That there Reds rally monkey was a gift to the Little Girl from friends in Cincinnati. She was determined to take the monkey with her to daycare yesterday, but I was concerned that folks would get the wrong idea if they saw her with a Reds monkey. This here is a Chicago Cubs household. So, as she left the house, I reminded her of her loyalty, asking her favorite baseball team.


That’s her saying Cubs. I’ve taught her well. When I got to daycare that afternoon to pick her up, I was informed that my daughter – 18 months – had told everyone that the monkey’s name was “Cuuuuz,” which they correctly understood to be “Cubs.” I’m not sure I’ve ever been, or ever will be, more proud.

(And, appropriately, with a rally monkey named “Cubs,” the Reds lost for the third game in a row, and now go home. The Little Girl was literally clutching “Cubs” as Scott Rolen struck out to end the game. I think the Reds need a better rally monkey.)

  • Tom Ricketts wrote a letter to season ticket holders, which is a nice gesture, but there isn’t a whole lot of meat in it. Just some basic rah-rah stuff, which is, of course, just fine. One point worth quoting: “Our number one goal is to reward loyal generations of Cubs fans with a World Series and we’re reinvesting every dollar spent by our fans into the franchise to achieve that goal.” Ricketts has said this before, but I think it’s worth highlighting each time. (Though, the former professional quote-parser in me wants to say that, technically, Ricketts didn’t promise to reinvest every dollar that comes in the door, as he’s said previously. This time, technically, he said they’ll be reinvesting every dollar “spent by our fans.” So, technically, advertising revenue and television contract money wouldn’t quite qualify under that standard. Technically. (I don’t actually think he meant to build himself that out.))
  • I was on the Midway Madness podcast yesterday to talk about the Cubs’ 2012 season, upcoming offseason, and 2013 season. Paul Sullivan was also on the ‘cast, but I got top billing. What up. No big deal. (Yeah, I think that was just a coincidence. But I’ll still claim it. Like a boss.)
  • Various Cubs officials and Kerry Wood were on hand yesterday for the ground breaking of the very cool, but awkwardly-named, Kerry Wood Cubs Field at Lane Tech. The $5 million field is coming courtesy of the Cubs, Chicago Cubs Charities, the city of Chicago, and the Wood Family Foundation, and will provide an excellent public facility for area high schools.
  • Speaking of Mr. Sullivan, he looks at the Cubs’ gargantuan hole at third base, while Doug Padilla looks at the Anthony-Rizzo-filled-non-hole at first base.
  • The Vine Line blog has been doing player profiles, which make for interesting reads. Here’s the most recent one on Travis Wood.
  • The MLBullets at BCB look at the Josh Hamilton situation in Texas. It isn’t very pretty, and it seems highly likely that he’s a goner there.
  • MichiganGoat

    Guess Dusty needs to start packing

  • MichiganGoat

    “we’re reinvesting every dollar spent by our fans into the franchise”

    I expect that quote will get a few rants today

  • MichiganGoat

    Speaking of proud dad moments, I sing “Go Cubs Go” to MG Jr. when he gets fussy he is now start to smile everytime I start signing.

    • Stinky Pete

      I’m going to go ahead and steal that from you. But I’m going to sing it in Jim Morrison voice…

    • DocPeterWimsey

      My son (4) loves that song, too! During the season, we watch the condensed version of daygames at bedtime, and he gets upset when that song is not played.

      He’s already well educated: he knows that the ‘Ankees and the Cardinals are the “evil” teams.

      • TWC

        My son (6.5) knows two things about baseball teams other than the Cubs:

        1. Cardinals fans punch babies
        2. White Sox fans are trailer trash (or, as he put is, “their houses have wheels”)

        I don’t think he need to know anything else, really.

        • Luke

          New York fans are embodiment of pure evil. Don’t forget that one.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          My son does not know that the White Sox exist. “The Sox” are his grandmother’s team, and they are in Boston! (He was exited to see Fenway a couple of weeks ago, but disappointed that the Cubs were not playing the Sox there: after all, the Cubs are always at the Nationals park when we see games in DC!)

          When he does learn about the ChiSox, I’ll tell him just to pity them and their tiny fanbase…..

        • Cubbie Blues

          Mine also know about the Evil Baby Punching Baby Cardinals (unless there is a Cubs fan around). Since I have started this we now have a baby. It’s fun being a parent.

    • Chef

      We sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” at bedtime at our house, and the boys always finish with “Let’s Get Some Runs!”. Downside to this is, I can not sing the song without yawning now. Damn you Pavlov.

      • Mike Foster


    • MaxM1908

      I can’t wait to have children to indoctrinate with Cubs fandom.

  • Evan

    I really hope the rangers don’t trade for jacoby ellsbury. if he makes it to free agency I think that will be theo and jed’s first big sign.

  • Stinky Pete

    I have been adamant that my children are allowed to make their own choices about who they root for. That’s not to say I don’t do any voodoo sleight of hand influence crap. I believe this is the sight where I first read the “Punch Babies” technique and have employed that with the 4 year old. The fifteen year old decided very young she wanted to be a mets fan because of Mike Piazza, then discovered David Wright. Just the other night however, she became a giants fan watching Buster Posey. I’m not too worried about her. She has her flings but I know when the Cubs are playing the Giants in the NLCS she will be rooting for my boys not because they are pretty like Buster Posey, but because she does not want to see Daddy cry anymore.

    • hansman1982

      I am adamant that my son has no choice…Cubs or bust…

      • Evan

        I know its a little different but I go to college in wisconsin and have been dating a lovely woman, but her only down fal l was that she was a hardcore brewer fan. However after 3 years of dating and joing my familiy for the last 2 years of our most sacred taditon (going to the cubs convetion every year since 1998) she now proudly calls herself a cubs fan!!!

        • wilbur

          Living downstate I had to consider both Cub and Cardinal fans or the pool would of acceptable ladies would have been too small. Married the girl of my dreams, except she was a Cardinal fan.

          It’s been a great three decades with a Cub/Cardinal mixed marriage. Kids went for the Cubs on their own, with some encouragement from Dad.

          Several years ago the wife said she would convert to Cubs for the sake of family continuity. Not trusting any Cardinal fan, the rules I set were she had to start as a Peroia Chiefs fan and work her way throught the minors before I and our other Cub fan friends would acknowledge her conversion.

          She completed the process and was formally baptized a Cub fan in Mesa last Spring Training.

          • hansman1982

            She started in Peoria? That is a helluva prospect!

        • Frank

          Evan, you’ve saved a soul . . .

    • MichiganGoat

      I’m totalitarian in my need for my children to be Cub fans, it is engrained in them from the second they are born. They have a Cubbie Bear they cuddle with at night and we play name that Cub on the computer. My four year old is getting quite good in fact last night we say that Kerry Wood State Farm commercial and she said “ITS KERRY DADDY”

      So proud, now my step son is the real challenge I have 8 years of Tiger blood I have to remove and replace with Cubbie blue.

      Ah fatherhood, the systematic molding of a mind through manipulation, bribery and psychology

      Outside of that my kids can make any choice they want, but being a Cub fan is not a choice it’s a birthright

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Yeah, my wife has pointed out (only semi-jokingly) that raising a kid to root for a particular team is little different from raising him to be religious: “these guys are good and these guys are bad because I say so!!!” So, I do tone down my speech when I talk about the “Ankees.” Actually, I had to do that anyway, me talking about the Yankees sounds probably goes too far for an HBO series script!

      Still, if he grows up a Yankees fan….

    • cubchymyst

      My parents are from Cleveland, so the Sox was not an option in their house if I was going to root for a Chicago team. I’d say it worked out pretty good (minus the fact the Cubs and Indians have the 2 longest current droughts without a world series and the city of Cleveland has the longest drought of no major sports championships as a City). Depending on where I’m at the home town team might be an acceptable option to root for but the Cubs need to cheered for.

  • Sven-Erik312

    Hey Brett, I moved to Chicago in 1984, and as you know, I came to Sweden in 1992. Though I quickly adopted Chicago as my home and all of it’s teams, I could not divorce myself from the ACC, particularly where basketball was concerned. And during my time in Chicago, there was always lots of good natured ribbing going on between my Big 10 friends and myself during the season.
    Last winter, I was watching an NC State game in the NCAA tournement which was broadcast on ESPN America. I told my little ones that I was pulling for the team in red, the trouble was that they began pulling for every team in red, teams like Louisville! It will be better when they learn to read…

    • Stinky Pete

      NOOOO! The red teams are the Baby Punchers!!

      • MichiganGoat

        And communist

  • terencem

    Downloading the Midway Madness podcast now. As a non-Chicago resident, I’m always curious about what the perceptions are in the city about the Cubs-Bulls-Bears.

    • terencem

      Also, that’s a great write-up on Wood. Thanks for pointing it out. It goes pretty deep.

  • fortyonenorth

    “…technically, he said they’ll be reinvesting every dollar “spent by our fans.”

    Not to split hairs, but what about the money spent by Brewers fans, Reds fans, Card fans and the thousands and thousands of other visiting fans who ply the gates of Wrigley Field? Just sayin’.

    • Brett

      And not to split the split, but what about quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies?

      • hansman1982

        How about credit card transactions, checks, wires?

        Did he mean $1 bills only? If so, then what about the tens, twentys, fiftys? I am sure he is just using the Cleveland’s and Madison’s he has stashed under home plate to light his Chase’s wrapped cigars with while sitting on his chair made from Wilson’s.

        That’s right…Tommy Boy just went Gangsta on ya fools.

    • CubFan Paul

      No wonder the ‘on the field’ payroll was sooo low this year

  • Mick

    I love those podcasts because it’s sounds like 2 guys broadcasting from their basement in Aurora. As a listener, it’s great because the guests really open up and freely speak their minds. Brett, wow, keep up the great work, opeining up for Paul Sullivan is pretty impressive. BTW, did you listen to Sullivan’s segment? Wow. He laid into the Cubs offseason plan pretty good, to quote, “I don’t know how they’re going to get away with it but, apparently, they are.” That was in regards to the Cubs front office already writing off the 2013 season. He went on to say, “If the season is already being written off, what big-name free agents will want to come play here?” And that was in regards to signing Anibal Sanchez.

    • Brett

      Yeah, I thought Paul was pretty blunt about a lot of things. He’s been on that podcast before, and he’s always that way. Makes for a very interesting listen.

      • Mick

        For a Cubs beat reporter isn’t it a responsibility to be more subjective and less opinionated? I mean, you run a Cubs blog, sorry, The Cubs Blog, and you’re more impartial than Paul. Maybe it’s time for a changing of the guard at the Trib???

        • Northside Matt

          Yes, it’s Sully’s job to be subjective, but his job is in print. When Sully is a guest on TV, radio, or a podcast, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for him to give an opinion or two. I usually welcome it.

          I’m not sure if impartial is the right word I’d use to describe Brett’s blog. Brett has some really solid opinions and isn’t afraid to share them when it’s appropriate. Brett is the most realistic of the Cubs bloggers, which is why I enjoy the blog and continue to follow it.

        • hansman1982

          THHAAAAAAAAAA Bleacher Nation wins!

      • Stinky Pete

        I wish someone would tell Mr. Sullivan that there is no “G” in Starlin. I found it impossible to concentrate on what he was saying re Castro. You would think a guy who follows the Cubs for a living would know the players names.

    • TWC

      2 guys broadcasting from their basement in Aurora

      Larf. Baseball Wayne’s World.

  • Jim L.

    Wait, Tom Ricketts wrote that letter to all season ticket holders? Because this delusional, dumbass thinks he was the catalyst for the letter.

    I know you write for that worthless waste of cyberspace and can’t say anything mean but Yellon is a clueless dolt and gives Cub fans a bad name.

  • bluekoolaidaholic

    Hey Brett,
    It would seem that anyone with serious connections to the sports apparel world such as a person selling great quantities of Cubs gear via the most prolific Cubs blog in the world, should be able to purchase a super small sized Cubs tee shirt suitable for wear by a traitor monkey.
    I mention this only because as noted above, only baby punchers and blasphemous non believers wear red ones.
    I also hasten to point out that rally monkeys wearing Cubby blue are also wearing cat’s pajamas.

  • Mick

    Here’s a question, if we were to trade Soriano this offseason and include money, would that money count towards the 2013 payroll, 2014 payroll, or both?

    This might come into play if we include the bulk of that money in 2013, our available money this year might smaller but next year much larger. I wonder if this is the FO’s strategy by making this offseason’s signings similar to last season.

    • JR

      Fair question. I would think they Cubs would be willing ot pay fully for both years for the right prospect. I think at a minimum they are going to have to pay 80% for both 2013 and 2014. I really have a hard time believing any teams would be willing to pay much at all of 2014 Soriano considering his age.

      • Mick

        I was thinking there could be a strategy to paying all of his salary this season and half of next year’s salary next year. That would leave us less money for FA this offseaon but more for next when we’re actually getting competitive. Here are the top potential FA’s for 2014:

        Jarrod Saltalamacchia
        Kendrys Morales
        Justin Morneau
        Mike Morse
        Mark Reynolds
        Aaron Hill
        Chase Utley
        Ben Zobrist
        Alberto Callaspo
        Martin Prado
        Jason Kubel
        Jacoby Ellsbury
        Chris Young
        Shin-Soo Choo
        Nelson Cruz
        Corey Hart
        Hunter Pence
        Matt Garza
        Roy Halladay
        Phil Hughes
        Josh Johnson
        Tim Lincecum