Happy New Year! It’s Two Thousand Fourteen

Happy New Year from ChicagoCubsOnline to All of the Cubs Faithful

I know I say this every year, but to quote the great John Lennon it is truly hard to believe another year is over and a new one has just begun. Baseball season is not that far away, pitchers and catchers will be reporting to the Cubs’ new facility in Mesa before we know it.

It is only 16 days until the 29th annual Cubs Convention, 43 days until pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 13, 57 days until the first Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks at Cubs Park and 89 days until the Cubs open the 2014 season at PNC Park on March 31.

While it was another rough year for the big league club on the field, the Cubs’ organization as a whole had a good Two Thousand Thirteen. Several prospects put together excellent seasons while the farm system made several steps forward in terms of player development and facilities.

The CCO had our best year, and for that I am very grateful and appreciative to all of the readers and posters of the site. I am looking to grow and improve the coverage in the coming months during what will be our tenth calendar year. The CCO will provide first hand coverage of the upcoming Cubs Convention for the ninth straight year and will be in Mesa for the opening of Cubs Park at the end of February. And I do not know who is looking more forward to our tenth trip to Spring Training, me or my wife.

As for actual baseball news on the final day of the year … The Hall of Fame debate continued and the Masahiro Tanaka workload was discussed. Jayson Stark posted his always-entertaining look back at the year that was, Strange But True Feats of 2013. Stark’s year-end column is always a must read. Ken Davidoff released his list of baseball’s overrated and over-hated in 2013.

A big tip of the cap goes out to Tom and Brian for their contributions to this site throughout the year, and all they’ve done over the years. I could not do it without them or my buddy Jim that helps me keep the site on the World Wide Web. And last, but certainly not least, to my wife Abby for her constant support and patience with her husband spending a lot of time in his upstairs office.

To all of the readers, I hope everyone has a happy, healthy and prosperous Two Thousand Fourteen.

As Satchel Paige once said, “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”

Happy New Year!
Off-Season Calendar

January

  • 8 – Hall of Fame Class of 2014 Announced
  • 11 – Individual Tickets for the 2014 Cubs Home Spring Training Games at Cubs Park go on Sale
  • 14 – Salary arbitration filing date
  • 15 – 16 – MLB Owners Meetings – Paradise Valley, AZ
  • 17 – Exchange of salary arbitration figures
  • 17 – 19 – 29th Annual Cubs Convention
  • 24 – Deadline for Masahiro Tanaka to sign a contract with a Major League team (4:00pm CST)
  • 25 – Grand Opening of Cubs Park

February

  • 1 – 21 – Salary arbitration hearings
  • 13 – Cubs Pitchers and Catchers Report to Fitch Park
  • 14 – First on field workout for Cubs Pitchers and Catchers
  • 15 – End of Waiver Period
  • 16 – Beginning of New Waiver Period
  • 27 – Cubs Cactus League Opener vs. Diamondbacks (SS) at Cubs Park

March

  • 2 – 11 – Teams may renew contracts of unsigned players
  • 12 – Last day to request unconditional Release Waivers for a player and pay only 30 days termination pay
  • 21- Earliest date a club may backdate placement of a player on 15-day Major League disabled list
  • 22 – 23 – MLB Opening Series in Sydney, Australia – Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks
  • 26 – Last date to request unconditional Release Waivers for a player without having to pay full 2014 salary.
  • 30 – All Clubs must reduce active roster to 25 players
  • 30 – Opening Day for MLB
  • 31 – 2014 Opening Day for Chicago Cubs – Cubs vs. Pirates at PNC Park

April

  • 4 – Cubs 2014 Home Opener – Cubs vs. Phillies at Wrigley Field
  • 9 – First date a player optioned to the minors during Spring Training may be recalled

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors 

Quote of the Day

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did." - Mark Twain

Share on Fancred
  • Scott McMeekan

    Happy New Year Neil, and to all of the CCO! Looking forward to the 2014 campaign.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Happy new year Neil!
    Say hello to Abby for me, and let me know when you are in AZ or Chicago for Cubs games, as I may be able to join you this year!

  • IRG

    Happy new year from Puerto Rico to all. As a Cubs fan I love this site and read it multiple times on a daily basis. Thanks Neil for all the good info and daily updates. :-)

    • Agustin Rexach

      San Juan?

      • Tom U

        I hope you were both able to enjoy some baseball in the Roberto Clemente League.

        • IRG

          Yes, San Juan. I didn’t enjoy Daniel Bard short stint in the league, but is a nice complement for the offseason. We used to have more major leaguers in the past, however the positive is that more prospects play in the league now.

  • Tony_Hall

    Happy New Year to all!

  • SuzyS

    Happy New Year!!!…Neil, Abby, Tom, Brian, Jim…all CCO staffers and all my fellow posters and readers….A blessed and prosperous year to all!!

    • SuzyS

      BTW, Neil…I love your new “Quote of the Day”.!

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Suzy, that is one of my favorites. I am glad you liked it.

  • Gramps

    Happy New Year everybody! Let’s hope that this is the first of many successful years for our favorite team. GO CUBS!

    Thanks Neil for making this site a must-read every day.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Neil wrote “The CCO had our best year, and for that I am very grateful and appreciative to all of the readers and posters of the site.”

    A few comments:
    1. We readers/posters love the CCO. Thank you all so much. Speaking for myself, I love all the articles and writers.
    Thank you Tom, Bryan, and Neil. And I know I speak for all the CCO readers/posters when I say, “Our hopes and prayers are for all of you to have a blessed 2014 and beyond.”

    2. We are very glad the CCO had its best year. We are hoping 2014 surpasses 2013. Frankly, why wouldn’t it? The CCO is chock full of excellent articles with real insight and depth. This place is a must read for every true Cubs’ fan. Without question this site is going to continue to grow.

    3. It would appear that all the discussions with all the differing viewpoints, with its Theo-lovers and Theo-haters, etc, have not hurt the CCO. In fact, I would say it has been healthy for it. For that I am very glad. I am looking forward to the continued discussions here!

    4. Lastly, the up arrows and the down arrows are not a threat to me. I don’t think we should be too concerned with them. If Disgus doesn’t make any changes, what difference does it really make? A great article, or a post you disagree with, will still say the same thing. I say, let all the readers up arrow or down arrow anything they like. It is just like posting–they are expressing their opinion. Let ‘em express it. At least they are reading the CCO!

    Happy New Year One and All!

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I agree with it all Rip! I don’t care about arrows and I believe the debate is healthy as long as it’s not mean-spirited.

      I don’t understand the no editing of your own posts thing but rules are rules and if I want to be a part of this site I’ll follow them…

      • Ripsnorter1

        And I agree with you, Mr. Boardrider!

        Yes, we do not need the mean spirited stuff. We can state our positions without it.
        Besides, it’s much more fun that way.

        And as for the no editing business, ?????

        You’re a good man, Mr. Boardrider! I love the CCO, and posters like you!
        Here’s a prayer that 2014 is a great year for the Boardrider. : )

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          Man Rip thanks so much for the kind words and wishes. I read this last night on my phone and made a point to come back to it today once I got to work and reply to tell you that it was really touching and made me smile.

          I wish you and your family the same and am glad to call you my friend (even if I couldn’t physically ID you in a crowded room of people). ;)

          • Ripsnorter1

            If you get to Chicago or Rockford, drop me a line. We’ll grab Tony Hall and catch
            a game, either MiL game or Cubbies. I don’t know how much I can take with Tony
            on one side, and you on the other, both telling me how wrong I am about Theo,
            but I’m willing to try. : )

            LOL

            Maybe Cubtex will fly up from Texas and even out the odds….

          • Ripsnorter1

            Thanks for the good wishes!

  • Agustin Rexach TinTin

    To further quote John Lennon: It’s hard to believe a decade of the CCO is here and soon another one will start! WHAT??? Unreal Neil! That’s really an amazing feat
    and for me a pleasure to witness the CCO grow and evolve since the early days of that first campaign. My best wishes go out to you and Abby aswell as Tom, Jim and Brian! This time of the year always bring me back JimK memories so a shout out for him @ Heaven.

    Keep up the momentum Neil, soon it will be 20 years and maybe just maybe one of those could be a championship year!

    Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo

    • SuzyS

      Augustin, Best to you and yours….Jim K. will not be forgotten…I was thinking of him yesterday…and I suspect a current lurker, conspicuously absent…Aaron.
      Once again…Happy New Year to ALL.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Come on back, AARON!

        Start posting again, pretty please!

        • GaryLeeT

          Since we are being nostalgic, I know what happened to JimK ,but what happened to all the other Jims that use to post? Are they here, but using different names? Why Did Tom U stop using his last name when he writes his down on the farm articles? I really miss the call-in simulcasts shows Neil and Brian use to do.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I have no idea what happened to any of them, aside from Mr. JimK.

            I enjoyed them all.

          • Tom U

            Gary, I’ve always used Tom U. It ‘s just easier than my hard to pronounce last name.

            I also miss Aaron, he was very good with the MLB Draft.

          • GaryLeeT

            Oh, I remember you using Tom Edgar, but that must be your middle name or something like that.

          • Tom U

            Nope, Thomas Robert Peter

          • texcubnut

            I remember Jim K. fondly and like a lot of the others, I miss Aaron’s posts. I pray all is well with him.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Two different Toms … I have not had any communication with Tom Edgar in a very long time.

          • GaryLeeT

            ooops. Well, I guess you could understand how I connected the two, since they were both named Tom, and both did the “down on the farm” reports.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            No worries and yes I understand.

      • John_CC

        Jim was a great guy wasn’t he.

        Happy new year!

    • GaryLeeT

      On a slow day, I encourage one and all to poke through the archives. It’s pretty cool to check out the old timers, how posting styles have changed for those of us still hanging around, and how Neil’s journalistic abilities have evolved. I’m not saying it was bad, but the good, became professional quality.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Gary, thank you very much. That means more to me than you know.

        I know several asked about Aaron. He is doing good. We exchanged emails not too long ago. He’s not able to post on
        the site right now, but he said to tell everyone ‘hello’ for him. And Jim from
        Tinley Park, I talk to or text with just about every day. He is doing great.

        Brian and I briefly discussed starting the CCO Radio Show up again last year.
        Then we got busy and the conversation ended. We had fun with the show. Shaun as
        well and Aaron filled in a couple of times.

  • Tom U

    A very Happy and Healthy New Year to everyone at the CCO!

  • Sanibelchuck

    Happy New Year from Fort Myers, FL. Thank you Neil for another great year. Am looking forward to the Cubs Convention, You may see me hanging out in the Legends Lounge for season ticket holders. Here in FL after the start of the New Year I will be looking for early arrivals at the Minnesota Twins spring training site and the Boston Red Sox spring training site. Not surprising how some of these players end up in a Cubs uniform.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Happy New Year to all!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    My 2014 Bold Predictions……..
    1 – Samardzija will not be traded at the July deadline…..but will be next December.
    2 – Edwin Jackson will have 10 wins by July, and will be traded.
    3 – Pierce Johnson will win Pitcher of the Month next September
    4 – Brett Jackson will be every day centerfielder by June.
    5 – Cubs will lose 90-92 games.
    6 – Wellington Castillo will be lone Cubs All Star
    7 – Jake Arietta will lead the team in Wins
    8 – Jed Hoyer will leave the Cubs
    9 – Cubs Season will be over by end of May
    10 – Cubs Renteria will be tossed at least ten times during the season.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I’ll grant you this thing: those were bold predictions.

      Brett Jackson: I hope he plays for us. I doubt it very much. But I do wish him well.

    • cubtex

      Bold is right. If Edwin Jackson has 10 wins by July and traded, Shark will not be traded and Arrieta leads the team in wins with the Cubs losing 90 to 92 games…. Shark and Travis Wood will not win many games according to cubbyden

      • Tony_Hall

        You put more thought into this then he did making the list.

        • cubtex

          Lol

          • paulcatanese

            Just wanted to say spent New Years eve watching Texas A&M and Duke, great game, some good teams in Texas:)

          • cubtex

            DVD’d it and watched it today. Johnny Football is incredible! I don’t know what kind of pro he will be but he is one hell of a college quarterback!

          • paulcatanese

            He’s our favorite. Have watched every game that we could.
            Hope he stays in school, he is too competitive and undisciplined for the pro’s and they would stifle him and take away his game.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Women are Hot also.

        • CubbyDenCritic

          Did you ever have an original thought?

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes and they usually have some basis, not just random babbling.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            its 2014…..I am going to be Nice even more this year then last few years…I am not going to be mean ……so why don’t you stop acting like a Bully……it seems everything I say, you have to come back with smart ass comments……..as you said earlier one time, you don’t read my comments…..then don’t respond to them……..so be nice, and try not to act like Bully…….most of your comments are based on stories from MLB Rumor mill……they are not original.

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t read your comments if they are more than a few lines, and didn’t read what you wrote above. Just Tex’s response. If you reply to me, I read it and will respond if I need to.

            You are the bully on here.

          • Tony_Hall

            I also don’t use MLBtraderumors very often to post articles, but mlbtraderumors.com usually has links to all baseball articles.

            If you think anyone on here has original ideas, you are crazy. They are already thought of by teams, written about by people with blogs or disregarded as nonsense.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        I think Shark & Wood will be spending time on the DL this year.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Thank you for all of the kind words today, sorry for the
    late responses I’ve been working on content. I hope everyone had a great start
    to the New Year.