Friday, November 18, 2011

It Keeps Getting Better

It's been nearly a flawless offseason for the Cubs. Theo Epstein is here and he's brought with him a cavalcade of management stars. Jed Hoyer is the GM to do the dirty work of dealing with the media and the 29 other baseball GMs every day. Jason McLeod will attempt to remove the Hendry from Oneri Fleita and Tim Wilken (aside: what are they still doing here? Weren't we told they were too loyal to Hendry to stay if he left?). And new manager Dale Sveum will babysit the clubhouse as everyone not named Garza, Castro and Cashner consults out of town real estate agents.

This could not have possibly gone any better for Tom Ricketts. His tenure as owner to date was not exactly inspiring. He needed a quick turnaround in the franchise's direction or things could have spiraled down and gone out of control.

Theo's hire, and the hires that followed, reversed that trend sharply. How sharply?

To the point that the press looks at this story and sees money to renovate Wrigley Field as a real possibility.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is dumping all three city members of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority — including former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew — in a housecleaning that could set the stage to renegotiate the White Sox lease, modify its restaurant deal and, possibly, have the state acquire and renovate Wrigley Field.
As a first step, none of the new members will accept the perks that come with the job: discounted tickets; free food and beverages; special parking privileges and access to skyboxes for non-charity events.
Nice to see more of the Daley cronyism fading away. But, how likely is more money for Wrigley Field? The article is pretty silent. It focuses mostly on the White Sox sweetheart lease, a lease that, according to the article, "requires the Sox to pay just $1.5 million in annual rent."

What does it say about the Cubs?

(Emanuel's) board members could attempt to revive a failed 2008 plan to have the state acquire and renovate Wrigley Field. Emanuel wants to find a way to save 97-year-old Wrigley without forfeiting 35 years' worth of amusement tax growth. The mayor has called that Cubs' plan a "non-starter."
So, there really is no plan or structure currently being floated, but Crain's sees turnover at ISFA as a sign of good things for the Cubs.

Just maybe nothing has happened at all yet, but the Cubs new reputation is so good that Crain's just assumes plans are being made? That's a fairly logical assumption.

And it speaks volumes about the good will that Theo Epstein has injected into this franchise.

Jesus Hendry left us a a pile of crap to clean up!
I still fucking hate the Cubs!
No love for your newest Cub?
I bought a house in Wheaton and need a new banker.
I can play 1st base still!!!

I know it must be time consuming to run a blog. That said, I hope to see more posts at Ivy Chat now that the ship is slowly heading the right direction. I find your take refreshingly insightful.

While expectations are low in 2012, the Cubs may surprise us. I wish Ivy Chat a happy holiday and hope we see more of your thoughts in the coming year.
Happy holidays to everyone at IvyChat!

I was curious what your opinion is regarding the future payroll situation that Tom Ricketts is planning on committing? My fear in reading between the lines is that he is looking to operate in the 80-95 range as opposed to the 135-150 range that we have seen over the last several years. Yet nobody is wanting to say anything about it. Here are a few hints that he has dropped on us so far.

1. At the end of 2010 he said that he figured payroll would stay top 4 in the NL. The 4th place payroll that year was 97 Million in San Fran
2. In dealing Marshall and now apparently Garza, our payroll is now in the mid 80’s
3. We are apparently not in on any non dumpster dive free agent
4. Right now payroll is down over 50 million from 2 years ago, and over 40 from last year, We also have more than 40 coming off the books post 2012
5. Every public talking point from Ricketts this offseason has been about “Building from within” Which is generally code for going cheap.

Add in that he financed 85 % of the purchase of this team, and has little personal “i.e. Not his father’s” wealth. And I am starting to wonder if Ricketts is a Frank McCourt clone? Am I way off base here?

Appreciate your thoughts on the matter!

Aaron B
My arm is going to fall off pitching for Dusty...thanks for nothing Theo and Crew!
If the Cubs had $200,000,000 to spend on payroll next year, I still don't think they would be a very competitive team. If going cheap for a few years lays the groundwork for an organization that is dominant and self-sustaining in the not too distant future, then I'm all for it.

The problem that the Cubs have had for decades is that they have had no real plan for how to build the entire organization. It was always a hodge-podge or patch job where if all the pieces fell into place, then maybe the Cubs could win a wild card or division title. Even when the big league club was good, there was a dearth of talent in the minors to replace the veterans as their skills declined. It's been a cycle of compete for one or two years, then crash and burn.

To quote One Crazy Summer, "With no plan, there's no attack. With no attack, no victory." I think Theo and Jed have a plan.

Happy New Year!
So long, Carlos! Are the Cubs down to only one Carlos (Marmol) on the 40-man roster?
I stinks! maybe chuck can blog about me leaving after he is done having a bagel and coffee with his bestest friend al yellon.
After they give each other a rub and a tug, maybe they can write about me!
are we done kibitzing with al over coffee? everyone feel better after the rubdown? how about showing me some love with a write-up?
Me too!
I just ordered a new bong.....
Don't forget the fried chicken!
pass the fried chicken bitches, I'm off the wagon now that i signed for absurd money and 9 yrs in motown.
I am coming too Chucky Baby, you must pissed off! ! Maybe I can put you through one of my famous military workouts and work off all those bagels and coffee you been pounding with Al!!
I guess Chuck comes by to delete comments every once in a while. There were 20 this morning, only 18 when I stopped by tonight.
I am coming too.....can't wait to have these bagels and coffee everyone keeps talking about!
I think Chuck stoled my ring....
I think Chuck caused global warming.
We will be sending Chuck and his blog to Boston as compensation to the Red Sox.
Throw in Al Yellon and we have a deal....
Even no love for me Chuck, I thought we could have a true bromance going on...I even grew out the beard for you to make me look like the other famous Chuck!
Chuck and I are still kibitzing over coffee and bagels, a total bromance.
Looks like the Cubs are going to show me the money!
I want my cut of the action!
I still piss on my hands...
I still kill chickens....
I want to sleep with Rynos wife
I am still giving Chuck a rub and a tug..sorry about the delay!
Al, can I have a rub and a tug? I can't get a date these days!
Let the Bunt Trials begin!
is this blog still alive?
I'd start checking for an obituary, but I forgot Chuck's last name.
Just look for a banker from Mount Prospect.
Dear readers, due to a lack of recent activity at IvyChat, BCB will acquiring all rights and control of this site.
Chuck occasionally tweets on twitter so he's still among the living.
We want Chuck to post something!
This site will be added along with the numbers that used to be on the right field rooftop and donated to the city trash.
Meanwhile, as Chuck enjoys his bagels and coffee...were getting shit done!,0,4826782.story
i choked in the opener like i choked in the 2003 post season.
i choked in the opener like i choked in the 2003 post season.
If I am running late, go ahead and order me a hazelnut latte with soy milk and an everything bagel. see you soon!
Real men order their coffee hot and black bitch!
God Theo this team sucks
Tell me about it. Jimbo left such a big pile of shit, it's going to take three years to clean it up!
Fuck you Theo and Jed. Pass me another cruller. Any bagels left?
We will close this blog during the NATO meetings. Since there is little traffic here daily, there should be no disruption in the lives of Chicago voters.
I threw my hat and glove at some goofy looking bald guy in the left field bleachers eating a baloney sandwich.
Yo Theo, I am Cy Young....
I am toast, cyaaaaaa!!!
I'm sorry, Chuck. I'm out.

I've checked back almost daily since your last post.

If you're dead, I'm sorry.

what is the yiddish version of a wake?
Mr. Gorbachev, take down this blog!

Do you suppose this thing will disappear eventually? There has to be some sort of fee to host this thing.
I will foreclose on this place after years of support. Not much left except some outdated content and a stale bagel.
Miss me yet?
There is no fee for a google blog Frank$, therefore the bagels, cream cheese and coffee will be flowing as long as it takes to fix this mess..which considering my first year here is going to usher in the first 100+ loss season in the history of Chicago (and that includes both sides of town), we might be here a while. Anyone have a pumpernickel bagel...been looking for awhle now!
A potential landmark deal is done and no comment?

Come on Chuck, get back to your keyboard, f twitter!
got fired, one more piece removed from the hendry era....
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