Back to Business

MLB front offices, like most of the business world, will return to work today after the long holiday break. Over the next month there should be more wheelin’ and dealin’, as well as free agent signings, as clubs prepare for Spring Training to begin in mid-February. Probably the biggest story to follow in the coming weeks will be that of Johan Santana. His future in Minnesota will have a domino effect throughout the league as the teams that are rumored to be interested in acquiring his services will not make other deals until Santana’s destination is determined.

MLB.com did not waste a single day. One of their storylines to watch for the New Year, “A Cubs Century.” The infamous quote from Jack Brickhouse, “Any team can have a bad century?” is mentioned in the first sentence. The anniversary will continue to make headlines throughout the year. Paul Sullivan made his prediction for 2008, an appearance in the Fall Classic, but losing to the Detroit Tigers in five games.

Here is an updated off-season calendar and a list of attendees, courtesy of the Vine Line, for the upcoming Cubs Convention as details of the annual gathering are beginning to be made available….

Off-Season Calendar

January

  • 5-15 – Salary Arbitration Filing period
  • 8 – Tickets for Cubs home Spring Training tickets go on sale.
  • 8 – BBWAA Hall of Fame voting announced – Hall of Fame induction ceremonies to be held on July 27th in Cooperstown, NY. Lee Smith, Andre Dawson and Rich “Goose” Gossage are among the 25 candidates on the 2008 ballot. Current Cubs’ bench coach, Alan Trammell, is also on the ballot along with former Cubs….Rod Beck and Shawon Dunston. Gossage just missed enshrinement last year. Smith, Dawson and Gossage should all be inducted into the Hall of Fame among the greats of the game.
  • 15 – Tickets for San Francisco Giants home Spring Training tickets go on sale
  • 18-2023rd Annual Cubs Convention
  • 18 – Exchange of salary arbitration figures between MLB Labor Relations Committee and MLB Players Association

February

  • 1-21 – Salary Arbitration Hearings
  • 14 – Voluntary reporting dates for pitchers and catchers to Spring Training Camps
  • 19 – Voluntary reporting date for other players to Spring Training Camps
  • 21The 10th Annual Worldwide Toast to Harry Caray
  • 26 – Mandatory reporting date to Spring Training Camps
  • 28 – Cubs Open 2008 Cactus League Schedule in Scottsdale against the San Francisco Giants
  • 29 – Cubs First Home Game of the 2008 Cactus League Schedule against the San Francisco Giants

March

  • 2-11 – Teams may renew contracts of unsigned players
  • 11 – Contract renewal period ends
  • 12 – Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination instead of 45 days
  • 25 – 26 – The Boston Red Sox and the Oakland A’s kickoff the 2008 regular season with two games in Japan at the Tokyo Dome
  • 26 – Last Day to request unconditional release waivers on a player without having to pay his full 2008 salary
  • 30 – MLB Opening Day – Teams must finalize their 25-man roster by this date
  • 31 – Cubs Open the 2008 Season against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field

2008 Cubs Convention

2008 Cubs Convention

While the full schedule for the Cubs Convention has not been released, the Vine Line published a list of attendees for the upcoming annual event. Dave Kaplan should once again host WGN’s SportsCentral Live on Friday night and one of Saturday’s largest attended sessions will be “Meet Cubs Baseball Management”. The CCO will have first hand daily recaps of this year’s convention….for the third consecutive year.

Scheduled Attendees

  • Ernie Banks
  • Glenn Beckert
  • Bob Brenly
  • Bill Buckner
  • Randy Bush
  • Jose Cardenal
  • Jody Davis
  • Ivan DeJesus
  • Ryan Dempster
  • Bob Dernier
  • Mark DeRosa
  • Scott Eyre
  • Oneri Fleita
  • Mike Fontenot
  • Sean Gallagher
  • Kevin Hart
  • Jim Hendry
  • Rich Hill
  • Bobby Howry
  • Pat Hughes
  • Ferguson Jenkins
  • Len Kasper
  • Crane Kenney
  • Derrek Lee
  • Ted Lilly
  • Carlos Marmol
  • Sean Marshall
  • Matt Murton
  • Milt Pappas
  • Gerald Perry
  • Felix Pie
  • Lou Piniella
  • Mike Quade
  • Larry Rothschild
  • Ryne Sandberg
  • Ron Santo
  • Matt Sinatro
  • Lee Smith
  • Alfonso Soriano
  • Geovany Soto
  • Tim Stoddard
  • Lester Strode
  • Ryan Theriot
  • Alan Trammell
  • Steve Trout
  • Jerome Walton
  • Daryle Ward
  • Tim Wilken
  • Billy Williams
  • Michael Wuertz
  • Carlos Zambrano

Also, the “Boys of Spring” will premiere during the convention. The film is a documentary by Tim Sheridan and “covers the history of Chicago Cubs Spring Training, from Catalina Island, to the early days in Arizona, to the present day.Click here for more info from www.boysofspring.com.

Finally….Tim Souers latest at Cubby Blue is a new take on a old classic, with a Harry Caray twist.

Quote of the Day

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

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