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At 72, I am as excited as I was when I was a kid
Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:21 PM
If anyone is going to the game tomorrow (9/20) and you see an old fat guy with a grey goatee on the field during BP, say hello.
I got an invite to go down on the field while the Cubs are taking BP. Now how cool is that?
Hopefully we wll see them win. It is our last game this year as we head to FL next week. Then off to ST for the month of March.
When the Tribune Co. owned the team they never did stuff like this, as you can tell I am excited.
Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:48 PM
Dude! That's awesome. Would love to hear about your experience (the game notwithstanding).
We got there, got our VIP pass and walked on to the field. After two late night games both teams decided to skip batting practice. I have a rain check for next summer on that one. Took some nice photos though.
At the same time, I did have a nice conversation with Tom Ricketts. I had sent him the post I made on the website. He thanked me for the kind words. My comments to him were folks asked me at the beginning of the season what my criteria would be for judgment and calling it a good season? Knowing that we had little chance of winning, the real question is simple. Is the organization in better shape today than it was at the beginning of the season?
He asked me what I thought and I said "damn right it is!" We have auditioned more kids this year than any of the 68 years I have followed the team. We have learned who can play and who can't. We have close to $60 million in payroll coming off the books. I reminded him of the Durocher years when they lost 103 games. The last half of that year was backing up the truck, if folks did not get the job done, give someone else a chance. The next five years were the best five year run in team history since WWII. Now the team has a clear focus on what it needs and some money to do something about it.
Now understand I talk with Tom about 5-6 times a year so he knows who I am. He looked at me and said, "Dennis, I am sleeping a lot better now than I was a year ago." Then he shook my hand and said, "See you in Mesa in March." He had to run as they were doing some on field introductions and he was part of that.
As I said in my post regarding my take on this season, I look for things to get better at a faster pace. When you look at what he bought, big contracts like Dempster, Lilly, Silva, Bradley, Zambrano, Ramirez, Soriano and I probably missed a few, the team was well over $100 million in payroll. There is not a whole heck of a lot of flexibility at that point. With the exception of Soriano, who has earned his money this year, they are all gone and no HUGE contracts have been added. When you think about it, Theo could probably sign anybody he wanted in the offseason if he wanted them badly enough. Now I am guessing, but instead of a $100 million player, they might well go after several above average players to keep the team afloat until the young kids can develop. They know how to evaluate talent. They know what the team needs. They have the money to address a lot of those issues through trades and free agency.
It is just a matter of getting it done. I have much more faith in Theo and company than any other team leadership since the days of Wid Matthews.
Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:54 PM
That was a very encouraging post 5412, and it's nice to hear the opinion of someone who has been a Cub fan as long as you have.
A lot of my friends are in the "I'll believe it when I see it crowd". Can't blame them. I just keep looking at the facts.
When was the last time we had an owner that really cared about winning?
When was the last time we had ownership who mingled with the fans and listened to them?
When was the last time we saw a 33% increase in the scouting and player development department?
When was the last time we saw decent drafts and the majority of the kids actually getting signed?
The Cubs are a team a lot of players want to play for, they want to be part of breaking the curse. When the time comes to get the last few pieces of the puzzle, when was the last time we had an owner willing to spend the money to get it done?
Sure this year's battle cry is "Let's not lose 100". The bottom line to me is the simple question. Are we better off today than we were a year ago? Are we moving in the right direction? Do we have the money to get things fixed?
Sure they will make mistakes; but not the kind we have seen in the past with ownership who was not committed to winning and would not spend any money behind the scenes to improve the product on the field. It was not that long ago when a Cubs GM said he could easily let Greg Maddux go because for the same money he could get two quality pitchers. The $25 million Maddux was offered by the Braves looks kinda cheap in hindsight doesn't it?
Hang in there folks, we have genuine cause for hope.
Posted 22 September 2012 - 07:35 PM
PREACH IT, BABY! I love the optimism, and I am 100% on board with what you're saying, buddy. I want to hang out with you at a Cub's game sometime. You're my kinda fan!
I tried to type a response to you last night and the computer would not let me.
We have season tickets and try to go to most week day, day games in the summer.
In addition we go to ST for the month of March.
Always love to talk with good Cub fans.....
Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:25 PM
"Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son"
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