Theo Epstein on Cubs Weekly

Shortly after his interview on MLB Radio Network, Theo Epstein joined Jordan Bernfield on Cubs Weekly (720 WGN) last Sunday. Epstein discussed the state of the Cubs, the future of the organization and Starlin Castro.

Jordan Bernfield: Theo thanks so much for taking some time on this Sunday afternoon. How are you today?

Theo Epstein: Great, thanks for having me on Jordan.

JB: Well, I appreciate it. Let’s start with this. We are now almost through two seasons with you at the helm of the Chicago Cubs. How would you assess the way things have gone so far and have they met your expectations?

TE: Well certainly not at the big league level. I think we knew we were in for a bit of a rough time. One of the things we have going for ourselves is we are honest about the phase we are in. We are in a time of building and you know we are transparent about that. Certainly it is never easy to lose at the big league level. We hung in there fairly well in the first half. I think right around the All-Star break we actually had a positive run differential but then we know we don’t have the type of roster to withstand any real adversity. With the injuries and some of the trades of course it’s been a tough go recently. I am really happy with the foundation that we are trying build. With the two drafts we’ve had so far and with the trades we’ve been able to make over the course of two trading deadlines and two off-seasons, our farm system has gone from the bottom five to very clearly in the top five if not second best in the game as it was recently ranked. So, there’s really good spirit in the organization. Everyone’s united behind developing the core of the next great Cubs team and we are having some success in that regards. There is still plenty of work to do. But if anything, if I had to characterize the organization I would just call us eager. Eager in that we are excited about what we have developing and we are just eager to be able to show it off at the Major League level when the time is right because you can’t rush development. And we certainly need to continue with the phase of adding talent and developing the talent. Pretty soon we will be in the position where we can really focus on constructing a roster that can withstand a lot of adversity and still win 90-plus games and get into the post-season on a yearly basis.

JB: Sure, because you are trying to develop so much talent in the minor leagues and we all know as you said, the team hasn’t been as good on the Major League level as you would obviously like it to be. How much pressure is there on you and the rest of this organization that when you bring in a player whether it is through the draft, or whether it is through international signing. Whether it’s through a trade, as you have made a number of those already this season, that the player you bring in or at least some of the players that you bring in have to be the core of a team that is going to win a couple of years down the road.

TE: Well, you are not going to acquire core players in every trade that you make. But I think we don’t feel the pressure from outside expectations. We don’t feel like we have to live up to anything. I think the only reason that we hold ourselves to high standards. We feel self-inflicted pressure from time to time because there are only so many opportunities to do it …

JB: Right …

TE: You don’t have four drafts a year where you get to try to hit on some players that are going to be winning championships on the field at Wrigley. You get one day, well, actually the draft is longer. You get one time, one draft a year to make that happen. Trades aren’t made all year long. You can’t sort of wake up in May or in September and decide to make a trade. You really have to focus and execute a plan at the trade deadline and in the off-season. There are only so many opportunities to enhance the talent level in the organization. You’re going to miss on some, its baseball. If you do things really, really well you hit on 55 percent of the time and miss 45 percent of the time with your transactions. But, we do feel an urgency to get it right and to get it right quickly because we know the higher the hit rate that we have the quicker the organization will come together to match the vision that we have for it and we are just really excited about that future.

JB: Talking with Theo Epstein, the Cubs President here on Cubs Weekly on 720 WGN. And Theo, when you look at the way you guys are building this right now and trying to find volume in your minor league system so that some of these guys can come up and make a high impact on the team. It seems as though over the first two years, the guys that you’ve brought in on the Major League level is with the idea that if you bring them in for one year or two years, you might be able to move them and bring in as many of these young players as you can. It’s certainly different from the way things were in Boston. So, how do you feel that strategy is working for you? Sort of bringing in guys that are on a shorter Major League tenure with this Cubs team, at least by contract and being able to move them for prospects that you hope can be a big part of the organization’s future.

TE: Well, that is certainly not the only strategy that we’ve tried to employ. But that is a consideration. You have to be realistic of the fact that if you do fall out of the race that simply playing out the string with some of the players that are going to be free agents at the end of the year doesn’t add long term value to the organization and to the building effort that we have. Transferring those shorter term assets to long term assets, trading veteran players with expiring contracts for young players with six years of control just makes all the sense in the world. So, that part has gone really well. Certainly not perfect, but all in all we are really happy with it. If you look at last year as an example, the Ryan Dempster trade. For two months of Ryan Dempster we have Kyle Hendricks, who put up a 1.9 something ERA in Double-A this year and is all the way up to Triple-A and is pitching very well. He looks like he could be a contributor to a Major League rotation. And Christian Villanueva, who is leading the Southern League in doubles and playing an outstanding third base defensively, so that is the type of move that makes the organization better in our opinion for the long haul. This year with the Feldman deal, it is sort of the prototypical type deal of that genre in which you sign a free agent that anyone could have signed. You have him contribute to some wins at the Major League level for the first three month and then trade half a season of Feldman for Jake Arrieta, who has a lot of potential and is under control for four more years of the club and could be a solid rotation piece for us going forward, and Pedro Strop, who has similar control and could be a backend reliever type, certainly a useable part of a championship-type bullpen as well as two international slots. So, those types of deals go really well and you make other deals and you are still excited about the players you get back but maybe they are injured or maybe their development doesn’t happen as quickly as you would like. But all in all, I feel like we can hold our head up high and say we did the right thing for the organization with those moves. I think it made us a more talented organization and it got us a little bit closer to winning a World Series with those types of moves.

JB: Theo, when you look at the fan support that you’ve received through this rebuilding effort so far. Going into a big market like this giving how popular the Cubs are, you are aware of that. Are you surprised by how much people have supported it? I’ll be honest I’ve been very supportive of what you guys are doing. I think it is great, I think that so far Cubs’ fans have been incredibly behind what your effort is. What are your thoughts on that?

TE: Yeah, I’ve been very impressed and surprised and appreciative. I mean, coming in here and taking a hard look at the organization and just how far to go as far as talent on the Major League level, contracts that we had, the farm system, needing to overhaul the scouting and player development departments. I braced myself for a pretty dramatic building effort, so I felt like it was important to insulate ourselves and baseball operations from the potential criticism and pressure we knew we’d get with some of the tough times at the Major League level that were inevitable and even more inevitable than I thought in some ways (laughs). But, I’ve just been real surprised and impressed just how informed the fans are and how patient they are. We just have an optimistic, good natured fan base as a whole. It doesn’t mean that there is unconditional patience without verification. I’m really happy that the fans have taken the time to listen to what we are trying to do. We have been transparent about it. I think they appreciate that, rather than selling them a bill of goods. They’ve bought in but unfortunately we cannot reward that as quickly we would like but that does motivate us to work very, very hard day and night to make it happen. To hit on as many deals as we can to turn this thing around as quickly as we possibly can to reward these fans, because they have been more than patient enough. We look forward to the time that rather than fretting about the state of the organization and when are we possibly going to get back into the playoffs, we hope they are hammering us one day for not having the right second situational lefty in the pen because we need to win the division and not the Wild Card. And who are we going to acquire at the trade deadline to fill that type of hole …

JB: Right …

TE: Hopefully that is here before we know it. We look forward to that type of pressure that we can certainly live up to for our fans.

JB: Coming up on the final minute with Theo Epstein here on Cubs Weekly on 720 WGN. I have to ask you about Starlin Castro yesterday. He’s been in the majors a while now, even though he is 23. Sometimes we forget how young he is because he has been in the Major Leagues for so long. What is your opinion on what happened yesterday? The way Dale Sveum handled it and what do you think about the fact that Starlin that even though he has been in the Major Leagues for as long as he has and has as much service time as he has that he still occasionally has these moments where it seems like he is not extremely focused on the field.

TE: Well, my thoughts on it are I think that first of all it was a disappointing and unfortunate play. As he said he made a really bad mistake and he paid for it. I think it was handled exceptionally well, not only by Dale, but also by Castro. Often times with the development of players and the development of young men, it is not quite as important what event happens, what adversity they face as it is how they respond to it. In this case you had a player make a terrible mental error. The manager held him accountable for it, immediately removed him from the game. The player, rather than sulking, rather than placing blame elsewhere, admitted culpability for it. Said that he made an egregious mistake that he paid for it and feels like he let his teammates down, let the organization down. He apologized for it and after paying the price, the manager had the player’s back and got him right back out there the next day. He recognized that the player is a very talented player and is a good person that works hard and doesn’t want to make those kinds of mistakes and presented this as an opportunity to get better, and it is. I will say this about Starlin having three years in the big leagues now, no one should make excuses for Starlin because he needs be better and this was a mistake. I will say this, he went through the minor leagues extremely quickly, probably too quickly. He got to the big leagues and while he might have been talented enough to be in the big leagues at the time, he had not been fully developed as a player or as a person. At times you have to be held accountable. It is really important to make mistakes and be held accountable and this is probably one of the first instances that he is being held accountable. So kudos to Dale for handling it this way and now let’s see how Starlin responds. I really think this can be a growth opportunity for him. We all know this is not the player who he is. He is not a .244 hitter. He is not someone who makes mental mistake after mental mistake. The fact is that they’ve become fewer and farther between. He’s played a pretty good shortstop of late. It’s been kinda a lost season for Starlin this year. Maybe this event, more importantly the way he handles it, can be the catalyst to getting back to the extremely talented player that he is.

JB: No doubt.

The interview concluded with Jordan Bernfield and Theo Epstein briefly discussing Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam.

____________________________________________________________________

For those that missed the transcript of the interview that Theo Epstein had on MLB Network Radio just before he spent time on WGN Radio, here is the link to the interview.

Theo Epstein Talks Cubs on MLB Network Radio

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

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  • Dorasaga

    “We don’t feel like we have to live up to anything. I think the only reason that we hold ourselves to high standards. We feel self-inflicted pressure from time to time because there are only so many opportunities
    to do it…”

    Sounds like an one-in-a-lifetime job for Mr. Epstein. Roll up your sleeves, man. Obstacles are on its way and to your face. Variables. Lousy trades. Misplaced talents. Stronger divisional rivals. Don’t sign those B-class Major League pitcher, or age 30 slugger, if one day you’re serious about contending World Series.

    Building a farm is easier than say, getting to the postseason year after year after–more times than the Division Rival of the Highlanders could, while the Men From Beantowne should. But Mr. Epstein had philosophical differences with the owner. It was on the news in two different years.

    Well, well. Time will prove you right, I hope, because time is running out for you. And the life of too many Cubbie fans.

  • cubtex

    Neil. I couldn’t get through the first question. You forgot a word after asses. I think the question was….” How would you asses assess how things have gone so far?” There you go:)

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thanks for catching the typo, corrected.

      • cubtex

        It gave me a laugh this morning! Have a great weekend!!

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          You too …

  • Ripsnorter1

    Edison Volquez tonight, and he has stunk up that Padres pitcher’s park to
    the tune of a 5.72 ERA.

    Ed Jackson might even have a chance to win tonight.

  • 07GreyDigger

    I think what strikes me the most about this is that they fully admit that the major league team stinks and its going to continue to stink until the kids are ready.

    I get everyone’s argument about signing a guy or two to make the team respectable, but for what? Are we going to pay a free agent a few million dollars so they win 75 games instead of 65? What does that accomplish?

    This interview only reinforces for me that the FO is committed to the way they want to do things and not going to bow to outside pressure. To them its not about the wild card, its about winning the division. That’s what I want, the Cubs to finally to be a force in the NL and I’m willing to wait for them to do it.

    • cubtex

      This is not only directed at just you Grey, but I have heard others say this as well and I don’t get it one bit! The playoff system is set up so that 2 WC from each league make the playoffs. Those WC teams have an opportunity to go to the WS and win a WS just like a division champion. To say that it is not just about making the playoffs…..we want a division title? It is mind boggling to me. Yes, it is nice to win a division title…but anything can happen in the playoffs. Look at some of these past WS teams. Look at the Marlins teams(the one that knocked off the Cubs) and the Cards teams. In the words of former Bears coach Dave Wahnstedt to wait for “The pieces are in place” to win a Division title is cheating opportunities to compete sooner. Mike Rizzo was saying the other day that the Cubs are doing it the “right” way. The same way the Nats did it…..but the difference is that the draft is setup so differently now that it is so much more difficult. Look at the Nats. They thought they would be in the playoffs for several years in a row. That Strassburg debacle last year might haunt them for years. There is no guarantee for next year. Injuries happen, some players can have off years. You need a bit of luck every year to compete. Will the Nats make the playoffs next year? No guarantee either. They had 2 1st picks in Strassburg and Harper and hit on both of them. Every year is a challenge and every year key moves need to be made.

      • 07GreyDigger

        I think you’re taking the “division titles” thing a little too literal. I think what Theo is saying here is not that they want a bunch of division title trophies (although I’m sure they wouldn’t mind it) they want to build teams that can win them.

        Teams that win division titles consistently have a ton of talent up and down the roster and depth to withstand injuries. If you have a roster like that and certain guys underperform, that’s what a wild card is helpful for.

        Sure, teams like the Marlins have snuck in the wild card and won the WS. But do you want a team that sneaks in and doesn’t return? Or a team that has a chance every year to make it?

        That’s what I think he’s hammering home here. It’s been his mantra from day one. He wants to win the WS, but he wants to build a dynasty. Like the Patriots or the (ugh) Red Wings.

        • cubtex

          No, I totally get what he is saying. What I am saying is that even though you think you are set up for winning a division each year….doesn’t mean you will. I used the Nats as an example. The Cubs had a pitching staff of Kerry Wood,Prior, Zambrano who many thought would be one of the tops in the game for years. Sh## happens.

          • 07GreyDigger

            It sure does. But you know what? Do you think the Nationals will be bad next year? They’ve got core guys like Harper, Strasburg, Zimmerman(s) on that team. They’ll probably be in the hunt next year. That’s the whole crux of his argument.

            If you’ve got a good MLB team and a good system, if your star third baseman breaks his leg, the whole season isn’t lost. That’s what they want to do. I don’t see the issue with that.

          • cubtex

            Do I think they will? Maybe. Do I think the teams below them are getting closer to them? Ablsolutely. The Mets have Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler and are coming. The Braves kicked their a## this year. The Cards,Reds and Pirates will be good again next year…so the WC could still be out of reach. If you lose a star player or 2, no matter how good your minor league system is……it still might not matter.

          • 07GreyDigger

            And to further add to your point. You run a business, do you plan in advance in case a hurricane happens? Or a flood?

            No. You have no way of knowing those things can happen. But what you can do is add insurance. To protect you against these kind of things.

            I think they’ve demonstrated that lately. 3B is a problem spot for them. Who do they have? Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Christian Villanueva, Mike Olt. Four guys. Obviously, some are more talented than others and have higher ceilings. But they’re not banking on one guy, they’re giving themselves options and if one of them doesn’t work out, they have the depth to still fill the position.

            You can say the same for areas like SS. They have Castro, Baez and Alcantara.

            You see what I mean?

            Based on what I’ve seen so far, this isn’t going to be like it was, where they rested the organization’s hopes on guys like Corey Patterson, Felix Pie and Kerry Wood. They want to keep adding to the pipeline so they can guard against disasters.

            Wouldn’t you want a FO with that attitude that one that’s like it was and hopes if they cobble it together they can lightning in the bottle?

          • cubtex

            Do you see what taking a key player off your team can do? Look at this lost year. The Cubs traded Garza and Soriano. Many thought….that won’t hurt them too much. They have stockpiled better arms and they have added better outfielders to offset the loss. What is their record since the Cubs traded those 2? It is the same on a championship team. Look what happened to the Cards when Yadier Molina was hurt and missed a couple of weeks. They went in the tank. Even the lowly Cubs put a spanking on them. The Cards have one of the best organizations in baseball…but even they couldn’t recover if they lost Yadi.

          • 07GreyDigger

            If I’m reading your argument right, shit happens. So how do you want them to plan going forward for injuries? Should we go for broke and win now because it’s been 100 odd years? What if they win the world series next year and never win again for 100 years? Was it worth it?

            As for Garza and Soriano, what difference would have it made if they kept them this year? How many games would they have won? 70? 75? They were going to stink this year regardless.

            I guess what I don’t get Tex is what you want them to do going forward. They want to build a good team from the ground up. They want to be the Cardinals. I really don’t see the negatives there.

          • cubtex

            You are missing my point by a wide margin. I am saying that they need to put a winning product on the field asap and go for it asap. This timetable of waiting for the entire system to be in place before building up the major league ballclub is wasting precious years. They have lost 87,90 plus, 100 plus and this year will be another 90 plus loss year. Enough already! This “sustained” winning formula is not a guaranteed winning formula like I tried to point out with my example of the Nats. Almora is still 2 1/2 to 3 years away. Soler is still 2 years away. Pierce Johnson is 2 years away. Zastryzny is 2 years away. Vogelbach is 2 years away. Bryant is probably another year and a half away. Are we all supposed to just wait in anticipation for ALL these prospects to come up and light up the baseball world without any struggles and growing pains???

          • 07GreyDigger

            I don’t think you and I will ever agree so I’m not sure why I waste my time on it, but I ask anyway….

            Let’s say they go for broke. They sign a ton of free agents. Based on who’s available, are they going to win with Ellsbury, Choo, Garza, etc? And when all those guys are in their late 30′s and stink and their contracts are really high, are we all going to whine again about what a stupid thing that was?

            I feel like everyone argues in circles. Everyone was so mad what Hendry did to help them win, but here we are wanting them to do that all over again. It failed. Why would it work now? What’s changed?

          • cubtex

            I am tired of this argument as well. You and others assume that you HAVE to buy the High Priced Free Agents to compete. Did the Red Sox after losing 90 plus games last year? Did the Indians? I am done with this topic too. It is exhausting.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Hey! We’re in agreement! :)

          • JasonPen

            If the Nats are your example of a “sustained winning formula” then you have missed your own point.
            Teams like the Cardinals or the Rays, or the Braves always seem to be in the hunt because they have that great farm system.
            And what’s with this talk of “precious years”? I think that a rebuild doesn’t happen over night, and they could have signed a bunch of free agents over 30 years old, spent 100 million dollars doing it, and it still wouldn’t have mattered. They just weren’t that good of a major league team. The difference between 80 loses and 100 loses is about 15 spots in the draft, and neither one of those teams make the playoffs.
            If you wanna constantly be a middle of the road, 100 million dollar payroll team, trying to win 83 games a year to ‘hope’ to make the playoffs, that’s all you. The majority of Cubs’ fans are in on the rebuild plan, and would like this team to have a chance to win 90 to 100 games each year, with a roster of home-grown talent in their mid-late 20′s, and only sign free agents of the 30yr+ variety when we have definite weak spot we need to fill for a world series run.

            If that plan takes 2,3, or even 4 more years of 100 loses, to have a decade of 90-100 win seasons and the playoffs 8/10 years, Bring it on, I’m ready.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Yay! Someone agrees with me!

          • Brp921

            Please, don’t tempt me with a world series, I may vote yes whatever the cost.:)

    • K_Gripp

      Im not willing to wait. Im 30 years old and the Cubs have gone to the playoffs 6 times in my life. I am tired of paying Filet Mignon prices to eat ground beef. If the Cubs are going to be at the bottom of the standings for 5-9 years then lower the ticket prices to reflect the product. I am on year two of my Wrigley Field Boycott. I will go back when the team on the field reflects the price of the ticket. Until then I prefer to cry while watching Cubs games in the comfort of my home.

      I had a twitter exchange this spring with Len Kasper about the Cubs and the Dodgers and I made the point that the Cubs FO could have reasonably made the same types of moves that the Dodgers made in the last year and been relevant immediately. The Dodgers ownership group is committed to winning now and quite frankly I wish we had that mindset. Building for the future and being competitive now are not mutually exclusive IMO.

      Asking Cubs fans to wait 5-9 years to make the playoffs again is just ridiculous.

      • Denver Mike

        If you honestly think the Cubs have the same financial resources as the Dodgers (modern stadium, advertising $, huge TV contract) then you are overlooking the obvious financial shambles the Tribune Company left the Cubs in when Ricketts’ bought them. The comparison isn’t even close, and this has been discussed and written about at length.

        • K_Gripp

          I’ve heard the argument and frankly I dont buy it. If Mark Cuban bought this team he would have put a contender on the field from day one. There is no question about that. The Cubs are one of the 5 most popular teams in the MLB, in the 3rd largest market in the MLB, and we are going to be entering next season with a payroll of roughly 50 million dollars. If you want to drink the Kool-Aid and believe that the Ricketts family cant afford to put a winning product on the field then so be it but I will not. I expect the ownership to put a winning team on the field every year. Not 5 years from now.

          • Denver Mike

            Then your expectations are unrealistic and ignore basic economic theory.

            As I have mentioned before RIcketts is a businessman who happens to love the Cubs, not a Cubs fan who happened to fall into a boatload of money.

            By the way, Cuban was in negotiations to buy the team, and after sitting at the table decided to walk away. Don’t you think that had something to do with what he saw when he got a good look at the books? If the Cubs were this enormous cash-cow people would have been climbing over each other to buy the team, and that certainly was not the case.

            If thinking about things logically rather than letting emotions cloud my judgement is considered drinking the Kool-Aid, then I’ll put a tap in my living room.

          • JasonPen

            If they weren’t concerned with winning, and only making money. They wouldn’t have brought in Theo Epstein, and they surely wouldn’t be bending over backwards and spending 300 million dollars of their own money on stadium upgrades.

            It’s no kool-aid here my friend. Just common observations that seem to show how committed the Ricketts are to long-term sustainable success.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Boycott then. I’m the same age and I feel completely different. All matter of personal preference I guess. I’d rather get to watch a good team for the next few years than watch the same old crap that I grew up with. Wouldn’t you?

        • K_Gripp

          I dont think they are mutually exclusive. I love what they are doing in the minors. I just think that they can build the farm while also putting a team on the field that competes for the playoffs. Whats really irking me is that I am sensing that they are pushing off the date that they are aiming to be competitive. 2014 is turning into 2015 that is turning into 2016. I dont want to watch terrible baseball for 7 years. The freaking highlight of my day for the past 2 years is looking up the stat lines for our top 20 prospects. That Sucks! Also, if more people boycotted the stadium they might get the hint that they cant put a turn on the field and expect 3 million people to show up.

          • 07GreyDigger

            But how do they keep improving the minors like this with high 20s draft picks?

          • cubtex

            This is 4 years in a row that they will have top 8 picks or better.

          • K_Gripp

            If you have a high 20′s draft pick you made the playoffs. I dont believe Mike Trout was a top ten pick. I dont Believe Wacha was a top 10 pick. You build up scouting, look for certain types of players, Buy international players, and do the exact same thing theyre doing now except now you get to pick in the middle of the round instead of the top of the round.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Here’s a great story on drafting in that area. Mike Trout and Wacha are success stories, but the chances of nabbing that guy in that slot area is slim.

            http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/top-100-draft-flashback/

          • Brp921

            The problem is the cost of the renovation and the new rules penalties that won’t allow overspending in the lower rounds of the draft to lure future high draft picks away from college.

          • Denver Mike

            Now now Brp, this is an emotional rant, let’s not cloud this with silly things like facts :)

          • Brp921

            I can’t point fingers since I’ve ranted a few times myself. Lol.

          • Denver Mike

            I suppose we all have our days … I take it out on the dog :)

          • Dorasaga

            I’m sorry I just did :-p

          • Dorasaga

            You see, they won’t. Not even to lower ticket price. Why? The other owners will laugh at Ricketts! Not into details. You see, the Ricketts WILL have more liberty to lower ticket price when the economy really takes another downhill (it’s not the worst yet, trust me, history be witness), by keeping it along inflation and value to other extended products across the baseball world.

            Anyway, economically and business-wise, it makes no sense to drop prices when the Ricketts need the money flow. Not even the Marlins do that, with their 400 or less attendees in many games (this isn’t a joke, btw; it’s been happening in Miami for years, and it only gets worse).

        • K_Gripp

          The 1980′s we were kids and every Cubs team was the greatest ever. We didnt know better. The 1990′s were brutal. The 2000′s were actually a really fun time to be a Cubs fan. Jim Hendry gets a lot of crap on here but from 2003-2009 I made a ton of memories watching Cubs baseball. The 2010′s Im being told to watch the 1990′s cubs and pay 2003-2009 prices.

        • Denver Mike

          Although I don’t live in Chicago anymore, I do go back with my girlfriend once a year, and the last thing I want to hear at the game is some fan who willingly paid for a ticket just to sit there and complain about it.

      • Brp921

        I have decided not to attend any more games at Wrigley until a better product is on the field as well. However I am going back on my word to go to the “Ryne Sandberg” game next Friday. I will be the guy wearing the Hall of Fame Sandberg jersey giving him a standing ovation.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Let’s see….who won the WS last year?
      Cards.

      Did they win the division?
      No. Cincinnati did with 97 wins. The Cards had only 88.

      How about those 2008 Cubbies? 97 wins was best in NL.
      Tampa had 97, and Angels had 100.
      Tampa played the Phils, who had just 92 wins.

      Get in the playoffs and you could make it all the way.

      Why didn’t the Reds, with 97 wins, go to the WS?
      It’s their dumb manager, imo.

      Why didn’t the 2008 Cubs go to the WS?
      It was their dumb manager, imo. Lou quit about the All-Star break.
      I do not know why. But he managed differently.

      • triple

        Wow Rip, your own case just supports why it’s important to have a great farm system that can regularly feed the big league club with players. The Cards, Reds, and Rays are all teams with good GM’s who recognize the importance of building from within and they make a playoff push every year. The Phillies became big time buyers and they netted one world series championship and look where they are now. Meanwhile, the Cards, Reds, and Rays all will have a legitimate shot of going the WS this year, and beyond.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Tampa get DeJesus for a PTBNL.

    LOL

  • Ripsnorter1

    The Cubs just got Neil Rameriz from the Rangers. Someone has to be dropped from the 40 man
    on Sept 1 to activate Ryan Sweeney. I figure it’ll be Mr. Darnell McDonald. What do you all think?

    • 07GreyDigger

      Oh no! Not Darnell!