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2013 cubs conventionThe 2013 Cubs Convention wraps today, and I’ll be heading home later this afternoon. Yesterday was packed with panels, and there was a great deal of actual information shared with the fans. Here are the high points …

  • From thing one at the Ricketts Family panel – the first of the day – you could tell that the message with respect to funding the Wrigley Field renovation had changed. The focus, instead of seeking public funding by way of the amusement tax on Cubs tickets, was clearly “just relax the restrictions on how we can run our business, and we’ll pay for the renovation ourselves.” This came up again during the Wrigley Renovation panel, obviously. The money quote from Tom Ricketts, perhaps, was that Wrigley Field “is not a museum.” What he meant is that it’s unfair for the city to expect the Cubs to maintain Wrigley as a museum for the good of the city if the city is going to tax the hell out of them and simultaneously tell them what they can or can’t do with the stadium … all while not providing any financial support. And he’s right – either Wrigley is a public thing for the good of the people (museum) and it should be supported by the people, or it’s part of a private business and should be permitted to be run that way.
  • A great line from Tom about those restrictions, and the limitation on the Cubs’ having festivals on Sheffield Avenue (along right field): “You know, Sheffield is already closed on game days. We just want to actually do something with it.”
  • Ricketts was asked the Sammy Sosa question, and when the slugger is going to be welcomed back into the Cubs family. He called the situation “awkward,” and suggested that it could eventually happen, but it will take time for things to settle down (he was referring specifically to the current PED issues). This will be discussed around here more this week.
  • The goal for the new hotel across from Wrigley Field is to be about 175 rooms or so.
  • Ricketts said the Cubs’ TV deals will be up for renewal “in a few years” (our understanding is that WGN expires after 2014, and CSN after 2019), and the revenue will probably improve at that point. He didn’t seem to stressed about the issue, though I think he was just playing it cool – the gap between the haves and the have-nots on the TV side is growing enormous.
  • At various points through the day, the Cubs addressed the pending addition of Carlos Villanueva (who I noted was featured for 1.5 seconds in the Opening Ceremonies video) – Assistant GM Shiraz Rehman confirmed that it was just a matter of paperwork, and saying it should be done in the next few days; Dale Sveum later said it would be done “today,” but that didn’t happen. I continue to be of the mind that the Cubs were simply delaying the signing as long as possible to try and make a 40-man roster move, short of just having to try and dump a player. The 40-man is currently full, prior to Villanueva being added.
  • Sveum could not seem to stop himself from going on and on about Alfonso Soriano’s gimpy knees. I couldn’t quite see, but I reckon Theo and Jed were kicking him under the table.
  • When asked about Darwin Barney, Jed Hoyer was effusive beyond the normal GM-speak. When he said Barney was “a big part of the future,” it sounded genuine. Of course, everyone acknowledges he could stand to improve his on-base considerably (Jed mentioned that Barney’s ability to make contact so easily was actually a problem for him).
  • Epstein said the Cubs will be taking the best available player they can sign in the Draft next year. Ideally it would be a college pitcher, but he noted that positional prospects at the top of the Draft tend to have a better track record than pitchers.
  • The changes in Brett Jackson’s swing were touted by Sveum a number of times at various panels.
  • When asked about the lack of depth in the outfield, Hoyer said he’d like to add another outfielder if the right opportunity presented itself. Nobody – other than the fans – seemed terribly confident that Tony Campana could or should be the fifth outfielder on the roster.
  • Hoyer further confirmed that Anibal Sanchez/Edwin Jackson was an either/or situation, which is frustrating for me (if one was a fit, and the Cubs have the need, why wouldn’t both be a fit?). In addressing the leaked Sanchez signing news, which proved to be false, Hoyer said that he knew it was false when he saw it on Twitter, because he was talking to Jackson at the time, and he said he wouldn’t still have been talking to Jackson if Sanchez had been signed. In other words, sorry Edwin: you were very clearly the back-up plan for Sanchez. It took some dot-connecting to put that together, but I was still surprise Hoyer so plainly conceded that.
  • Sveum talked about Ian Stewart like he was very clearly the starting third baseman.
  • Coach Dave McKay, who spent a very long time with some very good Cardinals teams, says this Cubs club is the best prepared – in terms of data, video, scouting, etc. – he’s ever been a part of.
  • The Cubs coaches feel like Welington Castillo has come a long, long way defensively.
  • The “Triangle Building,” as noted two weeks ago, probably isn’t happening. Instead, that property will be used as an open air area for a variety of events/gatherings/community needs.
  • Cubs Business President Crane Kenney said that the Cubs plan to “cut the ribbon” on the new Dominican facility in May (that is some seriously fast building), and on the new Spring Training park/facility in November. The dividends from these two projects will absolutely be tangible, if not felt for a few years.

I’m heading to the two remaining panels today, and I’ll be in my red BN shirt, for those of you still around who want to say hello.

  • Spencer

    What? I thought the consensus (and it was reported here and through other various outlets) that the FO was courting Sanchez and Jackson at the same time. I guess it doesn’t matter much now, and I don’t see the point in Jed talking about it in case it makes Edwin sad panda.

  • Spencer

    And no Cubs prom or long autograph lines this year?!

    • Hansman1982

      There was a cubs prom, Brett was out there busting a move with the kiddies whilst tweeting last night.

  • RoughRiider

    “Dale Sveum later said it would be done “today,” but that didn’t happen. ”

    It seems unlikely that the Cubs would make any moves during the convention. Especially if it involved a player who was there.

  • cubsklm

    I would really like to have seen the OF addressed this offseason. I realize the OF of the future is in the minor leagues and will probably be there thru 2014.

    In DeJesus, Schierholtz, and Sappeldt you have combined projected 2013 stats line of .260 Avg, 20 homers, 10 SBs, and 110 RBIs. All Campana gives you is defense and a pinch runner.

    If we are gone to be at the very best a .500 team, why not sign Delmon Young to play RF, sacrifice defense for some punch. Maybe a club friendly 2 year deal.

    DeJesus
    Barney
    Castro
    Rizzo
    Young
    Soriano
    Stewart
    Castillo

    • davidalanu

      .707 ops and bad defense last year. I don’t think that’d be an improvement.

      • cubsklm

        The 2012 Cubs finished at the bottom in the NL in the categories of Team Batting Average and Runs Scored. This needs to be addressed. I have not seen any offseason moves to address this other than adding a career 4th outfielder and expressions of hope that everyone will improve.

        Not one bat has been added to the bench or the daily lineup. Young could be a cheap stop gap signing. I think he could go .270 avg 25 homers and 85 RBIs. Something Schierholtz, Sappeldt, and Campana can’t combine to produce.

        • King Jeff

          Yeah, that’s exactly what this team needs. A guy who can’t play defense, has a bum ankle, throws bats, and is a violent drunk. No thanks.

          • cubsklm

            I guess you’re right – those skills should be kept to us Cub fans. LOL!

            I just want another bat added to this lineup before opening day.

            • King Jeff

              I don’t disagree about adding a bat, the lineup still looks kind of bleh without some hopeful thinking. I just don’t think we need to have anything to do with a guy like Delmon Young.

              • Ryan

                There really isn’t anyone worth signing sans Scott Hairston, but he wants to much money. I would say at this point giving Sappelt a shot at winning a spot this spring. He at least has some pop, unlike Campana.

                • http://Isa Voice of reason

                  You’re exactly right. Sap pelt should play everyday or be part of a platoon.

                  Its a bad sign in the cubs rebuilding process if dejesus and schierholtz finish the year as starting outfielders!!!’

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                One bat may have already been added. Castillo looks like an offensive upgrade over Soto at catcher. We’ll find out over the course of a full season, but I don’t think it just wishful thinking to list catcher as one upgrade.

                And while Schierholtz alone does not equal a clear upgrade, in a platoon with someone like Sappelt he should be considered one. Whether the production from the position improves as the result of a platoon or from a single player, it still improves. That gives us two slots with offensive upgrades (assuming that Schierholtz does windup in a platoon, which, given his splits, I think is all but a given no matter what the official line happens to be).

                And I really doubt that third will produce as little this year as it did last year. I’m not expecting to be league average in terms of production there, but I do think it will be better.

                • http://Isa Voice of reason

                  This is cubs fans setting the bar low!!’mm

                  Schierholtz will not provide anything offensively. He is a defensive replacement on a good team.

                  With the cubs he is starting in right field! Even if he is in a platoon it’s bad news.

                  They shouldn’t have even signed schierholtz, but it shows that the minor league system is terrible. Cubs front office would much rather have a kid in right field, but have to settle for the journeyman schierholtz till a minor leaguer is ready to step in!!

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    Schierholtz has a career major league OPS of .826 against right handed pitching. I’m not sure how that equates to “will not provide anything offensively.”

                    What are you looking for in an outfielder? OPS of .900? 1.000? 1.200?

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      Sorry, that was his 2012 OPS, not his career. Same point applies.

                    • http://Isa Voice of reason

                      So, on one hand you say cub fans don’t know what they’re talking about when they say campana is good. I can agree with that!

                      But, then you say that schierholtz is a player?

                      Dude, that’s funny.

                    • DocWimsey

                      Luke is saying that Schierholz probably is a useful platoon player against right-handed pitching, and providing numbers to support that idea. Those of us who diss Campana use much lower values for the same statistic (OPS) as part of our case against him.

                    • baldtaxguy

                      Did Luke even comment on Campana…???

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      The numbers say he’s a good option against right handed pitching. I agree with the numbers.

                      If you (talking to voice here, but the question is open) disagree with the numbers, just say why.

                    • Tom A.

                      At least Schierholtz looks like a player and has two championship rings. Campana looks like he is about 13 and maybe has seen The Lord of the Rings.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      We’re not selling jeans here.

                      Haven’t been able to break that one out in awhile.

                    • Her Seop Chode

                      Luke –

                      The number I can’t get past is 6, the number of hr he hit year. That’s not MLB corner outfield production.

                  • Kygavin

                    For a one year deal why does it matter? He isnt going to be around for more than this year and id be shocked if he stays past the trade deadline. Let him play vs LHP and deal him at the deadline e.g. Jeff Baker last year

                  • http://BleacherNation Kevin

                    Schierholtz has never had the opportunity to show what he’s got. A platoon with Sappelt could offer close to ML average production from RF. I’d love to see Junior Lake have a breakout spring and win an OF job..he probably has the best tools of all the Cub OF’s.

                    • Big Joe

                      There’s a reason why he’s never been given a shot to be an everyday guy: talent evaluators on every team that he’s been on agree that he’s not MLB starting material. Is that a confusing concept to you? You sound like the same people who suggest that Campana should start.

                    • JR

                      Schierholtz sucks. Who cares about him. Hopefully him, Baker, and Feldman perform well before the deadline. They are all trade bait.

        • JR

          The thing is the Cubs aren’t trying to win this year. So adding a good bat isn’t important to them. In fact, I bet if the front office was given a lie detector they would admit that they want to finish in the bottom 10 teams to protect next years top pick, and be able to sign good free agents. Worst case scenario would be finishing middle of the road. They signed EJax because next yrs class of free agent pitching sucks (and he wouldn’t cost them a pick). Pretty much all the other free agents will be dealt at the deadline.

    • arta

      Campana…..sorry, speed yes, D, no way.

  • Mr. Coffee

    If I took one thing away from the Convention, it’s this: If I had any doubts whatsoever about the new regime, from ownership, to the front office, to our manager and coaching staff, on down, those doubts are completely gone, and I am 100 percent on board with the entire leadership regime and what they are doing. I admit, I was one person who took a skeptical, wait-and-see approach toward the Ricketts. In the beginning, I thought they were good people and real Cub fans, but were businesspeople first and foremost who talked a better game then the Tribco folks, but at the end of the day were still going to put profit over winning. Let me say here and now: I was wrong, and any doubts I had about them are gone.

    From the hiring of Theo/Jed/McLeod and this crack front office staff, to putting their money where their mouth is and investing hundreds of millions in new facilities, the Wrigleyville neighborhood, and now with the unveiling of the awesome Wrigley Restoration project (for those of you not there, read up on it….it’s going to be amazing), I’m sold on everything the Cubs are doing. And I have no doubt that this is the group, eventually, who are going to make the Cubs into world champions. Over the years, I’ve had my doubts as to whether I would live to see it happen. I no longer do. This group is going to get it done. I realize the Cubs Convention makes you sip the blue Kool-Aid, often spiked with some heavier substances, that can cloud your judgement. And I’m not saying the Cubs are going to win in 2013. But I am saying that exciting times are ahead, and the next decade is going to be a great time to be a Cubs fan. I’m confident that this era will always be remembered as a time we were lucky to witness. In the words of Yankees Assistant to the Traveling Secretary, George Costanza, onward and upward!! :)

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Oh there are many that still think Theo is stupid and Ricketts is cheap regardless of what they do or plan, put I agree 100% – the ownership and FO is the best thing that ever happened to the Cubs in the last 40+ years.

    • Spriggs

      Nicely stated, Mr. Coffee. I sure hope you’re right! I’m on board too…

      • hansman1982

        It won’t be a painless building but in 5 years we will be sitting in fantastic shape.

    • Jim L

      Right on, Mr. Coffee!

  • cubzforlife

    Yipeee!

  • Cub Style

    Sean Manaea please.

  • ETS

    I just want to thank Bret, again. The tweets have been awesome. I have been stuck at the office this weekend and getting a scrap of cubs’ new every 15 minutes has made it 1000 times betters.

    • Leo L

      Ditto!
      was planning on going to my first convention but got stuck on call. thanks brett for giving some insight to the convention. hopefully next year.

  • Kevin

    The Cubs ownership put their Wrigley renovation plan out there yesterday, plain and simple, we will pay for everything providing the city lifts the crazy restrictions. The Ricketts put their best foot forward, lets hope the city does the same. I want this plan “Plan A” to work as it’s the best option for all parties involved including the ownership, the city and most importantly, the fans. I for one would hate the city to not relax the restrictions which could force the Cubs to choose a less desirable option going with “Plan B”.

  • Blublud

    More Campana hate. I hope he is trade or waived at this point so the guy can go to a team that actually wants him. I think Jed and Theo are good GMs, but you can’t tell me that players don’t see how they treat current players and treat other players like assets instead of people. When it’s time to sign bigger named free agents, we’ll see what kind of effect this has on those signings.

    • Tom A.

      Or maybe, just maybe, they are being honest that Campana has skills but does not get on base enough to use those skills. Do I want to see a linep with Campana as an everyday player ? — NO ! Does that mean I hate him ? — NO ! It just means that I would rather have the Cubs play other better players.

      • Mr. Coffee

        Or at best, he is a guy who may have use as the 24th or 25th guy on the roster. I can see him as a guy who has value as a late-inning defensive replacement, pinch-runner, and an occasional spot start once in a while. But people who see him as an everday leadoff man / center-fielder (and these people actually exist) need to have their head examined. Tony C. is a guy who I like a lot and would love to root for because he’s the type of heart & hustle type of player that fans love. But I don’t think his speed alone can put him on a big league roster unless he really shows the ability to get on base consistently.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Tom A. is spot-on. Like and dislike have nothing to do with this, Campana simply does not have the tool set to be a good extra-outfielder. Other teams will not want him, either: otherwise, guys like one-dimensional speedsters like Campana would be common on MLB rosters.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        That presupposes that guys who have elite speed and can get on base at a .300 pace in MLB are widely available.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Elite speed is Campana’s only MLB skill, I’d rather have any guy that can get on base .300 than a guy with elite speed that can’t get on base

          • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

            Campana does get on base at .300. .306 for his career.

            He’s not a good player. He could be cut tomorrow and I wouldn’t care. But a guy with elite speed who gets on base a .306 in this offensive environment is not completely useless as a fifth outfielder.

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              Point taken I’m still hungover and getting OBP and BA mixed up, what I’d prefer is a player that can exceed .325 OBP or .400 SLG at least a OPS over .700 would be better than a player that has horrible defense, can’t get or slug more that .300 but is really really really fast.

              • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                Campana doesn’t play horrible defense.

                And your .325/400 guy is probably not your fifth outfielder. At this point, he’d be a nice upgrade at your starting RF.

                • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                  He can’t make throws to the cut off man, he takes hideous routes and bad jumps, he’s bad at defense.

                  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                    Baseball-Reference has him worth +9 runs above average defensively in 687 defensive innings the last two seasons.

                    UZR has him at +10.3 for that same time period.

                    He’s not a bad defensive CFer. He’s a very good one. Not quite as good as some think with his speed, but still very good.

                    If you use him properly, he brings positive value to the roster. Heavy on pinch-running and defensive subs, very light on the emergency starts. His WAR the last two years over multiple sites shows that.

                    You aren’t going to find a 325/400 guy to be your fifth outfielder. If you do, great. But more likely, you are going to have to settle for a lot less.

                    I wish our 6th infielder was anywhere near as good as Campana is as a 5th outfielder.

                • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                  Nate S has a career OPS of .319 and SLG over .400, I agree he’s not an everyday player but those numbers are more encouraging than Campana even approaches. Plus from what I’ve read his defense is quite solid, I’ve watched him actually make a throw from RF to home… Something Campana can not do.

                • DarthHater

                  “And your .325/400 guy is probably not your fifth outfielder. At this point, he’d be a nice upgrade at your starting RF.”

                  Right. A .725 OPS guy would be a great upgrade over the .727 career OPS guy the Cubs currently have penciled in at RF.

                  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                    He got that OPS as a platoon player. We’ll see where it is as an every day.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      It’ll be a platoon – probably just shy of a strict one.

                    • DarthHater

                      His career batting numbers against lefties are only slightly worse than his numbers against righties.

                      Besides, the career number that I cited was based upon about 3.7 times as many PAs against righties as lefties. I doubt that he’ll see a whole lot more lefties than that as the Cubs regular RF.

                      Bottom line: to say that a .325/400 guy would be a nice upgrade over Schierholtz is just silly.

            • Tom A.

              .306 is not very good. Sappelt was .351 (limited to apprx. 70 ABs), DeJesus last year was .350, Soriano was .322, Schierholtz was .319 and heck even Jackson was .303. Those guys also had other skills like hitting with power, defensive skills, etc.

              Now compared his .607 OPS to DeJesus who had a .753 OPS or Soriano with .821 or Schierholtz with .727 or Sappelt with .800 or even Jackson with .644.

              Campana has speed as a skill, but needs to get on-base to really use it. If Campana is the 5th outfielder, which of these other guys get bumped ? I would say he might be the 6th outfielder on the Cubs !

              • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                He bumps Jackson, who needs regular at-bats and can’t be wasted as a fifth outfielder.

                • Tom A.

                  Why say that ? You and I both know why you say that, as we believe Jackson has upside ! Only reason you play a guy like Campana (with worse stats) over Jackson, is becuase nyou believe that Jackson long-term will be beter for such. I think we all have seen a few years of Campana and know his ceiling.

                  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                    I say it because it’s true.

                    Besides the fact that Jackson’s OPS was barely better than Campana’s last year, without the baserunning and defense, you don’t waste prospects in bench roles. You either leave them in the minors or you bring them up to start.

                    • Tom A.

                      All you are doing is convincing me that we have 4 major league ready outfielders and one prosect.

                      Campana is neither. The uy hits .229 against lefties and when we tried for imto bat in the #1 position, his average was about .240 with a .267 OBP.

                      I will end my comments on Campana by saying he does not excite me the least, speaking as a season ticket holder. I would raher see some playerswith potential to be better. Campana, has one strong skill and one better than average skill, with no upside to his game. I really doubt that he is tradeable or desired by any other major leage team.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      He’s the fifth outfielder. On what team does the fifth outfielder excite you?

                  • http://Isa Voice of reason

                    What does it say about the franchise and the cubs minor league system when the guy who gets talked about the most will never be able to hit at the major league level?

                    And, some cubs fans think he should start. Cubs fans are so conditioned to lose that the bar is set waaayyyyy low and that point is more than evident with campana.

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      Cub fans love Scrappy.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      It says nothing about the franchise or the farm system. The people who know the franchise and the farm system aren’t the ones singing the praises of Campana.

                      We’re the ones saying he’s a fifth outfielder who probably doesn’t have a long term home on the Cubs roster.

                    • King Jeff

                      I honestly think that if Campana could get the at bats and playing time in, he can make a few adjustments and be a productive starter in a year or so. He hasn’t had a full season of playing time since 2010, and he has some pretty decent numbers for a speed guy in the lower levels of the minors, which was the last time he was a consistent starter. I’d like to see him start at Iowa for the whole year, and see if he’s able to show something at the plate and get better at his outfield routes and positioning. I see no reason to part ways with him at this point.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          I suspect that elite speed + 0.300 OBP with zero power is not that tough to get.

          Now, where I can see Campana being useful is on a team like the Yankees. Being an AL team with (on most days) plus hitters batting 1-9, they do not use pinch-hitters often. However, they do have a roster of older guys who do not run as quickly as they did (even if their baserunning instincts are still good). In the later innings of close games, when one of these guys walks (which is a lot, as most of them have good batting eyes and middle relief usually has spotty control), then Campana as a pinch-runner for anyone other than Gardner or Cano would be a good idea.

          That said, there are not many teams like the Yankees.

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            I suspect guys like this rarely get far, Campana was Quade’s little kid that he was just too enamored with not to give him a shot. Guys with only one tool (especially when speed is that tool) don’t get very far in the minors. If .300 OBP, bad defense but speed were desired by MLB teams eceryone would have one – the fact is its not good baseball at the MLB stage to waste a roster spot.

      • True(ly) Blue

        Doc and others are correct. Tony C can’t play every day with his lack of hitting and I wonder where the “scrappy” tag came from??? The dirt on his uniform from sliding on his stomach? In my mind the last Cub to be “scrappy” was The Riot (Theriot). The biggest shame of the whole Tony C story is that when he was 18 or 19 and stopped growing that someone (Cub coaches?) didn’t take him aside and explain that since he couldn’t hit well or for power that his speed would would help him be an excellent drag bunter. What are they teaching in the minors?????

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Um Scrappy comes from Dick Tidrow as does everything on here.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Or maybe your fandom and belief that just because he plays the right way, puts 100% effort, is an underdog that deserves a chance, plays the way you play (aka scrappy) has allowed you to ignore the fact that he just isn’t a MLB player that can barely be the 25 man on most rosters.

      • Tom A.

        Agree. Unless they let the Cubs carry 26 or more players, he may not be good enough to be in the major leagues. That means he could be with us again in September or an injury replacement.

    • Toby

      I’m sure that years ago, Eddie Gadeal also had some fans who thought he deserved a place on the 25 man roster, but one trick players find is nearly impossible.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        SCRAPPY SHORT – I’m sure Brett would approve ;) – short joke

  • Blublud

    ” What he meant is that it’s unfair for the city to expect the Cubs to maintain Wrigley as a museum for the good of the city if the city is going to tax the hell out of them and simultaneously tell them what they can or can’t do with the stadium … all while not providing any financial support. And he’s right – either Wrigley is a public thing for the good of the people (museum) and it should be supported by the people, or it’s part of a private business and should be permitted to be run that way.”

    While I’m 100% against publicly funded anything that the govt or “the people” don’t own, I could not agree with this more. The city need to move out of the way of Ricketts and let him run his business. This is what’s best for everybody.

  • Roland Perrelli

    That is a must public funding in this economy would mot go over well. It is in the cities interest to change that as it will bring in more revenue. The plans look awesome and the updated Wrigley will be incredible.

    I have to say that I think the Ricketts finally get it. Them putting out the plans and saying either lift the restrictions on us or pay makes a ton of sense. Though not sure why they would eliminate the Triangle building?

  • Boozleb

    Who do you think has a better upside Rusin or Raley?
    I assume one of them will be gone when Villanueva signs ?

  • Toby

    I think the triangle building needs to be a 24 hour multistory parking lot, that somehow gives preference to Cubs parking but will also ease parking for the neighborhood during non-game days and hours.

  • jzuniga

    Trade campana in a package..to get coby rasmus ..from the blue jays..maybe soriano too.

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      The cubs lost over 100 games last year.

      If we cant find a spot for campana then how could a team like the blue jays, who are pushing to compete in their division, have a spot for him?

      Especially for Rasmus!

  • DarthHater

    Just read about the death of the great Stan Musial. Cardinal or not, Stan the Man was not only a truly great player but also a fine human being. May he be fondly remembered.

  • cubzforlife

    If I owned the Cubs the first thing I would of done is hire Daley and George law firm to handle some of my business. I then would of bought all my insurance for the ballpark from John Daley. I’m guessing this is the route they’re now taking. Would of cost a few dollars more but when in Chicago the real players know how the game is played.

  • arta

    campana is not the 5th OF’er. maybe in AAA he is!

  • Carne Harris

    So what’s this “Just let us run our business the way we want” going to look like in practice? More night games? More on-field advertising? Not a fan of either of those, especially the latter.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I doubt they’ll take down the ivy to put up advertisements or anything that radical, but I suspect we’ll see another sign or two like the Toyota one. A second LED board in left would probably work.

      But more night games will surely be part of it. I imagine the Cubs will always play more day games than any other team, but I suspect we’ll see fewer of them. And hopefully very few in the hottest parts of July and August.

      • King Jeff

        I agree Luke. I think even getting one extra night game a week during the summer would be a big help.

  • I-CubsFanBoy

    I’m confused with by this “arrangement” with the city to get out of the way and let the club conduct business the way they want. Is this an actual agreement with city officials, or are the Rickets’ just going to proceed the way they want and assume the city can’t stop them?

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      I think it kinda Cartman: Whateva I do whata want.

      They are challenging the city to a public and legal battle, one that should be able to win if they are paying for everything.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        More public than legal, I think.

        It’s tough for the City to argue against a property owner paying hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade a property in such a way that it will make more money for the City.

        • Good Captain

          Difficult perhaps, but never underestimate government’s ability or lack thereof to gum something up.

  • I-CubsFanBoy

    It just worries me that I see no evidence of an official agreement with the city of Chicago. Given the grudges that Joe Ricketts and Rahm Emmanuel have against each other (not to mention the grudges Rahm Emmanuel seems to have against EVERYBODY) do the Cubs really expect to proceed with whatever plan they want and have the city not stand in their way? That seems kind of naive given what I understand about Chicago machine-style politics.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      It might be good to give the City time to respond before worrying too much. This was just announced yesterday, and with the holiday, it may be Tuesday before the powers that be are able to formulate and distribute a public response.

      I suspect the City will reject it out of hand as the single worst idea since un-sliced bread at first (politics being what it is), but I’d be surprised if the final agreement looks substantially different.

    • baldtaxguy

      Needs to play out, just one side putting forth a proposal. No matter how what Emanuel wants, there are jobs and tax dollars available, and that’s #2 on his list of desires.

  • I-CubsFanBoy

    I completely agree with you that that’s the way it should work Luke, but this is Chicago we’re talking about. First of all, the mayor is just straight up an S.O.B. (and I’m a Democrat saying that). Second of all, many of the home owners in the neighborhood are actively hostile to the club’s intentions. A good friend of mine bought a brownstone a few blocks north of Wrigley about a decade ago, and it blows my mind how anti-Cub many of his neighbors are. It’s hard to win a public relations fight when even the people in the neighborhood aren’t even on your side.

    • Tom A.

      Is your friend someone like that ? If so, please ask your friend why they purchased near Wrigley, if not for the Cubs and the other business it draws to the area. Imagine how much these homeowners’ housing value would drop if not for the Cubs and Wrigley field (likely 50% or more).

  • JR

    Unless you are talking about properties within a one block radius, the neighborhood values are not going to drop. The threat of the Cubs relocating is silly. The Cubs need Wrigley and Wrigleyville more than the city needs the Cubs. As to the suggestion that the city cannot tell a property owner what they can do with their property unless the city subsidizes it, that is pure baloney and Ricketts/Crane know it. Heck, the city tells me I have to follow zoning, permit and whatever laws. Why does Ricketts suppose he can declare himself immune to regulations about how businesses can operate in a residential area? I am sure that all you Cubs fans who live outside Chicago would love us to foot the bill, or share tax revenue, or enter into one of the fiscally irresponsible deals that subsidize millionaires like the Ricketts (see White Sox). But as a Chicago residing Cubs fan I am glad the city refuses to do it.

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