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2014 Cubs ConventionI’ll be up front: with apologies, no typical Bullets this morning. I’d say that’s two parts the schedule of CubsCon, and one part the fun of last evening. I’d mention everyone I saw/met last night, but invariably, I will leave folks out, and then I will have a sad. Suffice it to say, if I met or saw you last night, I enjoyed your presence thoroughly.

I am currently sitting (front row – nerd alert!) in the ballroom where the Ricketts Family will soon address the gathered fans, and probably face some uncomfortable questions. The opening ceremonies last night were relatively subdued, and, even at a fan convention (where you’ve got to be a big enough fan that you’re paying to be here in January), I wonder if there are going to be some fireworks. For the most part, folks here still seem happy to be Cubs fans, though. Just to be clear.

I’ll do my best to put together a recap of sorts from this and other panels at some point today, but your best bet for tidbits is going to be to follow me on Twitter. Simply, Twitter is made for this kind of stuff.

Obviously if there is big news announced, I’ll write it up (I’m not expecting it).

It’s amazing, and disappointing, to think that the Wrigley Field renovation was the belle of the convention ball last year … and, outside of the approvals, nothing has happened in the last year. I’m thinking that might come up at this panel.

UPDATE: Nothing earth-shattering from either the Ricketts Family panel or the front office panel. The Cubs are still negotiating with the rooftops to get the renovation underway. No comments on the TV deal, other than some hemming and hawing about whether Cubs can stick with WGN after this year (obviously it has become my expectation that the Cubs will be leaving WGN for greener pastures after this season, and nothing that was said dissuaded me from that belief). It sounds like the Cubs are still negotiating with Tanaka, but the front office obviously wasn’t going to give up the goods on that right now.

  • Xruben31

    Robert Murray ‏@RobertMurrayMLB 51s
    Have an update on the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes coming shortly. Stay tuned #Cubs fans.

  • arta

    sounds good.

  • Funn Dave

    “I’d mention everyone I saw/met last night, but invariably, I will leave folks out, and then I will have a sad.”

    Ah, BN, what would you do without me?

    -BN Grammar Douche

  • Tommy

    This site says 8 years/$200M offer from Cubs:

    http://inagist.com/all/424641755846569984/

    • half_full_beer_mug

      quick math………(200-20)/8 = 22.5 AAV

      If we agree that 19-21 is about right for a #2 in today’s market, given inflation this might be about right.

  • Diehardthefirst

    What guarantee is there Tanaka gets a visa in time for opening day? Or even spring training in 2 weeks? If he is delayed and needs extended spring training in AZ then he doesn’t pitch until June and even that may only be AA cause who says he’s ready for the Show? Japanese ball is AA at best — everybody please just calm down and take a cleansing breath

    • wasssssup

      I’m sorry someone took your original name.

    • Cubsleeram

      Oh, Die Hard.

      He already has a visa. He was in Los Angeles earlier this month. Also, Japan has always been compared to AAA, not AA. Nevertheless, he will be on the opening day roster, no matter where he signs (hopefully the Cubs, of course).

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

        Like I said die hard gives me smiles everyday with his ideas, fears, and conspiracies. He’s our wild card… you never know where it might go.

        • jp3

          That would be fantastic paying for someone to play in Iowa for 22 million. Regardless of how good he is die hard he’ll be in Chicago… Either as a SP or Clark the cub mascot suit… He’ll maybe he’ll be in the suit the other 4 games during the week

  • Pat

    You don’t need a visa to fly to LA and meet prospective employers. He almost certainly does not have a work visa currently, as at this time he does not have an employer – which is a prerequisite in obtaining a work visa.

    It’s possible he would be delayed beyond the pitchers and catchers reporting date, but I can’t see it being by more than a week or so at most.

  • hawkcub

    Has there ever been a Japanese player delayed to the extent diehard is saying might happen? Pretty sure he has this arranged already.

    • Pat

      Remember that the lack of a posting agreement pushed the process back several weeks. I think they shortened it a bit by eliminating the bid part of the process though. For reference, the deadline on Darvish was a week earlier (Jan 18th). He arrived at camp Feb 22 that year which was on time (some teams were as early as the 18th)

      Estimated times for visa approval can be anywhere from 3 – 12 weeks. I assume Tanaka would be on the shorter end of that, and would probably get there in time, but delays are certainly possible. As mentioned above it wouldn’t likely be more than a week.

      As far as arranging it already, he probably could have gone through the interview phase already, but he would need to have a contract before the official paperwork process can start.

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

        He’s already been approved and will sign a contract, do a presser, go home to Japan, and report on time. This is just another foolish consideration, it not like his birth certificate is in question or he’s need to find residence outside of Japan. I expect it from die hard but for anyone else to give it validity is just a tad pathetic.

        • Pat

          “He’s already been approved”

          That’s a pretty impressive feat, considering he doesn’t yet have an employer over here.

          “will sign a contract, do a presser, go home to Japan, and report on time”

          That’s the most like scenario, but the timeframe is a little tight.

          “This is just another foolish consideration, it not like his birth certificate is in question or he’s need to find residence outside of Japan.”

          The 3 – 12 week timeframe isn’t because people can’t find their birth certificates. I’m not sure what residence has to do with it. You don’t need to have a residence to get a work visa. Most people don’t. You do, however, need an employer.

          “I expect it from die hard but for anyone else to give it validity is just a tad pathetic.”

          This little bit of douchebaggery really wasn’t necessary to you point.

      • wasssssup

        I assume he has petitioned for a work visa already… He would fall under an E1 or priority worker.

        • wasssssup

          Which also means he doesn’t need a job to come here and find one.

          • Pat

            E1 is for traders to develop import/export. Priority worker he would have to fall into the eb-1 category, which he does not. That is besides the fact that eb-1 workers still need an employment offer to start the paperwork.

            • wasssssup

              http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/types/employment.html He is a priority worker. Athletes fall under this visa.

              • Pat

                I think you truncated your link there, as it brings up a 404.

                And all the other priority worker definitions I saw still require you to have an employer. I can’t see why this would be any different.

                Qualifying for a visa type doesn’t mean you get it immediately.

  • Voice of Reason

    You guys still think Tanaka is coming to the cubs?

    Yankees or dodgers.

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

      According to Blackhawks it’s the Yankees :)

  • amskustoms

    a Tanaka signing would make me happy not only because of the potential he has, but also would probably mean we could see a few prospects before the year is over. Also could make the impact of a possible Shark trade less painful if he decides not to sign an extension.

  • Rebuilding

    After being the first to say that Tanaka would definitely be posted and laying out the reasons why – and then having to argue about it for a month. And then being the first to say the Cubs would definitely get him and laying out the reasons why – and then having to argue about it for a month. I’ll be the first to say that Tanaka will be a Top 5 pitcher in baseball – and wait to argue about it for the next 5 months. Tanaka is far more polished and a better pitcher than Darvish. Darvish throws harder than Tanaka so he lights up scouts eyes, but Tanaka has better command and the best splitter on the planet. Darvish made MLB hitters look silly last year and Tanaka is better

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