't have thrown that marker down if he didn't believe it.

  • It is a instant I want it now popularity contest with our media in general. "Look at me look at me!" Thanks for going against today's "Norm"!

  • fb_avatar

    Spam filter please John ... Thx

  • fb_avatar

    Here's the thing: There's a possibility that all this might not work, that the Cubs might not even win a division with this group or dare I say make the playoffs. It's possible. Not likely, but possible. But even if that happens, I agree with most of what has gone on the last three years. It was the right approach. Theo & Co. chose the right path, but there are no guarantees in sports.

    That's what makes us watch.

    And of course, Telander didn't say what he thinks SHOULD have been done, even in hindsight. He's just ranting, as has been said here, to be a contrarian, or to get a rise out of those who are upset (kind of like ripping the president, no matter who he is or what party he is, without any constructive alternatives, just to rile the base). John is right, journalism has changed, and not just with the electronic media.

  • No surprise in the latest article. Telander has shown intentional ignorance about the rebuild all along. On Sportstalk Live a while back, he scoffed at sustained success and said the Cubs should aim for second or third place each year.

  • fb_avatar

    Telander is an intelligent man, so why is he railing against an intelligent rebuilding process? What makes it intelligent? What proof do you have? You criticize him for speaking by emotion,but that's all you've got is emotion. NO facts to back up YOUR premise,just hope. What if he's right and you're wrong? Who would be the intelligent one then?

  • In reply to Dave Cookfair:

    Proof? This is sports. What constitutes proof? Does winning the World Series prove that team to be the best team that year? I've often heard it argued that a team that did not win was the better team. There just is not that much proof in sports.

    How about evidence?

    I believe there is plenty of evidence that the rebuilding process is intelligent. Instead of putting the future on the shoulders of a couple of guys, the Cubs future is now in the hands of a farm system that is loaded with talent. A farm system that is now, truly, a system. With development actually a "top of mind" aspect of running the team. It is no longer a "system" of draft as good as you can and hope they get better in the minors and as soon as they look good, bring 'em up.

    In three years we have gone from "the future is Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters and Starlin Castro" to where we are now. If we were still under the old regime, we would have by now moved on from Brett and Josh to say "the future is Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara and Starlin Casto." An improvement, but still only the three guys and the jury is still out on two of them.

    Would it have been more intelligent for next year to hinge completely on Baez and Alcantara figuring it out?

    Today the future is too long a list for me to bother typing out. The list is so long that any one player is dispensable. Maybe Baez does bust. The result is there is less of a log jam in the infield. The ninth overall pick of the 2011 draft could bust and it would barely affect the future. When has that been true for the Cubs ever before?

    Add to the all of the above the fact that the Cubs arrive at this juncture with enormous payroll flexibility to use to augment the guys coming up. That took some forethought.

    I've seen several people post in this thread that Telander is intelligent and a great person. Maybe he is. But that article was pure unadulterated crap. Intelligence had nothing to do with it.

  • In reply to Dave Cookfair:

    I like and understand good baseball process, but I also understand that results are somewhat out of your control. I believe in the process they've implemented -- and usually good process puts you in position to get good results consistently. Process is repeatable and controllable. Results are not. But at least good process gives you a better chance to achieve consistent results that minimize the importance of luck.

  • fb_avatar

    John, I couldn't read through all the comments but wanted to add my two cents. You know that I preach disdain for the ST. I refer to the writers as The Two Dicks or Big and Little Dick. They also have their little puppy bulldog in GW.

    As well John, I dreamed of being Telandar when i grew up. I wanted to be on the Sportswriters and learn from some of the greats. If any of those guys saw Big Dick today, they would turn.

    Newspaper is a dying medium...truley. Because as people that read papers pass on, new younger folks are taking to digital. The Newspaper will be dead and gone soon enough.

    Still, it burns my ass that these three idiots at the ST get to have that large a platform to preach to all the "sheep" that believe their trash. I cancelled my script to the ST because of them. I gave up paper delivery after 30 years cause these so called writers were ruining my mornings. So, one more lost reader will lead to a quicked, quiter demise of these arcaic means of information.

  • i would have to care about telanders view to be bothered by it.

  • John,
    I am a daily reader for the last couple of years, but have never commented, but Jack really frosted me today. I am sick and tired of these so called "fans" who only support the team when times are good and call those of us who support the team through thick and thin stupid. Part of the baggage of being a true fan of a team, means you take the good with the bad. This is why I never understood Sox fans-they say put a good team on the field and we will support it. In 05, they did have a good team, but after the fervor died down, there went the support. In 05, I stood by my guns and did not jump on the bandwagon and support them. Was I jealous-sure. But I was a Cubs fan- a real fan does not change allegiances just because his team is losing-that is not a fan. Am I happy with the Cubs being in last place-No, of course not. But I see understand and support the plan. We have seen the results of trying to buy a title-just look at the Phillies and Yankees-they mortgaged their future to win now and now are stuck with overpaid vets and no younger players to replace them. While I am sure the ride was fun while it lasted, they are now faced with being irrelevant for the next several years. We have tried bringing in the hot free agent, or the hot manager-it has not worked. Just like the stadium, you can only patch it for so long -eventually you have to gut and start all over.
    Those "fans" who say "I am going to show the owners my displeasure, I'm not going to show up" who are they hurting? Do you not think the ownership wants to win and be successful? I also hate the meme that is constantly reported all Cubs fans want to sit in the sun and drink beer and do not care about the game and as long as they are making money, ownership does not care. Do you not think they know if they put a winning team on the field, they will make a ton more money? I support the ownership and the changes they are making, but I am not a blind follower. I wondered about the Jackson signing and stated my unhappiness and was proved right. I questioned exposing the youth to Manny, and it looks like I was wrong. But I did not stop supporting the team, just because they did something I did not like. They saw a chance to improve-some work some do not. However, if they start deviating from the plan, like they did in the 80's, I will be the first one to call them out. I apply the same logic to sports as I do politics-if you do not vote, you have no right to complain. If you only support the team when they win, you are not a true fan and cannot disparage those of us who do. I shall now climb down from my soapbox and return to being a quiet reader.

  • In reply to CurlyQLink:

    Just so you know jack is a Sox fan, which should frost you even more.

  • In reply to jorel1114:

    That actually makes it much more understandable. While there are a lot of Sox fans who just love the Sox, there are a few who just seem a little too obsessed with the Cubs.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    This dude is for sure one of them

  • Money, money, money, money, money -- and the fact that local sports are so popular that simply by sheer numbers there are bound to be some fans who are, ahem, less nuanced about a team and their process.

    It's sad that this happens in the papers but the papers aren't the only place where we see it. I'd like to consider myself a reasonable, patient thinker and I called into a Bears radio show offering up a what I considered a reasonable, patient suggestion on the Bears' draft strategy. The radio hosts (I forget who they were) took the response, spent five seconds on how it made sense, and completely moved on to a new topic.

    Why? Because it wasn't emotional, it wasn't silly, and it was tough to argue against. Technically, in the media sense, it was "boring".

    "Boring" only sells to those willing and able to give the thought and time of day -- it's not boring to folks like that. But to the masses? We need emotion, and logic only gets in the way of listeners and clicks. This is true with politics, news, entertainment, and yes, sports.

    It sucks, but pandering to the lowest common denominator typically gets the biggest numbers. It's why politicians promise the moon, why pop star song lyrics are full of one-syllable (but catchy) words, why basic TV sitcoms have laugh tracks, and why Rick Telander writes about the Cubs for the Sun-Times.

  • The primary purpose of newspapers today, as always, has been to sell advertising space. It is not to educate the public on any issue, sports or otherwise. There are a lot of factors that go into determining the price of the space, among those being circulation and the time the product is available. Printing anything truthful doesn’t matter to selling ad space. You are seeing this in more and more news stations on cable.

    The only thing that newspapers like as far as their content goes is to help sell newspapers so the ads get into more hands. This entire post about Telander’s article is just basically selling more future ad space for the Times.

    I’m like John Arguello – I used to enjoy reading Telander’s stuff, especially when he was writing for Sports Illustrated. He’s a likeable guy, I’ve talked with him over drinks in Bucktown years ago before I moved out west. No more. Sorry Rick, (in case you’re reading this)

  • fb_avatar

    Enjoyed the references from The Smiths - very appropriate in this case. In addition to the newspapers having little redeeming value when it comes to baseball information, I'd throw "shock jock" talk radio in there as well. I don't listen to it myself, but I hear it on occasion when my neighbor plays his radio outside. I've heard far too much of the "if you believe what Theo's telling you, you're a fool" drivel. If believing that the Cubs have taken a smart approach to fielding competitive teams year in & year out in the near future makes me a sheep, then I'll be happy "baaing" all the way to the playoffs.

  • In reply to Keith Erickson:

    That's why I dig Cubs Den. Come for the in-depth analysis, stay for the Smiths references!

  • In reply to Dork64:

    Ha! Very late Smiths on this one. :)

  • Having no idea who Telander is, I followed the link and read the pile of stinking, steaming snark.

  • This article hits home to me as I used to work at the Sun Times. Guys like Marriotti had just started coming on board and the landscape of sports journalism and radio began to change to "who yells the loudest". It's sad to me because I liked Telander because he was the opposite. But that's changed. He's still capable of good work (his columns on concussions a few years back were quite good) but he rarely does it anymore.

    The question was asked "why is he railing against an intelligent rebuilding process?" The answer is "I don't know". He never really says so in his article other than that they haven't won a lot of games thus far which you can argue was to be expected given the plan they are following. The rest is simply name calling. He mocks Epstein as an arrogant know it all "genius" - a title bestowed on him by the Chicago media. I see no reason to brand him as such but that's what they all print.

    He asks, "Has Epstein ever wondered why the small-market Cardinals never go to the bottom of the division and stink for years? Indeed, the Cardinals have had but six losing records in the last quarter-century, while going to four World Series and winning two." Then he never answers the question so let me. The reason is that they had a good front office, minor league system, and scouting system. They've had very stable managers on field and off. They had a strong healthy organization that is set up for sustained success (Geez, it REALLY hurts for me to say that). The Cubs have had none of this. They were often were set up to win in the short term (more often than anyone gives them credit for) but never have they been built for sustained success in my lifetime (they came close with Dallas Green).

    Contrary to popular belief, Theo wasn't hired to win the World Series. You can't guarantee World Series - there are too many variables to make such a promise. He was hired to completely overhaul and rebuild the Cubs organization so they are in the best position to consistently win for years down the line. In my opinion, based on what I have seen he's doing that.

  • Excellent point about the Cardinals (I hate to admit it too). When Branch Rickey started running the team in the late 20's, minor league teams were independently owned, and a team had to pay that team for ballplayers. Rickey was the first to set up the major league team owned farm system. The joke then was every small town had a Cardinal farm team. When he went to the Dodgers he did the same thing. The fact that these two teams have been among the most successful in the mid to late 20th century and up to now is no accident. Either Mr. Telander doesn't know this or has conveniently forgotten.

  • I take the Metra to work everyday. I used to be the youngest guy on there reading the newspaper. (I'm in my early 30's.) Now I'm the only person who is holding up a physical copy of the newspaper. Newspapers need to learn to adapt or they will die. There aren't a lot more like me. Unfortunately the sports coverage is only a symptom of the greater disease that fills those pages.

  • It's funny. I read that article and it felt like I was having a conversation with my friend. If you guys were to see some of the email exchanges that we have about Theo and his rebuilding plan and the team, you would think it was Rosenbloom or Telander. I've gotten to the point where the trolls just come out to do nothing but troll.

  • I made the mistake of reading the Telander article from a couple of weeks ago that basically trashed the Cubs FO and plan. Beautiful thing is that Telander didn't really provide a forum for people to reply back to him and I'm not surprised because based on the writing he apparently knows everything. Haven't read today's version yet, not sure if I will. Apparently the version from a couple weeks ago didn't take and he had to load up another vitriolic rant against the Cubs FO. The big question for a Telander is what is going to make him more happy? A team that competes once or twice a decade or a team that hopefully competes every year for a decade. In case he hasn't noticed, that is what is happening in St.Louis and that is the team the Cubs should be comparing themselves against and building their organization like. A team that has been in the playoffs for 12 of the 14 seasons this century THAT IS IN THEIR DIVISION! Not the team on the south side of the city.

  • John, I did not think you would let Telander's article pass without a response. I actually read the Telander article (in an actual newspaper, it comes to my office). It was oblivious nonsense. I have posted my views that the Ricketts should have been more mindful of the fans over the last three years through ticket pricing and some other respect issues over the patience and loyalty of the Cubs fan base.

    But what cannot be denied is the bad condition of the club when it was taken over and the progress since that time. It was not just bloated contracts for personnel past their prime, it was coaching and the personnel to actually run the business. This was a significant corporate restructuring. For instance, the Cubs front office had by far the smallest operating staff of any major market club. The Cubs were run like a small market club notwithstanding their very high payroll.

    Telander has been in Chicago are a long time, how he does not reference the improvement in how the Cubs are run now versus previous ownership is ridiculous.

    I usually skip his articles because he can get long winded. I wish I had skipped yesterday's.

  • In reply to All W Days:

    All, in truth Telander doesnt care. Hes getting "heat" which is all he cares about. Truth doesnt matter, I just took down Theo Epstien by "proving" he wasnt a "genius". I know to real thinking people such an attiude is obnoxius, but unfortunately, there are all too many types like Rick Telander throughout the media. Articles like this highlight why they are losing readers.

  • In reply to All W Days:

    I can understand giving fans a break when it came to tickets. I can also understand why they didn't, since so much of their revenue depends on ticket sales. That was a tough position for them -- but it would have been a nice gesture if they could have made that work somehow. As for me, I attended far more minor league games than I did MLB games. That was my way of saying "no thanks",

    At the same time, so many of us understand this process and are wiling to be patient. It appears it is about to bear fruit with the idea that it will continue to bear fruit for the foreseeable future rather than shriveling up after 2 years.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I attended about 75 games this year. I saw winning baseball, some really great games and I supported the Cubs and ownership's rebuilding program. No regrets, looking forward to next year.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    That is awesome. I didn't go to as many games as I usually do this year but it wasn't the poor play of the team. Just one of those years where couldn't seem to make the time.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I used to think like that but when thy keeping putting out data where the Cubs are raking it top 4 revenue, I don't know how they couldn't warrant a small decrees in ticket prices and then increase them again once the product was better.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Well, Jim, all I can say is I am not a businessman. If I were the owner, I'd lower prices but maybe that's why people like me don't own baseball teams :)

  • Telander was good when he was writing for SI. Very good. But now he's like a punch drunk ex fighter living off his rep a few bucks tip as greeter at a seedy casino.

    These days, every newspaper has its designated asshole, writing crap to stir up the masses. Telander seems to be auditioning for Mariotti's old job.

  • There are two ways to build - either acquire impact talent through the draft or trades or acquire impact talent through Free agency. The Cubs before did the latter and what did that get them - they competed about 3-4 times a decade and they got close once. For those defending the Sox and what they did this year, it's admirable. Just remember that the Chairman, the guy that you all love was the big pusher of the rule changes in the current CBA impacting overslot contracts to draftees which basically left teams the only path of just tanking in order to acquire impact talent if they didn't want to go the free agent market which is obviously the more expensive route. Next year will complete the 10th season since the Sox won the World Series. Assuming the don't make it to the playoffs next year they will have made the playoffs just once since winning the Championship over the last 10 years. So really just looking at things, do I want to use them (The Sox) as a model or do I want to use the Cardinals who this year marks their 7th time in the playoffs in the last 10 years with 2 titles as the organization I am building toward? Probably the latter and if I am going to compete with them, I am going to have to have a farm system that produces talent in waves like they do. Someone said that the Sox losses this year were to blame on injuries. Notice the Cardinals don't have those excuses. There were years they lost their #1 starters and still made it to the World Series. The year after they let Pujols walk, they made it to Game 7 of the NLCS. They have guys that can come in and play. That requires a commitment to finding and developing talent. Theo recognized that and when he came on board, that is what he has been building up. Now if I'm a sheep because I like Theo then that's what I am. But I like to think since there is an example in our own division of this plan actually working that this is why I bought into this plan and believe. The Kool Aide comments are just churlish like we are following something that doesn't exist. Look in St.Louis and tell me that what they are doing isn't the exact same thing that Theo is trying to build here and then tell me with a straight face that it doesn't work. I would give anything to be in the playoffs for 7 of the last 10 years.

  • In reply to joparks:

    I don't think anyone here likes/loves Jerry Reinsdorf. I think he's a con artist and a bully. I think he was also behind the changes to the International scouting that came down hard on the Cubs, and also came right after the new commish was finally elected.

    Aside from Abreu, the Sox didn't really do all that much different from the Cubs. They both traded for impactful young talent in the last year or so: Garcia, Eaton, that 3B who didn't make the team from AZ for the White Sox and Arrieta, Strop, Ramirez, Olt (the other 3B that didn't work out) for the Cubs. And the Cubs of course swung and missed at Tanaka. There's at least one JACK-ass here who thinks that doesn't count, who thinks it was just a ploy and the Cubs were never going to actually spend on Tanaka. That is of course unknowable and unprovable, just like it's unprovable to say all White Sox fans are inbred rednecks. You just can't prove that for sure.

  • Olbermann interviews Rizzo. I can't stand Olbermann, but Rizzo displays so much maturity here it is mind boggling.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=145QWU7Zr5Y&list=UUdJtV6wXT6lnrvldU_urowQ&index=4

  • I don't visit Chicago that often, but when I do I check out the local newspapers, and I have to say, that they have gone horribly downhill since I was a young lad. That being said, even the Wash Post often provides hopelessly biased stories, and even though people in this area come from all over the country, the sports writers are usually total homers! Welcome to the modern world of mediocre "journalism", I guess.

  • In reply to VaCubFan:

    I'm glad somebody finally pointed this out. Chicago, sadly, has no newspapers worth reading.

  • I think most sports writers have it pretty tough. They have to face a lot of challenges. Right anything to negative about a person, you risk getting closed out of the club house. Which means you end up having to write pretty bland/shallow articles. On top of that the blog-o-sphere is outstanding. There is so much to choose from. Personally, I really like Cubs Den. The writers here take a slant that is relatively in-line with what I think, but provide better analysis and depth. I don't understand why "Jack" bothers reading here. If he's frustrated about the cool-aid drinkers, surely he can find another blog that is more in line with his train of though. Blogs offer a such a broad range of choice that was previously unavailable. This is why I think print media is screwed. Its not just the writers on this blog. A lot of the posters here, make quality contributions. Have you seen the comment sections of print pieces. Its full of things you'd expect from mouth-breathing Cardinal fans.

  • In reply to SenatorMendoza:

    Jack is actually a White Sox fan, so that adds another layer to your question of why he bothers reading this blog, or other ChicagoNow Cubs blogs, and then commenting on them and ripping Cubs fans for buying into this "horrible" rebuild, which is vastly inferior to what the White Sox are doing.

  • There are people who respond to this website with facts and opinions and questions. Many of those argue, disagree and challenge John and others.

    Lately however we have been infected with at least two "visitors" to the site who clearly intend to be provocative
    by snotty, disparaging and condescendng comments not about what other readers say, but their intelligence and presumed affiliation.

    This is known as an argument ad hominem. It is the last refuge of nitwits and fools.

    Sarcasm is fine. Character assassination is not.

    These commentators are a waste of precious cyber-space. And time.

  • In reply to tboy:

    That is well-put, Tboy. People disagree all the time here, but (almost) everyone here does it respectfully. And from that comes good discussion and meaningful debate.

  • In reply to tboy:

    Well said, sir.

  • Well if I'm not mistaken, Telander did not like the addition of Theo to the org from day 1, it's no surprised that he's so biased.

  • I gave up on Rick Telander when he tried to intimate that Ryan Theriot may have been taking steroids when he hit about 3-4 home runs in three games in a row.

  • In reply to midwestlefty:

    That was a wise move.

  • In reply to midwestlefty:

    I remember thinking that if this were the case, I hope Theriot got a discounted rate because his steroids weren't enhancing anything.

  • The state of MSM is the state of so many long standing institutions, they are only interested in exploitation for the sake of perpetuating their continued status and gravy train. The status keeps diminishing as is the gravy train where those remaining are the cut throats or the last of the Mohawks. The covenant or contract with society died when they went corporate.

  • To stay positive, I like this blog and have come to follow daily. It is defiantly my newspaper, in fact that is what I tell the kids as I am reading. Nicely done

  • Back in the 70's, The Sportswriters show on WGN radio was must listening for me on Sunday afternoon. It was the first show of its type and was compelling for a fan of Chicago sports teams.

    Telander was the "thoughtful" one, who never seemed to have a knee-jerk opinion, the one who seemed to be the most intelligent and reasonable.

    I moved to South Florida in 1986 and have read Telander's work about once a year since then.

    He's turned into Murray Chass.

  • In reply to Jim Hickman:

    It's a pretty sad decline.

  • I don't read the newspaper anymore because I don't have time before work and when I get home the paper is a day behind. But I used to read the paper every morning starting in middle school, and it makes me sad that they won't exist in print much longer. However, I find this sight to be more thought provoking and insightful than anything from Mitch albom's column ( I grew up in Detroit). I live in cincinnati now and after 8 years on the season ticket wait list, I now have the opportunity to buy them and I'm crushed that I can't afford them, and couldn't use them if I could afford them. My first memories include watching the cubs in the afternoon with my grandfather. I've been waiting all 33 years of my life to celebrate a cubs championship and I do think that this approach will give us a real chance to win one year in and year out for the foreseeable future. Would I take one lightning in a bottle championship? Sure, but they aren't guaranteed and the more times you put yourself in a position to win the more likely that you do. So I'm in on this rebuild and when we do win, I'll cry like a little girl, and I won't care if there's kool aid or not

  • I wanted to comment earlier today in the midst of all the vitriol. However, I have a job where that sort of thing is extremely frowned upon. That's why I don't often post here. The energy is usually gone by the evening.

    Here's my take, not that anyone cares. I wonder why anyone allows themself to give idiots like this, both Telander and Jack, so much power/energy over them. Just ignore the CHUDs and they'll go away... I know you're all inflamed by the article, but don't feed it energy. It's not worth regurgitating the negativity back at them, as they will just feed off of it. Ignore it and they will disappear. Yes, we all see the CHUD, but don't acknowledge it as that only empowers them.

  • In reply to giamby:

    Good advice. I admit I should have disengaged earlier.

  • Jack is like the guy who bent the iPhone. He got his 15 minutes of notoriety and then faded away.

    Don't feed the trolls.

  • It seems like so many sports reporters think their job is now to start controversies and to rip athletes and managers.

    They seem to forget that sports in entertainment.

  • fb_avatar

    I know this is about 150 comments too late, but I am ashamed to admit that I get angry. My anger is directed at the premise of these ridiculous articles. But either way they are getting the response they want. Even this blog itself is helping them accomplish their goal. This is an old Newspaper tactic as you so astutely pointed out. Can't tell you how many times I've heard newspaper reporters say candidly in interviews that agree or disagree, as long as there's a large reaction to their article, and a large amount of attention has been brought to it, they've done their jobs. Any pub is good pub as they say. I really try to ignore dumb-ass troll jobs like the one's that are taking place at the Sun Times, but I keep getting drawn into it. This very comment is testament to that. Oh well whatever. Most important thing is what;s actually happening with this organization. Success is the best revenge.

  • Hmmm, I wonder if Telander is secretly a roof top owner?

  • In reply to All W Days:

    Hmmmm...maybe you're on to something!

  • fb_avatar

    With so much bashing being done of many Chicago sports writers, much of it well deserved I might add, I figured I would throw a shout-out to one of the few good, fair writers. I have always found Jesse Rogers of ESPN to be the fairest and least toolish reporter of the Cubs from a national media background. He usually writes thought provoking, honest articles on the Cubs. He doesn't pander to Cub fans one way or another. Just a good read. The Cubs ESPN blog is the only Cubs blog that I have saved in my bookmarks that is anywhere near Cubs Den. :) Night!

  • In reply to Drinkin Olt Cola:

    I'm ok with him. I know baseball isn't his sport and he has some gaps but he does a good job of balancing.

  • I luvvvvvv Aoki

  • John, this day, this page, for some reason, strikes me as one of Cubs Den's finest. I really enjoyed today's discussion.

    BTW, tonight at The Riv Robert Plant demonstrated why he is one of, if not the, Greatest of All Time. He's the Babe, babe, babe, babe baby, baby I'm gonna . . .

  • In reply to TTP:

    Thanks! And very cool that you caught Plant last night. I don't see as many shows/concerts as I used to.

  • I used to like Rick years ago (sports writers wgn) however I seldom read his articles now. I remember he had a show on the score and he said he would not vote for Andre Dawson to get into the HOF because he couldn't be sure he didn't use PEDS. however Mike North found an older article where he said Jose Cansenco and Ken Camanetti both should be enshrinded because they did use PEDS. That tells you everything you need to know about him. I used to look forward to reading a good writer even though I may not agree with them (I loved Bernie Lipscome) Now its like they resort to being controversial. That is why I am here reading you every day. you don't torch people, you give a thought provoking opinion and let people discuss. Keep up the great work.

  • jack's rantings and ravings never get old, just like Telander's rantings and ravings.

  • In reply to jorel1114:

    Is "Jack" really Tealander's sign in at Cubs Den? Will we ever know for sure?

  • my buddy's mother-in-law makes 89 dollar hourly on the laptop . She has been without work for five months but last month her paycheck was 13410 dollar just working on the laptop for a few hours.
    look at this web-site. --------->>>>>>>> www.jobsfish.com

  • In reply to lainefarlamfoi:

    This is better than anything jack has ever posted while trolling Cubs-related ChicagoNow articles

  • As usual, I'm a day and a half late to this party, but I just want to add to something John pointed out. That is, playing to emotions of readers and absent of critical, honest analysis. We are seeing this "mindset" all over our country, from every point of view. I truly believe we live in a dumbed down society like we've never experienced before. Where has our education system gone? Well, it's gone the way of that very emotion trumping critical thinking. That's not to say that we don't have any fine schools out there, because we do, BUT the preponderance of education is less likely to teach critical thinking and more likely to teach emotional reaction. I say this from experience as a teacher and in so viewing of social studies curricula right down to the 1st grade. So the writers and show hosts play to that preponderance. Someone said it's playing to the lowest common denominator, exactly what I've seen in education.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    Thanks for adding this. It's definitely a symptom of a much larger issue.

  • There's a reason most of us are here at Cubs Den. When I was a kid, I read the sports section every day, usually the Sun-Times. It was the #1 place to get credible information.

    How "Times" has changed...

    I don't read any of the Chicago papers any longer. I have found - and abandoned one Cubs forum after another, either because of the writing quality or the hateful (and uninformed) posts by readers.

    You're getting it right, John. Please, keep it up!

  • Hi all—
    I've been out of town--lots of late planes getting into and out of O'Hare to/from Charlotte to see the Bears stink up Bank of America Stadium against the Panthers Sunday (Please don't trash me for saying that!!! ) But I'm excited to get to join this back-and-forth in the Cubs Den about my recent column about Theo's rebuilding of the Cubs.
    First off, I found the post back-and-forth very interesting, and I read it all the way to the bottom. I found myself described in posts as cowardly, lazy, out of touch, old, irrelevant, stubborn, naïve, ludicrous, unintelligent, plain stupid, embarrassing, full of nonsense, writing just to create ``heat,’’ to be a contrarian, to be controversial. And I got called some near-obscenities. And I’ll say this: all’s cool with me. (Somebody did actually say I’m sort of a nice guy, which I think I am. I mean, I like people. I like fans. I love talking sports.)
    That’s what the Internet and sites like this are for—to vent, to get your impassioned opinion out there, to agree and disagree with folks who have the same interests and concerns as you do. In days of yore, this was impossible to do. Sadly. Published writers had a monopoly on the projected opinions of the masses. If you didn’t get your words printed on paper, with ink, and distributed by truck or airplane or horse cart, you were out of luck.
    Not now. Regular fans can easily know more than employed writers. They can cast their knowledge into the electronic cloud. Indeed, with televised games, press conferences and things like ``Sports Center’’ and ``Red Zone,’’ and the many radio, TV, and Internet channels carrying so much information to those who merely stay home, sometimes being AT games is a huge disadvantage. Yet we writers continue to go to the events themselves, to go into the locker rooms (often jammed and hostile), to the press conferences, to the training sites, to ask the questions, to do the work, if you will, that a fan never has to do. And, yes, often is unable to do even if desirous.
    We go to these often wearying and sometimes distant places and events because we feel we should, and it is our duty. It is the one final code we have other than do not plagiarize or make up. BE THERE. Those who think this emphasis on place is not important have never truly thought out the sanitized information they will receive from the franchises and organizations themselves once those entities have the total control that they desperately crave and continue to lobby for and gain inch by inch. (If the Baseball Writers Association of America, for example, didn’t push and push against the restrictions Major League baseball keeps attempting to add to its agenda (cutting back interview time, restricting clubhouse hours, moving press boxes to the upper, outer, and farthest reaches of stadiums) trust me, you already would be receiving only the happy news the Cubs and other franchises want you to get. You would know almost nothing about PED scandals, ugly contract negotiations, and many other major happenings as well.
    In my business, as a sports columnist for one of the oldest daily newspapers in the country, I think about my past always and I take my job very seriously. I am columnist, not a reporter. When I wrote for Sports Illustrated, which I still sometimes do, I was/am a magazine writer and essayist; again, not a reporter. At the Sun-Times these last 19 years I give my opinion on sports matters, and I often use hyperbole, satire, parody, or cornball humor to hopefully entertain and inform readers and sometimes to show my anger or disbelief. People have so many options for entertainment these days that I feel I owe readers something heartfelt for their time. If it’s inside news or rational opinion or sometimes just a possible chuckle or grin, I deliver something four times a week, for over 3,000 columns now. You don’t always hit a home run. But triples and doubles and even singles work. I try not to strike out. If you think my Theo column was a whiff, I’m sorry you feel that way.
    Look, I dish it out, so I have to be able to take it. That’s fair. That’s the way it should be. I’ve always felt that. If you criticize things in the course of your work, get ready to take yours. So I’ll take the gas. I don’t agree with it, but I’ll wade through it in my gas mask, once used to not breathe Gleason and Bentley and Mooshil’s cigar smoke.
    So let me just say a couple things about that pesky column. As John Arguello should know, I don’t write or even suggest the headlines for my columns. No time or inclination. I’m not sure any sports columnist does that, anywhere. That’s the desk, the editors. So if you didn’t like the title, ``Not Buying Cubs, Theo’s Song and Dance,’’ (Internet) or ``Call Wrigley The Sell: Theo Says Park Is Going to Get Really Interesting’’ (newspaper), know that I wrote neither. It’s not that I disagree with either, it’s just that I didn’t write them. (Or the photo captions, for that matter. Ever. ) The rest I’ll take credit—or blame-- for.
    My premise was obvious: I’m not exactly buying into a Cubs plan that has taken nearly four years to unfold, that has begged Cubs fans—the most patient people in the world—to be patient, that will see ticket prices rise next season (prices that are already among the highest in MLB), that has produced nothing but a lot of rookie and minor league prospects so far, with some regulars who might be real winners someday (Castro, Rizzo) and some who are duds (Edwin Jackson, Kyuji Fujikawa) and some, like Travis Wood (8-13, 1.532 WHIP, 5.03 ERA) who seem to have faded before our eyes.
    That’s my opinion. You can disagree if you want. That’s fine. But I think to call my opinion something I construed just to create anger and controversy and heat is to not know much about me or my writing. I don’t do that. I always write what I believe, not for whatever its effect might be. If my work riles people up, so be it. If everyone agrees with me, and it’s calm, so be it. In fact, I have written certain gentle columns, and readers have written me saying, ``What are you, a wuss?” Comes with the territory. Look, If you read me at all, you know I don’t like $7-million college coaches. Or $10-million college coaches. I think much of elite college, revenue-producing, entertainment-driven D-1 sport is unfair and immoral. That’s not for ``heat,’’ that’s what I believe. And I’ll debate anybody, anywhere about that. And I’ll win. Because my opinion is based on facts and logic and knowledge. And, sure, emotion. I’ve paid my dues, fellows.
    So you should know that my distrust in the Cubs ``plan’’ does not mean—as some purple-veined radio creatures love to repeat—that I don’t UNDERSTAND the plan. I do. And I’m not pretending that I don’t understand the plan. Please. I understand the plan as well as anyone. I’ve been around. I’m not playing dumb. I have spoken personally with Theo Epstein and Tom Ricketts. They have made the plan excruciatingly clear. And maybe the plan will work. It would be wonderful if it did. (Contrary to perception, I’d love for it to work. It would be good for our troubled newspaper industry, for one thing. FYI: teams win, we sell more papers. We have jobs. I’m not sure non-newspaper people ever think about that.) But I’ve heard a lot of Cubs ``plans’’ explained to me in the past, and we’re going on 107 years of plans that didn’t work.)
    There is NOTHING new about building up your minor leagues. There has never—ever—been a new team owner, president, GM or manager who has said his club was going to make his inherited minor league system smaller, worse, less efficient, less important. Does not happen.
    One writer said I am ``hopelessly biased.’’ Toward what? As a columnist here in a major sports city, my only bias is toward winning, winning fairly, and not fleecing the public. I want the players to be gentlemen, not drug addicts or `roiders or criminals. I want a kind of ethics to blow in the wind off the lake. I want good times and laughs. And I want fans to be treated like the valued customers they must be. So far, in my opinion, Cubs fans have been treated like suckers.
    If the Cubs had lowered ticket prices substantially or simply closed shop while they worked out their plan, that would have been fair. Ineed, can you imagine a restaurant staying open while its food was rotten and mice ran across the tables? It would be closed by higher authorities, for sure. But the Cubs offer a terrible product, one that can make you ill at times, and then say, ``Just wait—it’ll all be fine.''
    Tom Ricketts financial problems are not my problem. Not fans' problems. If he can’t run a decent business while allegedly improving it, shame on him.
    When I asked Theo at the recent end-of-the-year media pow-wow if he was just saying, again, ``Wait til next year!”—the Cub fans rallying cry through the ages—it was not a specious question. It was not me playing ``stupid.” The real money, you are aware, does not come until 2019, or after. That’s the new TV money. That’s a fact. 2019 is five years from now, not next year. Another fact.
    I want to hear Theo and the Cubs brass answer again and again WHEN they will win. This is not a redundant question. It is not an evasive or silly or dumb question. When I heard Theo say the Cubs will not be ``all in’’ next season, 2015, I knew the can is being kicked farther down the road.
    I was the one who asked Theo about the Cardinals, the small market team that keeps winning and never goes down to the bottom to sit there like a glop of dog food. One of the writers in this chain said the Cardinals were set up for winning some 80 or 90 years ago with their farm system. Right. Same way horse paths were set up for semis. And they have such consistency at the top. Right. Tony LaRusso leaves. They keep winning. Pitching guru Dave Duncan leaves. They keep winning. GM Walt Jocketty leaves. They keep winning. The Cardinals have been to eleven World Series since the Cubs last went in 1945. (The Cubs lost, of course.)
    One writer said I might be a ``secret rooftop owner.’’ Oh my God, I wish I were. I would make it public as hell! But I’ve known the rooftop-owning Loukas family for years, and I am dumbfounded that Ricketts was surprised there was/is trouble getting the rooftop owners to, ahem, play ball on Wrigley reconstruction. The Loukases are tough nuts, native Chicagoans, all former D-1 football players and NFL-ers. They don’t crack easily. And there’s that unfortunate 20-year lease they and other owners signed with the Cubs. How could Ricketts not have known about that? His current business president, Crane Kenney, signed it, for God’s sake.
    See, I’m not a believer in things until I see real evidence of their true existence. Pro sports owners have so many benefits and things going their way that they should never be given undue sympathy. The value of the Cubs has increased by hundreds of millions of dollars just since the Rickettses bought them in 2009. That’s a fact. And you own none of that equity. And your ticket prices will rise. And those are facts, too.
    By the way, I called it ``Jonestown party juice’’ in my column. It was actually Kool-Aid and Flavor Aid back then in 1978. Sucks for Kool-Aid, huh? Standing alone for idiocy? Anyway, one of the blog writers, TTP, had a cogent letter listing issues for the Cubs that are not good and don’t necessarily bode well for the future. One said that under Ricketts and Epstein the Cubs had the worst 2-year record in club history (2012-2013). Again, this is a fact. Yet one writer claims he has some ``crushing rejoinders’’ for ``all these opinions.’’
    No, a fact is not an opinion. The Cubs are 80 games under .500 the last three years. That’s a fact. They have had five straight losing seasons, never coming closer to winning than 12 games under .500. Yes, they’ll get better. How can they not? They’ll probably contend for the division title in a few years. My God, they only have to beat four small-market teams to win the NL Central—three of those cities are too small to have NBA teams; two have no NHL teams; one has no NFL team.
    But why is not worshipping at Theo’s ``plan’’ akin to stupidity? Why is waiting for results somehow wrong? Rick Morrissey and I were talking the other day, and he said, ``How did not going along with Theo’s plan become a referendum on intelligence?’’ I couldn’t answer.
    One of the toughest things for young journalists to learn is that you keep asking the same, most obvious questions to a person or people in power, no matter how long it takes until some day you get a real answer. I’ll keep asking the Cubs when they will contend for a World Series title until they provide me with a real answer. In my mind, that trumps all ``plans,’’ no matter how intriguing they might be.
    Maybe a lot of you don’t know this: Tom Ricketts said of a World Series title, ``I’ll be honest--I think we have a team that can do it next year.’’ That was 2009. The Cubs finished fifth in their division in 2010. As they did in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.
    Keep the dialogue about this team going. Because it’s fun. But think, too. Be, as Plato said, skeptical, which means ready to examine conscientiously.
    As I wrote in that now-notorious column, after Theo said he felt most fans have put their trust in him to ``get this thing right’’ and bought into his ``vision’’:
    ``Because that vision is out there, on the horizon, moving like the sun. Just a little farther. Always. And the Cubs fans lurch toward it, arms outstretched, half-insane with desire.''

    That’s true, isn’t it?

    PS--I never said Theriot took `roids. Only that when there's no valid testing and nobody will talk about anything, all parties MIGHT be guilty of anything. Logic. Likewise, I never said Andre Dawson took PEDs or that I wouldn't vote for him for the Hall, only that, again, during the Steroid Era, everyone is a suspect. I did vote for Dawson.
    Regarding Canseco and Caminitti--I wanted them in the Hall to shame the Commissioner and others who said drugs were no issue in MLB. A protest, if you will. (The two had/have no chance of ever getting enough votes.)

  • In reply to Rick Telander:

    Updated response in latest article.

    http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2014/10/telander-responds-but-i-still-dont-agree/

  • Amen John

  • Rick - Thanks for coming here and stating your point of view, though I am not sure what that is.

    Though I have many questions for you, I will simply ask one.

    What moves should theo have made the past 3 years that would have made the Cubs World Series contenders last year or this year?

    It is easy to be critical, but far more difficult to offer solutions. I would like to hear yours.

  • we would have def signed at least one of Prince Fielder or Pujols and I think it's safe to say we would not have Kris Bryant.

Leave a comment