greg maddux rookie cardThere’s more prospect goodness on the way, as well as a begrudging update on the Tanaka bidding. Until then, enjoy your Bullets …

  • Greg Maddux has elected to enter the Hall of Fame as … a baseball player. The long-time Cub and Brave told MLB that he simply couldn’t choose to don the cap of one team over the other on his Hall of Fame plaque, so he will have no logo at all. His explanation, per “My wife Kathy and I grew up in baseball in Chicago, and then we had just an amazing experience in Atlanta with the Braves. It’s impossible for me to choose one of those teams for my Hall of Fame plaque, as the fans of both clubs in each of those cities were so wonderful. I can’t think of having my Hall of Fame induction without support of both of those fan bases, so, for that reason, the cap on my Hall of Fame plaque will not feature a logo.” As a Cubs fan, I can’t say how touching that is. Obviously Cubs fans have always loved Maddux, even long after he was gone and dominating in Atlanta. Then, when he returned? It was over-the-moon. This is a very cool thing for Maddux to do.
  • … but, man, Braves fans must be pissed. There can be no argument that the thrust of Maddux’s career – his most impressive accomplishments, and his longest stint – came in an Atlanta Braves jersey. Before Maddux’s decision, there was never any doubt or animosity that Maddux would enter the Hall as a Brave. So, if you can separate the Cubs fan from yourself for a moment, is this not the right decision? Players who’ve made significant contributions on multiple teams have always had the right to select no team logo for their plaque (folks remember the Andre Dawson thing, though he ultimately went in as an Expo – the Hall can make strong suggestions). Should the Hall have pushed Maddux harder to be a Brave?
  • Tony La Russa also elected to have no team logo, given his stints with the White Sox, A’s, and Cardinals (though about half of his career came with the latter organization). Baseball’s Best Fans were disappointed.
  • Bryan LaHair’s team in Japan has let him go. Perhaps he’ll try to come back to the States now.
  • I feel like I have to drop a Bullet on the Boycott-the-Rooftops thing that’s blowing up across the Cubs-related-net, but I actually don’t have much of an opinion. Obviously I’m very pro-renovation, and pro-Cubs-revenue (for use in supporting the baseball team’s performance), but I don’t really want to be an advocate on either side of this thing. The truth is, I still don’t feel like we know enough about the contract between the parties, and their actual arguments/positions, to know who is in the right. So how could I push for one side over the other, from a business perspective? Instead, I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve done: report on the story, offer my analysis and opinion, and cross my fingers that an appropriate resolution arrives that helps the Cubs get the renovation underway, and get the signage they need. (And, to be crystal clear, since I know some will think or mention it: no, I do not have an advertising relationship with any of the rooftops, and haven’t for quite some time now.)
  • Speaking of the rooftop buildings, one of them is for sale, if you’d like to make an offer. (I wonder: is this just a coincidence, or is this the start of a few of the rooftops deciding that now is the best time to get a reasonable price for a building that could soon – at least within ten years – lose a great deal of its value? By the way, Tom Ricketts was asked at the Convention why the Cubs don’t just buy up the rooftop buildings, and he indicated that, although it’s been a consideration, it’s not just as simple as writing a check. I’m guessing a number of the owners are not interested in selling at this time.)
  • Spoda17

    I always thought Maddux was a very classy dude… this is just more proof. My best friend is a Braves fan… he is a little annoyed… HA!

  • Lokanna

    Maddux was a class guy when he played the game, and apparently it’s continuing into his retirement. As a Cub fan, I’m flattered by his decision. As a baseball fan (and with his quote above supporting it), I completely understand. If I were a Brave fan, I’d be mildly chuffed, but knowing the man wearing the jersey, I’d still support him and remember the greatness he brought my team.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    My issue with the rooftops (and the city of Chicago) is the way the city used the historic designation to prevent the kind of renovations the trib wanted to make, while allowing the rooftops to intentionly build bleacher to steel the product. The city could have just said NO to the massive bleacher structures and the Cubs would probably be about do e with the renovation by now.

    Then the Cubs sign a mis-guided contract (because, the might as well get something from the theives, right). I guess you could say the Cubs are a ‘little’ respo sible for that.

  • brainiac

    lahair is on the waiver line, somebody alert jed!

  • Greenroom

    I less than 3 Maddux. He is still the man. Go Cubs-

  • arta

    Go Maddog!

  • Norm

    What happened to the players not having a choice?
    Dawson couldn’t choose. Wade Boggs wanted to go in with Tampa Bay on his logo, right?

    • Noah_I

      Maybe when the years you play for two teams are so close to equal, you get to choose? Dawson, for example, played 10 plus seasons for the Expos, and 6 for the Cubs. Maddux was 11 with the Braves and 10 with the Cubs, so it was a lot closer to equal.

      • FFP

        Hey! don’t forget ’93-’94: (dude batted over .300)[img][/img]

  • Required

    Off the subject but, as you probably all know the too 100 prospects came out last night. Dan Vogelbach didn’t make the list. How can the #4 first base prospect for all of baseball not make the cut. Why does Dan Vogs not get any love? Thoughts?

    • Required

      His twitter response. Nothing new, just more motivation.

    • Luke

      First baseman tend not to do as well on the all-baseball prospect lists as other positions do. It isn’t uncommon to see five or six shortstops, for example, and 20 or pitchers, but only one or two first baseman.

      Part that reason has to do with defense. First basemen are generally playing first base because they can’t play anywhere else. It takes a lot of bat to make up for that.

      But mistake that for some sort of insult at Vogelbach. Not listing him in the Top 100 isn’t the same as claiming he’s a bad prospect or anything of that nature.

      • Required

        Thanks Luke. Just feel like the cubs are making him a ginger step child since we got Rizzo. I know he’s a bigger build type guy but, so was George Herman Ruth.

        • Luke

          I’m not sure I see the connection between the MLB Top 100 Prospect list and how the Cubs are treating Vogelbach. The Cubs have absolutely no impact on that list.

          And I’m not sure I follow the argument that the Cubs are at fault in the treatment of Vogelbach generally. They pushed him up to High A in his first full professional season – that’s about as aggressive as we could really expect.

          If he plays well in Daytona to start this season, he’ll finish in Double A and will be set up for a possible major league promotion some time late in 2015. That’s… not a bad thing. He isn’t being rushed, or artificially slowed down, or forced to play out of position, or anything that we can really fault the Cubs for.

        • blublud

          I don’t think the Cubs are making him anything but a very good first base prospect. The Cubs have nothing to do with the rankings. Vogs, I’m sure, is very appreciated by the FO. They groom him to be the best he can, because even if he doesn’t make the bits as a Cub, the better he is, the more trade value he has.

          • Jon

            If he’s raking at AA and AAA it keeps the heat on Rizzo too.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Ultimately, it comes down to what Luke notes: good hitting 1Bmen simply are less valuable as prospects than are equally good hitting anything else. It’s a variant of WAR: most (NL) teams get their highest offensive production from 1B, and a players value is the difference between his performance and league-average for other players at his position.

          That is why it’s unsurprising that 3 or fewer 1B prospects made the Top 100. Roughly speaking, it should be about half position players and half pitchers. If all positions were equal, then you’d get 6 or 7 guys from each position: but as positions are far from equal, having the least valuable position get only 3 (or 2 or 1) guys in the top 100 is not too surprising at all.

    • Norm

      To say he’s getting no love is wrong. He is the #4 1B prospect. There are just 100+ prospects that they’d rather have.
      It’s not an insult in any way.

      If you ask people to come up with their Top 100 MLB players, you’re going to see a ton of players on one list that you won’t see on the next guys list. These are players we have big league information on. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that if we can’t agree on major leaguers there won’t be agreement on minor leaguers still many years away.

    • Noah_I

      There are generally very few first basemen who make Top 100 prospects lists because the extent to which they have to hit to be quality starters at the MLB level is so much higher than pretty much every other position except LF (and you’ll notice you don’t have many OFs who can only play LF on top 100 prospects lists too). Vogelbach is also someone who the most favorable scouting reports say could only be league average defensively at 1B at best, while others still say he has no business playing any defensive position on a regular basis. Also, while he had a good year last year, it wasn’t a blow anyone’s socks off year. He may have the best approach at the plate of anyone in the Cubs’ system, but he’s going to have to hit for a ton of power to become an elite prospect, and he just didn’t do that last year. I think it’s also very rare for 1Bs to make Top 100 prospects lists before showing they can at least hit Double A pitching.

      • Required

        Well if he uses it as motivation, he should have a monster year.

        • Noah_I

          Despite that story coming up in the media over and over again, that’s not how things actually work.

          • hansman

            Nonsense. He’ll use it as motivation for a great year which will cause Rizzo to have a great year because he is feeling the pressure.

            Look at Castro. He is so weak between the ears he caved under the Baez pressure.

            (Sarcasm alert)

        • Luke

          If he has a great year, it will have nothing to do with being left off a top 100 list. His ability to hit consistently and for power and his over all health and durability will determine his success this season, not any additional motivation he gets from ‘only’ being named the fourth best first base prospect.

          Using it as motivation is the correct thing to say, but it is meaningless.

  • Fishin Phil

    La Russa should go in with a Voodoo logo on his cap.

    • brainiac

      la russa should go in with a roid logo on his FACE.

      • Voice of Reason

        The Hall of fame is a joke.

        They need to change things around with the voting process and who votes, etc.

        Its really irrelevant, though, because nobody goes there anymore.

    • EQ76

      Or maybe the letters “DUI” on the cap?

  • Ron Swansons Mustache

    What an amazing gesture by Maddux. He’s one guy who should have spent his entire career with the Cubs. It’s been a rough week and there’s a lot of viewpoints on the site but I think that is something everyone can agree on.

    • brainiac

      we can also agree that he should have received a 100% vote

      • Myles

        Nope. As the voting is currently constituted, I would not have voted for him. Need to rescue to many players from the 5% threshold.

  • GoCubs

    Brett…I agree with you on the roof top issue. It is an issue which involved parties need to resolve.

    As far as the Chicago Cubs, the management needs to work towards providing a worthy product on the field without “using” the roof tops as an excuse.

  • Jason P

    Legally, the Cubs may be wrong and the rooftops may be right, but I don’t see that as the issue at hand. As the consumers, Cubs fans aren’t obligated to give the rooftops their business. The Cubs organization may be legally bounded to giving the rooftops an open view, but fans have a right to go where they want and buy what tickets they want.

    Right now, the rooftops are adversely affecting the Cubs revenue stream, pushing back the renovation and perhaps even the timeline of the rebuild. That directly conflicts the interests of their customers.

    I doubt this boycott ever gains any traction given that most of the fans who sit on the rooftops are the casual fans who don’t care enough to participate, but even a small impact on their revenue streams might be enough to jumpstart negotiations.

    • Nate

      I’m with you Jason. As a Cubs fan, the legality of the situation doesn’t really matter to me. Whether the Cubs are in the legal right or wrong, I want to see them get the renovation underway. On the other hand, I have no loyalty to the rooftops whatsoever. So I completely support the boycott.

      Don’t forget about boycotting the bars at ground level. That’s what could really put a dent in the rooftops’ revenue streams.

  • Cizzle

    Those anti-LaRussa tweets are hilarious.

    • Coop

      Best fans…morans

  • On The Farm

    Maddux needs to bring the mustache back, and while he is honoring the Cubs, he should probably find his way back to the organization in some capacity.

  • itzscott

    >> Obviously I’m very pro-renovation, and pro-Cubs-revenue (for use in supporting the baseball team’s performance), but I don’t really want to be an advocate on either side of this thing. <<

    Are you sure it's not for fear of being the next writer that the rooftop owners file a lawsuit against?

    • Brett

      Eh. I don’t think endorsing a boycott is actionable.

      • itzscott

        Better to be safe and learn from the actions of others when faced with a group of irrational and desperate people.

        I’d stay on the sidelines on this one and wait for them to either go to war with their primary adversary or smoke the peace pipe.

  • ChrisFChi

    “that now is the best team to get a reasonable price for a building” might wanna fix that Brett

  • Senor Cub

    I never felt that Mad-Dog cared for Chicago all that much given his success in Atlanta. I am again proven wrong by him. He is in a class all by himself.

  • Chef Brian

    Maddux is an amazing player and a class act. As far as the renovations go, I hope fans decide to patronize the ball park and steer clear of the rooftops. The team needs to get this construction going and start opening up more revenue streams. We need the plan to start shifting into second or third gear.

  • TWC

    “… (folks remember the Andre Dawson thing, though he ultimately went in as an Expo – the Hall can make strong suggestions).”

    I think you’re downplaying what happened with Dawson. Last night I posted a couple of links to interviews in which Dawson was clear that his preference was to enter the Hall with a Cubs cap — in fact, he went so far as to entertain the suggestion that he might wear a Cubs cap during his induction ceremony. If anything, the Hall overruled Dawson’s preference, and it’s speculated that the reason is because they wanted to give the then-defunct Expos team a second (and final) cap.

    • Patrick W.

      Tim Raines will go in as an Expo, I suspect.

      • TWC

        I suspect that he might fall short of the Hall.

        But if not, you’re correct, he’ll certainly go in as an Expo.

        • Patrick W.

          If only I had a vote!

  • OlderStyle

    You da man, Greg. Love that David Niven ‘stache on your rookie card. Why did that look go away?

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I suggest LaGenius go into the Hall with a picture of Sgt. Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes on his cap. “He knew nothing!”
    Big push down here by many of the poor jilted self appointed “best fans in baseball” to take Tony’s picture off the outfield wall. Look at the difference with Maddux and Pujols. Greg leaves for more money, still treated with great respect by Cub fans for his time with the team. Cardinals fans treat Pujols like some pariah. And now LaRussa.

  • Diehardthefirst

    If Maddux chooses to wear a noggin topper maybe it will be 🎩to show he’s an aristocrat in the baseball world