Tag Archive | "Tom Ricketts"

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Cubs Move to US Cellular or Miller Park? Not Likely During Wrigley Field Construction – 2/25/12

Posted on 25 February 2012 by Lou

The Cubs and Chairman Tom Ricketts have indicated that there will be Wrigley Field construction scheduled in the near future.  As for those rumors swirling around that the Cubs would play a full MLB season at either U.S. Cellular Field on the south side or Miller Park in Milwaukee in order to expedite the construction project? Not likely.

Ricketts quickly shot down those rumors in Mesa – “There’s no plans for us to play anywhere else but Wrigley Field.” That was that.  He also talked about his excitement for the upcoming as his new team takes shape for 2012 – “My message is, we talk about let’s use all 40 days as best we can and just communicate with them…. We want to be the best organization in baseball.  If there’s feedback, make sure it gets up to us so we can do the best that we can…. I talk to Theo all the time; it’s great.”

Maybe we’ll see a World Series title in the near future?!

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Cubs Land Lefty Gerardo Concepcion – Wrigley Field 2/6/12

Posted on 06 February 2012 by Lou

The Cubs have signed Gerardo Concepcion to a multi-year deal worth around $7 million.  Concepcion is a Cuban defector who burst onto the scene in 2010-2011 with a dominant rookie year in the Cuban National Series.  Concepcion had a 10-3 record with a nasty 3.36 ERA.  He started 16 games and is only 18 years old.  Nice.  Concepcion defected at the World Port Tourney in Rotterdam, Amsterdam (the same tourney from which Cincinnati Reds’ stud Aroldis Chapman defected a few years back), and recently completed his Mexican residency requirement to become eligible to negotiate with major league teams.  Concepcion is training in the Dominican Republic – not surprising that Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts was just there to announce the building of a new baseball academy nearby.

I like this move.  Don’t know if he is going to pan out, but for $7 million, if he can give the Cubs something 2-3 years down the line similar to Chapman, that would be a huge step in the right direction.  Exposure in the DR should help as well.  Maybe we can convince some young talented international players to give a look at the Cubs organization with Theo, Jed and Jason at the helm…

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What Are The Yankees Thinking? Bronx Bombers Hire Jim Hendry – Wrigley Field 1/31/12

Posted on 31 January 2012 by Lou

What are the New York Yankees thinking?  That’s all I could think of when I heard that the Yankees hired former Cubs GM to be a special assignment scout under GM Brian Cashman.  I really thought that Hendry would take the year off after Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts let him go in July/August 2011.  But I guess he had the itch to get back into the game as soon as possible.  Larry Rothschild, the Cubs former pitching coach under Hendry, is currently the Yankees pitching coach, and Joe Girardi is the Yankees Manager.  Girardi caught for the Cubs for several seasons.  So I guess there will be some friendly faces in New York for Hendry.

But after the Yankees pulled off the unthinkable – landing 2 top starting pitchers this off-season in a trade for Michael Pineda with the Seattle Mariners and the signing of free agent Hiroki Kuroda – it shocks me that they would need someone like Hendry.  Hendry is an “old school” executive and although he probably has some great contacts out there, he just does not seem like the right fit in New York.  Maybe he’ll use this as a stepping stone for a year or 2 to jump ship somewhere else, but I just don’t see Hendry providing that much valuable information to one of the top franchises in all of baseball.  Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have gotta be laughing their asses off right now…

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Cubs Relieved Wood Remains Top Reliever in 2012 Bullpen – Wrigley Field 1/16/12

Posted on 16 January 2012 by Lou

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day from your friends at MyCubsToday.com!

After a riveting Cubs Convention this past weekend, Cubs Chariman Tom Ricketts indicated that he was very pleased that Theo, Jed and Kerry’s team were able to work out a deal that would keep Wood on the north side for 2012 and hopefully the rest of his career.  After giving the Cubs a “bargain” $1.5 million deal in 2011, Wood decided that he wasn’t ready to retire and that although he wanted to stay with the Cubs, he also wanted to be compensated appropriately.  He left $10 million on the table in 2011 for a deal with the White Sox and he left $5 million on the table from a deal with the Red Sox.  He wasn’t going to do that again in 2012.  While Woods was close to signing with another team (so much so that he almost took a physical for that team), Ricketts stepped in at the end to help get the 1-year, $3 million deal done so that Wood could be a part of the weekend’s convention festivities…

Ricketts had this to say – “I’m not sure why the timing ended up the way it did… Theo’s pretty communicative. We talk about all player decisions and Kerry’s no exception to that.  We definitely talked about it. And we talked about what was the best for the organization and (signing Wood) was it… In the end, it works out great.  This is exactly what everybody wanted.  Every fan and everybody in the organization, and also Kerry.”

Good job guys.  Jeff Samardzija, Wood and Closer Carlos Marmol are going to need to bring their A-games in 2012 if the Cubs want to make a run at the weak NL Central division crown.  They are going to need everything they can milk out of these 3 guys…

 

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Hot Stove En Fuego – Will Cubs Make Run at Fielder? They Better! Wrigley Field 12/8/11

Posted on 08 December 2011 by Lou

How does Theo & Co. not go after Prince Fielder with everything that they’ve got?

The St. Louis Cardinals just lost Albert Pujols to the tune of $254 million over 10 years with the Anaheim Angels in the American League.

That weakens the Cardinals tremendously.

Rumors are out there that the Milwaukee Brewers have upped their offer to try to keep Prince Fielder at Miller Park.  Who’s to say that they won\’t up it even more now that they know that the Cards have lost Pujols.

Who knows if the Cards will now try to take a run at signing Fielder away from Milwaukee with a portion of the money that they had allocated towards Pujols?

No one really knows.  That’s why the Cubs need to swoop in and lock up the “next-best” 1st baseman available, thereby hurting both the Cards and the Brewers in the process.  At 27 years of age, Fielder is about to enter his prime years – that’s 6 amazing years out of an 8-year deal (let’s say).  Even in that case, he’s still only 35 years old when the deal ends.  How can you go wrong.  You can build the Cubs lineup around Starlin Castro and Prince Fielder for years and years to come.  And during the next couple of years, you can tweak around the starting rotation a little bit with a focus on signing Matt Garza to a big long-term extension and a “friendly” rate before the end of the 2012 MLB season.  You already know that you have around $35 million coming off the books next year when Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano become free agents.  You try to make trades this year by moving a Marlon Byrd and a Carlos Marmol that might bring some quality pitchers back.  You throw Brett Jackson into the fire by starting him in center field all season and see what he can do.  How does a DeJesus, Barney, Castro, Fielder, Soto, Soriano, Jakcson, lineup sound?  Sure you still need a 3rd baseman, but maybe you also land an Ian Stewart or Chase Headley.  It’s now or never time for Theo and the Ricketts Family.  You made a big splash by bringing in Theo, Jed and Jason, now make an even bigger splash and make Fielder an offer he can’t refuse.

Go Cubs Go!!!

 

 

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Hoyer, McLeod Set To Join Cubs Front Office – Wrigley Field 10/28/11

Posted on 28 October 2011 by Lou

The Cubs plan to hire Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod to their front office to join Team President Theo Epstein.  The trio worked together in the organization during the successful run from 2004-2008 when the Red Sox won 2 World Series titles.  Since both executives are under contract with the San Diego Padres, the Cubs will send a player to be named later as compensation for the deal.

Jed Hoyer will serve as Executive Vice President / General Manager (alongside) Theo Epstein.  McLeod will serve as the head of scouting and player development.  The Cubs just gave Oneri Fleita a new 4-year contract as the director of player development, so he will report to McLeod.  Current scouting director Tim Wilken will also report to McLeod.  Fleita and Wilken have excellent reputations thoughout all of baseball, so having 5 top-notch executives in one front office makes the Cubs a very formidable team “behind the scenes”.

The Cubs will hold a press conference on Monday to make the hirings official.  The rumor is that Randy Bush – who has been serving as the team’s interim GM since Jim Hendry’s firing this summer – will no longer serve in any capacity for the Cubs in the future.

The pieces keep falling into place.  Now that the World Series is almost over, it will be time for Theo, Jed & Co. to get moving on formulating a game plan for what they want to do with Manager Mike Quade and free agents like Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Pena.  The front office will also have to decide what to do with Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano.

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Cubs Introduce Theo Epstein as President of Baseball Operations – Wrigley Field 10/25/11

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Lou

Theo Epstein is the Cubs new “savior” – sort of.  Epstein will serve as the Cubs President of Baseball Operations under a 5-year deal that will pay him just under $20 million.  Theo brought the Red Sox 2 World Series titles during his tenure as Red Sox GM and Tom Ricketts and Cubs fans all over the world hope that he do the same for the north siders.  Theo is clearly talented and he gets it, having experienced the same pain and agony that Cubs fans have felt for 103 years and counting.  Theo said all the right things during his Tuesday press conference – here are a few snippets of some great lines from the day:

“To me, baseball is better with tradition, baseball is better with history, baseball is better with fans who care, baseball is better in ballparks like this, baseball is better during the day. And baseball is, best of all, when you win.”

“I firmly believe that we can preserve the things that make the Cubs so special and over time build a consistent winner, a team that will be playing baseball in October consistently and a team that will ultimately win the World Series.”

“I’ve waited a few weeks to say this, but it truly feels great to be a Cub today.”

“I don’t believe in curses, (and) I guess I played a small part in proving they don’t exist, from a baseball standpoint.  I do think we can be honest and upfront that certain organizations haven’t gotten the job done. That’s the approach we took in Boston. We identified certain things that we hadn’t been doing well, that might have gotten in the way of a World Series, and eradicated them. That’s what we’ll do here.”

And when asked why he thinks he can bring a championship to the Cubs even though no one else has been able to do that for 100+ years, you have to love his confidence, focus and tenacity:  “When I got to Boston they hadn’t won in 86 years. We didn’t run from that challenge. We embraced it.  We decided the way to attack it was to build the best baseball operation that we could, to try to establish a winning culture, to work as hard as possible and to bring in players who care more about each other and more about winning than the people around them thought or the external expectations, the external mindset. That’s something that is going to be important to us here as well.  We’re going to build the best baseball operation we can. We’re going to change the culture. Our players are going to change the culture along with us in the major league clubhouse. We’re going to make building a foundation for sustained success a priority. That will lead to playing October baseball more often than not. Once you get in in October there’s a legitimate chance to win the World Series.”

San Diego Padres GM Jed Hoyer and Assistant GM Jason McLeod have also been in Chicago the last 3 days working out their deals and ESPN’s Bruce Levine anticipates that we will have an announcement on their hires within the week.

Gotta love it – obviously there are NO guarantees, but when you put the right people in charge, and those people know how to put the right pieces together, you have a great chance to succeed year in and year out.  It may take 2, 3 or even 5 years, but if they do build another “powerhouse” organization in Chicago with a team that wins every season and with a team that competes for the post-season each and every season, Cubs fans will have a lot to cheer about.  And who knows, maybe they’ll even get to hoist that World Series trophy at Wrigley Field…

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It’s Official – Tom Ricketts Hires Theo Epstein as President of Baseball Operations – Wrigley Field 10/22/11

Posted on 22 October 2011 by Lou

It’s official – Tom Ricketts and the Cubs have hired Theo Epstein as their new President of Baseball Operations.  MLB Commissioner Bud Selig convinced the teams to make the announcement on Tuesday (a World Series off day) and finalize the compensation to allow Epstein out of his last year as Red Sox GM at a later date.  After aiming “high” by asking for Starlin Castro and then Matt Garza, and then asking the Cubs to take on the remaining 3 years of John Lackey’s $82.5 contract, the Red Sox agreed to settle for “minor league prospects” as compensation. The Red Sox and Cubs spent a week haggling over players until they agreed upon a process to select the players to be traded from the Cubs to the Red Sox to complete the deal.  What is known is that the Cubs top 3 prospects – Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt and Matt Szczur will not be part of the deal.

The Cubs have scheduled a press conference for  Tuesday to make the announcement.  After the World Series ends, the Cubs will then announce that San Diego Padres GM Jed Hoyer will come to the Cubs to serve as GM under Epstein.  Padres Assistant GM Jason McLeod – a top scout under Epstein and  Hoyer with the Red Sox – will also re-unite with the duo in Chicago and serve as Assistant GM to Hoyer.

This is pretty incredible – the Cubs who have had one of the smallest baseball executive offices in all of baseball with GM Jim Hendry and Assistant GM Randy Bush will now become one of the premiere offices in all of baseball.  These guys all have a proven track record, so let’s hope that they can get it done on the North Side in the next few years.

Good work Tom – let’s hope we see some immediate improvement over the next few seasons…

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Is No News Good News – Still Waiting for Completion of Epstein Hire? – Wrigley Field 10/21/11

Posted on 21 October 2011 by Lou

We’re still waiting to hear that the Cubs and Red Sox have agreed upon the “compensation issue” to complete the Cubs hiring of Red Sox GM Theo Epstein as their new President of Baseball Operations.  We all thought it would be today – a World Series off-day – but it looks like it is going to drag on into next week.  We’re not sure if the teams have agreed upon the Cubs prospects to be dealt to the Red Sox in exchange for the Red Sox releasing Epstein from the final year of his contract and that those players are now undergoing physicals.  Or if the teams are still holding firm on who they want involved in the deal.  This is getting a little ridiculous.  Each side is losing bargaining position the longer this drags out, so they just need to get it done.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has even offered his “services” to step in and mediate the compensation.  Gimme a break.

We do know that the deal will happen at some point this year.  No cash compensation will go to the Red Sox – it will be minor league prospects.

Following the confirmation of the Epstein hire, it is now even more clear that the Cubs will then hire San Diego Padres GM Jed Hoyer as the Cubs GM under Epstein.  And it has also been reported that Padres Assistant GM Jason McLeod will also come over from the Padres to the Cubs.  Hoyer served as Epstein’s Assistant GM with the Red Sox and McLeod served as a scout for the Red Sox during that tenure as well.

The last piece of the Red Sox puzzle could be whether or not Red Sox management allow Epstein to take special assistant Dave Finley with him to Chicago.  Epstein has a high regard and great working relationship with Finley and would like to bring him to Chicago.

We’ll keep you posted, but it looks like we’re heading into a 3rd week of negotiations…

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Cubs Set To Hire Theo Epstein as President & Jed Hoyer as GM – Wrigley Field 10/20/11

Posted on 20 October 2011 by Lou

The Cubs are set to hire Theo Epstein as President of Baseball Operations and then Jed Hoyer as General Manager.  Supposedly all the details have been agreed upon and now it’s just a matter of waiting for a World Series off-day for the teams to publicly make the announce on Friday.  Cash will not be part of the deal, but it looks like the Cubs will send one or more prospects to the Red Sox for the ability to hire Theo.  The prospects till not be any of the Cubs top prospects – Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt or Matt Szczur.

The Cubs will not owe any compensation to the San Diego Padres to hire their GM away from San Diego.  The Padres are ready to promote their senior VP of baseball operations Josh Byrnes into the role currently held by Hoyer.

Now it looks like Tom Ricketts got his main man and also pulled off another coup by landing Hoyer in the process as well.  The two-headed Epstein-Hoyer monster is sure to make Cubs fans very very happy.  I’m sure we’ll have a lot more to report on Friday morning – we’ll keep you posted…

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