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costanza yankees steinbrennerHappy St. Patty’s Day to you and yours. May the luck of the Irish, like, make you lucky or something. Of course, even if it does, you won’t win that Warren Buffett billion-dollar March Madness challenge.

  • You didn’t need a chart to tell you that the Chicago Cubs didn’t spend a whole lot in free agency this offseason, but it’s still interesting to look at the chart over at MLBTR. The $16 million spent by the Cubs this year (most of their available dollars appear to have been held back for Masahiro Tanaka, and, when that didn’t work out, the Cubs decided not to spend just to spend) was not the lowest total in baseball this year: the Reds, Nationals, Blue Jays, and Pirates spent less. The extent to which the Yankees did the Yankees thing is laid bare by the chart, and it’s just unbelievable: the $471 million spent by the Yankees in free agency this year was $203 million more than the next team (Mariners), and was more than five times the amount spent by the fifth place team. Put another way, the Yankees spent 2900% more on free agency than the Cubs this year. Yeah, parity!
  • I joke, but it’s better to have “The Boss” mentality back in New York, right? When the Yankees go all mercenary, and just try to buy a playoff contender, it’s easier for everyone else to get on board and hate them. That’s better for baseball.
  • Thoughts on and from Chris Rusin, who remains in the running to fill in as the fifth starter when the season begins. Rusin, and bullpen coach Lester Strode, say that the lefty is working on his breaking pitches (curveball, slider) to add to an effective fastball and cutter.
  • Speaking of that fifth starter competition (about which, more later), lefty Tsuyoshi Wada is still in the hunt. (Cubs.com)
  • Patrick Mooney on Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio, and some of the storylines that his efforts will touch on this year.
  • Javier Baez is putting in his work at second base, where he used to play a long time ago, and he should be getting a start there any day now.
  • For those who don’t already, I’ll suggest “liking” BN on Facebook. I do some fun things over there that never make their way onto the site, so it’s worth checking out.
  • Webb

    I’ve been noodling with this trade idea when I put my pretend GM hat on and was wondering what the rest of the ‘nation though:

    O’s get: Sherholtz, Shark, Welington Castillo, and Pierce Johnson
    Cubs get: Bundy, Gausman, Wieters

    Maybe that’s a little too lopsided for the Cubs, but the O’s get 3 solid MLB players and a talented catcher with several years of control attached to him. Johnson also mitigates the loss of pitching prospects.

    • Norm

      Not very close at all.

    • jp3

      Yeah don’t think they go for something like that unless there is a night of heavy drinking involved… It is St Patricks day I guess? Wieters is a FA at year’s end right? Wonder if they’re considering letting him walk or up for trading him during the season if they fall out of the playoff race?

      • C. Steadman

        Wieters is still up for arbitration in 2015, he’ll become a free agent after that season

      • Webb

        Markakis and Cruz are FA’s next year as well, so their window could be this year. With Bundy and Gausman not likely to be impact players this year, the idea would be a July “Go for it” type scenario with enough insurance in Castillo and Johnson to back them up if they bomb out.

        Those guys are still prospects too, and Bundy still hasn’t pitched in a year. We just saw what happened to Beachy and Viscaino too.

        …. But maybe I need a dose of reality. ’tiss why I posed the question.

        • Edwin

          Going from Weiters to Castillo is a downgrade. Going from Gasuman/Bundy to Shark/Shierholtz might be a slight upgrade, but not much of one, especially when you net it against the decrease at the C position. And the O’s are probably taking on more salary in this situation. The Orioles are also projected to finish last in their division, so even a couple win upgrade, which would be a stretch for this move, wouldn’t really do them much good.

          If you want one of Gausman or Bundy, I think you’d be better off just targeting one of them separately, although I’m pretty sure B-more is going to try and hang on to their pitching prospects long term. They’re closer to “rebuild” mode than “win now” mode.

          • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

            If we trade Castillo for pitching, we really don’t have anyone in the farm system who’d be ready to take his place. We could platoon Kottaras and Baker for this season and that would suffice (then in 2015 with probably poorer numbers), but Lopez and Krist would have to step up their game (big time) to see any action in 2016.

            I’d offer Castillo, Schierholtz (+ cash), and James Russell for Kevin Gausman and Mike Wright.

    • Edwin

      So instead of having two of the better pitching prospects in the game who are both MLB (although Bundy won’t be ready until Aug) ready and a good to sometimes great catcher, the O’s trade that to get a solid SP with two years left, a 4th OF, a C who is younger but also probably worse than Wieters, and a fringe top 100 prospect in Johnson. It’s not like the O’s get any salary relief either.

      I think if you actually look at this trade hard from an O’s perspective, there’s not a lot to feel good about.

      • Webb

        I would argue that Castillo is better than Weiters at this point. His OPS + was nearly 20 points higher last year, and he will be cheaper longer. If I’m the O’s that trade is a win at catcher, a win at SP for 2014 and possibly 2015 (I still say Bundy is a greater risk than most are assuming) and I get better a better OF by moving Cruz to DH.

        After 2015 I agree that they are in much worse shape if all prospects reach their full potential. After 2015 they may have missed their window though.

        • Edwin

          Even if they are upgrades, it’s still not enough to turn the O’s into a legit contender this year. They’d still be sacrificing long term assets in Bundy and Gausman for a slightly better short term, but they’d still be long shots to make the playoffs.

          • Webb

            Well if you’re taking that stance in the spring then what fun is it playing pretend GM?? :)

        • C. Steadman

          Cruz is already DH, Reimold, Jones, and Markakis are the OF’s

    • Darth Ivy

      what would it take to get Bundy and Gausman? Samardzija alone?

      • jh03

        Think about what it would take to get Baez and Bryant away from the Cubs – assume they were competing to make it a closer comparison. It’s going to take a similar haul. So, pretty much so high that nobody is going to match that price.

        • Darth Ivy

          Bundy and Gausman are of equal trade value as Bryant and Baez? that’s surprising.

          • Edwin

            Maybe not equal, but close. You could make a number of argumetns either way.

          • jh03

            It’s not equal, but it’s a fair analogy.

            Bundy and Gausman are elite pitching prospects. Those don’t grow on trees. Baez and Bryant are elite power hitting prospects. Those don’t grow on trees. Both are rare commodities in today’s game.. and teams are going to horde those commodities unless someone blows them away with an offer.

            • Darth Ivy

              Without googling to check for sure, I didn’t think either orioles pitcher was ranked that closely to Bryant (let alone Baez). Maybe I’m putting too much emphasis on these rankings. And I thought people weren’t nearly as high on bundy as they were 1 or 2 years ago.

              Again, I know I’m not good at determing what makes a good trade. Just kind of thinking out loud, trying to learn. But I really like Gausman. I’m targeting him for one of the last rounds in my fantasy draft. He’s a pretty good 22nd round pick up. That could be a huge steal.

              • C. Steadman

                2014 BA Rankings: Baez(5th), Bryant(8th), Bundy(15th), Gausman(20th)

                • C. Steadman

                  Bundy was #2 in BA 2013 but of course got hurt, Baez was 16th and Gausman 26th

                • Darth Ivy

                  thanks for looking that up (I hope you had to look it up and didn’t know that from the top of your head). Averages of 6.5 vs 17.5 arent that much of different when you’re dealing in the grand scheme of things. I know rankings do change a little between sources, but I thought Bundy fell more and Gausman was a little higher. Of couse BA is probably the gold standard, anyway.

                  • C. Steadman

                    I knew Baez and Bryant off the top of my head, and Bundy’s rank last year…i googled it though

              • jh03

                Dylan Bundy was ranked 4th in all of baseball last year, with Gausman coming in 13th. Gausman is 10th this year, with Bundy at 15 (because of TJS).

                Compared to Baez at 4th, Bryant at 17th. Baez was 20th last year.

                All according to BP.

                • Darth Ivy

                  12.5 (orioles) vs 10.5 (Cubs). Wow. So, this is when I start making stuff up and using nonsense to support my original idea, right?

                  Sigh, I’m too old for this shit

                  • jh03

                    ha, you’re alright.

                    The best way to evaluate a trade is to put yourself in the other team’s shoes and ask if you’d be okay with it. Would you take Shark for Baez and Bryant? Not a chance.. So there’s no way the Orioles would either.

                  • Webb

                    Ha. I’ve been doing it all morning…

                    BTW Johnson has yet to be mentioned once in this debate. It’s not like the dude it chopped liver. BA ranked him 87 when he pitched through high-A.

          • mjhurdle

            I doubt they have near the same value right now.
            If Bundy comes back and shows he is 100% healthy, then maybe it evens out again.
            But right now I don’t see any way Bundy is worth a Bryant or Baez. I think you could make an argument that Baez + a lower prospect would be enough to land both Bundy and Gausman (talking in general value for value, not specifically Baltimore, seeing as they have Machado and might not need/want Baez as much as other teams with holes at SS/3B)

        • Webb

          That’s a great comparison.

          It should take the same haul, but the teams are in 2 different positions. The O’s are in the AL east with a modest budget and a team very close to peaking. The Cubs are completely rebuilding and their prospects are their lifeblood.

          I like the concept though.

      • Norm

        You can’t get even one of Bundy or Gausman for Samardzija.

    • C. Steadman

      Bundy and Gausman aren’t going to be traded unless O’s get some AllStars in return.

      • Darth Ivy

        that seems like a lot for two prospects (or unproven young players), but I’m terrible at determining fair trades. Maybe one all star approaching free agency either after 2014 or 2015, but multiple all stars?

        • Webb

          I keep going back to Shields for Myers in my mind….

        • C. Steadman

          Take what jh03 said above, “Think about what it would take to get Baez and Bryant away from the Cubs.”

      • mjhurdle

        I don’t think Bundy gets traded at this point.
        Baltimore is valuing him as a top 2-3 pitching prospect in the minors and will want a ton back; and I think other teams are valuing him as a young, unproven talented pitcher who just had his arm rebuilt.
        basically, i don’t think Baltimore is interested in selling low, and i think the injury will scare anyone interested off from offering the return Baltimore is going to want.

        • Webb

          Agree 100%. That makes the most sense to me if I’m Baltimore.

        • C. Steadman

          Exactly

  • CubFan Paul

    Whats Wada’s velocity been like?

  • Mike

    Wada has been around 85-87 from what I’ve seen.

  • Edwin

    Yankees spending might not be so good for the Cubs. If the Cubs are going to be spending heavy the next couple offseasons, I’d rather that they not have to compete with the Yankees. If the Yankees are in “win at all costs” mode, it’s going to be tough for the Cubs to outbid them.

  • Jon

    I don’t hate the Yankees at all. Personally I think it’s easier to hate on the owners of the ball club that sit on their profits rather than invest back into to the club

  • ruby2626

    Yankees are becoming the poster team for what Theo and Company are dead set against, paying great money for players in their declining years (with the exception of the Japanese pitcher). I don’t care what the Yankees spent this is not a playoff team. Infield at 2B, SS and 3B is really weak and who knows what Texeira is going to do. Jeter will always hit but his lack of range is really going to hurt. Sabathia getting paid a ton but less of an impact every year.

    • Jon

      “Yankees are becoming the poster team for what Theo and Company are dead set against”

      Attempting to field a competitive ball club?

      • Norm

        He said it right there:
        “paying great money for players in their declining years”

        • Jon

          Let’s look at two of their 3 major aqustions this offseason

          1) Tananka
          At 25 years old, you are certainly paying for what you hope is future performance

          2) Brian McCann
          Fangrapsh actually graded this signing as one of the best offseason moves this year

          So really the only fiscally irresponsible contract, so to speak was Elsbury. Good players cost money.

          • Norm

            The Tanaka signing was also fiscally irresponsible. Since you brought up Fangrapsh ranking the McCann move, Fangraphs also gave that Tanaka signing the 4th worst of the offseason because of the opt out after 4 years and gave the Beltran contract the 9th worst.

            • Jon

              It might have been irresponsible from a risk perspective( every FA pitcher you sign could in theory blow out his arm tomorrow) but it’s not the mold of paying for past performance. It’s paying for future performance.

              For the life of me, I don’t understand letting Cano walk and paying Elsbury. I would swap those players any day of the week.

      • 5412

        Hi,

        Let’s not forget the difference in revenue streams. The Yankees can have a $200 million payroll and be very profitable. The Cubs are nowhere close to those numbers.

        When they get a mega-deal for broadcasting rights, plus another $100 million for advertising signs, etc. then we should look at them for bigger player payroll.

        The Yankees have their own pay per view network after buying back their TV rights for several hundred million some years back. Their ticket prices are huge. Be careful what you wish for. If WGN loses the rights to Comcast, will pay per view be far behind?

        All the people who are watching the Cubs for free and complaining about ownership will be complaining because they have to spend some money to watch them on TV.

        Regards,
        5412

        • Jon

          The Cubs can maintain a 80 million dollar payroll and be the most profitable team in baseball. Priorities.

          • CubFan Paul

            “The Cubs can maintain a 110 million dollar payroll and be the most profitable team in baseball”

            Now, with a $80MM payroll, that league leading $30MM in profit will climb to $60MM. Especially with TV revenues going up at least $20MM for 2014 before the new deal kicks in.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            The Cubs are not even remotely close to the “most profitable team in baseball,” something at which the Yankees and Red Sox are snickering.

            Just because Forbes lists the Cubs as having the highest EBITDA last year – something very, very different from “profit” – doesn’t mean what you think it means.

            • jp3

              Meh, I agree that there is no way to know all the numbers because no big successful operation opens up their books voluntarily to prying eyes but Ian a little tired of the whoa is me line i feel we are getting a lot lately from the higher ups.

            • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

              The ridiculous Spring Training records for attendance shows that fans want to see the kids play. I’d rather see Vitters and Hendricks out there than the McDonalds. I want to see Olt nab the 3B job, put Barney’s GG to use on another team, and Castro traded for an ace who’ll be ready next year (Andrew Heaney?).

              Everyone rips on how attendance is down at Wrigley, but the Cubs are still profitable. If the kids come up and can play, I wouldn’t mind a $75M payroll as long as the pieces are in place. Obviously, that number should go up year-by-year with arbitration figures and free agent signings to fill holes.

            • Brocktoon

              Apparently you’re confident in your knowledge of the sox and Yankees profits? Any particular reason you think the cubs take a substantially larger hit in taxes and depreciation than the average team? Any particular reason we can be the 5th highest revenue generating team (the cubs words), have expenses nowhere near the top revenue generating teams and running out a hilarious 85m payroll?

            • 5412

              Hi,

              I have to pass along some things here which are relevant.

              I wrote a manuscript about the Cubs and could not find a publisher for it, no one was interested in even looking at the manuscript, they felt it had too narrow an audience. As part of the process I interviewed some big name folks who told me a lot of things “off the record” because they trusted me.

              There were times I posted information on a Cub website and flat had to say, “I just know this is a fact” but could not state my source. I quit going to the Cub website because of all the crap I got from people who had no clue and gave me no credit for doing some research.

              I went to high school with a guy who was the beat writer for both the Cubs and Sox before he retired. Hell, they traveled with the team in those days, went out for dinner and drinking with the players on the road, you name it. There was a lot of unwritten rules for them which still apply today.

              There were certain things he could not even mention. There were things he could hint at but make it so obscure that his source would not be embarrassed, and there were things that were, “on the record”. A good writer does not have to ask what goes where.

              Now on to Brett. We are all very lucky he has developed a trust relationship with a lot of folks who do have first hand knowledge about what is going on. At the same time, there are situations where any good writer has to “hint” at things to make a point.

              When Brett says something like, “Under current circumstances it does not appear that Samardzija will be extended anytime soon” he does not pull that out of thin air. We need to give him credit for doing his homework and telling us what he can.

              When Brett discuss the economics of the team, rest assured he knows what the heck he is talking about. If he says the Cubs are nowhere near this or that profit number, he is not guessing.

              Cut him some slack and be thankful he is educating and entertaining us with inside information we cannot get from a reliable source anywhere else.

              Personally, I check in a couple times a day because I am comfortable Brett knows what the hell is going on most of the time.

              regards,
              5412

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Thanks for that, 5412. Quite a bit of truth in what you say, even if – as you say – I can’t always get into it.

          • Jon

            We can sit here all day and discredit the work Forbes does or we can at least acknowledge the Cubs profits are easily top 10 in the game and probably top 5-6

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              It’s not about discrediting Forbes. It’s about reading their definition of operational profit. It’s EBITDA. That’s not profit. They’re very different.

              • C. Steadman

                And with the Cubs, there’s a big emphasis on the D with regards to Wrigley Field.

                • bbmoney

                  And interest expense as the same Forbes report shows them as the most highly leveraged team.

                  Of course, we can debate why they’re paying that interest expense too.

                • Brocktoon

                  What do you think Wrigley didn’t depreciate it’s first 97 years of existence?? Poor tom ricketts just can’t catch a break

                  • C. Steadman

                    Do you even know how buildings are depreciated? It’s not just initial costs, but the cost of improvements overtime. I’m willing to bet the Cubs spend the most on offseason improvements/repairs on Wrigley than any other team in baseball besides the Red Sox and Fenway.

                    • Brocktoon

                      Until they actually start the full scale renovations, I don’t imagine the cubs pay much more than they did during the respectable payroll era on upkeep

            • bbmoney

              Or I can just acknowledge all the data points I have and then acknowledge that I don’t really know any of that and would only be speculating.

              Here’s what I know. Forbes has their EBITDA as #1 in baseball. Forbes analysis is an estimate based on assumptions. EBITDA does not equal profits (or cash flows…which is more important anyway).

              All of that means that I don’t know much of anything about the Cubs finances. They could be the most “Profitable” team in baseball. They could be that and still not have positive cash flows. Or they might not be. I really have no idea.

              • Jon

                We are all speculating, both those that are going after the FO for not spending and those that are defending their frugality. No, we don’t have access to the true numbers, but we can make reasonable assumptions based on what we do know.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  I’m not speculating.

                  Keep your eyes peeled.

                • bbmoney

                  Sure, but “reasonable” is pretty undefined since we know so little.

                  I think you can make a case in either direction using reasonable speculation since we know so little.

                • roz

                  http://www.forbes.com/sites/tedgavin/2011/12/28/top-five-reasons-why-ebitda-is-a-great-big-lie/

                  Hey look, an article straight from Forbes about why EBITDA is actually a crappy way to value a company. So either we believe Forbes and the Cubs have the highest EBITDA but that doesn’t really tell us anything, or the Cubs don’t have the highest EBITDA even if a high EBITDA would mean we’re the most profitable. Either way, saying the Cubs are the most profitable is pretty much a horrible conclusion to make.

                  • Hee Seop Chode

                    EBITDA is a good way to measure a company for acquisition purposes. From what we’ve learned about the Cubs debt size, one can infur interest payments are above league average.

                    • roz

                      Makes sense. Also, you have the greatest username on this site.

                • MattM

                  Brett you are speculating….. Also that EBITDA data that Forbes is going off of is the same for every other team! They factor in earning before taxes and debt with every one of them.

                  Even after ALL of that the Cubs still come out highest. You can pull some information from that, but everyone would rather just pick stuff apart to support their sides of the story.

                  Actually, now that I think about it not ONE person on this site has pointed out that it is EBITDA for every team on the Forbes list. Everyone just says, “oh well its EBITDA for the Cubs, and everyone else is pure earnings.”

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Edit: not worth it.

                    And, as I said, no, I am not speculating. You’ll see soon enough.

                    • roz

                      Well now I’m intrigued.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “I am not speculating. You’ll see soon enough”

                      But in the meantime keep ‘defending their frugality’?

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      It’s very hard to see people repeatedly spouting bullshit that you know to be false and remain silent. I do it every day on here. Today it got the better of me. Fortunately I’ll soon just be able to respond with a link.

                  • bbmoney

                    “Everyone just says, “oh well its EBITDA for the Cubs, and everyone else is pure earnings.””

                    No one has said that. Not one, single, person has said that.

                    • MattM

                      How many of you have actually mentioned that Forbes has used EBITDA for every other team as well? Not one.

                      Everytime someone mentions that the Cubs made a profit last year every one of you jumps in and says EBITDA! Ok that’s fine, but every single other team was judged in the same light and the Cubs still came out on top.

                      So even if we factor in taxes and debt etc…. the Cubs are still going to come out very close if not at the top of the list because every other team will have to factor in the same issues….

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      “Everytime someone mentions that the Cubs made a profit last year every one of you jumps in and says EBITDA! Ok that’s fine, but every single other team was judged in the same light and the Cubs still came out on top.”

                      EBITDA does not include one-time investments/expenses, it does not include interest payments to service debt – those things vary wildly among the teams. It does not capture profitability, and it is not an apples to apples comparison, even among teams.

                    • Norm

                      wtf does it matter if its used for every other team, EBITDA is garbage for all of them.
                      Debt and depreciation for the Cubs is not the same as debt and depreciation for the Rangers or anyone else.

                    • bbmoney

                      How many of you have actually mentioned that Forbes has used EBITDA for every other team as well? Not one.”

                      Why the hell would anyone need to clarify that? If you’re pulling EBITDA from a report for one team it’s pretty damn obvious it’s EBITDA for all the teams and not EBITDA for the Cubs and profits for everyone else.

                      Certainly no one has claimed it’s EBITDA for the Cubs and profit for the rest of the teams as you magically quoted “everyone” as “saying”.

                    • C. Steadman

                      Not all teams will have the same ITDA though…That’s where a lot of teams that have had the same owner in place for awhile, don’t need to finance their own improvements to their stadium, and also don’t have to pay Chicago/Illinois taxes will leapfrog the Cubs.

                    • half_full_beer_mug

                      So far two people have typed the same thing :)

                    • jp3

                      OMG, can we please get decent at baseball please, I blame ownership for this nonsensical conversation we’re having on a weekly basis. If we were any good at actual baseball we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

                  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                    If we assume the D (depreciation) of EBITDA as equal amonst all other teams and assume that the $30M figure was the pocketable figure, you have to tak AT LEAST $10M of that for taxes. If the previously assumed $17M A (Amortization) of that was only $10M, then we are down to $10M in “profit”.

                    That’s just a 30 second analysis of the EBITDA. That’s also not factoring in that the Ricketts have been planning to pay for the renovation, out of their pockets, the past 2 years.

                    With that said, I cannot wait for Brett’s piece on this.

              • bnile1

                People do seem to look at “evidence” with a myopic view.

                Considering that
                1: the Cubs TV deal is an order of magnitude lower than the Yankees, Angels, Redsox, Dodgers, rangers, and nearly an order of magnitude lower that the Phillies.
                2: They recently borrowed over 800 million to finance a sale, and are planning to spend 300-500 mill for a remodel(reserve capital etc).
                3: they have the oldest and least well kept stadium in the league (which means the highest upkeep). with by far the worse ammenities,which limited their ability to sell concessions etc.
                4: they have the highest taxes in the league by a wide margin.
                5: they have had declining tickest sales for several years.
                6: Their overall market is dwarfed by the LA and NY Markets,and likely by boston and texas although I have not checked those specifically.
                7: THey have no real parking which for a team like the rangers is a good revenue stream.
                8: No stadium naming rights
                9: limited advertsing signs etc and no jumbotron till now(hopefully)

                So in considering the above, the concept that the Cubs are the most profitable highest revenue team etc is even plausible why???

                It’s not for anyone who is willing to look at the big picture. The Cubs are probably top 10 in revenue and profitability, and their not hurting, but if any team sporting the handicaps above were able to be the most profitable or highest revenue team around, there there definitely be something wrong with the game of baseball.

                • Brocktoon

                  Nobody claimed the cubs were the highest revenue generating team. That would be silly. Crane kenney did say the cubs were 5th in MLB in revenue however, in spite of the issues you listed above.

                • Jon

                  #5 and #8 are directly on them.

                  The attendance declines are directly related to 90+ loss seasons and nothing is stopping them from selling naming rights.

                  • bnile1

                    Jon

                    The attendance declines are directly related to 90+ loss seasons and nothing is stopping them from selling naming rights

                    Irrelevant. It’s a statement of fact. Why doesn’t matter. A million fewer fans probably affects revenues yes??

                    With respect to naming rights your making a potentially dishonest argument. Fear of fan backlash is very likley the reason and I suspect you know this, maybe not, but if you don’t you should. Look that the disporportionate hysteria caused by the addition of a macot for the kids. If Cub fans go that nuts over a fuzzy bear for the kids to take picures with, immagine the reaction to TD ameritrade field. Not to mention there would probably be an issue with the landmark commission or lawsuit from the roof tops etc. I’m half kidding about the political aspect but we both know that it would not be a simple as just making a deal.

                    • Jon

                      I would say the intersection of a 95+ loss season and renaming the stadium could be risky. But if this team was putting a winning product on the field, I don’t think it would matter.

                      I never understood the obsession over the name myself. Soldier Field is one thing, it’s kinda cool how they still honor our service men and woman, but what is so special about “Wrigley”. We are essentially giving millions of dollars a year in free advertisements still, to the chewing gum company.

                    • Napercal

                      Are you implying that Cub fans aren’t willing to pay premium ticket prices to watch Darnell McDonald, Donnie Murphy, Ryan Sweeney, Luis Valbuena, et. al.? Also changing the name of the park would require a change to the marquee. Alderman Tunney or the rooftop owners might get mad about that.

                • Kyle

                  “6: Their overall market is dwarfed by the LA and NY Markets,and likely by boston and texas although I have not checked those specifically.

                  lolwut?

                  • bnile1

                    Kyle

                    your argument is that Chicago is a larger market Than NY or LA?? Really??

                    It may be as large as the Boston metro area(which is pretty much all of New England), but boston is not sharing that market, same with the dallas metro(which is all of west texas,north texas, souther oklahoma and most of central texas). again not saying the Cubs are small market the certainly aren’t but if your arguing that they are the most profitalble, highest revenue etc. then the relative size of the market matters.

                    Top 10 certrainly top 5?? maybe but I’m not sure I see it. Chicago is a big market and the Cubs get the majority of it, but it looks to me like they are 6 or 7 in market(Yankees, Dodgers, Angels Redsox and Rangers)

                    • Edwin

                      Most ratings have Chicago as the #3 ranked Market, behind NYC and LA.

                    • bnile1

                      Edwin

                      exactly As I said above, Boston and North/west/central texas are exclusive not divided. So your making the same point I think.

                  • ClevelandCubsFan

                    Dwarfed might be an exaggeration, but LA is still much bigger than Chicago–much bigger than the difference between Chicago and DFW. AND the Cubs have to split their market with the White Sox.

                    http://www.tvb.org/media/file/TVB_Market_Profiles_Nielsen_TVHH_DMA_Ranks_2013-2014.pdf

  • roz

    “So even if we factor in taxes and debt etc…. the Cubs are still going to come out very close if not at the top of the list because every other team will have to factor in the same issues….”

    Well MattM, the logical question to ask is if the Cubs’ issues (“taxes and debt etc”) are greater in magnitude than other teams’. Something tells me they are.

  • Jon

    The question begs, how far does ITDA drop the Cubs? Does it drop them down to the bottom 5 in baseball(how they have been operating financially?). You don’t know unless you know what the annual debt service payment is. Ricketts told us this value was “overstated” at the convention.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      That also depends on what figure that has been reported the Ricketts is saying is overstated.

  • Jon

    Cubs also get a yearly influx now of 14 million – Budweiser sign,( and not going to renovations as I know it)

    Factor in attendance at least holding at 2.5 million, with slashed payrolls their EBITDA could hit 30-40 million this year and next.

    Forgive fans for wondering where some of this money is going.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      So, the Ricketts have said, for a long time, that the advertising they are adding with the renovations is going to the renovations yet the aren’t going to the renovations?

      If yearly interest payments are $10M, increased amatuer spending is $10M and front office/tech/scouting/player development costs increased $5M, $7M for Dominican facilities, plus a looming renovation bill. There’s $32M right there.

      Forgive some fans for not getting too bent out of shape about it.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      Why don’t we think the advertising will go toward renovations? As my grandfather used to say, it all goes down the same red lane.

  • mosconml

    Probably kind of off-topic, but Brett, since you mentioned it, I disagree that the Yankees spending a ton (and thus being hate-able) is good for baseball. Having a hate-able team? Sure. But I think the lack of a salary cap severely limits parity and I think parity is good for a sport. (And yes, I say this knowing that in the long run a salary cap is probably worse for a major market team like the Cubs.)

    I think that the salary cap has enabled the other sports (hockey, basketball, and particularly football) to keep stars on their teams and gives fans of each team some hope in the year. Take OKC in basketball, the Blues in hockey, and virtually any small market team in football, and you’ll see what I mean.

    At the VERY least, the MLB should loosen restrictions on draft picks, which allows small market or draft-conscious teams to allocate their resources in different ways.

    OK, rant is done now.

  • On The Farm

    Because I can think of no other place to put this, why not the bullets. Here are the answers to the show ‘Lost’ which I know have been a point of discussion on here.

    http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/12-highlights-from-the–lost–paleyfest-panel-054715551.html

    “1. Were they dead the entire time?

    “No. They were not dead the entire time,” Cuse said. ”

    Mind blown

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