Quantcast

cubs broadcast boothCome next year, the Chicago Cubs are expected to exercise their right to open up their TV rights deal with WGN, which pays them a relatively modest sum for a little less than half of their games. In this era of exploding TV contracts, the Cubs believe they aren’t receiving market value, and no one really faults them for seeking out the best deal possible.

And, in that same vein, it appears that WGN will be returning the favor on the radio side. According to Ed Sherman (for the Tribune, a sister company with WGN), WGN will exercise their right re-open their radio deal with the Cubs, which expires after next season (like the TV deal).

The deal, which Sherman reports pays the Cubs around $10 million per year, was probably looking pretty sweet back in 2009, when it was initially signed. Ratings have plummeted along with the Cubs’ competitiveness, and I’d guess that radio also probably continues to lose “attention share” to other media.

The Cubs will have a modest amount of leverage in the renegotiations, as there are theoretical radio options on the market, but unless WGN has massively mis-read the market, it sounds like the Cubs will lose some money either way. In the end, the Cubs probably stick with WGN for radio, given the historical ties, if nothing else. The Cubs have been on WGN radio for almost 90 years, and it’s hard to imagine them being broadcast anywhere else. Still, no sense in not asking around, if WGN is going to force the issue.

That WGN is even looking to renegotiate the deal, though, underscores the fact that the team’s performance on the field over the past few years can have tangible negative effects on the future finances of the organization. Hopefully the TV negotiations are framed by “hope” much more than “past performance.” I imagine the Cubs would hate to lose $10s of millions of future dollars because the present product was weak (even if for understandable reasons).

  • Jon

    well, that’s what you get when you give up on the big league club.

    • DarthHater

      There’s a downside to losing? Who knew?

  • Pete LaCock

    An immediate investment in the major league club could pay benefits in future revenue. The model of building with the minors is great for future productivity (both on-field and revenue) but it can also get in the way of it’s own immediate progress.

  • MightyBear

    If I’m the Cubs, I opt out and begin my own broadcasting network. Then I opt out of the TV deal and start the Cubs network. When they start winning, advertising revenue will explode. I’m sure alternatives like mlb tv and the internet are taking its toll on the radio but I believe that Santo passing also had something to do with it. I cant tell you how many people watched the game on tv with the sound down and listened to Pat and Ron.

    • YourResidentJag

      I agree. WGN also shows the White Sox, no?

    • Edwin

      Ron was ok, but the main draw for me was (and is) Pat Hughes. His voice defines Cubs radio to me.

      • hansman

        For me it was the way they worked together, and not just the chemistry. Pat was so good that Ron sucking at being a color-guy worked. It was an old-fashioned straight and goofy guy routine.

    • ssckelley

      I think you hit the nail on the head. The Cubs having there own radio and TV network could open up additional revenue streams.

      • Pat

        Except you can’t just “start our own” clear channel (50,000 watt) radio station. A limited number of those licenses exist (around 100 nationally with 3 in the Chicago area).

    • tom

      Santo was TERRIBLE on the radio, I was a fan when He played

      • MightyBear

        That’s what made him so good.

    • GocubsGo14

      I definitley did, good point.

  • CubFan Paul

    Be careful of what you wish for WGN.

  • Hebner The Gravedigger

    As a former Media Banker (financed newspapers / radio / etc), I can tell you that radio has been in a death spiral for several years now. A few (older) folks still love radio, but there is simply too much competition.

    • hansman

      But baseball on the radio, especially when done as well as Pat Hughes, is, to me, the most enjoyable form of taking in a baseball game (outside of actually going to Wrigley).

      • Smitty

        Couldn’t agree more Hansman…and I’m in my 30′s

      • C. Steadman

        i love listening to pat hughes on the radio…and im 22…i mute the tv and turn the radio on

  • Kyle

    *sigh*

  • Ed

    Fire Keith Moreland, and I’ll listen way more… he’s god aweful! Don’t replace him with Kerry Wood which is what some misinformed fans are going to say.

  • down in the mac

    What would be the cost/benefit of the Cubs starting their own Sirius channel?

  • Spriggs

    Mark Grace!

    • Blackhawks1963

      Yeah, lets hire an ex convict with two DUIs on his resume and who was a brutal announcer in Arizona even on those days when he was sober.

      • Spriggs

        Your sacrilegious opinion of Pat Hughes kind of invalidate your comments here on Grace’s effectiveness as announcer!

      • Hee Seop Chode

        To be fair, sobriety hasn’t been a broadcasting prerequisite in the past.

        • Mrs. Howell

          Hysterical Hee Sop! Since when is sobriety a must in the booth, especially this town.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    We’ll have to see. You usually don’t see any team go from cellar dweller to champion in a swift move. So the plan thing combined with the condition of a wretched roster, has had a toll. The question is are the Cubs indeed satisfied with the core/foundation at the minor level and start to build winning at the ml level, or is the plan to lose for another 2 or 3 years. I don’t think a major market like the Chicago market will tolerate another 2 or 3 years, especially if the manager is another “teacher” type with no promise of real winning. It puts off winning too long. You are either winning centric or you aren’t, and losing has consequences. This whole thing kind of reminds me of Lou. We thought we were getting the fiery flamboyant guy and got a very pensive subdued version. Here we though we were getting building but with dedication to excellence and winning centric. I really am concerned with postponement and neglect at the ml level. While I don’t think Castro is baseball smart, some of the things Rizzo has said concern me. I really hope Theo isn’t establishing a country club mentality of entitlement with the young players.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I’m in the minority of not liking Pat Hughes. Can’t stand his drippy cliched baseball voice. Plus I find the guy to be downright creepy. Norman Bates creepy. This is a person whose favorite hobby is attending conferences on the John F. Kennedy assassination to debate conspiracy theories.

    Keith Moreland. Zonk was a fine ballplayer for the Cubs, but he has to be the single worst color analyst ever invented. Absolutely brutal.

    • YourResidentJag

      Heh?

    • hansman

      With that opinion of Pat Hughes you can just STFU and get out of this country, you un-American Socialist Facist Stalin!

      • Blublud

        That goes for anyone who doesn’t like listening to baseball games on the radio. What the hell has gotten into this country.

    • miggy80

      [img]http://cdn.uproxx.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/go-to-hell.gif[/img]

      • MichiganGoat

        Exactly

    • tom

      Santo just as BAD !!!!!!!

    • Mrs. Howell

      For a major market, there is some really bad guys at the mic. Ed Farmer is BRUTAL, and his color guy is below average. Moreland is bad. Our color guy on TV (JD) is fairly boring. Did I mention Ed Farmer is BRUTAL? How does he escape criticism in this town? He must have lewd photos of Reinsdorf stashed away.

  • Spriggs

    I know it’s “just radio”, but kind of amazing that in the days of all these mega media contract deals, the Cubs would get to go in the other direction. Incredible.

  • Blublud

    I think the Cubs should definitely start their own radio station that is available on radio, internet and by mobile phone app. Think how many fans would download the app and listen to the game when they can’t watch it. I feel half of Americans 40 and younger walk around with a smart phone and a set of earbuds. I know I do. Give me an app and I would never miss a game.

    • Spriggs

      In the spirit of 5 outs, and the big anniversary that everyone in Cubdome is so hung up on… your vision implies a whole New Cubs World teaming with thousands of new Bartman’s walking around.

    • TWC

      “Give me an app and I would never miss a game.”

      Um, like the current MLB app? For, what, $15? $25?, you get every single regular season MLB game.

      • mjhurdle

        it is $14.99 and not only do you get every single MLB game, you get to choose which team’s announcers you want to listen to.

        • On The Farm

          Really its only $15 a year? I guess I have never looked at it for my smart phone because I figured you had to buy an MLBTV subscription. If what you say is true that is awesome and is something I will have to do for 2014.

          • mjhurdle

            I have had it at 14.99 a year for the last 2 years. i just went to verify and it looks like they are going to monthly subscriptions now, at 3.99 a month.
            So for the baseball season, probably closer to $20 now, though they might have 6 month packages on sale at the start of the year for closer to the $15 it used to be.

            • Funn Dave

              Still, that’s crazy cheap. I, too, would have assumed that you’d need an MLB.tv subscription.

              Not that it affects me either way, as I don’t have a smartphone.

              • On The Farm

                Agreed, I don’t know the exact price, but I know that when I look at how much MLB TV costs I always thought it was too expensive to buy just so I can have Cubs games if I happen to be away from home.

                $15 is very reasonable.

              • mjhurdle

                for $30 a year, you can get it on your computer and smartphone.
                That used to be together, but it looks like they are breaking them apart.
                Money well spent, i listen to Cubs games all the time at work or at home when i couldn’t watch. So much better than waiting for the GameCast to update :)

                • Sarah

                  Do you know if this has the same blackout rules that MLB TV has? I live in Wisconsin and all Cubs games are subject to blackout so never looked any further into the paid app, just went with MLB at bat lite.

                  • mjhurdle

                    I have never been blacked out on it, even when the Cubs play the Cardinals here in STL where I live. From what i have read, MLB doesn’t black out their streaming radio services.

                    • TWC

                      The radio broadcasts are never blacked out.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      Ummm…wrong TWC. I was listening to WGN online…the game was indeed blacked out. They were running old WGN programming content instead.

                    • chrisfchi

                      If you use the WGN radio app, cubs games are not streamed due to MLB restrictions. You need MLB radio account. I live in Chicago, and cannot listen to games when I’m away from an A.M. radio

                    • TWC

                      Well, Lou, in your eagerness to say “wrong TWC”, you missed the context of the conversation. If you follow the comment I was responding to, you’ll note that we’re discussing the broadcasts through the MLB app, in which there are no blackouts.

                  • http://obstructedview.com Aisle424

                    MLB audio does not have blackout rules. Only the broadcasts.

            • Blublud

              I never knew this existed. I guess I will be getting this app in 2014.

              • ssckelley

                But still I loved your idea of a radio/Sirius station that was all Cubs. I wonder if they could provide enough content, especially during the off season. It would be neat to have the Mesa Solar Sox on.

                • TWC

                  I suspect that MLB would *never* allow a separate app/broadcast structure.

                  • wilbur

                    I think mlb will have to allow team apps and online content. Right now they have the rights to the LIVE broadcasts, but the teams and the broadcast stations have replay rights, so for time shifting and tivo-type compressed viewing and listening, team apps could be the way to go. Why listen to the game live if you can wait a few hours and then listen to it with no breaks or dead time. How long would it take on average to listen to a game with all the between innings, commercial breaks, pitching changes etc compressed ?? One hour per game? That is reason enough alone to have the app.

                    The other boat the cubs are missing, is an app that provides video content and interview footage. Now that all goes out the door to whatever media is there, but the team should retain it’s own copy and provide a compilation across all media outlets on it’s app. Not done now except for teams like the yankees. All you need is one staffer to make the team copy of each interview. This is a huge amount of content, all the property of the team, or should be.

                    Same with replay rights to radio and tv. Should be provided via team app. With smart phones and tablets mobile platforms, having the replays becomes more valuable than the live rights. Things are different now.
                    The cubs need their own app. They need to control their content, with each player manger interview done in front of a team logo backdrop (with adds) just like the yankees do now on yes, but have all interviews done this way. Showing dale at his desk, players in front of their loockers, and the owner in the concourse is low grade media savvy. Put up your backdrop, capture your copy and provide it on your app. Instant revenue stream just like the big teams do.

                    Some day….

              • TWC

                Highly recommended. I probably listened to 80 games this way this season, while at work, and watched another 40 or so via MLB.tv. Not so sure that I’ll pony up for the whole MLB.tv experience next year — not right off the bat, at least — but I’ll definitely re-up for the radio coverage.

          • Spriggs

            It’s really a steal at $14.99…

      • MichiganGoat

        Yeah the MLB app is the greatest thing MLB has ever done, all radio for less than a dinner. And the TV subscription streamed on a TV is also quite a bargain for like $150 UNLESS you are stuck in blackout hell.

        • jh03

          Blackout hell is worse than actual hell, I’m convinced.

        • JM

          The blackout is just so freaking stupid. Who is most likely going to want to watch a team within the blackout radius? Fans of that team. I’m 300 miles from Chicago and blacked out. Ridiculous.

          • MichiganGoat

            Just look at Iowa – they are nearly blacked out of half the teams.

            • jh03

              That’s me. I was blacked out of a Yankees/Rays game. Yup.

  • Eric

    I vote for the Cubs to establish their own television/radio network, but that would have to be perfectly timed with having a winning team on the field.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    All of our announcers sound too vanilla. Pat Hughes was a little better IMO, but we don’t seem to find anyone who can continue to entertain over a 3 hour game. Maybe will Ferrell would have some interest.

  • Funn Dave

    I think those sites where you can illegally stream games for free are partially to blame for the decrease in radio listeners. Lots of people w/o cable who used to listen to games are now watching them on those sites instead.

    • wilbur

      If you look at WGN’s ratings overall they are down just as much or more so than the cubs ratings. The cubs ratings decline most likely is due more to WGN’s lousy ratings overall due to bad management and poor on air talent than to any decline in interest in the cubs due to their record or payroll. In other words, attributing the wgn ratings decline for cubs broadcasts to the cubs poor play is a fallacy. WGN’s ratings have been declining for years, even before the cubs play tailed off. If they lose the cubs broadcasts it will just be one more in a long line of bad mistakes in managing their on air talent and shows.

      And if the ratings and revenues are really down, why does wgn continue with 4 full time people in their radio booth. Milwaukee uses 2.

      If the tribune co thinks the cubs are tied to wgn for radio broadcasts they are very mistaken. All the cubs would need to do is hire Pat Hughes after WGN blows the cubs radio broadcast deal. Not that big a deal.

  • Aaron

    Both the tv and radio announcers don’t talk enough about the players, the game itself, etc., especially Len. I know the Cubs have been a terrible team the last two seasons, but please, tell me something I don’t already know. Make it relevant to the game and to your listeners.

    • Spriggs

      Agree 100% about Len. It has become a chore listening to him for that reason.

      • Jon

        Len Kasper is amazing. This is blasphemy I’m reading right now.

        • wilbur

          hard to imagine how a tv announcer could be anymore dull. Even his strained attempt to convey excitement with his voice is always the same, always the strident almost shrill braying like a constipated goat. To be fair it is almost exactly the same as Chip Carey, so maybe people are used to it. Still really annoying especially in comparison to someone like Pat Hughes who has more vocal inflections than he knows what to do with.

      • YourResidentJag

        Yep, I would rather have Brian Anderson who does play by play for the Brewers.

    • Spriggs

      It’s funny too how Len is always lecturing about traditional stats being kind of useless. I come here to get lectured on that stuff and I don’t need Lenny to tell me how stupid I am. Then what does he do when a pinch hitter come up? He tells me his BA, RBIs, and HRs.

    • hansman

      The radio and TV announcers also have to be interesting to folks who don’t frequent Cubs blogs that feature obessive watches about nearly everything.

      Remember, we are in the 1% of the fanbase.

    • cubs2003

      Pat and Len both need a comedian by their side. Especially when the MLB product is pretty bad. Ron did it unintentionally most of the time, but it was pretty funny. I remember once Ron talked for like 3 innings about how he washed his toupee in the dishwasher almost uninterrupted. It was game 160 or so of a losing season and I don’t think anyone really even cared what the score was, but I was cracking up the whole time. Pat knew just how to get him going. Bob helped Len as well. Pat and Len are really good play by play callers. Pair them with the right people and they’re great in my opinion. No offense to KM or JD, but the broadcasts have certainly suffered with the loss of Ron and the moving on of BB.

  • Cryinmybluecoolaid

    There is another way for the Cubs to approach the next Radio contract. Instead of a agreement with WGN, the Cubs can purchase the radio air time from another station and then sell their own commercials. In the future, this might bring in even more revenue. I believe at one time or still do, the Bulls had a contract like this with WMVP.

  • On The Farm

    Per MLB trade rumors: “Cuban slugger Jose Dariel Abreu has narrowed his list of possible destinations to the Astros, Red Sox, and White Sox, multiple industry sources tell Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. The standout first baseman could sign within the next two weeks…”

    I think I saw a tweet (from Olney) that Red Sox don’t expect to sign him.

    Link to the story: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/10/jose-dariel-abreu-down-to-astros-red-sox-white-sox.html

    • Jon

      If you are the White Sox, you kinda have to go all out on this guy..

      • Noah_I

        If the bat is even close as advertised (say 50 contact, 60 power, with a good walk rate), he’d be a big help to the White Sox, who are both bad at the MLB level and have a bad farm system.

    • ssckelley

      I really hate the fact the Cubs refused to put a bid in on this guy.

      • Jon

        Can only play 1st and DH. Probably can’t hack it in the outfield, he’s a nice have, but I’d safe the $$$ for Tananka.

        • Blackhawks1963

          Tanaka will go to the Yankees. They really want him badly, and since the posting fee doesn’t apply to the “math” behind the luxury tax this is their one chance to upgrade the pitching staff in a big way that doesn’t cost them big hard salary dollars to push them over the $189 M limit for the tax. Plus they don’t lose a draft pick by going after Tanaka.

          I’ll be stunned if Tanaka ends up anywhere but the Bronx wearing Pinstripes.

          • Jon

            Thanks Phil Rodgers.

        • C. Steadman

          Yeah I believe there would be no way Cubs got both Abreu and Tanaka…so if you could pick one, Tanaka would be my pick

        • hansman

          If Abreu’s bat is as good as they advertise, you could stick him at SS and still get value from him.

          • On The Farm

            I would rather stick him at second.

          • Jason P

            But the value we’d get from that (him at short or even in the outfield) wouldn’t be nearly as high as the value a team with an opening at first would get. So theoretically a team with an opening at first should be willing to bid much more.

            • On The Farm

              Or at DH, which he appears to be in the running for two teams that could use him there instead.

          • ssckelley

            Can he catch?

          • mjhurdle

            I have to think that not many teams think his bat is that good if it is already down to the White Sox, Astros, and Red Sox, or at least have enough doubt to be scared away by 70+ for 6 years

            • On The Farm

              I agree, if it is only three teams and the Astro’s hard bid was between 50-60 million. Their must not be a consensus that his bat is as high as the marks he has received. I know they could be, but there are at least 27 other FO’s around the league that aren’t as convinced. Heck even the Red Sox aren’t really willing to pay that much supposedly. Could be 28 teams aren’t sold on his bat.

      • Blackhawks1963

        Why? It’s going to cost $70 M plus to secure Abreu. He’s strictly a 1st baseman. The Cubs already have Rizzo, who is Gold Glove caliber 1st baseman.

        • ssckelley

          Oh yeah, the Cubs have no room for someone with 80 grade power and has been called “the best hitter in the world”. We got Rizzo, who obviously is even better then that. What the hell was I thinking????

          • BT

            The point is, you don’t necessary take a flier on a 70 million dollar question mark when the only position he can play is already one of the positions you have covered. Abreu may have been called “the best hitter in the world”, but that doesn’t make it true. I’m sure Dice-K was called all sorts of fancy names as well. You don’t drop 120 million dollars on 2 first basemen, just to figure out who is better, when you have a ton of other holes to fill.

            I’ll be happy as a clam if they get Abreu but there are plenty of reasons not to sign him.

            • On The Farm

              Dice-K was rumored to have like 9 pitches and a mysterious Gyro ball that no one was going to be able to hit, before the signing. Apparently hitters in Japan swing at a lot of pitches out of the zone, because the amount of walks he issued just didn’t seem possible.

              • Scotti

                Dice-K was worth every penny of his contract and the posting fee until he got hurt. Just another example of why its better to draft pitching and sign free agent hitting.

            • ssckelley

              Fine, then trade Rizzo. How many times does anybody become available that grades an 80 in any skill? If it does you pay a fortune for it via free agency and lose a draft pick. The Cubs could have had a shot of having 2 players in their lineup with 80 grade power. But instead we are all so damn hung up on what to do with Rizzo.

              If Miguel Cabrera suddenly became available and wanted to play first base for the Cubs, would you really give a shit what the heck the Cubs did with Rizzo?

              • mjhurdle

                Abreu is not Miguel Cabrera, so that doesn’t really apply.

                • ssckelley

                  Sure it does, many have compared Abreu to him along with Ryan Howard in his prime. If you have such a hard time with that then just go with a bat that has 80 grade power. Cripes, the Cubs have Bryant in the minors with 80 grade power could you imagine the Cubs with 2 hitters in their lineup with 80 grade power?

                  I’ve gotta stop, the Cubs are obviously not getting him and this just pisses me off. Especially if the W’Sox end up with him.

                  • mjhurdle

                    Ive read all the comparisons and like On The Farm i dont know enough personally to say for sure what Abreu will do.

                    However, I do know that teams are hesitant to even give him 10 million a year. in fact, it appears that only one team in baseball is willing to do that.
                    If Abreu was even close to Cabrera, he would be getting much more interest. People that are paid to evaluate talent for 90% of the MLB teams apparently do not think he is Cabrera 2.0, or even close to that.
                    Doesn’t mean he won’t prove them wrong, jsut that it is not as obvious as some think it is.

                    • On The Farm

                      It’s easy to say sign him when its not your $70 million being spent.

                    • ssckelley

                      From a Mets site: “Several Marlins officials who attended Abreu’s showcase said that he showed an easy swing, and the ball exploded off his bat, even adding that he was more of a pure hitter than Giancarlo Stanton.”

                      So people want to give up prospects in order to acquire a guy like Stanton but say the Cubs should not pony up 70 million for 6 years to get Abreu? These types of players are playing up to their scouting reports, look at Puig and Cespedes both who got a lot less money. I am telling you the Cubs are missing out on this one. We will get it slapped in our face every year when the Sox come to Wrigley with Abreu at first base.

                    • On The Farm

                      Yet neither the Mets nor the Marlins were willing to pay as much as the White Sox or Astros…

                    • ssckelley

                      Of course not, you see how big of a payroll those teams have? It blows my mind that these are the teams bidding that much money while the Cubs sit on their hands. All because we got Rizzo!

                    • C. Steadman

                      it could be they are gearing up for Tanaka instead

                    • Kyle

                      Being more of a “pure hitter” than Stanton isn’t saying much, because Stanton’s value isn’t in his “pure hitting.”

                    • mjhurdle

                      you are the only one assuming that the Cubs are sitting on their hands because we have Rizzo.
                      If the Cubs thought that Abreu was that good, they would go after him.
                      The fact is that most MLB teams do not agree with you that Abreu is some crazy superstar.
                      It isn’t just the Cubs, it is everyone else in baseball.
                      There are plenty of teams that could afford 10 million a year for a Cabrera level player, but for some reason the White Sox are the only ones really going all out for him.
                      That should tell you something. Either you are right, and everyone in baseball except the White Sox is wrong, or maybe he isn’t the instant superstar you think he is.
                      Again, im not saying that people wont be proven wrong, just that it is far from a sure thing.

                    • ssckelley

                      Yep, and evidently the Cubs felt Céspedes was not worth 4/36 million that the A’s gave him nor did they see enough value in Puig to outbid the Dodgers 7/$42 million. Yet Abreu is said to be a better hitter than both of them. All the Cubs can afford is 16 year old lottery picks or Soler type prospects.

                      Thank god this front office knows what they are doing and are staying away from these kinds of players. Instead let’s give the Rays a package of prospects for Price or spend a ton of money on a 31 year old free agent outfielder and lose a draft pick.

                    • ssckelley

                      “Being more of a “pure hitter” than Stanton isn’t saying much, because Stanton’s value isn’t in his “pure hitting.””

                      But yet this is the guy you were suggesting the Cubs should trade Baez and a bunch of other prospects for. You of all people should be drooling over this guy, you do not find 80 grade power very often.

                    • Kyle

                      You do understand what’s happening here, right? I’m a little unsure if you do.

                      Lots of guys are better pure hitters than Stanton. But Stanton is still the most valuable, because power isn’t included in “pure hitting.”

                    • ssckelley

                      No, he has Stanton’s power AND is a better pure hitter. Kyle, it has been mentioned many times that Abreu’s power was graded an 80. The Marlins were basically saying he is better than Stanton, I know they believed it as they were one of the bidders for him.

                    • mjhurdle

                      So what you want everyone to believe is that the Marlins really thought this guy was better than Stanton, but they were not willing to pay him $10 million a year for 6 years?
                      All the teams that are rumored to want to trade for Stanton just sat on their hands for this guy, who they KNOW is better than Stanton?
                      Everyone KNOWS he is going to be a top 25 player in the game, but that 10 million dollar price tag is just way too high?

                    • ssckelley

                      Willing and able are 2 different things, I thought I explained this to you already? The Marlins don’t have money, period!

                      I don’t get why you’re arguing with me, the Cubs are not getting Abreu anyway and you will have Rizzo at first base next year.

                  • On The Farm

                    Or he could be Ryan Howard now. When he gets a hold of it he hits it a mile, otherwise not so great.

              • On The Farm

                This is true. If he truly was as good as advertised, this FO would have no trouble trading their man crush. Its not like Rizzo has a NTC. Or this FO thinks Rizzo can provide the production of Abreu at a lot lower cost. Even if Rizzo doesn’t have the same stats as Abreu this year, the FO doesn’t need him to. We aren’t competing next year. I am not saying the Cubs are making the right decision, but I am just trying to rationalize. I don’t know enough about Abreu to make a educated argument.

        • http://It'searly Mike F

          I understand that with Rizzo and Vogelbach, but gold glove caliber? I think that has yet to be determined just as just how good Rizzo would be. On the larger, point though I agree. Abreu is another guy who is intriguing in power, but the Cubs have actually or 4 in the minors, and while he’s more major league ready, with the 3 teams that involved he will command more money than either Cespedes or Puig. I don’t think it makes much sense.

          • On The Farm

            I am not savy in the defensive stats per say, but if you go to Fangraphs click on batting leaders for 2013. Sort by 1B and DEF Rizzo ranks 3rd in baseball with a -3.9. If I am understanding the stats correctly he is a top 3 1B defensively and the best in the NL by 1.1.

            http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=20,d

            • http://It'searly Mike F

              Well I would be hesitant to heap too much praise on anyone in this infield until you see them repeat it a couple of years. Sveum was reputed to be brilliant in his use of statistical information and charting in defensive alignments. And even assuming he is a gold glove caliber 1b, this roster would make that moot unless he hits over .230-.250.

              • On The Farm

                Dave Martinez is Maddon’s right hand man. If he gets signed I would think there would be no drop off for defensive positioning.

        • Dave

          If he is as good as advertised than you eventually trade Rizzo.
          He has done nothing that would cement his spot as the first baseman of the future.

          • ssckelley

            Evidently the Cubs think he has. It is not very often you see good hitters have sophomore slumps, but I guess the right coach will get Rizzo to break out of it.

          • farmerjon

            Trade Rizzo to Rockies in a deal for CarGo, they’re in need of a replacement for Helton…if you have a chance at the “best hitter in the world”, go get him and let the cards fall where they may.

            • Voice of Reason

              Why would the cubs want to trade for an outfielder who has never played an entire season without getting hurt?

              And, his numbers are pretty solid, but he plays in Colorado.

              I don’t want cargo. Makes too much money for a guy who has never played an entire season without getting hurt.

              • Voice of Reason

                And cargo is far from the best hitter in the world. He’s probably not the best hitter on his team!! Lol

                • ssckelley

                  He was talking about Abreu.

    • On The Farm

      Olney tweeted 50m ago “Source says Astros are skeptical about their chances of signing Jose Abreu. Made a strong offer but all but certain they fell short of W. Sox?”

      • On The Farm

        Sorry catching up on my timeline. Onley says they did make a hard bid on Abreu while falling short. Bid was between $50-60M

      • ssckelley

        Omw, if the Sox get him this will make it even worse.

      • On The Farm

        Heyman confirms that the White Sox offer is “strong”

        • Blackhawks1963

          Not hard to see why the White Sox are going very hard after Abreu. Their farm system is a mess and they have major holes on the 25 man roster. Plus, they just shed the contracts of Floyd, Peavy, Rios, Konerko, Thornton and Crain so big time money has been freed up. And of course they have an opening at 1st base.

          • C. Steadman

            it’d make my day if the Sox get him AND he busts big time

            • On The Farm

              Talk about setting your organization back a few years.

  • Kramden

    If the Cubs are confident about a successful rebuild and turnaround, they’d likely want a short term deal with WGN since viewership/listener ship is down now and ad rates wouldn’t fetch as much as with a winning team, which would give the Cubs much more leverage than it does currently.

    Soooo…. The length of the contract and the dollar amount beyond $10M will give us all a huge clue as to when the Cubs envision putting out a championship caliber team.

    • Pat

      Even if they are confident regarding a turnaround, they are better off signing as long of a deal as they can. Like newspapers, radio is a dying business as far as ad revenues (which is the source of operating expenses). There is no way a deal five years from now is going to be any better than right now.

  • BlameHendry

    Live and learn. Stop sucking. Put money into your team, get money back out of it.

    • On The Farm

      The reason Ricketts was able to buy the team is because he is good at making money. Obviously this is Theo telling him it would be unwise to overspend on FA. Ricketts not having a good team on the field has to go against everything Ricketts has done in his life, lose out on revenue. However, the ownership and front office must be pretty certain this method will pan out and lead to future revenues, because I can’t see Ricketts not trying to make the most money he can.

      • Scotti

        Actually, the family business and TR’s Incapital have all gone through phases where the businesses could have reaped more in the short term but Papa Ricketts or Tom made longer term bets with investing heavily on infrastructure (telephonic, Internet, creating a whole new bond business) losing out on short term profits. Each time they literally gambled everything on the new direction.

        I am still convinced that the “sucking to get better” plan was Theo’s idea (Hendry at least tried to put a good product out there), but it its fully in the realm of what the family has done in business that has made them billions.

        • http://It'searly Mike F

          Well here’s where the whole focus on losing to lose and dislike so many have on Hendry misses it. When Ricketts bought the Cubs, one of the first things he did was remove the shackles on the 2011 draft at both levels national and intl. So Hendry was allowed to over slot and the 2011 class looks good. Then Theo at the Minor League level has been heavily taking advantage in 2012 and 2013. Add to that some of the heavy Intl and the trades which anyway you cut it means the Cub’s have to 3 to 4 years already of foundation. And now, they have another whole lottery class coming this year. They are 3.5 to 4 years in foundation. If the plan is to insist on another 3 years, there will be bigger costs than many think. And Ricketts although his costs at a lot of levels can’t and won’t again raise ticket prices. If the market which is sophisticated sees the Cub’s team losing for another year, they won’t throw away ad dollars on declining ratings. It is one of the first things you look at when you buy at any level. So while Theo’s buy in now while you can sounds nice, it’s probably not going to resound much longer. There’s more of a demand to start being more exciting and compete at least than some want to admit.

    • wvcubsfan

      Pretty soon your going to have to change your name.

    • BT

      By the way, by some estimates, the Cubs have almost doubled in value in the short time Ricketts has owned the team. But I’m sure he could use a few more pointers.

      • Patrick W.

        I think that’s a misreading of what has been reported. I have seen that by the time they sign both of their new TV deals (or one superdeal) and finish the renovations to Wrigley to increase the revenue, they will THEN double in value. But that shouldn’t happen until 2017.

  • I love marmol

    Brett should be on the radio

    • TWC

      He’s got the face for it.

    • On The Farm

      Have you heard his podcast? The first three innings would be about Breaking Bad or some other rambling ;)

  • Die hard

    Memo to WGN- don’t need a TV or Radio contract with Cubs — the new fans just glance at score and move on… Game is tooooooo slow for this and each future generation… Will make more money filling the time slot with air time devoted to 20-35 yr olds

    • TWC

      [img]http://www.51allout.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Old-Man-Yells-At-Cloud-the-simpsons-7414384-265-199.gif[/img]

      • Jason P

        ^like

      • Die hard

        Was that u peeping over my fence with a camera? Authorities have been notified

        • DarthHater

          :-D

  • Katie

    I’m assuming it’s an MLB thing that prevents anyone who doesn’t live in the immediate Chicagoland area from listening to the games streaming from WGN? ‘Cause I live in South Dakota, and actually have to work during the day (I know, imagine that!), and a not insignificant number of nights, preventing me from watching the (fewer and fewer) games that are even televised on WGN. But I’d happily stream and listen if that was an option…

  • Kevin

    The Cubs need some personality both on the field and in the press box. Compared to the 80′s when the Cubs were exciting to watch with good players and announcers, now it’s rather vannila in comparison. If you want BIG TV $ simply change your product.

  • Sparks

    Brett- I seem to remember that the Cubs radio broadcasts in 1945 were on WIND with Bert Wilson doing the broadcasts. I do not know when they moved to WGN. Possible shortly after that.

  • cavemencubbie

    Resurrect and bring back Jack Brickhouse!!

  • Tommy K

    This is a reason to believe the Cubs could spend some money this offseason. This radio and TV deal will be based in large part on the ratings for next season. If you put out another team like the one you’ve put out the last two seasons, ratings are going to fall even further, and its going to cost you money for the entire length of the deal not matter how good the team gets. If you field a team that can be competitive and generate some excitement, ratings will go up and it will make you money for the length of the deal. Frankly, I don’t think the Cubs can afford to be this bad for another season.

    • Blackhawks1963

      If the consensus on Abreu was so outstanding then a lot more teams than the Red Sox and the lowly Astros and White Sox would be going after him. Comparison to Miguel Cabrera is a crock of crap. And seem to recall the Cubs bidding on and getting Jorge Soler who is a top prospect. Cespedes? He hits .240. Puig? 29 other teams miscalculated on him, or maybe not because a lot of scouts question his sustainability.

      Rizzo, in his sophomore slump season and with no lineup protection, still rung up 40 doubles and 25 HRs to go along with elite defense. But yeah, let’s throw the 23 year old away.

      • caryatid62

        The Astros and Red Sox are two of the smartest front offices in baseball.

      • ssckelley

        There were more teams after him, the teams you listed were his finalists. But tell me more about these sophomore slumps. Which great hitters have had them?

  • 5412

    Hi,

    Where did you get the 90 years on WGN? I listened to them on WIND with Bert Wilson at the mike when I was a kid. I may be old, but not that old.

    Regards,
    5413

    • DarthHater

      Dear 5412,

      Some guy named 5413 has hijacked your account.

      Regards,
      DarthHater

      • 5412

        No it was my fat fingers

  • JK

    Keith Moreland has to have something to do with the ratings decline, I liked him as a player but he is an awful announcer. Very dull. Pat Hughes has a great radio voice but he can be very misleading at times – “LINE DRIVE DOWN THE LINE – foul”. That seems to happen a lot, maybe it’s just me.

    • Tommy K

      Why is “LINE DRIVE DOWN THE LINE — foul” misleading? When I hear that, I assume that there is a line drive traveling down the line that could land fair or could land foul.

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+