The 2014 Cubs Convention kicks off in just two days, and I’ll be there with bells on (actually, distinctive yellow and blue shoes). I hope to see many of you there – if you’re around on Friday night, a group of other bloggers/writers and BN’ers will be at Lizzie McNeil’s, a bar just around the corner from the Sheraton, where CubsCon is held. Stop by and say hello. And if you see me over the course of the weekend, don’t hesitate to say hi. I pretty much look like my picture, will be wearing those yellow and blue shoes, and I am … not tall (but, hey, 5’8″ at my last physical!).
- Speaking of the Convention, Bruce Miles notes that there could be a few tense moments this weekend, with fans potentially grilling the Ricketts Family about a lack of progress on the Wrigley renovation (or lack of spending), and/or grilling the front office about a lack of moves this offseason. I certainly hope so. Not because I necessarily agree with a hostile tenor, but (1) I hope to see some candid, thoughtful responses on issues that really matter, and (2) the fans deserve a chance to ask whatever hard questions they want to ask at this point – I believe in the rebuild as much as anyone, but I also recognize that fans have been saddled with watching a non-competitive team for five years now. If you’re going to ask them for patience (and to keep buying tickets), then the least you can offer is candor about the state of things.
- That all said, I don’t know how much we’ll really get, in part because it’s a Cubs fan convention, which tends to host mostly the kinds of folks who are all about the Cubs, all of the time, no matter what. Also, Q&A sessions last only so long, and some folks really, really love to hear themselves speak.
- SI’s preliminary report card for the Cubs is actually a ‘C’, which is impressive, all things considered. There is an acknowledgement there that the offseason is not over, and also, the big moves out there haven’t made much sense for the Cubs going into 2014.
- Patrick Mooney writes about Rick Renteria, and Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers says that RR was next on his list after Kirk Gibson when they had a managerial opening. Does that mean RR likes dirtbags?
- How do you know your team had bad luck last year? When stats man Dan Szymborski selects six bounceback candidates for 2014, and half of them are on your team, it’s a fair bet that there was some bad luck last year. There are reasons to believe each of Starlin Castro, Edwin Jackson, and Anthony Rizzo can dramatically improve their output next year.
- In advance of his no-seriously-I’m really-doing-it-this-time retirement in January 2015, Commissioner Bud Selig would like to do a Mariano Rivera-style farewell tour of all 30 teams this season, he tells Jayson Stark. Not unlike his tenure, I think that will come with mixed results.