Rambling While in a Cubs Convention Kind of Mood

The 26th annual Cubs Convention kicks off today. This will be my sixth convention, and it is always fun.

First, as some may know, my first assignment for the CCO was covering the Convention in 2006. So, this is somewhat of a 5-year anniversary for me. I wonder what Neil bought me? What do you think he should get me? I mean, it’s been five years.

Nonetheless, with the Convention about to kickoff, and the excuses about to come coursing out of “the Management’s” mouth, Cubs fans are ready for a festive weekend while saluting Ronnie in many ways.

So, with all that said, let’s ramble on down the road.

  • The Cubs Convention is not sold out. Normally it sells out in 6 minutes.
  • Hey, Tom, did you read that? It hasn’t sold out for two months!
  • Now, don’t get me wrong. I disagree with most of the CCO Faithful. I have no problem with Tom Ricketts. I think it is absolutely absurd to blame this man for anything after ONE season.
  • However, I want to be sure he hears this. NOT SOLD OUT!
  • I give Neil credit for this one, but Garza and Pena are in for a big surprise this weekend.
  • They will not believe their eyes. Some baseball teams have fans. It’s quite a concept.
  • And if they want to know how much the fans care, they should sit in on the “Meet the Management” session on Saturday morning.
  • It’s going to get UGLY!
  • New to the Convention this year is the “Ricketts Family Forum.” Let the jokes commence.
  • Tom, what do you think about your brother Todd?
  • No, seriously, buddy. What do you really think?
  • I think a lot of people are going to find out what Quade is made of this weekend. There are going to be a lot of interesting, rude, and off-the-wall questions.
  • I can’t even comprehend how it is going to play out.
  • It is going to be great to see Kerry Wood back in the house.
  • And I think it is safe to say it is going to be rough without Ryno.
  • Rough doesn’t even begin to describe Ronnie’s absence. It is safe to say this Convention will produce more tears than any before and probably any after.
  • I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of “Number 10’s” walking around the Chicago Hilton and Towers this weekend.
  • In fact, 90% of this weekend will be about Mr. Santo. And it should be.
  • It will be the celebration he always deserved. It will be the perfect way to say thank you.
  • And though he can’t be there in person, he will be looking down on it, and I think it is safe to say, he will smile.
  • I hope he realizes what he meant to this organization, its players and their fans.
  • What a celebration it will be, and as Neil told me, there will not be a dry eye in the house.

So, for those who will be in attendance, enjoy it. It truly is a once in a lifetime experience.

If you won’t be there, be sure to check the CCO regularly. Neil will have tons of information as the weekend transpires. Follow the CCO twitter feed on the right side of the site, everything tweeted and pictures will be available on the feed … or just Follow the CCO

I will tweet a few things as well, so please follow me at BrianMcCabeOG if you want to read how funny I am.

And, as much as this weekend is all about the Cubs, I cannot go an entire column without saying …. BEAR DOWN!

Talk soon, faithful, and until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt
  • mikeD.cubsfan

    Great post as always. I enjoy all of the shit talking cub fans, as i am also one.Have been checking this site out for years and this is my first comment. Cant wait to hear more about the convention, but want one question answered. Does Grabow really have more value on this team than tom G. if so please, somebody explain . thanks……go bears!!! Go cubs!!!!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Mike … Welcome to the CCO!

      The Cubs feel Grabow has more value … with what he is owed this year if the Cubs are able to trade him they will have to ‘eat’ at least half of his contract.

    • Ripsnorter1

      MikeD–welcome to the CCO. We love fans who comment!

      Now, to answer your question, yes, Grabow has more value.

      Grabow makes $4.8 million
      Gorzelanny makes $800,000.
      Therefore Grabow is worth more.

      Oh, you are talking about “who is worth more to THE TEAM.”

      Gotcha now.

      Let’s see:

      Gorzelanny is tradeable because his contract is in line with his production for HIS TEAM.

      Grabow is untradeable because his contract is in line with his production for THE OPPOSING TEAM.

      Therefore Grabow has more value.


  • Patrick_Schaefer

    .God, I envy you guys I would love to be there. I can afford the admission, just not the hotel and paying for a babysitter for my kids for 3 days. I’ll get there someday.
    I go to atleast 3 cubs games a year and usually a couple of Peoria Chiefs games, I can’t wait to see Reggie Golden and Hayden Simpson. I plan to catch more Chiefs games this year.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZHTMAIGK4MF65LJQK54NZL62JI Jim


      I’m going and it is a great time. I recommend a Convention weekend to all,

      • paul catanese

        Jim the tweets are saying it all for you.Glad you are having a great time.Although it seems lonely on the site tonight, guess everyone is at the convention and I’ve got it all to myself. It’s nice to have no-one disagree with me.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Rat. Raffy Eugene Soriano signed with the Yanks. If only Jim Clueless had said, “4 or 5 moves” away from a World Series championship, instead of “3-4.” We could have signed him and had a real shutdown bullpen.

    At least we got Koyie Hill back, and Mad Max Ramirez to back him up. I wonder if Mad Max’s stats didn’t just fall off of a cliff due to . . .ahem . . .
    ‘roids. I have no idea. But that’s quite a cliff he fell off of, power-wise.

    • Gary J

      (sigh) Now you’re just being critical for the heck of it… you wouldn’t have thought he was even more clueless to shell out a $35M three year contract to shore up the one part of the team that’s already pretty solid?

      Actually I think the Yanks may be in trouble because their rotation beyond CC looks pretty suspect. Maybe they signed him in order to free up Joba to move back to the rotation.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Not critical for the purpose of being critical. Just joking about Jim Clueless’ “3-4 moves away” from a championship.

        Speaking of the Cubs’ bullpen, I’d not call it one of our strengths in 2010

        2010 Bullpen ERA’s (as reliever–no starting stats included):
        Marmol 2.55
        Marshall 2.65
        **Gasoline Alley from here on down**
        Cashner 4.80
        Russell 4.96
        Berg… 5.18
        Diamond 5.63
        Howry 5.66
        Mateo 5.82
        Stevens 6.11
        Atkins 6.30
        Gray 6.75
        Grabow 7.36
        Coleman 8.64
        Caridad 11.25
        Schlitter 12.38
        Samardzija 18.90

        Maine had a 2.08 in limited action; Gorzelanny, whom the Cubs say cannot pitch out of the pen, had 1.42 in 6.1 IP. Zambrano had a 4.32.

        It looks like Z should not pitch out of the pen in 2011, and that Gorzelanny may be traded. Maine might**might make the team out of ST–we shall see.

        Samardzija wants to be a starter. His bullpen effectiveness in 2010 left something to be desired. As a starter his ERA was 6.19. Incredibly Thomas Diamond was worse: 8.31.

        Coleman was an effective starter: 4-2 3.33, but he fanned only 4.07/9 IP. He’s pitching to contact, and that may be alright if it’s a ground ball.

        • Gary J

          Well I’m a lot happier with Wood at $1.5M than Soriano at literally 10 times that much. Left him out of the analysis of the pen arms :-)

          That’s 3 solid arms and IF (and I am saying if with all caps) Grabow returns to form from injury, then that gives us 4 solid bullpen arms. I imagine we’ll move one of the guys that loses out for the rotation to the pen for long relief. Considering that there are typically only 6 arms in the pen (or maybe 7 if they decided to carry 12 arms when they break camp as starters are still stretching out) then I’m fine with a scrub or rookie in the last spot for mop up duty. That’s a pretty solid pen all told and not worth spending $45 mil to shore up.

          I’m not saying that all things being equal I wouldn’t rather have Soriano… Wood should be a Cub and I’m always going to be a fan of the guy but at this point in their careers Soriano’s simply better (and younger)… but I’d rather keep that $15M in the bank for a bat this upcoming year (or hopefully at the trade deadline because that would mean we’re in the race LOL)

          • Ripsnorter1

            I 100% agree with you: we need bats, particularly, bashers!
            Not going to happen, but we can dream, can’t we?

            Yes, there’s not a chance in the entire world we could have afforded Mr. Soriano.

            So let’s move on to the 2011 bullpen projections:

            1. I think we should get about the same out of Marmol. I am not looking for more, but “more of the same.”

            2. Marshall: His career ERA as a reliever is 2.89–not far from 2010’s 2.65 mark. BAA for career is .227 (nice). Perhaps he’ll be around 3.00 ERA for 2011. I’m thinking he falls off a little from his stellar 2010 performance.

            3. Grabow. Well, I don’t think he does the 7.36 ERA again. For crying out loud, he stunk! Career
            ERA is 4.24–isn’t worth $4.8 million, or $7.5 million over two years, either. But I think it will be a 4+ ERA (could even be in the 5 range, too) for 2011. Not looking for a shutdown lefty out of the pen from this guy at all. He is not Sean Marshall.

            4. Wood: not looking for stellar stuff from Kerry, either. He’s walking the entire world these days. IF he can stop that, perhaps he’ll have a 3.50 ERA. IF not, it’s in the 6.10 range. Really.

            5. Gorzelanny: get used to it Tom. You can do it.
            I actually think he’d do okay in our pen. But Tom wants to make the big money, and he figures that he can do it as a starter. In any case I want him on my team as a swing man. He’s really a middling starter 4.22 ERA 7-9 in 2010. Looking for about the same in 2011, but with more time in the pen.

            6. Russell: I like him. He’s better than his 4.96 ERA in 2010. Looking for an ERA around 4.05 in 2011.

            7. That brings us to the final piece of the puzzle. Whom shall we choose? Samardzija? He wouldn’t pitch for me. I’d waive him as a bad investment. It would be Cashner.

            My starting staff:

        • Patrick_Schaefer

          .Gorzellany pouted when he was sent to the pen when the newspaper asked him about his move to the pen, he said I’m not a reliever I’m a starter. I’m happy to have a job, but at my job you go where they tell you to go and do what your told to do. Gorzellany is a professional baseball player, the Cubs are paying his salary he should go where he is told to go and keep his mouth shut.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I wholeheartedly agree: do you job, keep your mouth shut. Too many babies around: Little Milty Eugene Bradley made me sick. I posted here how I would have handled him. I’d have hired a bench coach that would knock the Eugene out of him every time he opened his mouth. Sooner or later even Little Milty would learn to shut up.

            I think what drives Gorzelanny’s rhetoric is the desire to make the big bucks. Starters make more dough than relievers.

  • Ripsnorter1


    Dear Attendees:

    I hope you have a great time. I wish I could join you.
    But I want to give you just a few reminders about proper Cubs’ Convention Ettiquette.

    1. It is not polite to chew with your mouth open.
    2. Neither is it polite to spew beer out of you mouth in response to a Jim Clueless statement that “2011 is our year.”
    3. It is not polite to wipe your hand on your pants after shaking hands with Koyie Hill.
    4. And by all means do not be rude to Jim Clueless when you ask him, “What in the Sam Eugene are you doing?”

    • paulcatanese

      Rip,as you I wish I could attend but cannot. You have a talent for the humerous side of all this. I would just like to point out and perhaps solidify your stance on Koyie Hill. I personaly like the man(as a person) as I am sure you do also. I would hate to be him walking out of the diamond every day knowing how the fans feel about him.That being said I cannot in my mind figure out with the THOUSANDS of ball players around how Hill is in demand.as he is. I have watched him over and over and always come to the same result, he really does not belong there as an auto-matic out. Iwish he were traded as I know he loves the game and I would feel better about it with him someplace else where he could be of use. No humor for me here,it’s sad,but as we both would agree its a business and he is a poor investment,there are others within the system who could easily take his place. I wouldn’t wipe my hand after shaking his but I certainly would after shaking JH’s, If I shook it at all. Always,always enjoy your posts.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Thanks, Paul. Last year I would have written, “Wipe your hand on your pants after shaking hands with Milton Bradley,” but since he’s gone, . . . .

        I am sure Koyie is a nice guy. It’s just the Mendoza line batting average that hurts.

        Elephants, preachers and ball players all need nice, thick, tough hides.

        • studio179

          Wow. Milton Bradley and ‘thick, tough hides’ in the same post.

          Now that is the definition of an oxymoron.

  • Rcw017

    I’m a die-hard Cubs fan, and I am going to the CCO tonight. I haven’t been to one in about 15 years. However, every year, I’d see advertisements and announcements start coming out in August & September about the upcoming convention. This year, I saw almost no ads about the upcoming convention. If I would not have proactively looked at the Cubs.com site myself, I wouldn’t have known tickets were going on sale until a day or two before when I received an email from the Cubs.

    It seems like BAD MARKETING was what did them in. When people saw it didn’t sell out, I’m sure people held off because they knew they could still buy their tickets from the Cubs or off of eBay at a reasonable price.

  • Kev

    What is the cost of admission to the convention? As well as a room for 2 nights? Anyone have a ballpark estimation?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Weekend passes are $60 for all three days, as for the room at the Hilton, I think they are around $400 for the weekend … don’t quote me on the hotel

  • endy

    Ask the following question to jim hendry:

    if you thought felix pie could play at the ML level, why should any cub fans have faith in your ability to evaluate talent?

  • MikeT_2008

    I know that this may not be the place to ask this but with all this talk about the Convention I was just wondering if anyone knew when the single game tickets for the regular season go on sale?

  • cubs1967

    Rules for the Connention from a 35 yr Cubbies Fan:

    1.do not attend w/o Ryno
    2.encourage booing of the P.K. McCaskey family a/k/a the Ricketts
    3.hope they show the Ronnie tribute on tv
    4.wish Woody the best………and glad to see Maddux there as they almost make up for no Ryno
    5.glad to see NOT sold out………..hello—-anyone—that’s a hint for the owners
    6.hope the P.K. Forum and ask Management sessions get UGLYYYYYYYY; more so than the Sox fest did back in ”03 or ’02 when fans basically told their GM they have had it.

    • Gary J

      What is with encouraging outright booing of the Ricketts?

      I get the animosity toward Hendry – I don’t agree with about half of it but I DO get it.

      But this is a family that bought the team – is increasing the amount of money spent on scouting and the minor leagues – is putting a boatload of money into repairing a stadium that’s literally falling down in certain cases…. and the majority of the problems they are fixing are leftovers from a regime that was only concerned about maximizing the profile for a quick sale to avoid bankruptcy. The Tribune wasn’t concerned in the slightest about any of that stuff because that was stuff that affected the future of the Cubs – not the present. The future was someone else’s problem.

      If you want to be critical of them…. sure. As a paying fan you’re entitled to be critical.

      Or don’t pay by not going to games or the convention… you’re entitled to show your displeasure that way too.

      But encouraging booing the Ricketts after they’ve only had a year to fix something that’s been broken for a while as it was just an afterthought in the Trib’s portfolio?

      If you want to bash these guys in 4 years after they’ve had a real chance to put any sort of stamp on the Cubbies…. sure. Go for it.

      But I don’t think they’ve earned outright boos just yet.

      Doesn’t mean they won’t earn boos over time (smirk) – but cut them a little slack. Sheesh. :-)

      • paulcatanese

        Gary,you write a good post,I enjoy it. I agree do not bash the Ricketts family at the Convention,it makes no sense. However they are responsible for JH and I fail to see how (the Ricketts family) are not aware of the moves that JH has made and have not done anything about it.The only real trade he made was for Gorzo and gave up a lot of prospects Cub fans were anxious to see. Not saying Jh was right or wrong but I for one would have loved to see these kids play. No-one can deny the Cubs are in the financial mess that they are in to afford players because of poor contracts. There are Cub fans who would have gone with youth this year and when money is cleared then make the trades. And I ask you who is responsible for that and who is his boss? I cannot say that anyone else besides Garzo will make an impact this year.Ricketts family are they owners and hopefully they will step in before long.

        • paul catanese

          Sorry Gary,typo on Garza not Gorzo.

  • paulcatanese

    Obviously according to twitter the convention is a huge success. Happy to see Cub fans up-beat and looking forward to the season. It looks like they are staying classy.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    . Kerry Wood received the loudest cheers, the late Ron Santo was remembered fondly in a video tribute, and the only ones who heard boos were president Crane Kenny and general manager Jim Hendry.