Rambling about the Cubs on the Last Day of January

Hello again, everybody, and I must say that once more … hello again, everybody.  It has been quite some time. To be exact, it has been seven weeks since you have been inundated with my rambling, sometimes incoherent thoughts that may or may not remind you of a distant uncle.

There has been so much going on, and a plethora of information that Neil had to report. And report he did. As well as one can. You won’t find better, more up-to-date information on the Cubs anywhere else. The CCO owns that niche. Reading the Convention reviews made one feel like he or she actually attended the darn thing …

With that out of the way, let’s go rambling a bit, and talk about all things Cubs …

  • I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV … nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night …
  • I just wanted to get that out of the way because I am not looking to start any legal arguments, but I may say a few things that contain legalese, or what I would have done. If you would like to engage, feel free to do so … again, I am not a lawyer.
  • First, once the Rooftops started Groupon-ing their seats, all good faith and friendship was over. I don’t care if it didn’t violate the contract, it sent a loud message on where they stand. Money … money … money.
  • Ask yourself who cares more about the Cubs winning?
  • The fact the Cubs have waited this long to file for the sign permit, and begin the restoration process is wrong, in my opinion. They had too much respect for an entity that they didn’t have to protect.
  • While it may be bad PR, a good lawyer could keep this tied up in the courts for years and years …
  • The point being, this could be the ultimate game of chicken … who will blink first?  And when the negotiations broke down, the Cubs filed for the permit to install the approved sign in right field.
  • And in the end, the ‘Toppers made so much money off of something they didn’t own for years and years and years, so I don’t really feel all that bad for them.
  • I am all in favor of Paul Maholm returning. I really do not think the Cubs can go wrong with that one. So, please do it now.
  • Tanaka … $150+ million for a man who has never thrown a pitch in a Major League game and whose arm is as taxed as any ever at his age … NO THANKS.
  • For every Yu, there is a Daisuke and a Hideki … oh, and a Kosuke as well!
  • Now that 94% of the 3,497 publications that rank Baseball’s Minor League players have been published, I think it is fair to say the Cubs have four of the top 40 or 45 in Baez, Bryant, Almora and Soler.  And C.J. Edwards is lurking.  Or C.J. Edwards is one of the four and Soler is lurking.  It’s hard to keep up at times.
  • I watched the MLB Network special the other night, and one would have to believe that either Baez or Bryant will definitely make it. Both would be gravy.
  • Also, I am amazed by how many pundits are sure Almora will be an above-average outfielder. Many make it seem like he is the Cubs “most likely” to stick. Maybe not the one who could be the best, but the best bet.
  • I have always believed in McThoyer, and I have been an ardent defender of the Ricketts. And I hope, someday soon they prove me right …
  • However, as a season-ticket holder, there was a part of me that really wanted them to sign Garza. I know the plan, and I know they must stick to it, but I really wanted some halfway big signing to hang my hat on this hot stove season. The logic part of my brain gets it, the “fan” part, not so much.
  • I attended CubsCon with the genius who owns and operates this site, and we had a shared belief. Either Theo and Jed should move to Hollywood and star in movies for their next act, or they both truly and deeply respect, trust and like Tom Ricketts.
  • I can’t wait for everyone to tell me I am a gullible idiot. I always enjoy that part. But for those who feel inclined to do so, why would they both still be here?  Why would McLeod still be here? McLeod’s had offers, he hasn’t left.
  • And don’t say money, they could all easily make the same somewhere else. In pro sports, getting out of contracts is not difficult. Theo would not have signed it if it were.
  • I referenced the “Logic” part of my brain and the “Fan” part of my brain recently. I think history will prove that the Logic part wins so much more that the fan part.  After all, logic is much more trustworthy than fanaticism.

Fire away, have at it, and please enjoy it.  Also I wish everyone a safe and sound Super Bowl Sunday.  And for those watching at bars and parties, please don’t drink and drive.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

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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

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  • triple

    It’s always great to read your ramblings Brian.

  • Vivid_Reality

    You are not a gullible idiot. There are always gonna be multiple sides to the argument. Someone is always going to want the better on field product or they are gonna think x was the incorrect move. All you can do is pick a side and stick with it until you are proven right or wrong. This is what I have wanted since the last few years of Hendry’s regime. I fully believe that blowing up the major league product and starting over from the ground up is the correct move.

    It may be hard to believe but I have enjoyed these last few seasons more than any year since they got swept out of the playoffs, again. Once you accept that the product isn’t going to be great you can enjoy certain events in a vacuum. Maybe that’s just me but I still have things to look forward to during the season. I loved watching the debuts of Vitters and Jackson, even if it was horrific. Lake’s debut last year made up for it a little. The Cubs Cards series never gets old, White Sox as well. People just get so wound up with the losing streak that they have blinders on. It is possible that I just haven’t been around long enough and I still have optimism, who knows.

    The worst thing about the rebuild is defending it to someone who doesn’t believe in it. Mainly because there is no argument you can win. The only thing we can say is just wait. Which seems to be the Cubs motto anyway. But I will remain ever optimistic in the rebuild and Theo and Co until they give me a reason not to be.

    • GaryLeeT

      So how many more years are you giving them? When you are young, and time is on your side, optimism keeps the scale heavily weighed to one side. But then the years turn into decades of losing, and the scale tips in the other direction. We remain stead fast fans, just not patient ones.

  • Dorasaga

    PR as a way to sell mass public–as relative to specific, targeted market section–what we don’t need, well, I’ll say it’s bad whether it’s successful or not.

    As a Cubs fan, I never saw profit in reminding the Cubs what they missed in not honoring Phil Cavarretta as they did on Ernie Banks. 1950 was different from 1980.

  • GaryLeeT

    McCleod is staying, because he gets all the resources he needs or wants, as it should be.
    As scouting director, he probably helps with FA signings, but his real work has yet to be judged at the ML level.

  • Tom U

    Wishing Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, a very Happy Birthday

    • cc002600

      the 60’s uniforms were the best, with the old classic bear logo on the sleeve. I think the other ones that they are bringing back from the old, old days are mostly ugly. And I think the new alternate road jersey is ugly too.

      • Brp921

        I like the sixties uniform the best too. That’s when baseball was baseball. I disagree on some of the older ones though, as I thought some of them were pretty cool. Some of the more recent ones weren’t so good though.

  • Eugene Debs

    Every time someone says “stay classy,” a pony gets a thorn in its hoof.

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

      Bwahahahahahahaha!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Before you get upset at my opinions–and I say this in the most friendly way, with no
    disrespect in my heart–you did say ” I can’t wait for everyone to tell me I am a gullible idiot. I always enjoy that part.”
    I would never, ever, call you an idiot. I would say you are a loyal Team Theo supporter, and I would
    say that your loyalty is misplaced. But on to my other comments….

    Team Theo could have gotten the largest baseball management contract in history
    anywhere, you say?

    Sorry. I have a hard time swallowing today. And that just won’t go down.
    LOL

    They were tied of his act in Boston. That’s one “anywhere” that he couldn’t get paid.
    If Ricketts had exhibited another 3 or 4 seconds of patience, we could have had Theo
    without the “trade.” He was going to get F-I-R-E-D.
    He couldn’t get paid at any of the small market teams offices either. And frankly
    I think the baseball world considers him an overpaid and underperforming executive.
    In short, the Yanks and Dodgers would have no need of his services, either. Once he’s
    done in Cubbyland, he might find himself out of MLB.

    Maholm is not coming to Chicago. Theo is just talking. I would call it a smoke screen.
    He’s going to pitch what’s on the farm. And frankly, that’s just fine with me. After the mess
    he’s made of the ML roster, why spend a single dime to bring in a pitcher? And I sincerely
    hope he brings up Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters, and hands them a job. They would be more
    entertaining to watch that Luis Valbuena and whatever else they are going to toss onto the outfield.
    And if Barney takes us to arbitration, CUT HIM IMMEDIATELY. See how much he can earn as a
    FA. “SO long. Have a nice day.”

    So what is there to watch in 2014?
    I am looking for another “record setting year” in 2014. Team Theo should be able
    to do what no other GM in Cubs’ history has ever yet been able to do: lose 300 games in 3 years.

    I wait with bated breath.
    LOL

    • cubtex

      FEAR the up arrow Paul. You might get another lecture from a 24 year old :) LOL

      • triple

        That just shows how out of touch you are…. not even close on the age buddy. And no I wasn’t mad, or angry, or had a bad day. In fact I had a pretty darn good day yesterday. Just calling it like I see it. And yes, since you are always concerned. That down arrow was from me. Whine about it a little more…

        It seems my point yesterday went right over your head, like many peoples posts here seem to do. And then you always retort with the predictable lines you have.

        • cubtex

          hahaha. a grown man with Clark the Cubbie as his avatar?

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Let’s move on from this conversation. Thank you.

        • paulcatanese

          If that’s how you see it, maybe you need new glasses. I figure no matter what you’re age, I have been around longer and have been a fan for a great number of years more than you. I have earned the right to have the opinions I put forth.
          I give up arrows to many, even you at times, if the article is well written. Too bad you are so narrow minded to not see that.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Thanks for moving on from this conversation.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Thank you from moving on from this conversation.

    • Brian

      Rip,

      Thanks for the fair comments. I truly appreciate them.

      In life, the best things we know for sure are what we don’t know. We don’t know Theo’s contract language, nor do we know if a small-market team would have ponied up for him.

      I will disagree about his firing. And it is safe to say that Theo had as much of a hand in the Red Sox most recent World Series victory at Ben. (I do enjoy referring to them on a first-name basis).

      I will challenge you on “overpaid and under-performing.” The baseball world agrees the Cubs farm system has gone from the mid-twenties to the top-5 in TWO YEARS.

      Now, as I inimated in my column, I am a ticket-holder and would like to see more winning baseball. And I will agree that Theo has expressed frustration with the payroll, but you and I both know he could get out of that contract in a heartbeat. Contracts are for BLANK. I have worked in “corporate America” for 13 years and have never signed an actual contract. I signed “offer letters.” In sports, contracts are “offer letters.”

      My main point being … Theo is either a phenomenal actor, or he believes in Tom Ricketts.

      I promise you and all other readers this … if the Cubs are competing hard in ’16 and ’17, and coming close to doing so in ’15, then you are right, and I am wrong.

      Kudos to you my friend for disagreeing with me respectfully. That is what causes great discourse, and I appreciate it.

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

    Before I even checked the site I had an inkling there would be ramblings this morning! Thanks Brian.

    Nothing you say I can really disagree with.

  • Jeff Wilson

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m starting to get baseball fever! This weather isn’t helping much, another inch or two of snow today… ugh!
    For all the fans that have been waiting to see the farm hands improving, getting their shot, it looks like this might be the year for Baez, Olt should get a shot at 3rd base, and maybe we’ll start seeing some spark. It has been a long winter, I’m in agreement with the management staff (why not, we’ve tried everything else) but we should finally start seeing light at the end of the tunnel!
    Go Cubs!!!

    • GaryLeeT

      The hard part will be when we all get teased by their presence in spring training, and then “hope” heads back to farm.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Yes! I have baseball fever! I can’t wait for ST to start. And start the games! Let’s
      get it all going!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    If the Cubs lose another 90 plus games again this season, how will everyone feel by September ?

    If Castro hits 300….and Baez hits 250……who should we trade ?

    If Mike Olt hits 30 plus HR’s, would you all stop talking about his poor eye sight ?

    If Garza beats the Cubs more then four times this year, will you blame Theo or the Cubs poor hitting ?

    Will you be happy to see a Cubs outfield of Lake, Bjax,, Szczur by August ?

    Will you be sad if Shark is not traded by July ?

    Will you be angry if no major free agents come here for 2015 ?

    Rizzo of 2014 is the Rizzo we saw in 2013…..Keep him or demand Vogelbach ?

    Kris Bryant stays a whole year in the minors just to get bats….good move or bad move ?

    Who will be a better mascot….Clark the Bear or Bennie the Bull ?

    • Jeff Wilson

      90 game loss means better draft pick, but I think we will be better than that.
      Wouldn’t trade Castro, would love to see him hit 300+ this year.
      Jury out on Mike Olt till I see him perform.
      Love Shark, keep him for career!
      Going to be tough to get free agents to this team because of the rebuilding process, but not impossible. Better to get them to fill our needs after we see what the minor leagues do.
      Rizzo needs better bats in the lineup, or the opposing pitchers will just pitch junk.
      Bryant – good question! I’m not sure.
      Ronnie Wooo Wooo for mascot!