It’s strange to be looking ahead to the Cubs Convention next weekend, and still not know what kind of mood the event will have. Are folks still excited about the front office? Bummed about not adding big pieces? Will Starlin Castro still make an appearance (no reports are yet willing to say more than he is “expected” to appear)? If so, how will he be treated? Will another few Cubs be gone come Friday? I’m just looking forward to having a good time and helping the wife see a little slice of my world.

  • Cubs GM Jed Hoyer wouldn’t comment on the sexual assault allegations against Starlin Castro, but did say that the organization expects players to “behave with the highest level of respect on the field, off the field and in the community …. Being a Cub carries with it a very high standard of conduct and responsibility. While an allegation like this is something we take very seriously, we don’t have enough information to make any further comment or answer any questions at this time. We’re hopeful that when the facts are brought to light, that Starlin will be cleared of any wrongdoing.”
  • I wrote on Friday that “I don’t think it’s the right thing – for the alleged victim, for Castro, for me, or the fans – to share my completely uneducated thoughts on the subject.” Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way, and we’re left with columns like the one recently written by David Haugh. Haugh, so righteous and so smart, stands atop his soapbox and castigates Castro for things Haugh clearly knows to be true. Castro needs to grow up and not put himself in bad situations, Haugh says, while offering mealymouthed recognitions that “[w]e might never know details of what happened inside Castro’s apartment.” The facts, yet undetermined, don’t matter, of course, because Haugh knows best. This is a teachable moment, however damning Haugh’s teaching might appear. And yet, Haugh has the temerity to say this: “The Cubs wisely reserved judgment until team officials can speak directly to Castro.” If the Cubs are wisely keeping quiet, David Haugh, what are you doing?
  • Hoyer says the Cubs are still looking at starting pitchers, hoping to add depth. At present, the Cubs could go about eight deep without even dipping into the minors (Garza/ Dempster/ Wells/ Wood/ Volstad/ Samardzija/ Coleman/ Sonnanstine), which, to me, suggests that the Cubs expect one or more of those eight guys not to be here for much longer.
  • Cubs’ fans, on the balance, seem to be resigned to a tough 2012 season, and open to the kind of rebuild underway in Chicago. Obviously the moves aren’t done yet, but Paul Sullivan accurately notes that the last time a Cubs team entered a season with expectations this low was 2003. That’s not a sentence designed to instill foolish hope, but instead simply to say: surprising things do happen.
  • ty

    This name calling needs to stop! I came home about 3 a.m. Fri and commented about a trade and passed out for awhile. Darn sure that Michigan Goat called me a name!

    • Rick Vaughn


    • MichiganGoat

      If it was 3am it wasn’t me

  • Sully777

    Rick: It’s probably a good thing you weren’t posting early Saturday; because I had some definitive thoughts on Wells myself. To me, he is the perfect candidate for the new regime to actually unload prior to the 2012 season. Approaching 30, low ceiling, and living off 2009-here’s hoping there are some execs out there that share your views and he can bring a prospect that will help down the road.

    • Rick Vaughn

      It’s all good bro. I understand that. I just feel his value is much lower than it would in July, after a healthy first half. You see him flaming out, I see him hitting his potential. I don’t see us getting anything from him now, so I say let’s let him show what he’s got. Anything to keep Casey Coleman out of the rotation. I can’t handle anymore of that.

  • die hard

    Buy low and sell high approach of Cubs could land a real bargain by going after David Aardsma now before he fully rehabs….If Cub front office listening, worth a shot and no worse than other recent reclamation projects

    • Rick Vaughn

      I actually thought about Aardsma quite a bit.

      From rotoworld this morning: “According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, free agent David Aardsma will “wait until he’s further along in (his) arm rehab” to begin seeking contract offers.”

      He might have more demand than he’s worth to the Cubs. No point in getting into a bidding war for him. But if he’s only being offered minor league deals, he might be worth a split contract or something.

      • ferrets_bueller

        I think I might have been the only person in Chicago who felt this way, but I was really disappointed when Aardsma left town.  Turns out I was correct in really liking the guy, haha.  I’d love to see him back with the cubs.

  • TongueInCheek

    I have come to the conclusion that occasionally some of you actually make a little sense!

  • Bud Bleachers

    This whole Cubs thing is a mess. I cringe when I read Cubs fans state that “Rizzo was their guy” over Fielder or Pujols. That’s downright laughable. Rizzo is 22 years old and has hardly played in MLB, whereas Fielder and Pujols are A-Listers of the game, one of which, the best of the generation. Don’t be so credulous, people. Maybe Rizzo is the next Texeira, but he was had for only Andrew Cashner, another unproven player with upside and a history of recent injury.

    Zambrano was a solider for this franchise. People clamored to keep him here when he was up for free agency not that long ago. All this young man found in his professional career was chronic losing. Think about it. Does anyone want to blame the Cubs for failing him? Great, now he’s gone and the Cubs are paying $15MM to the competition for each one of his pitches and wins while still paying the former GM who produced the bad paper in the first place. Love how Theo put Z’s departure to a democracy among veteran players as well. And he talked about accountability in his initial press conference.

    I’m really disappointed in the Cubs. They played the fan base perfectly, especially the season ticket holders. For the first time ever, they asked for a non-refundable commitment from season ticket holders six weeks after a 90-loss season. We all found it a bit suspect when the Cubs threatened to take away our seats in November if we didn’t pay upfront after years of patronage. Normally, we don’t pay until mid-January with a verbal commit in December.

    Now, it’s recently been released that the star shortstop has been accused of rape, and to date, there haven’t been any significant free agent signings this off-season. The Cubs knew about Castro last September. It’s a very unfortunate situation for this franchise, and regardless of the outcome, is an indelible blemish on Castro’s and the Cubs’ reputations. I’m sure many season ticket holders would have thought twice about renewing in knowing this information and plan beforehand. The Cubs knew this and really played us all. It’s unfortunate that nobody is publicly calling this at least into question.

    Many of you are really encouraged about the acquisition of some of the youth. Rizzo, Jackson, and Castro might as well be named Rock, Paper, and Scissors. This has turned into a crap-shoot. Free agent signings and additions don’t have to be setbacks; it’s just that Cubs management couldn’t pull it off to success. Free agency is still the main way teams win in professional sports and baseball, and it’s this balance of proven vets, A-list vets, melded with young talent that makes for championship organizations.

    The Cubs need revenues. That’s apparent. They’re asking the state and city for tax-payer money to finance infrastructure on a 98 year old landmark. Well, this bad press won’t help matters, as individuals that need to be elected run for the hills when they hear terms like “sexual assault.” Again, perception is reality to the general public.

    There were many empty seats at Wrigley Field last year. The numbers showed a draw of over $3MM, yet we all know that was skewed by actual attendance. No major talent this year will hit the Cubs where it hurts the most, and will fetter rebuilding progress when the time comes to add a stud free agent. Personally, I think given the assets they have attained thus far, a guy like Fielder at least will assist with the youth movement, while still be in his prime to help win a World Series in the next 3-4 years. He will also put people in the seats.

    Another losing season, or two, or three, will be devastating to this organization. Many devoted, knowledgeable fans realize the importance of building up a minor league team and top-notch front office. However, the average, daily paying fan could care less. They just want to see a winner after 103 years of losing. And quite frankly, they, we, all deserve one. You really have to make a conscious effort to lose 103 times in a row.

    Be careful what you wish for Cubs fans. Everything in life is about balance. This is Chicago, a major market, and winning a little now while building for the future later can, and should be the plan. Anything less is nothing more than mailing it in, and that’s a hell of a price to pay when the real cancer of this organization has been chronic losing at the expense of exploiting a loyal, paying fan base.

    What comes around goes around. We can only hope that Thed Hoepstein knows what they’re doing, because they’re at a watershed moment of their careers that could make them legends or, well…goats.

    • Ogyu

      Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody didn’t drink their kool aid today. But that’s okay. The Cubs will figure out a way to surreptitiously administer electro-shock to fans like this, to make them more docile.

    • sam

      WOW –

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      What would you rather have, the team spend big on free agents now and have a mediocre chance at winning while further destroying the future, or lose now and build for a strong future?

      You can’t have both, not with the current situation the Cubs are in now.

      And thanks for voicing your opinion like a normal, rational fan. Even if I disagree with most of it.

      • Jeff L

        What he is trying to say is you can do both… It is possible. You can build the youth movement with trades while also getting prize free agents now. You don’t think Darvish (25 years old) and Fielder (27 years old) would be a great piece of the youth movement. You don’t think Cepedes (26 years old) would be a great piece also… You don’t have to roll the dice and pray for the prospects the Cubs are getting to have a chance to turn this thing around. This is professional sports, we are not building a triple A team here. We need some Big League Talent to be competitive.

        • JXH

          Bidding millions on Darvish and Cepedes is a bigger gamble than trading for Rizzo. You really don’t know what you are going to get for the price you are paying. How soon you forget about a grossly overpaid Japanese player named Kouske Fukudome.

      • sam

        Further destroying the future? that is zombie talk at this late hour. Bud seems to be a very cordial person put alot of time into his point of view. I cannot see how you can justify your position . the cubs have traded away talent and recieved broken or failed players in return. . destroy the present .too perserve the future …….. Wait til next year
        stop it. I have heard it for many years and now you want me to wait a couple of more years. now who is being unreasonable.

        • Jeff L

          Sam totally agree with you… I love that we finally have some realistic, intelligent Cubs fans on this forum. I was getting really annoyed only conversing with the ones who blindly follow Epstein and Hoyer no matter what they do. Also, you got to love the ones who love to talk about saving Mr. Ricketts as much money as possible.. Those are my favorites.

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          It’s you Jeff L and Sam that make this comment section a bad place for Cub fans.

          I disagree with someone and you want to know how I can justify my position? Really? Who the fuck are you?

          I liked how Bud voiced his opinion while not being an idiot like you, thats what this board should be like.


          • SweetJamesJones

            KansasCubsFan FTW!!!

          • loyal100more

            relax…they are micro managers that have no vision, and need to stick to fantasy baseball and sniffing bike seats.

            • Kansas Cubs Fan

              “sniffing bike seats.”


              I’m imagining two creeps walking around sniffing bike seats and I can’t quit laughing!

              • loyal100more

                sniffing bike seats with cubs hats on and screaming at everyone how much they suck. great fans! move to new york

            • ferrets_bueller

              Post of the year, so far! hahaha.

              Funny you should mention fantasy baseball, though.  I’ve almost lost my spot in a couple of first year keeper leagues before for “not competing,” then gone out and won multiple titles in a row based upon what i did during the first year of losing.  People who play for the now immediately without an eye to the future usually dont win more than once, while those who sell off multiple good players at the trade deadline to the top teams, for a few elite young players, usually go on to build dynasties.  Even in FBB, shortsightedness is a flaw.

              • loyal100more

                i look at the rangers and i see a great formula.good farm guys, some bounce back guys and then the big free agents.

    • Roland Perrelli

      Well said Bud. Everything they have done so far says we will not compete in the near future. If they signed Fielder it would have said we are going young while attracting the best in their prime free agents. But it is not just about Fielder we have done nothing long term yet. We have done a bunch of if’s and but’s. Which could work out but could also blow up in their faces.

    • FromFenwayPahk

      Bud, Well-composed and worth my time to read. I hate hearing that you feel the fans have been “played,” but you back that up with the interesting support of the timing of the Castro story…you might have a point.

      Revenue is a variable these guys have to keep an eye on, obviously. But, I doubt they will sign anyone to merely put fannies in the seats. Winning will do that for fewer dollars. I think that is the game plan. Win.

      I’m thinking more about this part of your thoughtful post: “Free agency is still the main way teams win…, and it’s this balance of proven vets, A-list vets, melded with young talent that makes for championship organizations.”
      About the second part, this is researchable and it sure seems true (for lots of organizations besides pro baseball, too). About the first part, I don’t think so. Free agency might fill a hole or two in an otherwise well-constructed club. But, I think it may make a poor foundation. Besides, Theo has been burnt by free agency in Boston. He probably will procede with some caution. He should.

      I think this team will win more games in 2012 than you feel they might for two reasons. One, I don’t buy the all-or-nothing: either tear it down and rebuild; or go for it. That is a false choice. Two, I try not to rate players based on how Big their names are (because the front office seems to be using a different, better metric). I think Theo is hunting for value, and the Cubs will get good results, partly from names we might not know as famous…yet.

  • Jeff L

    Bud Bleachers… Great comment exactly what I was thinking… I commend you for speaking the truth!!

    • KCubsfan

      Here is the Truth the Cubs are going to suck with or without Fielder, Pujols or Zambano. They dont have the talent right now and the FA market doesnt either. So they have 3 choices 1) keep throw money at a below average team and hope it works. 2) do nothing and hope the ship rights itself. 3) Tear the whole thing down and start over. Using the farm system to be our main source of talent and not FA, instead of the other way arround.

      • Jeff L

        Why is it all black and white with you guys… You need great players on a team to show the youngsters the right way of doing things. That has been proven with many teams time and again. Fielder would be a great player and leader for the youngsters to be around. The farm system doesn’t make or break a team. The farm system is a great asset. A lot of fans look at the Rays and think they got there overnight. It took over 10 years for them to build to where they are now. You guys seriously will follow Epstein and Hoyer blindly no matter what they do. It honestly is making me sick to see that. You need a mix of youngsters and veterans to build a championship team. Getting proven youngsters that may cost Mr. Ricketts (not you, KCubsfan, Kansas Cubs fan, and all the others) That’s the real way to build a team.. I agree with many of the trades. I like the youngsters we are getting, but signing premium free agents as a piece of that is the only way to go. If not you might as well be throwing darts hoping and praying to hit gold.

      • sam

        I Was expecting the Cubs to be gamers . I just did not expect them to quit in 2012- If the cubs are playing hardball with the remaining top notch free agents then fine but this has left a sour feeling in my gut—- good free agents either passed on the cubs or the team gave up. and if the team gave up expect less fans in the seat – I am not a cheerleader for the cubs – i have invested many years of mockery to degrade myself as being a puppet of rebuilder worshipppers. I want a team that can compete this year and every year . I want a team that produces a winner and give its players a chance to win. I will tell you what will happen in three years if the cubs miss on rebuilding

        1 Ricketts / Cricketts theonly sound you will hear in the bleachers come2012 the upperdeck in 2013- 2014 theo will jet to tampa
        2. someone will give theo a gorilla outfit so he can Resign or he will simply resign and go somewhere that will pay him more money and give him a budget he can work with.
        3 you still will be preaching next yeaR!

        funny about future predictions you can promise anything — the present cant lie about that!

        • baldtaxguy

          “i have invested many years of mockery to degrade myself as being a puppet of rebuilder worshipppers. I want a team that can compete this year and every year . I want a team that produces a winner and give its players a chance to win.”

          I am not sure what you mean by your first sentence and what you have been a puppet of, but when was the last time the Cubs formally went through a rebuilding program? Has it been during your lifetime?  Have you had a front-office that has attempted to live in the present and thrown money at everything to see if it sticks? How’s that working for you?  Here you have a new front-office, ownership that has communicated clearly and has made transactions thus far dedicated to a rebuilding process.  Give it a chance, chill for a year.  Go root for the Devil Rays.


  • gratefulled

    Rizzo was their guy. It’s called rebuilding. There was no way Jed & Co. were going to sign a player to a long-term contract with a no-trade clause. So yes, all along, I think they knew who we’d end up with.

    Did you just call Zambrano a soldier??? What an assinine comment. Soldiers don’t quit on the person next to them, brah. And, they do what they are told by their commanding officer in order to not become a distraction to the group.

    I’d take scissors in my line-up any day.

    The average, daily-paying fan just wants to watch baseball. After 103 years you’d think they’d stop by now if they didn’t enjoy it.

    There are some who enjoy believing that their cup is half-full, and then there is you. Go put your time and efforts into the Sux.

    • sam

      and this is the reason why Ricketts thinks he can get away with what he is doing! This team sux you know it, I know it – heck the world knows it. When a man wont give you anything today all he can promise you is hope! promises —- wow

      • Jeff L

        Actually, Sam Mr. Ricketts is a very smart man. He knows that many fans like the numerous ones I have met on this forum will be completely ok with any moves Epstein makes. I hear a lot, if Epstein is doing the moves then I trust he knows what he is doing. So, Ricketts knows he can lower payroll and pass the idea of “rebuilding” to the fans that haven’t seen a championship in their lifetime. It’s sad that many fans are falling for this. Mr. Ricketts knows the only way he can get away with this is with Epstein as the President of Baseball Operations. Any other “President” or “GM” I really don’t think fans would stand for this.

        • Brian Myers

          Lets step back a bit and at least discuss this with a bit of evidence, which could support the case of many depending on your point of view.

          First, take a look at this link, it’s how Forbes looks at the Cubs:

          A lot is left out of this number, both positive and negative.

          On the negative: The entire minor league system, coaching, scouting, medical training staff, transportation, hotel expenses, security, advertising/marketing, lawyers, front office staff (from management to secretaries), cleaning crews, field maintenance, ..and a lot more. Also they are looking for a heavy amount of cash for the development of the Wrigley Field “Wrigleyville” area.

          The positive: Concessions, merchandise, TV contracts, large tax breaks.

          So massive amounts of cash coming in, but massive amounts going out to.

          It was estimated (in another article) that 2 years ago the Cubs made 25.5 million in profit. Yep, that’s one Albert Pujols contract away from break even. With lower salaries this year (but reinvestment in other areas, which they began last year with increased money into scouting and minor league development), we may be discussing 50 million(ish) +/- 10 million in profit with the roster as it currently stands. That’s not bad and obviously indicates they have room to grow if they wish. BUT if you consider the value of the club vs what they would get if they simply invested the money and got back revenue from financial investment (stocks, interest, etc), it’s likely the Cubs would like to see about 35 million in profits this year (it is a business after all).

          Soooo… my best guess, based on the figures above, the Cubs have 15 to 25 million more they would feel comfortable dropping into payroll. Perhaps adding 15 million+ more before the start of the year with a “little” extra for a player pickup down the stretch should they need it.

          Those are very big estimates based on sketchy numbers, but likely close enough (within a few million) to know what their thought process is.

          • Brett

            Useful stuff. One note on the “profit” point. Setting aside what Forbes deems profit/income, Ricketts has said repeatedly that he intends to put every dollar that comes in back into the organization in some way. There will be no “profit,” according to him.

            That doesn’t mean we’ll see all those dollars in payroll or even development expenses, because there is still a great deal of debt to pay off. That may be a mere academic point, because, to the extent revenue is used to pay down the debt, that’s a lot more like “profit,” given that the “debt” really belongs to the Ricketts family.

            • Brian Myers

              Yep. I have a feeling a lot of that “profit” will go into Wrigley and the surrounding community. For instance, they just spent 20 million to purchase the McDonalds (property) across the street from Wrigley.

              • Brett

                Exactly. That purchase, while technically a Ricketts family purchase, could easily – and fairly – be described as a dollar for dollar reinvestment of “profits” in the Cubs’ organization.

          • Rick Vaughn

            Post of the god damn year! Thanks Brian. Hope everyone takes a gander at that one.

  • coal

    Ricketts wants to win the World Series – if you don’t believe him than there’s no point in discussing any of this. I believe he does. What “moves” / or “payroll” was he realistically going to authorize make to make the team immediatey better in 2012 than 2011? Fielder? Ok, maybe that one. But no way on Pujols – the Cards fans are generally happy with the idea that they didn’t overpay for Pujols even though the team is probably worse in 2012. By showing a willingness to eat salary – he’s actually showing he is willing to spend money – backwards as that may seem. And part of being willing to spend money is to know that Wrigley will likely not be full in 2012. I have no doubt that the Cubs’ payroll will be back up in 2013 or 2014 to one of the Top 5-6 in baseball — but it doesn’t have to be there if you are only getting mediocre talent for it.

  • sam

    What a shame less than week proir to the convention and people can still get tickets. now thats the future talking.

    • MontelleW

      Damn….all you spew is negativity. I can live with the cubs rebuilding. What tires me is your endless whining about ticket prices and availability of convention tickets. We’re all so sorry that Ricketts didn’t just spend his wallet dry just for you! wah wah wah… Why don’t you just shut the hell up and go be a cardinals fan already?!?!?!?!?! The rest of us are sick of the crying!

      • Jeff L

        WOW, I’m glad you have money to spend on the “great” product their going to produce on the field. Montrelle I expect you at at least 20 games shelling out first row money for that talk. I love how you make a comment about becoming a Cardinals fan because me like so many others don’t agree with the Cubs moves. That is like you saying … Oh you don’t agree with Obama why don’t you go move to Russia. Seriously Montrellw I really hope that is your last comment. Because you sound like an ignorant moron. A true fan is someone who questions the front office doesn’t just lay over and take whatever they give. As a fan it’s your right and duty to question it.

        • MontelleW

          This is baseball, not United States presidential Politics. The Team has an OWNER. The US has an “elected official”. Though you do not see it, Sam for the umpteenth time has beaten the dead horse. Tom is not listening to him. Theo doesn’t care what Sam or you have to say. Neither does Jed. And as for the “true fans”? The rest of us are willing to at least give this a chance. We’ve tried the other way, and we know it doesn’t work. Either way, quit being crybabies and let the dead horse be dead!

        • loyal100more

          are you sucking off sam while typing?

          • sam

            stop it richard everyone knows the nickname for richard.

            • loyal100more

              all in good fun sam… though i hate your posts your obviosly a passionate fan… and there for my brother…ouch!

              • sam

                wow let you and i never go into a Whitesox bar i dont think we come out alive

                • loyal100more

                  or at least bloodied up

          • Brett

            That seems like a bit much.

            • loyal100more

              and my appoligies to the site for going over the top childish… what can i say i sucked in to the drama some times.

  • Cubsin

    IHMO, the Cubs are better off without some of these fair-weather fans who are upset with our failure to sign Pujols or Fielder, Darvish, Wilson, Buerhle and Jackson and trade our top prospects for a better second baseman. There are 29 other MLB franchises to cheer for, so they should pick one and move on.

    It makes me sad to realize that as soon as the team is successfully rebuilt, those fans will return and occupy seats that should have gone to the fans that always believed in Ricketts and Epstein’s plan, and gladly supported the team during the leaner years. And even worse, when the good times come, they’ll claim that they always predicted great things for the Theo, Jed and the Cubs.


    • Roland Perrelli

      Cubsin, I think this is the only franchise besides the clippers who can actually say that their fanbase is not fair weather. You do not draw the attendance that the cubs draw at Wrigley or have the amount of cubs fans at opposing ballparks that they do without winning. I live in the south now(from Chicago burbs) and every year I take my family to see them at turner field and their are as many cubs fans as there are braves fans. Just in case you need to be reminded we have not won anything in your or my lifetime. I am a lifelong cubs fan and did not have high expectations though our division is weakened by departures I would like to be competitive each year. I hold Theo to his comment of each year is sacred and we need to be competitive yearly. I guess that starts in 2014 though.

    • MontelleW

      Amen! True fans remain true!

    • loyal100more

      amen! for better or worst… thats what being a fan is all about.

  • sam

    Support the team during leaner years I take it your a republican as well. No if the cubs can win a championship by rebuiding it will be easy to say i was wrong. And guess what when the cubs lose i promise to be even more vocal . When the cubs continue to have losing seasons I take it you will continue to say ” wait til next year!


  • sam

    I am sorry calling you a Republican was uncalled for and could be interpeted as an insult. I am sorry!

  • MichiganGoat

    Yawn with all this Cubitching. Cubs suck, boohoo; Rickets is greedy, waaaaa; boycott the team, roar; that trade made me sad, argh. This constant complaining and Chicken Little vision has become absolutely tiresome. If you think the Cubs suck great you made your point, now MOVE ON. If you want to discuss the Cubs without always returning to your doomsday scenario then continue to post but otherwise MOVE ON. Please just MOVE ON!

    • polocubs

      well said. it seems many so called fans want only to continue down the road of “loveable losers”, and forever feel the need to bitch and complain. this is theo and jed’s first year here. there are many areas in need of repair and many of the fans are already losing hope

      • loyal100more

        would anyone dissagree that the guys got a club in really bad shape? little to work with? i can see the direction, and i feel its a good one and im upbeat.ill only hang my head when we loose a playoff game. never before the start of a rebuilding year.

    • JR1908

      Exactly, Michigan Goat. There are so many negative Cubs fans on here… Crying because the Cubs traded Zambrano, and got an equal/less psycho pitcher in return. Or blindly bitching about not getting a premier F.A. You got a problem with the state of the CUBS morons, then write Jim Hendry. Because it’s his fault. No one else’s..

      • CubsFanBob

        I have a hard time believing they are real Cub Fans ( the irrational constantly complaining , threatening not to attend games etc peeps )

        • hansman1982

          I have been working with the public for the past 5 years and one thing I have learned is when someone says they are no longer going to do business with you, they were either: Not doing much business to begin with or you are glad they are gone because they weren’t worth the headaches.
          If I were a season ticket holder I would gladly reup this year because the powers that be are NOT doing the fan-appeasing thing and signing Fielder, Wilson, etc… Gotta eat your peas sooner or later.

    • loyal100more

      the goat has spoken!!!

  • BFiddy

    Threeo are rebuilding because the core of the team Hendry built was not the core they want to build around.  If all they did this offseason was sign the biggest-name FAs, they would be perpetuating the negative attitude and atmosphere that the Cubs have wallowed in for the last few seasons.  They are bringing in young players and new players to grow together and build a winning atmosphere without the influence of jaded stars like Big Z and Ramy (not their fault, but we need a new core that can learn how to win itself, not understand that they can’t from some downtrodden veterans).

    Sometimes, an organization (in every sense of the word) needs to purge the old and refresh itself with new ideas and new energy.  Once the Cubs have accomplished that, we can start to sign big name FAs who will buy in.  To simply sign the most expensive FAs and throw them onto a bad team would be an exercise in futility.

    Threeo vowed to bring a culture change to the Cubs.  I, for one, am fully on board with that…even if it takes a couple seasons.  I believe that bringing in young players to grow around an offensive core of Rizzo, Jackson, and Castro gives the Cubs a chance to build a new culture and tradition.

    I am also a fan of Indiana basketball.  After watching the last few seasons, it is easy for me to accept that a culture change is a slow, but necessary process.  After the Kelvin Sampson debacle, IU lost more than half a team.  Coach Crean came in and demanded a culture change.  Once players bought into it, there was a noticeable uptick in recruiting, with the spark finally coming from the commitment of Cody Zeller.  That spark started the fire that has taken recruiting and optimism to a new level.  I leave it to you to see what the results have been this season.

    “Theo”retically, this is a process that could happen much more quickly for a professional team.  Player turnover is more controllable and recruiting has more to do with money than with winning.  Picking up young, exciting players like Rizzo, Stewart, and Wood could be just the spark we need to start the fire that will turn the Cubs into a contender.  If not, I am putting my trust in Threeo that they will find the move that does.

    This is not about surviving through “the lean years,” it is about trusting that a culture change is necessary before we can truly be a contender.  My Plea to Cubs Fans:  Stop asking the Cubs Front Office to make rash moves.  Start trusting Threeo’s track record and give the team the fan support it will need if it is truly going to undergo a culture change!!

    • MichiganGoat

      Excellent post and as an IU grad that is the perfect analogy.

    • OlderStyle

      Go Big Red!

    • Jeff L

      Theo’s track record!!! BFiddy Theo’s track record has the great John Henry’s money attached to it. Why so many Cub fans were excited to have Epstein is because he won a couple championships. He would not have won those championships without Henry’s money. He went out and signed Curt Schilling. He traded Hanley Ramerez when he was a prospect and brought in veterans Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. That is Theo’s track record. You want a track record to take this hideous road the Cubs are going down hit up Andrew Friedman. But it took him many years with the Rays to build it to where it is now. Till then seriously you got to shut up with the bold buddy. As for you MichiganGoat maybe you can go to the convention and kiss Epsteins Ass a little more. Man you are the biggest “HOMER” I have ever seen!

      • MichiganGoat

        Ignore, there is now way to discuss with someone who believe the world is ending. Sorry you are so angry and I hope you find peace with the new Cubs way, but I imagine you will always complain regardless.

        • Jeff L

          Oh yes the “Ignore” is back… What a great intelligent way to make a reply. Seriously can you come out with some history or facts to support whatever position you are taking. Not just 3 sentences and “ignore”… MichiganGoat it really gets old with you:)

          • SweetJamesJones

            Intelligent reply? History and facts?

            JeffL, you might want to practice what you preach good sir. You do come off as a “fanatical religious zealot.” I picture you literally preaching to everyone with a “You are with us or against us” attitude.

            I agree with you on some things, but you might just want to chill out a little bit.

      • BFiddy

        I’ll leave the bold out of it from now on…I forgot that the internet thinks CAPS and Bold are inherently offensive.

        – Threeo’s track record is full of winning.  I trust that they know what they are doing…certainly more than I would in their position.

        – Our situation is not the same as Boston’s…so the process will be different.  You seem to believe that Theo only succeeded because of John Henry’s money.  I choose to believe that he was simply using the available resources well.  I have no reason to believe that he will not use the available resources well with the Cubs, even if the resources are different.

        – I am probably overly optimistic, but what choice do I have as a fan of IU and the Cubs during this past decade?

        – If we spend all our time whining about the inadequacy of the current roster and asking the Front Office to replace them, we will never have a team with confidence…

        • Jeff L

          I believe if we let our voices be heard and as you call it “whine” maybe the front office will change their position. Owners want to please fans and as long as Ricketts thinks we are completely content with rebuilding this way because Theo is in the catbirds seat that’s the way it’s going to go. Maybe Ricketts really doesn’t care about the fans, but that would be a flawed business model.

          • hansman1982

            See there is the problem, your timeline of success and the Ricketts are two different timelines. If Ricketts were in this for a quick WS title and then a dump of the team, then our payroll would have been $170M last year as we gobbled up every free agent available but then we would have a small window because our farm system is weak.
            I think the Ricketts are eyeing a 20+ year reign as the owners of the Cubs and I think their end goal isn’t the Red Sox model, but rather, the Yankees model where we contend every year, we are the evil empire and we print money like we are the Treasury.

          • TWC

            Lemme ask you something, kid.  Have you called up Theo and Jed?  Made a quick call to Tom Ricketts?  No?  ‘Cause that’s how you “let [your] voices be heard” to people whose actions you’d like to change and/or influence.  Repeating the same complaints over and over (and over and over) again on a Cubs fan page is pretty damn ineffectual, don’tcha think?

            I mean, “as long as Ricketts thinks [you] are completely content with rebuilding … that’s the way it’s going to go.”

            • Jeff L

              TWC do you have their number “kid” lol…. The only way to be heard to any big business or even owner is on forums such as these (thanks Brett), twitter or Facebook. I’m not a crazy fan, like you obviously suggesting to call up Rickets or Jed, or even Hoyer. TWC seriously if you have a comment make, make it a worth while one. I asked you “trust in Theo fans fanatics” to give me some history and some facts that suggest that their plan will work. GIve me names of teams that have one World Series building like this and the years it took them to do so. So far none of you have come up with anything besides… “calling me a kid or whatever names you want to use instead of an intellectual response”

              • hansman1982

                somewhere on this board I gave up the Rangers and the Braves as two examples of teams that rebuilt through their farm system who are contenders year in and year out.
                Then I also pointed out that the Mets and the White Sox have taken the same road as the Cubs have and look to still be doing that.
                While a WS title is the ultimate goal, all a GM/PBO can do is get your team to perpetual contention and that is where the Red Sox are, not because of the big money FA’s but because of the farm system.

            • MontelleW

              TWC – you crack me up! I love that reply :)

      • Hawkeyegrad

        Looking at it another way, baseball playoffs are somewhat of a crap shoot. I think the 2006 and 2011 Cardinals can attest to that. Theo had Boston in the playoffs in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. That is a lot of lotto tickets and he was rewarded with 2 of them paying off. While Boston has the third highest payroll in MLB they still only have the second highest payroll in their own division ($30+ million behind the Yankees). Given this $30 million advantage it is not surprsing that the Red Sox only won the division 1 time during Theo’s tenure while winning the wild card 5 times and the Yankees won the division 6 times.

        The Cubs have an approximate $30 million payroll advantage over it’s next highest payroll division foe (The Cardinals). It stands to reason that it should be easier for Theo to compete in the NL Central then the AL East given this relative advantages. The more lotto tickets the team punches the greater the chance they break through.

    • MontelleW

      THREEO (love that name you gave btw LOL) has my support already pledged. In THREEO I trust! As the Michigan Goat says, the whining is old. We haven’t played even our first spring training game under Theo yet. However, Theo and Co’s track record speaks for itself. Now is the time for us to at least give it a try. Remember, nobody believed in Billy Beane either until the A’s had a 20 game winning streak in 02. As much as a hate to quote a movie here though…..Tom Hank’s said it best, “There’s no crying in baseball!”

      • Jeff L

        A’s never won it all:)… Nobodies crying were just speaking the truth. Even though it seems to be heard in extreme prejudice from the Theo lovers:)

  • Kyle

    I still think the Cubs could have competed right away with an all-out approach to free agency this offseason.

    But now that they’ve chosen the rebuilding path, I’m awed at how well they are doing it.

    I’ve been concerned that we missed the boat on smart front office work. Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was a small trend of hiring brilliant, Ivy League, stat-savvy and scouting-savvy front office types and some teams got huge gains from those guys. But when half the league has those guys before we get ours, are we too late to really reap the benefits? Are there any market inefficiencies that we have left to exploit?

    It turns out, yes there are, and it’s easy to see how Epstein and Hoyer are targetting them.

    Market inefficiencies/undervalued players:

    Players whose peripherals say they are significantly better than their superficial stats (Wood, Sappelt, Volstad).

    Players who used to be top prospects but haven’t quite panned out, but are still young enough to find it. (Wood, Volstad, Stewart)

    Players who just don’t have the look that some scouts love, but produce. (Sappelt, Torreyes).

    Players who have labels stuck on them like “Back of rotation” or “backup” that don’t quite match up to their stats. (Wood, Sappelt).

    Playesr who are blocked by their current organization. (Rizzo, Wood).

    Players who are right on the cusp of the majors or who have very little service time. They tend to get lumped in as “prospects” with projectionable 18-year-old A-ballers, but they are really very solid bets to be MLB producers. (Rizzo, Wood, Sappelt, Volstad).

    It’s really quite stunning how much long-term talent they’ve been able to add to the organization in just a few months. I’m truly amazed.

    My only question now is what’s going to happen to all of the leftover money. We were promised a similar total baseball payroll to 2011 and 2010. At this point, we could sign every player on the IFA market and still have money left over. Is that being saved for future years or is it just disappearing into Ricketts’ pockets and debt service?

    • OlderStyle

      good post, and if Theo and co. are targeting the specific inefficiencies you cite then, yes they have a plan at work. the problem is it’s mostly theoretical at this point. Until this “new” inefficiency is seen to show results it’s more experiment than process.
      Also, as you question, where is the money going to be spent? I would have preferred to sign some proven FA’s and stock the farm with talent simultaneously. If it’s going to be spent on the Rickett’s debt service, I think a lot of fans will be upset.
      At this point, I will take a wait and see attitude to the new direction. Theo, this is one fan’s “trust, but verify”.

      • Roland Perrelli

        Older style you are correct with your analogy. Why can we not do both sign a top free agent and build up team and farm system with younger or undervalued talent. Why does it need to be a complete rebuild? It does not we have a 200 million dollar baseball budget with caps on spending in international and draft spending. With all the payroll that came and comes off the books this year and the next few years there is no reason for us not to be in on free agents.

        • OlderStyle

          There seems to me to be a realization that the Ricketts ownership had just enough to purchase the franchise but not enough to infuse it with cash and solve it’s inherit problems in the short term. I don’t know a great deal about it but the reports I read said that the Zell ownership raised the payroll to drive the franchise cost up with the outside chance the Cubs won the Series in that window, while neglecting the assets for the long-term to let the future ownership worry about it.
          I believe the Ricketts are sincere in their expressed desire to bring a championship to the fans and to build an organization that has sustained success. I’m beginning to doubt they have the financial wherewithal to make that happen in the near future. While they profess to reinvest all of the franchise profit back into the team, there are numerous areas in the org. (besides the 40 man roster) that seem to require the money to build for sustained success (including paying the interest and the principal on their loan). It would be a waste of time to complain that an owner with flusher pockets didn’t buy the Cubs as that ship has long sailed.
          But there does seem to be a disconnect when Theo makes a statement that every opportunity to win is sacred. We are a big market team, stocking the farm with talent and FA’s are not mutually exclusive. I’m not suggesting he was being disingenuous but I think it would’ve been better to be more candid about a complete rebuild. I can only suppose he didn’t state something to that effect so as not to limit their leverage in negotiating with teams about their veterans.
          I’ll continue to watch the progress with guarded optimism. What else can I do as a lifelong Cubs fan?

  • BFiddy

    Please notice I have not defended Ricketts to this point.  I assume that the money will come when Threeo ask for it.  If you think Ricketts is just lining his pockets, then by all means, complain as much as you see fit. I don’t think that is the case…Threeo wouldn’t be with us if they didn’t believe Ricketts was financially committed to this…

    • Jeff L

      I really hope your right. I can see Theo thinking this is much more of a challenge to work with money constraints. I honestly believe that he thinks he is smarter than he actually is. All I am trying to say he has no history of working with money constraints or building a team this way. On Boston he had all the funds he could ever need. That’s a big reason why they built up a championship the way they did. He also payed big money for prospects in Boston during those years. He just doesn’t have the track record to do what he’s doing now with the Cubs.

      • BFiddy

        If two seasons from now, we have not made any significant additions and still have a payroll in the $80-100 million range, you will see me change my tune…I just do not believe that is what’s going on here.

        I have to be optimistic about the Cubs…I am pessimistic about everything else in life…

  • TongueInCheek

    Yesterday I wrote that occasionally some of you make a little sense. After reading this present stream of comments I must retract my statement. Those that want an instant rebuild of the team are, well, ignorant and void of any semblance of reality. A patient rebuilding from the ground up, as our brain trust is attempting, holds the ONLY hope for a long winning future. Patience, as slow and steady wins the long race. Show a little intelligence and support our leadership and support these new guys as we want their best efforts and they need our encouragement for confident success.

    • Brett

      But some of us are saying that, so … don’t some of us still occasionally make a little sense?

    • Jeff L

      ToungeInCheak instead of blindly believing in our leadership please give me something to go on. I’m also tired of hearing responses like yours that have absolutely no substance to it. Give me some history, some teams in the past that built the way the Cubs are building and are successful. Also, tell me how many years it took so called team. Make me a believer in this rebuilding process. Seriously, if this was the NBA and the Bulls were bad like they were in the beginning of 2000 and talked about rebuilding through the draft I would be totally down with that. I understand in basketball we have a salary cap that if you go over you pay dollar on dollar of how much you spend. That’s a lot of money. In baseball it takes a hell of a lot to go over the salary cap. That is why the “rich” teams make it to the playoffs every year and have a chance to win it all. Baseball is much different than many of the other sports because of this fact. In baseball you really do need to spend to win. In basketball most teams are at the tipping point of the salary cap. In the NFL there is so much parody because of the strict salary cap. Baseball is more about the Owner and who is willing to spend more than another team. But, ToungueinCheek and the rest of you “I believe in Theo” I would love to hear otherwise.

      • hansman1982

        Um, the Rangers and Braves are two examples of teams that recently built very strong teams using the rebuilding strategy.

        Then you have the Mets and White Sox that have tried their damndest to do it the old Cubbie way and have failed miserably. Everyone is bitching about how it has been 103 years since we last won anything. Considering we have spent the last 30 years of that trying to add big time free agents every year while neglecting the minor leagues and doubled down on that philosophy the past 5 years with no success, isn’t it time we tried it a different way, and then let that way play itself out?

        Ideally you would like to see ticket prices go down more than they are scheduled to this year but when you have a season ticket waiting list that is a mile and a half long you can charge more. I see 2012 as the year we cleanse the system and all parties interested in the Cubs have to bite the bullet to ensure long-term success.

        • Jeff L

          30 years what!!!! We have only really been spending on big free agents the last 5 years at most…Also, your two examples are two teams that have not won a World Series in the last 15 years. I’m asking for examples of teams that have won a World Series. Lastly, Fans should be bitching its been 103 years!!!! Actually, I like that you used the Braves as an example, in the 90’s the Cubs wouldn’t spend money on Maddux so he went to the Braves and guess what they won a Championship!!! Also, didn’t the Rangers just put out like a 50 mil dollar bid for Darvish???

          • hansman1982

            Pretty sure the Rangers have been in the last 2 World Series, I mean, that is a helluva lot better than us in the past 76 years. Braves have re-established themselves as perennial playoff contenders after their dynasty from 95-2005.
            You are right that they just put out a bid on Darvish, but look at the rest of their rotation. Scary good with farm system pieces. And this is what you do, you build your farm system so that it becomes a “next man in” situation and then you add pieces as you need them through Free Agency.

            You DO NOT make the free agents the “next man in” with a crappy farm system adding a piece or two here or there, which is what the Cubs have been doing for the past 30 years.

      • Pat

        But there is essentially a salary cap for the Cubs. That is whatever money they bring in the previous year, minus expenses. For everyone wondering where all that money is going this year consider the following:

        With the empty seats last year they likey have less to work to work with than the year before. Maybe not a huge amount, but let’s say 5 million.

        They are still paying Hendry and Quade this year, so Theo’s 7 million (salary plus bonus due from Sox) is an additnal cost. As are salaries for Hoyer, Sveum, and the rest of the new front office personnel. So maybe 12 million total.

        That’s a fair amount of cash that just isn’t there this year. Anyone expecting Ricketts to pour additional personal cash into the team just isn’t realistic. As it is he is returning all income back into the club, not many owners do that in the first pace.

        • Jeff L

          Pat that’s the difference between an owner who wants to win and one that only wants a profit. There are owners out there like Mark Cuban or John Henry who would pour personal cash into a team because they see the rewards that would come in doing so. Also, even though there were empty seats those seats were paid for. The fans just decided not to use their tickets. Every game was almost sold out. Actually, I remember at the end of last season fans on Craigslist begging for people to buy their tickets for half the cost.

          • Pat

            I’m not sure how you can say Ricketts only wants to profit as they aren’t taking any profits out of the team. Also I’ve never seen anything to indicate that either the Red Sox or Mavericks have ever operated at a loss for the year, requiring an infusion of cash from the owner.

            As for ticket sales, they were down about 100,000 last year. At an average of $50 each, that’s five million. And that’s before considering the additional lost concessions revenue from the no shows.

            • Jeff L

              Pat I would like to see a link that suggests ticket sales were down that much. I’m not saying I don’t believe you, but I would like to see if that was the case

              • TWC
                • Jeff L

                  Thanks TWC it showed the Cubs didn’t really lose 5 mil in ticket sales. 3,017,966 in 2011 down from 3,062,443 mil in 2010. Shouldn’t hurt Rickets billion dollar pocket book too much:)

                  • CubFan Paul

                    it shows that the Cubs are down 75,000 fans/seats a year since Ricketts bought the team ..thats a big issue for next year, because the attendance is trending to under 3Million people in 2012

              • Pat

                Looking at it now, it was only down 45,000 last year, but down 150,000 from two years ago and 280,000 down from 2008?


  • SweetJamesJones

    • MontelleW

      LOUD VOICES!!!