Cubs Ramblings as Wrigley Celebrates a Milestone

Hello again, everybody. There was much ado about something this week at Wrigley as the Cubs hosted a team that is supposedly worse than them. The series got off to a good start, but things turned sour quickly and a big ole birthday cake ended up in the dumpster. So, on that random note, let’s get to some rambling.

  • Speaking of the Cubs dumpster, is there a more controversial dumpster in all of pro sports?
  • I mean this is the second Cubs dumpster debacle in a short while. And when the materials in your dumpster are making this much noise, well, that is just not good.
  • This is the first time I have used the word dumpster in an article three times when none of the mentions were in reference to beloved former Cub, Ryan Dempster.
  • Oh, this column is supposed to be about actual baseball occurrences? My bad.
  • I have gone on the record here multiple times saying that my heart said Jeff Samardzija would be on the Northside for a long time to come.
  • My heart is a damn lout. And in the words of the Southside Batting Glove, “He gone” … The Shark, that is.
  • And to clarify, that is not a compliment to The Southside Batting Glove. Wow, I kind of impressed myself with that nickname.
  • Since the All-Star break, Hector Rondon has pitched 36.3 innings with a 2.45 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, and .200 BAA and 32 K’s. That is pretty solid.
  • And a Rule 5 pick to boot. I love when Rule-5 picks are debated. David Patton was going to be a revelation. Rondon was a reach. Espouse on, my friends.
  • Any good company knows the importance of marketing, advertising and putting on a show. And I am a Ricketts backer, but making the ushers wear birthday party hats was just a joke.
  • Actually, I initially thought it was the work of Photoshop when I first saw it on twitter. But no, it was real. All … too … real.
  • I really like the Chi Feds jerseys. I had seen them before, but they were quite good and visually appealing.
  • For a while I have been thinking that the Cubs need to totally overhaul their jerseys.  Start fresh. Go against the grain. Change it up. Be drastic. Think outside the box. I am quickly running out of corporate buzzwords here.
  • But if they piggyback off of some ideas, and really look at it from a 30,000-foot view, they could come up with some robust plans.
  • If you think I am completely insane on introducing a whole new look, let me know.  If you agree, please say so. Let’s start from scratch with this thing.
  • What is with the Cubs ability to sign above average relievers who stop being able to get anyone out the moment they put on the aforementioned Cubs uniform? Veras is the latest example. Anyone want to talk about Mel Rojas?
  • I like that Renteria had a quick hook with Veras, though he seems to have softened lately on the topic. I also really like that Ramirez and Rosscup were called up. Give people opportunities. Also, it should be noted that three guys from the Garza trade are currently on the big-league roster.
  • A baseball stadium had a birthday party this week. I would never claim I have seen it all because I haven’t. But when I’m nearing the end (and I pray that is not for many decades) this “birthday celebration” will be one of the things I tell people I saw.
  • Here’s hoping Bosio can do with Hammel what he did with Feldman. Feldman arrived in Chicago as a journeyman a year ago, and received a $30 million contract in the offseason. That is solid work by Bosio, and I hope Feldman threw a little Bosio’s way.
  • While it hasn’t reached DeRo level yet, my man crush on Olt is growing. While his .184 average is not good, he is less than a year away from being an afterthought of the Rangers. I think this kid has something. And I hope I am right.

That is all for now. Again, please let me know your thoughts on changing up the Cubs unis. Is it a ludicrous idea? Am I an idiot? I really like the idea of going for broke on something new, but then again, I could be so very wrong. I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend.

And until next time … Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course of victory." - Arthur Golden
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  • Eugene Debs

    So, basically we split at home with the worst team in baseball.

    Does that make us the worst team?

  • paCubsFan23

    Mel Rojas reminded me of Dave Smith, Jeff Blauser, and Candy Maldonado.

  • Tom U

    How about Antonio Alfonseca ?

    • Baron_S

      good old six-fingers

  • Bryan

    Typical Cubs….the 2014 marketing spin is “let’s distract the fan base this year by throwing a season long Wrigley Field anniversary party”. How sad that Ricketts pays more attention to parties v. putting a respectable product on the field at Clark and Addison. Perhaps Tom should just forfeit the remaining home games, place beer kegs around the field, and just let the fans bask in the summer outfield grass. Thank goodness Chicago hockey continues.

    • SuzyS

      Bryan, The hockey comparison strikes my funnybone. The Hawks were irrelevant for twenty years before they became a powerhouse.
      I really hope the Cubs don’t take that long.

      • Bryan

        Suzy….agree on the Blackhawks. I hope the Cubs can show a similar franchise turnaround.

    • Richard Hood

      Yeah it has everything to do with distraction and nothing to do with 100 years. You are right god forbid the business side actually capitalize on a good thing.

      Can these guys do anything right in your eyes? How about you do yourself a favor and actually try to stay centered on the good and bad that the Cubs are doing so you can at least appear objective?

      Now I admit there is plenty of bad to focus on but there is also some glimmers of what the future could hold if you get over your “I hate these guys” mind set and just look.

      • Bryan

        Richard…I’ve stayed pretty quiet and calm overall on CCO. I’ve been a diehard Cubs fan since the early 60′s, and candidly my post didn’t deserve your belligerence of a response. I’m entitled to an opinion, as is everyone else. You don’t need to scold fellow posters because they don’t align with your views.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I agree with you Bryan. I’ve been around since the 60′s too.

          • Bryan

            Rip…I know there are many die-hards here from our generation. I hope we all get to see better Cub teams (and outcomes) while we still have good health.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    This season has been very ugly so far and it’s going to get worse after Shark and Hammel get traded it’s going to be a very very long season.

  • SuzyS

    Thanks for the ramblings…Brian…At the mlb level…this looks like the dumpster season….It was interesting for me to see all the empty seats yesterday….and therein lies the hope. With some prospects nearing Wrigley…I look for the Cubs to begin to accelerate the “building” portion of the rebuild this next offseason. Papa Ricketts won’t like the empty seat syndrome that is developing this season.
    If Shark needs to be traded…EJAX appears to be in need of a jettison…what’s to say that the Cubs might resign a Hammel’s for the next few years to actually begin build a stable rotation going forward? It all depends on the prospects being offered in trade.
    But the time is fast approaching for the actual building stage of the Wrigley roster…That’s where empty seats and near term prospect arrival bring the hope this season.

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

      Interesting thought Suzy. I think it does depend on what is offered.

      Shark needs to be the first domino to drop. Then you can reevaluate after he leaves and our return arrives.

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

    I think we could tweak the home uniforms, but just a tweak. The away uniforms are a blank canvas. Do your worst!

    Everyone knows I like Olt too. Despite the average I believe he will be a good player. He’s got undeniable power and last year what he went through is a great story. If he had already logged some MLB time he could be a candidate for Comeback Player. What he went through was soooo serious and I don’t think people appreciate just what he went through.

    • Richard Hood

      I do not think the average is actually very far from what we were hoping for his first year. We are hoping for .240-.260 with his 10% walk rate he has shown in the past. Anything higher than that is a stretch. I do believe that eventually he will be more than that but his first year after his long struggles last season I think that is about as good as we can expect.

  • cubtex

    I heard J Hood and Jesse Rogers talk about this last night and I agree. The Cubs have a PR problem. Why wasn’t Sammy Sosa and Kerry Wood at the 100 year celebration? Sosa wasn’t invited and Wood said he had a prior engagement(OK) These 2 players are a HUGE part of Cubs history. Wood pitched one of the most dominant games in Wrigley history. With this losing and losing and more fans getting fed up….the PR for the team should be on top of the list of importance.

  • No Baseball In Indiana

    Cubs rooftop issue is just a coverup for Ricketts money problems? Yikes!

    • GaryLeeT

      Been saying that all along. My other theory was that he’s trying to starve the rooftop owners to death, with a putrid on-field product. There is nobody in those stands these days.

      • No Baseball In Indiana

        Yeah and now it’s being floated by a major Cubs creditor.

  • cc002600

    Question: It has been very quiet regarding the rooftop issue. We are almost in May now, what the heck is going on with that ? If they lose another year in the remodeling effort, someone should be fired. Its really pathetic. And does that mean we will be subjected to another winter of no acquisitions and the payroll declining even further from its already embarassingly low number ?

    At some point, don’t you have to stop trading away any player that has value for 20 year old prospects ? My God. Because if you don’t, this will go on forever. It could be 2018 or 2019 before they start winning. Seriously.

    • paulcatanese

      Remember, the key word being put out is
      Patient. ( for how long though), 2018 or 2019 may be the soonest, if then. I don’t buy what they are selling at all.

      • cubtex

        I have zero interest in watching any Cubs baseball now. I can’t take watching such a poor product. And….look at some of our “top” prospects. Soler(hurt and his clock is pushed back even further) Baez(got hurt and starting slowly) CJ Edwards(hurt) If you consider Christian Villanueva a prospect( he is hitting .194 in AAA) Alcantara is hitting .253.

        This is not going to miraculously turn around by 2016.

        • GaryLeeT

          It will be even tougher on the fans when they discover there is only plan A, and no money for a B or C.

        • redlarczykg

          Putting ALL your eggs in the prospect basket is risky and can take a long time. Mean while, the future core players like Rizzo, Castro, and Castillo are learning to loose.
          The rebuild should have been done in a more balanced way.

        • cc002600

          I’m starting to think you’re right. I think we’re easily looking at 2017-2018 now. especially if you keep trading away every decent player you have for prospects. That’s all well and good, but do people understand that every time they do that, the timeline gets pushed out farther and farther ? I’m not sure that that concept is sinking in some fans.

    • GaryLeeT

      The Tigers went from a 116 loss season in 2003, to a W.S. appearance in 06 years. Is it unreasonable to expect more from a major market team like the Cubs, than what the Tigers did?

      • cc002600

        Good question, but the cubs lost 101 games in 2012. It seems to me that the earliest we can expect them to compete would be 2016, and that seems to be a stretch more and more. So that’s 4 years, MINIMUM, probably more. That is not good.

        I think their financial situation is worse than we really know. I just think its embarrassing that we have the 3rd highest tickets prices and yet payroll is near the lowest in baseball. When you consider that many teams are spending 150M, and a couple are spending 235M+, something just doesn’t square.

  • John_CC

    I really dislike the Brewers. They have owned the Cubs (not too difficult the last few years) and I would really love to see the Cubs come out and jump all over Garza, who has been pretty shaky this season. I hate Braun for all his BS and Carlos Gomez is pure punk.

  • texcubnut

    Brian, as always, excellent ramblings. I for one, like the uniforms. The home and road jerseys are simple with good color mixes. I agree about Hammel. It seems the FO has done a good job in that area, finding SP’s on the free agent market, getting production and then flipping for prospects. ( Maholm, Feldman, etc. ) But starting pitching isn’t the problem. A solid reliable bullpen and getting timely hitting are the BIG problems. Looking at the lower levels, I believe help is on the way in both depts. Maybe not as fast as we want but you’ll see improvement in the near future.( Baez, Vizcaino, Alcantara )
    Neil, great quote today from one of my favorite songs of all time. Thanks for reminding me of it. I’ll have to get out my old Beatle records. Yes, I still have my old turntable and still listen to vinyl. Man, I’m old. :-)

  • BillyFinT

    Brian, not a lot of humor for tonight. I wonder if you had a bad day?

    • Brian

      BillyFinT, I had a 60+ hour work week with an 8-hour presentation built in. I promise to bring it stronger next week. Thanks for being a loyal reader.