respect wrigleyAll recent signals have pointed to no serious work at Wrigley Field this offseason, despite the existence of an agreement with the Mayor to proceed with a $500 million renovation and development plan, and City Council approval of the same. Not only did the grinding Chicago political process take its toll on the Cubs’ preferred timetable for construction (well, back-up to a back-up timetable), but an apparent inability to get the rooftops to agree not to sue when the renovation begins has things at a standstill.

The justifiability of any such holdups notwithstanding, the fact remains that the vastly improved clubhouse and player facilities, long-targeted for 2014, will not be in place for next season.

That comes from President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein (via Patrick Mooney), who says that his understanding at this time is that the only work to be done this offseason involves the infrastructure of the park. That work will be done so that the Cubs can be in position to do the kinds of things they want to do – like, the player facilities – next year. Epstein added to Mooney, “assuming all the dreaded t’s get crossed and the i’s get dotted.” Even a year out, we all now know that such an assumption would be completely unreasonable.

As for the infrastructure work, I do believe the Cubs have been doing $10 million worth of routine work each year just to keep the park functional. What is being done this offseason might not be much more, which is to say that the timeline for the renovation’s completion has probably been pushed back a year, regardless of what the Cubs are able to accomplish this offseason.

Had things gone as the Cubs had hoped/planned, work on the renovation would have started today. I guess it wouldn’t be the Cubs if there weren’t always next year.

  • ETS


  • Josh

    That is disappointing. I was excited to see what Wrigley was going to look like next time I went there.

    • Peter

      It will still look like a piece of shit, the cubbies, never fail on disappointment.

      [Ed. – Too far. Way too far.]

      • TWC

        Wow. Wishing death on someone. What a prick.

      • bbmoney

        You stay classy Peter. You stay classy.

  • North Side Irish

    John Arguello ‏@CubsDen 6m
    @pgammo reporting that Sveum will be fired and that Brad Ausmus is the Cubs choice to replace him. (h/t @mqmoody)

    • MichiganGoat

      Interesting… not that familiar with Ausmus but I don’t take Gammons seriously

    • C. Steadman

      if we cant land Girardi, i would actually like a Brad Ausmus hiring…i was “if we dont hire girardi, then keep Sveum” but after this report im changing my tune

      • MichiganGoat

        If they decide to pay Sveum for a year of not managing and them pay another inexperienced manager it’s got to mean that the FO & Sveum have not been getting along. Otherwise keep Sveum for another year and them see what new “kid” manager is available.

        • C. Steadman

          yeah true, Ausmus might even be available after 2014…but if we’re hearing his name already as a managerial candidate then another team could grab him this offseason

        • Funn Dave

          Or they see a great deal of potential in him.

    • mjhurdle

      If the Cubs did let Sveum go, i would actually like signing Ausmus over Girardi.

      • MichiganGoat

        Maybe but Ausmus is as green if not greener than Sveum, I guess him being a former catcher is interesting since former catchers are “great” coaches, but what does he offer the Cubs?

        • mjhurdle

          To me he offers a potential really good manager for much cheaper than Girardi would (probably) want.
          I am in the camp that the manager has a much smaller impact on the games than most seem to credit/blame them for, and i view Ausmus as basically another Girardi (smart, well-liked, tagged as a future manager even during their playing days) for much cheaper.
          Obviously Girardi has demonstrated the ability to handle a large media presence, as well as a veteran lineup. I don’t think we know how Girardi would do with bringing along young players (not that he would be bad, just that he hasn’t had to with the Yankees and he was only with the Marlins for one year so it is hard to determine how the players would have progressed/regressed in multiple years under him).
          I think Girardi is a good manager, i just don’t know if I want the Cubs paying top dollar for a manager, and if you could land a Girardi Jr for much cheaper in Ausmus, i would prefer that route.
          But like i said, my opinion is biased by the fact that i don’t think a manager makes a large difference overall in a team’s success.

          • Hookers or Cake

            Wow Ausmus would be a great manager and fit in quite weel with the FO Besides being a former catcher He’s a Ivy league grad (Dartmoth)and Jewish. Also in the Padres front office last 3 years so Hoyer knows him.

            Also also his dad, a retired college professor, wrote a book called, A Schopenhauerian Critique of Nietzsche’s Thought which the younger Ausmus claims is his favorite.

    • ETS

      John Arguello ‏@CubsDen 31m
      @pgammo reporting that Sveum will be fired and that Brad Ausmus is the Cubs choice to replace him. (h/t @mqmoody)
      Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More
      Alex Berngard ‏@AlexBerngard 15m
      @CubsDen @pgammo @mqmoody That’s not what he said
      John Arguello ‏@CubsDen 5m
      @AlexBerngard @pgammo @mqmoody What did he say then?
      Hide conversation Reply Retweet Favorite More
      8:23 AM – 27 Sep 13 · Details
      Alex Berngard ‏@AlexBerngard 5m
      @CubsDen @pgammo @mqmoody It was a gut feeling, he didn’t report it as fact. He doesn’t know anything more than anyone else

    • Jono

      I like the idea of getting a former catcher with tons of big league experience

  • cubfanincardinalland

    To actually have any chance of renovating Wrigley Field in the future, what should be happening today is Cubs officials discussing building a new stadium in DuPage County.
    Status quo fits just fine for rooftop owners, and local business. When is Ricketts going to figure it out?

  • MichiganGoat

    “I guess it wouldn’t be the Cubs if there weren’t always next year.”

    One of the best lines you’ve written Brett.

    • MichiganGoat

      Of course this might be the earliest we’ve ever used the “next year” line. Can we just go into hibernation until 2014 ends?

  • cavemencubbie

    What’s with the ‘Respect Wrigley’? Wrigley is not a man or woman, but a piece of concrete, wood and steel. It has no feelings and has out lived it’s function as a place to see and play baseball. Everything including people get old and die. We put gravestones on graves out of respect. Sure, we will miss those old people and old places but life goes on. If we must, let’s put a gravestone on the corner of Clark and Addison with “RIP Wrigley field”.

    • TWC

      Um, the “Respect Wrigley” is a sign. On the bleachers. At Wrigley Field. It’s not an editorial.

      • Brett

        Can’t it be both? :)

        • TWC

          If the boss wasn’t coming over to my desk as I was typing, I prolly would have added a shade more nuance to my comment.

          • DarthHater

            So your boss is okay with you spending work time posting on a baseball blog, as long as you don’t get too “nuanced?”

            • TWC

              There’s no room for nuance in a set of construction drawings.

              • hansman1982

                Apparently you’ve never seen the construction drawings I draw up.

  • mr.mac

    As much as as I enjoy Brett’s writing on the subject, I desperately yearn for the days when we don’t have articles about this subject to read. I never disliked my city before this ridiculous process. The rooftop owners and Tunney need to go away.

  • BD

    This is the #1 reason why I would be OK with a new stadium somewhere else. This should not be difficult and drawn out, and yet everybody except the Cubs seems to prefer that or not care.

  • Christian

    Let’s movvvvvvvve! As much as I like Wrigley, Tunney and the rooftops have messed everything up.

    • frank

      Agreed–I love Wrigley, but the rooftop ghouls, and Tunney, have become way too much of an impediment. Move out, and then let Tunney and the rooftop people deal with the fallout.

  • MightyBear

    Ausmus is smart and went to an Ivy League school. He seemed to be pretty likable with the Astros. Most memorable Ausmus story was after the Astros got beat by the Cardinals in game 6 of the 2006 NLCS and Pujols hit that home run off of Lidge, the mood was pretty somber on the Astros plane flying back to St. Louis for game 7. Ausmus handed a note to the pilot and made him read it over the loudspeaker. He said, “If everyone would look out their windows on the left, that object you see flying by is the home run Albert Pujols hit off Brad Lidge.” Apparently everyone on the plane cracked up including Lidge and the mood loosened up and the Astros won game 7 in St. Louis.

    • cavemencubbie

      That’s a funny story, if true. Like Ausmus already, not that he will bring us a WS, just being a fun guy!

    • Funn Dave

      Hahaha, hilarious.

  • Funn Dave

    FYI Brett,

    “Timetable” is one word. As is “inability.”

    -Your buddy,
    BN Grammar Douche

    • Funn Dave

      Also, great last line.

    • Brett

      The inability one was just a typo, but the timetable – oops. Gracias.

      • Funn Dave


  • notcubbiewubbie

    should have moved to rosemont or somewhere where you could build a pnc type replica of wriglet field. anytime you deal with losers like daley emanuel tunney what would you expect????

  • Bill

    I wish Ricketts would grow some balls and tell wrigleyville and the city of chicago to go fuck themselves and move to Rosemont.