Theo Epstein and Rick Renteria Also Say the Cubs Can Make the Playoffs

rick renteria cubs speakYesterday, Chicago Cubs owner and chairman Tom Ricketts addressed the media on a variety of topics, including some really salient stuff on the Wrigley Field renovation and rooftop discussions.

But the focus of his comments was the inevitable question, and the inevitable answer, about the Cubs’ chances of making the playoffs in 2014. To much ridicule, Ricketts said that he believes the 2014 Cubs can make the playoffs. Every few years it seems like a team surprises, he said, and this team has a solid, young nucleus that could be very good.

To be quite clear, no reasonable evaluator of big league rosters can look at this iteration of the Cubs and say that they are a playoff team. Even saying that the team has a chance to make the playoffs feels a bit disingenuous, although it is technically true (probably somewhere in the 1 to 2% range, depending on your projection system of choice). But my take on Ricketts’ comments was that he was in a no-win position: if he says he believes the Cubs can make the playoffs, he’s dubbed a fool or a liar. If he says anything else, today’s headlines would be all about how even the owner doesn’t believe in the Cubs – why should the fans come out to the park at all?

Further, shouldn’t we expect everyone associated with the Cubs to be expressing positivity right now, in Spring Training? Isn’t that, like, what you do? Isn’t that the message they want to send to the players? Hell, don’t fans want the players to believe they can win?

I just don’t see the issue here. An owner of a team was asked if his team can win, and he said yes. Expecting him to say otherwise makes no sense to me, and maybe that’s just a personal idiosyncrasy that I can’t get past.

But, for the record, Ricketts wasn’t alone.

In his write-up on Ricketts’ comments and a variety of other things yesterday (including Theo Epstein’s plans to stay with the Cubs long-term), Paul Sullivan took Ricketts’ comments to Epstein and asked him on whether he thought the Cubs could make the playoffs this year. At first, Epstein said all the right things that critics of Ricketts say he should have said – the goal is the playoffs, you want to get off to a good start, and you never know what might happen, etc. But, Sullivan pushed Epstein on the specific question. Can the Cubs make the playoffs this year? Epstein said yes. When pinned down to the specific question, what else was he supposed to say?

Similarly, Carrie Muskat asked manager Rick Renteria if he agreed with Ricketts that the Cubs could make the playoffs. Not only did RR agree, he took it a step further: “I think we expect it.” For so many reasons, that’s the attitude I want the manager to have.

The point here, of course, is not that the 2014 Chicago Cubs are likely to make the playoffs – or even 3% likely – but instead is that this is just what teams say in the Spring. And it’s probably what they – the owner, the president, the manager, the players – should say.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

262 responses to “Theo Epstein and Rick Renteria Also Say the Cubs Can Make the Playoffs”

  1. Kyle

    Sure, they can. It’s very unlikely, but anything’s possible.

    I’d be happy with a flirtation with .500. There’s no reason a bad team can’t start the year like 20-15 or something, just enough to get some excitement going and sell some tickets.

  2. Fishin Phil

    Just remember, they are currently undefeated and tied for first!

    1. Cizzle

      They haven’t lost a game in almost 5 months!

  3. aaronb

    I’m shocked that a President and a Manager would go on record backing their boss.

    1. hansman


      1. Fishin Phil

        You forgot the exclamation marks.

        1. hansman

          I forget nothing…

          1. arta


  4. When The Musics Over

    “Can the Cubs make the playoffs this year? Epstein said yes. When pinned down to the specific question, what else was he supposed to say?”

    I know this topic was covered ad nauseum yesterday, but not every question has to be answered yes when almost 100% of your audience that will take in those answers are adults, especially ones that are of the very involved fan variety.

    1. Norm

      But it’s true. Every team in baseball has a chance to make the playoffs this year.
      Maybe 1 in a million, but a chance nonetheless.
      If they want to ask stupid questions, give him the stupid answer.

      1. When The Musics Over

        I don’t like this argument. It assumes people are stupid by using semi-extreme statistical improbabilities as an out in providing a disingenuous answer.

      2. When The Musics Over

        And it wasn’t a stupid question. It may be a loaded question that he figured he was going to get a run around type answer, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t answer it. Not every question can be of the lob variety. Sometimes you have to ask questions that carry tough questions.

        1. Norm

          It is a dumb question because it leaves open the possibility of that dumb answer
          How about “What would need to happen for the Cubs to make the playoffs?”

          Much better than “Can you make it?”

  5. CubFanBob

    When the Cubs nab the last 2014 wild card spot in the NL I expect all these haters across the media, blogosphere, twitteruverse, and sports radio to line up to kiss Tom Ricketts’, Theo Epstein’s, Rick Renteria’s and my ass cheeks right downtown and PRINT IT !!!!

    1. JB88

      If kissing your behind is the stakes if the Cubs make the playoffs, what, out of curiosity, will you, Ricketts, Theo, and Renteria be doing if the Cubs don’t make the playoffs?

      1. aaronb


  6. miggy80

    That had to be the craziest hailstorm I have ever scene!

    1. hansman

      Went from pouring rain to tremendous sized sleet in 3 seconds. THUNDERSLEET!!!

      1. miggy80

        I think it’s a sign that the Cubs will make the playoffs. Remember this day the day Hell froze over!!!

        1. JB88

          I just had a double sneeze and I NEVER double sneeze. Clearly it is a sign that the Cubs are going all the way this year …

          1. DarthHater

            Burn the witch!

          2. Funn Dave

            I just bought a soda. If that’s not a sign from above, then I don’t know what is.

  7. Edwin

    Current Magic Number of 163.

  8. Jon

    So, to reiterate, the 2014 Cubs can contend?

    “Yes,” he repeated. “That’s why we’re here

    That can be open to interpretation. I believe the 2014 Cubs can contend, for the #1 overall pick.

    1. Funn Dave


    2. D-Rock

      Good call, Jon. See, they are being honest!

  9. Edwin

    Wow, Theo looks really old in that picture. Being President of the Cubs must have really aged him.

  10. C. Steadman

    those people on this board criticizing Ricketts’ comment about making the playoffs would be the same people criticizing him for saying the Cubs have no chance..

  11. hansman

    “why should the fans come out to the park at all?”

    Because then we would know that we have an honest owner who says the blunt, unadulterated truth!

    1. Isaac

      Actually, the pure, unadulterated truth is yes, we could make the playoffs.

      1. aaronb

        If we played 2014 in the PCL.

  12. baldtaxguy

    Anything is possible (except of course Tanaka coming to the Cubs). Rickett’s says goofy things (its like your neighbors watching your Showtime subscription through your window), and his comment about not understanding profit-taking was just…goofy. I kind of expect a bit better level of wordsmanship out of Ricketts as the owner, and would appreciate a little less coded wordsmanship from Theo, but this is so much ta-doo about nothing.

  13. Cheese Chad

    Man, now Simmons has extended with the Braves. SIGN ALL THE “OUR OWN” PLAYERS!

    1. D.G.Lang

      Most teams now-a-days are signing their own players early to keep them, after all the Cubs DID extend both Castro and Rizzo early to protect their long term investment and ensure that they remain Cubs for as long as possible.

  14. TTH

    Of course there is a chance. It’s possible that the Cardinals, Reds, and Pirates planes crash into each other with the debris landing on a field where the Cards AAA team is playing. That would put the Cubs on the fringes of contention.

  15. TommyK

    The follow-up question should have been “Then why didn’t you do anything to make it likely this team could score more runs?” If he really believed the Cubs had a chance to win this year, Theo should have tried to improve the 2014 lineup. The only explanation for this off season that doesn’t make Theo worthy of firing is that this team never had a chance no matter what he did.

    And I’ll ask the question anyway. Why should fans bother coming to the park to see the 2014 Cubs?

    1. Jon

      Exactly, it’s like the alcoholic that claims he “sober” yet consistently falls off the wagon. You could take their positive outlook more seriously, genuine, if their actions didn’t reflect the opposite.

      Indeed that would have been a great follow up question, too bad Sullivan is worthless.

    2. CubSTH60625

      I’m going because I have season tickets.

      Now I’m going to piss you off.

      And I have an occasional beer with Paul Sullivan. He’s a neighbor. He’s a pretty nice guy. Gracious and understands that he may not be everyone’s favorite, but he knows that he’s not chasing around Raum and reporting on real news.

      I just feel its incredibly tactless to call someone “worthless” when, in my dealings with the guy, he’s filled with much worth.

      1. Jon

        You are right, I didn’t have to call him worthless. His work (see said article) speaks for itself. Is that even journalism?

        1. CubFanBob

          Hey Jon

          If you are going to call Sully worthless how bout you get a job in the media so we read and/or hear how great your journalism work is.

          1. Jon

            You been ranting/bitching about someone in the Cubs media on here of late, I forget who, so this seems a bit odd.

            1. Jon

              I mean seriously, read that article, he trolled Theo like four or five times like a five year asking when he can get his piece of candy.

              “Can the Cubs contend?
              “Can the Cubs contend?
              “Can the Cubs contend?
              “Can the Cubs contend?

              Of course they can’t you gnome looking idiot!

              1. CubFanBob

                Hey Sully and Wittenmyer always seem to be bent on creating tension or drama when it comes to the north side team so I am not trying to defend them. I just really want to read or hear some of your work online. Jon’s blog on baseball would be a great read in my opinion.

                1. Jon

                  I hear BN needs a new Bears writer.

    3. JB88

      What moves do you think the Cubs should have made? Putting aside signing Tanaka (which they tried to do), which of the FA batters out there fit the Cubs philosophy and would make the team significantly better?

      I’ll hang up and listen to your answer.

      1. aaronb

        Nelson Cruz, David Freese, Ubaldo Jimenez/Matt Garza would have been nice. Plus you never know who was available to us in the trade market.

        1. JB88

          Cruz and Jimenez are tough options for me given the draft pick comp they’d have taken. If neither were tied to that, I’d have been interested, warts and all. Not sure how Freese was a viable option since I don’t really see the Cards trading him to the Cubs. Garza wasn’t happening for any number of reasons.

          Do Cruz and Jimenez make the Cubs playoff contenders? Not sure of that.

          The area I was surprised to see the Cubs not more active on was the trade front. I really thought we’d start to see them moving some parts for some ML pieces.

          1. bbmoney

            I do wish the Cubs had signed Jimenez if he would have taken 4/50 from the Cubs instead of from the Orioles (unlikely…although I thought I read they deferred a bunch of money…maybe if we hadn’t required that). He’s the kind of high beta guy that makes sense for a team like the Cubs in my opinion.

      2. CubFan Paul

        “What moves do you think the Cubs should have made?”

        That’s a tired & moot question when Theo&Co didn’t acquire impact pieces for 2014 in ’12 or ’13 (…the original “plan”)

      3. Patrick W.

        Can we stop asking this question? I mean, it’s sort of silly. Nobody here gets paid to make these moves, nobody here has to outline exactly what they would have done to make the team better in order to claim that nothing was done to make the team better.

        The argument “this team did nothing to be better in 2014″ is not incongruous with the point “I don’t need to tell you what I would have done, it’s not my job.”

        Why ask somebody who doesn’t believe in the Cubs philosophy to tell you what FA batters out there fit the Cubs philosophy?

        1. Jon

          “Don’t ask people do more work then you are willing to do” as Kyle put a while back.

          I gave up on this exercise a while back.

        2. JB88

          I’m willing to stop asking the question as soon as the naysayers stop talking in hyperbole.

          1. Edwin

            It’s kind of a loaded question though.

            1. JB88

              Of course it is a loaded question. It was meant to be a loaded question. Clients pay lots of money everyday for me to ask loaded questions.

              But the point remains, if you are going to be snarky/dickish about the manner in which the Cubs are constructing this team, you need to offer something more than hyperbole or vagueries to earn my respect and stop me from asking you to put your money where your mouth is (so to speak).

      4. TommyK

        If Theo thought the Cubs had a chance to make the playoffs this year, he should have signed an outfielder. Granderson, Choo, or someone else who is actually a starting caliber outfielder. I look at our outfield and get terrified we will loss 110 games.

  16. Bilbo161

    There is always a part of me that is hopeful of a surprise season. This time of year I’m always thinking about who could surprise or what young kid might just take a job with his performance in ST and the early parts of the season. There is too much to look forward to to be negative before the season even starts. I plan to enjoy my optimism as long as possible.

  17. Jason Powers

    “But my take on Ricketts’ comments was that he was in a no-win position: if he says he believes the Cubs can make the playoffs, he’s dubbed a fool or a liar. If he says anything else, today’s headlines would be all about how even the owner doesn’t believe in the Cubs – why should the fans come out to the park at all?”

    Well, first, don’t put yourself in a no-win position. You are a businessman, do you seek out no-win –or do you create a FLEXIBLE plan or options? (Knowing timing is a factor, do you wait, and wait?)

    But how does/did one get in a no-win position? Waiting on ONE guy: Tanaka. By doing next to nothing before that in the off-season to substantially put talent on the MLB roster, you wind up in this no-win position.

    There were ways to do combat this, and effect next to nothing on the long-term plan:
    1) Chris Young – 1 yr/7.35M — Cameron liked
    2) David Murphy – 2-yr/11.5M (w 7M club option) —Cameron liked
    3) Scott Kazmir – 2/22M —Cameron’s top ten
    4) Erik Bedard – 1.56M if he makes team and makes some starts (Tampa structure – Bedard may too be a pen guy (read GM Andrew Friedman’s comments)
    5) Jose Veras —BP help
    6) A Catcher – George K. as it turns out

    Add it all up and it is less than Edwin Jackson’s total contract.

    IT IS NOT guaranteeing the Cubs make the playoffs. But it does provide more credence to the probability and possibility of getting there. Then Tom TERRIFIC Ricketts could have said, well, “we added several players that we think can provide good performance, veteran leadership and experience in what it takes to win.”

    In other words, different line of B.S. than what is currently coming out of his mouth. At least, it is change of pace. If they fail, or the team does, you still can FLIP all the ASSETS for prospects. 2013 redux. But, if we catch lightening in a bottle, like Doc Peter Wimsey stated about the 1984 team’s luck, yesterday, well….shiver me timbers!

    We get playoffs, still have 4-6 awesome prospects coming, and who knows. That’s a plan—I can tolerate. Epic fail 2013-4 off-season.

    1. CubFan Paul

      Nice work.

    2. Patrick W.

      Basically this is saying the Cubs should have signed two outfielders.

      1. CubFan Paul

        I thought they would of at least signed one

        1. C. Steadman

          i agree our outfield could’ve used another bat but Lake/Ruggiano/Schierholtz will be an interesting crew to watch, with Sweeney and ____ off the bench

          1. TTH

            There is nothing interesting about the steaming pile that is the Cubs collection of 4th/5th outfielders.

            1. C. Steadman

              except that lake could turn into a good OF, he has the tools and unless you forgot he was very exciting to watch in 2013, and Ruggiano has a good combo of speed and power that could produce a 20/20 year and and Schierholtz can improve on 2013 in his second season as an everyday player

            2. YourResidentJag

              There’s not much else they can do. As Steadman infers, they would have to do some platoons until guys like Almora or Bryant can come and take over the positions.

      2. Norm

        And those two OF’ers combined for less than 1 fWAR last year.
        If only they did that…the fans would REALLY start to believe.

    3. Jon

      This is exactly what I’m talking about. Jason puts together a solid effort on what could have been reasonable alternative and immediately , two posts shitting on it.

      Even if you don’t agree, it’s pretty condescending.

      1. hansman

        Chill out dude. Just because folks point out the flaws in a plan, doesn’t mean they are condescending.


        1. jh03

          1000 points to whoever took that picture.

      2. Jon

        Also Jason didn’t say his scenario puts the Cubs in the playoffs, just makes them “less terrible” without hurting long term objectives.

        1. Patrick W.

          What does this: “We get playoffs” mean?

          1. Jason Powers

            It means, sir Patrick, that if they get lucky – like the aforementioned 1984 Cubs did, as Doc yesterday calculated, or didn’t you get the memo/text? – WE (the Cubs team and the lucky fans who watch the games and pay their salaries thru ticket sales et. al.) are in the playoffs. IF they are LIKE the Chicago Cubs of 1984 who went to the playoffs.

            1. Patrick W.

              Wow man, I wasn’t attacking you. I don’t even disagree with you.

              I was just asking the question, what does that mean to Jon, who wrote:
              “Also Jason didn’t say his scenario puts the Cubs in the playoffs”

              Looks like Jon is the one who didn’t understand what you wrote, not me.

              I’m not sure what I said that elicited this response, but it hurts man. It hurts.

              1. DarthHater

                Sorry, PW, but you left yourself wide open:

                1. DarthHater


                  1. Patrick W.

                    “This picture is hidden”

                    I got an idea of what’s in it, but my change worked man, it worked!!!

                    1. DarthHater

                      Crap, now I have to fill out the damn form!

                    2. Patrick W.

                      And I’m still hurt.

                    3. DarthHater


              2. Jason Powers

                You made a flame/comment or two about me in regards to the Jeff Passan article and my diatribe, which was over the top – but that was the intent. To which I have rethought my position.

                Nevertheless, it hurt and I didn’t think you had changed much since that.

                You mentioned “defaming me” and disrespect for women. That HURT.

                I apologize for the tenor of this comment. Be clearer to whom you are directing it. I stated “We make the playoffs’ in my post. Easy to take such as a “there is no we” in making the playoffs.

                1. JB88

                  In Patrick W.’s defense, his comment follows directly after Jon’s comment.

                  In your defense, trying to track the little lined boxes to determine to whose post someone is responding can be a bit maddening.

                2. Patrick W.

                  Yeah, I thought I apologized for being so harsh. If I didn’t well then, let me apologize now.

                  That said, I haven’t changed at all.

                  1. DarthHater

                    In Patrick’s defense, Patrick is just maddening. ;-)

                    1. Patrick W.

                      I’m all over the place, man.

                    2. Jason Powers

                      We are cool….
                      I couldn’t make heads of it.

                      (I think too we get other convos emotions/3 or 4 other dudes engaging you. It’s like a street fight…)

                    3. Eternal Pessimist

                      Group hug???

        2. Norm

          And this is covered and argued about every single day….the front office disagrees with your statement about ‘hurting long term objectives’.
          You believe what you want, but getting a worse pick and less draft money DOES hurt the chances of getting an impact player in the draft.

          And you want to do that for Chris Young, David Murphy (combined for less than 1fWAR last year), and Scott Kazmir. The front office doesn’t. Thank God.

          1. Jason Powers

            So the other front offices that signed them were probably just throwing their money away too?

            As Oakland, Cleveland, and the Mets actually rare reported to have far less money to spend than the Cubs, if Forbe’s, Bloomberg, et. al. are reporting this accurately.

            So why would they hamstring themselves with 20M contracts? Is it because this is all that was available? They can’t evaluate talent better than Chicago’s FO? They just felt the need to spend?

            1. C. Steadman

              these guys were signed by three different teams though as complements to already competitive rosters(maybe not the Mets), those players are evaluated differently on those rosters. if the Cubs were signing them they wouldnt be counted on as compliments but rather to contribute greatly if the Cubs would get to the playoffs…their contracts would stick out more on a less competitive team….but I liked your assessment Jason and was hoping the cubs would sign Kazmir

            2. Norm

              Already answered this above. Those teams are winners, except the Mets. Wins to them are more valuable than wins to the Cubs. I know you know this.
              The problem is that you believe that it would have been “right” to do it your way. I don’t mean specifically those players, but to add a few guys that makes it look like they’re trying. There is no “right” or “wrong”. Just two different paths. The Mets took your path, the Cubs took the path you don’t like.

          2. Orval Overall

            Well which is it? Either these guys would not add many wins (your comment about combined fWAR < 1), in which case they don't harm the rebuild, or they would add wins. So which one is it?

            It's definitely true that a lower pick can make it harder to get impact talent … But at the same time, a 95 loss team has a harder time signing players in free agency and convincing other players (like Shark) to sign extensions to stay. At some point it becomes a vicious cycle.

      3. Patrick W.

        Seriously, this is the least self aware comment we’ll likely see.

        I just don’t know what it must feel like to be able to type that and hit the submit button.

    4. JB88

      That doesn’t look like a playoff team on paper to me.

      But I certainly appreciate you taking the time to actually pose a solution rather than talk in vagueries. Hats off to you.

      1. When The Musics Over

        That was a big post by Jason and likely took a lot of time to put together. It’s nice you appreciate when so many others don’t; however, I hope you and other realize that whe people auto-ask for this type of response, it’s a very tall order.

        1. JB88

          It sure is (i.e., “it’s a very tall order”). But it is the least that someone can do if they are going to take a hyperbolic shit on Ricketts and the FO.

          1. When The Musics Over

            I’m beginning to think the word hyperbole, or a similar derivation of it, is overused here on this website.

        2. Jason Powers

          I appreciate the response from you and others.

  18. itzscott

    Hey, it’d be interesting to see if the Astros, Marlins and every other team’s manager, GM and Owner are saying the same thing!

    My bet is that they are.

    1. YourResidentJag

      They most certainly are. AA, the GM of the Blue Jays, yesterday rationalized why the team didn’t go after FA SP because they team was unlucky last year and loaded with injuries. So, they’re due for some luck and could have a solid chance to compete this year. Let’s just say I feel for Jays fans more because their GM traded a lot of prospects for a last place finish. At least the Cubs haven’t done this.

  19. Sacko

    I did an off hand study on games in which we lost the lead in the 7th 8th and 9th inning and came up with turning those into a 50% difference we would have been close to .500.
    The BP is much better this year and maybe we could get at least a 30% turnaround in those innings.

    1. Danny Ballgame

      I agree on the bullpen issues damning us before the allstar break. That combined with the fact that we cannot be worse offensively than last year makes me believe that we could be a .500 club until a deadline sell-off.

      1. another JP

        That’s about enough positive thinking out of you Sacko & DannyBG… we’re all supposed to be miserable frickin’ bashers like Jon, When The Music’s Over, aaronb, et. al.

        1. MattM

          This is the usual post good job…

      2. Brocktoon

        The offense certainly can be worse than last year. I expect declines from the outfield, 3b, and catcher. If they play service time games with Bryant and Baez is bet the offense pits up worse numbers. Even with both of them for a couple months improvement is far from a lock.

        1. BT

          Those aren’t games. It’s the most logical thing to do. It’s done by literally every team in the major leagues, despite the fact that you can find occasional outliers.

          1. Brocktoon

            We just had this argument and most seemed to come down on the side that they had no issue with calling up a guy July-august if he’s ready.

  20. waffle

    if we could just get off to a decent start for once…man would that help

    1. Brocktoon

      We’ve been crushed by negative variance to start the year for what seems like forever.

  21. woody

    Sure the Cubs are going to make the playoffs this year. And i’m going to be dating Jennifer Love Hewitt. NOT!

  22. DrReiCow

    I am happy with what RR, Rickets, and Theo have said. This is the exact attitude I want to see from them – you play to win. Period. That is the point. It may not be to win one specific game, but in general it is to win. The roster, as constructed, likely isn’t winning much, but you still have to go full-bore. The organization needs to be on board with trying their best to win with what we have.


  23. Forlines

    “I just don’t see the issue here. An owner of a team was asked if his team can win, and he said yes. Expecting him to say otherwise makes no sense to me…”

    This, X the highest possible # there is. I don’t understand people taking issue with it. Sure, i’m not pleased we didn’t spend vast amounts of $ to back up this statement, but in no way are you supposed to say anything different, at least in my opinion.

  24. Spoda17

    I refuse to respond to Jon, as I refuse to give him any credibility for his thoughtless comments; so I will address this in this way…

    Those of you who think Ricketts should be “honest” and say the Cubs have no chance have never done anything athletic. I would never want [you] on any team, even one at work. If you’re an athlete, coach, manager, GM, or owner, and you don’t think you can win every game, yes EVERY GAME, you’re in the wrong business. No matter what your talent, if you think you suck and are going to lose… you would never win ever. Why do anything if you think it’s not going to be successful…

    1. Jon

      Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!!!!!!!!!!!!!………..

    2. ArrietasUncle

      You had me at “I refuse to respond to Jon”. Well said.

    3. aaronb

      In fairness, I’m certain Tom Ricketts hasn’t done anything athletic either.

      1. Spoda17

        He competes everyday in the market, and has become very rich because of his competitiveness. You don’t make billions of dollars being a follower.

        1. Jon

          *he was born a billionaire.

        2. aaronb

          Tom Ricketts got rich by being born into his family. He nor any of the Ricketts kids have made billions of dollars.

          1. CubFan Paul


            1. Jon

              He’s definitely the smartest one of the family. I’m trying to figure out what Todd does besides run a bike shop and that anti-Obama group.

              1. Jon

                Which also begs the question, when trying to navigate a multi-million dollar renovation project, one that involves cooperation and help from a city government, that has always leaned very democratic, is it the best idea to align yourself with a pretty radical PAC like that?

                1. TWC

                  “Which also begs the question…”

                  No, it doesn’t. That situation may raise the question in your mind, but it doesn’t “beg the question”.

                  1. Jon

                    tomato to mah toe

          2. Spoda17

            You guys need to read more… he has a life outside of the Cubs. I know that’s a shock, and he actually has proven success outside of his family… but keep complaining, that’s what you’re good at.

            1. Patrick W.

              Yeah but there’s no denying he was born on third base. That doesn’t diminish his talents, it’s just saying he had a head start. I don’t think anybody is saying his being born rich proves he’s stupid, I think they are saying it is a data point to consider if you’re putting all of your trust in his talents in the “he’s self made” basket.

              1. Edwin

                True. The number 1 way to become wealthy is to be born into a wealthy family.

                1. hansman

                  Unless you are Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, John Rockefeller, Andrew Carneige, Joe Ricketts, Tom Ricketts, Mark Cuban, Sam Walton, Mark Zukerberg, Steve Jobs, John Paul Dejoria, quite a few members of Congress, our current President, a large swath of professional athletes (many of whom come from 3rd world countries), and a shit-ton more folks who came from outside the weathy class.

                  Being born into wealth or being born into poverty doesn’t mean shit. It’s all about what you do with your situation.

                  1. Patrick W.

                    That’s just nutty.

                    1. hansman

                      Just look at the Ricketts family. Tom runs the Cubs while Todd runs a bike shop.

                      It’s what makes America (and doubly so, the internet) so great. Get a good idea/take advantage of a talent, work your ass off so that if luck comes your way you can take advantage of it and you might just become wealthy beyond your wildest imagination.

                      Inherited wealth may actually be a disadvantage in life as, most of the time, the wealth that was created dries up by the thrid generation of that wealth.

                    2. Patrick W.

                      We’re going to have to disagree here.

                      It is absolutely “possible” to move on up. It just isn’t probable.

                      Roughly 62% of Americans born and raised into the top 20% of incomes stay in the top 20-40%.

                      65% born in the bottom 20% stay in the bottom 20-40%.

                    3. Brocktoon

                      Tom runs the cubs with papa joes money/trust fund

                    4. hansman

                      “Tom runs the cubs with papa joes money/trust fund”

                      Tom’s inclusion was a last second addition because he made the wealth himself, but he doesn’t fit the list. In a do-over, I wouldn’t include him.

                    5. Brocktoon

                      Holy shit, “inherited wealth may actually be a disadvantage”


                    6. aaronb

                      But he didn’t make the wealth himself. His Dad is the guy who has wealth.

                    7. Jon

                      Inherited wealth may actually be a disadvantage in life

                      Quote of the year

                    8. hansman

                      “Holy shit, “inherited wealth may actually be a disadvantage”


                      Then why does inhereted wealth typically dry up before that wealth can be passed on again?

                      “But he didn’t make the wealth himself. His Dad is the guy who has wealth.”

                      He made his own wealth as well, through InCapital.

                    9. hansman

                      “Inherited wealth may actually be a disadvantage in life

                      Quote of the year”

                      In terms of actually creating more wealth? Previously wealthy families seem to bear this idea out pretty well.

                    10. Patrick W.

                      “Then why does inhereted wealth typically dry up before that wealth can be passed on again?”

                      I’m skeptical of this notion. I’d like to see some evidence of that.

                    11. mjhurdle

                      I agree that inherited wealth can be a disadvantage.
                      Obviously this doesn’t refer to Bill Gate’s kids, that will inherit so much that they couldn’t possibly go broke if they tried.
                      But inheriting enough wealth to discourage fostering good habits and a productive education in your formative years can be a disadvantage if the amount of wealth, if managed improperly, is not enough to live a lifetime on.

                    12. hansman

                      “I’m skeptical of this notion. I’d like to see some evidence of that.”

                      I’ll have to see if I can find the actual study. I guess I have seen it reported so many times between business textbooks, the WSJ and other financial news outlets that it’s become like the concept of space being really cold. I haven’t seen a picture of the thermometer in space but I know it’s cold.

                      “Bill Gate’s kids”
                      From what I have read, they aren’t getting a dime of his money. But the rest of your points are excellent, it isn’t about having or not having wealth, it’s about good parents and what the individual does.

                    13. aaronb

                      I don’t think we know exactly what Tom did or did not do with InCapital.

                      He co-founded it supposedly. However it was an offshoot of his Dads company. Somebody else has run the day to day of it. And his Dad and Brother are sitting on the board of the company.

                      It just doesn’t scream “Self made man” to me. But I also can’t claim to be an expert.

                    14. Brocktoon

                      Yeah how unfortunate that their inherited wealth doesn’t last their entire lives. That’s much worse than starting out with nothing in terms of wealth or connections

                    15. Brocktoon

                      I guess BOOTSTRAPS! only works for poor people

                  2. aaronb

                    So….Tom Ricketts wasn’t born into wealth?

                    1. hansman

                      Tom’s inclusion was a last second addition because he made the wealth himself, but he doesn’t fit the list. In a do-over, I wouldn’t include him.

              2. Spoda17

                Patrick, I never said he was poor and self made. I said he was competitive and his business success (he has documented success that is not tied to his family wealth) is proof of that. Pretty much that simple.

                1. Patrick W.

                  Fair enough.

    4. mjhurdle

      I heard that Boston College’s coach suspended one player from the team right before the game last night because that player said “Team, I think we have a shot to beat Syracuse tonight”.

      The coach knew that there was no way his team (at 6-19 and the 189th worst team in the nation) had a shot to beat the #1, undefeated team in nation at that #1 team’s home court where Boston College hadn’t won in 7 years.

      I praise that coach for requiring honesty from his players. No way can you have players or coaches on your team believing that you can win, when obviously you can’t.

      Anyone catch how much Syracuse won by? i missed the ending…

      1. FullCountTommy

        That coach should be instantly fired if that is true

    5. TTH

      “If you’re an athlete, coach, manager, GM, or owner, and you don’t think you can win every game, yes EVERY GAME, you’re in the wrong business”

      Kind of a strange argument since the Cubs front office has built teams to lose.

      1. Spoda17

        If they built the team to lose, Rizzo and Castro would have been traded. They built with what they had.

        Again, most of you people must not have reading comprehension. My post was about “If you’re an athlete, coach, manager, GM, or owner, and you don’t think you can win every game, yes EVERY GAME, you’re in the wrong business;” It’s about believing they CAN win… If they built the team to lose, they would have not signed anyone…

        1. Brocktoon

          They built the team to lose with the idea that it would help them win in the future. Do you think theo was as confident in the teams chances in September ’12 with Germano on the mound, joe Mather at 3rd and Brett Jackson in cf as he was earlier in the year with Dempster on the mound and people who weren’t awful at baseball in those positions?

    6. Brocktoon

      I think theo and even ricketts are smart enough to not think they can win every game or even a majority of them. I have no problem with what they said, it’s spring training puffery but your contention is silly

  25. Sacko

    Olt singing Johnny Nash…I can see clearly now..1st day of live BP.

  26. smackafilieyo

    Maybe he meant the minor leagues?! Haha….AAA AND AA are stacked. (That’s a lot of “A’s” in that sentence.

  27. arta

    as a pro u have too believe u can win. doesn’t matter what we think.

  28. jp3

    In all fairness it’s easy for RR to have that kind of attitude when he hasn’t lost a game yet much more had 2 horrific seasons in which he had pretty much nothing in the way of ammo. I think this has to be the last throw away season, anymore than that and the whole FO is going to have to answer some serious long term questions. This plan looks more and more like field a crappy team and hope to pick high and get a mike trout type crossing your fingers hoping he can turn the franchise around. What pitchers are set for free agency next offseason? 2 have since signed extensions already if I remember the list correctly.

  29. Akabari

    I feel like the people ragging on Ricket’s comments about optimism are the same people who would be the FIRST in line to jump down Starlin’s throat saying he isn’t trying hard or is lazy when he starts the season off cold.
    You can’t have it both ways, people.
    And don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of issues with how this offseason went. You can be critical and rational at the same time.

    1. jp3

      I don’t care if starlin hustles or not if he has a decent slash line, the only problem is he couldn’t hit this year either. His errors were down so there’s that I guess.

      1. Akabari

        Well yeah, I mean. Not a single person was satisfied with his year last year. But if you’re going to mark it down to “not trying” or “not having a good enough team around him so he doesn’t try since they know they’re going to lost anyway” then it seems silly to ALSO be mad when the team is speaking optimistically across the board.
        I’ve been on a LOT of crappy sports teams growing up (we won 3 games in 2 years of football) and its really easy to feel defeated when no one is even TRYING to pep you up.


  30. woody

    In regards to the discussion about the objectivity of Brett’s analysis and divide between Kool-Aid drinkers V.S. critics of the plan I have these thoughts. First and foremost this is a Chicago Cubs blog and Brett devotes a lot of time and effort to make this the best Cubs community there is. Hands down no debate. Since this is Brett’s livelyhood it is not in his interest to trash ownership or FO, considering that in this business it is no easy task to build a reputation as a writer and to cultivate contacts and sources close to or inside the organization. Therefore to say that Ricketts or Theo are talking out their asses would go over like a fart in church. I think Brett has been very up front in his coverage and hasn’t backed off from giving criticism where it is due. Give the man a break, he’s the hardest working guy in this business. There is not a day that goes by without three or four pieces to invoke thought and discussion. I visit all the sites daily and it is not even close. I enjoy the posts by blackhawks 1963 and darth hater. But there are some here that don’t have any wit or humor or anything positive to say. You can go through post after post, day after day and read the same shit. There is way to be critical and debate all things in cubs nation, but some of this nitpicking and the resulting pissing matches are depressing. So as far as the state of the state and job Ricketts and Theo are doing I can say this. Yes there have been mistakes made, especially from the business side of things. But I think buying an MLB ball club is kind of like being president. You learn most of it on the job. This rooftops situation would try the grit and patience of just about anyone that would be sitting in Rickett’s place. Being a sceptic is what keeps the debate balanced, but from there it is a slippery slope to being nothing more that a troll sitting in his mama’s basement trying to stir controversy with every response.

    1. brainiac

      i think everything said here is pretty fair. but i also think that these comments take the form of tragi-comedy at best. or they’re just making fun of the fans.

    2. DarthHater

      ” I enjoy the posts by blackhawks 1963 and darth hater.”

      There’s no accounting for taste. :-P

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