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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Cubs Fans Boo Chairman Tom Ricketts at Team Convention

Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts heard his share of boos at the Cubs Convention on Friday while the team remains quiet in free agency.

Coming off a season in which the Cubs fell short of the playoffs, Chicago has yet to add significant pieces or sign its core players to extensions. Former NL MVP Kris Bryant has been on the trade market throughout the offseason, beloved former manager Joe Maddon is gone and the team is no longer the favorite in the NL Central. There’s uncertainty in Wrigleyville for the first time since the Cubs returned to prominence in 2015, and the Convention’s usually positive atmosphere has soured.

“I’m sorry we don’t have a prize free agent or something sexier to talk about right now,” Ricketts said in an interview with WSCR-AM 670 on Day 2 of the Cubs Convention.

To add to the tension, fans also brought heavy boos when Ricketts mentioned the “Marquee Sports Network,” the Cubs’ new television outlet set to launch in February. With the new season approaching, the network has yet to make a deal with Comcast’s Xfinity—the area’s largest carrier—keeping some fans without a method to watch the team.

On the bright side, at least Tom Ricketts didn’t buy the Phillies…..

 

QLE Posted: January 19, 2020 at 12:36 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, fans, tom ricketts

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   1. The Honorable Ardo Posted: January 19, 2020 at 01:59 AM (#5917290)
Three years ago, after the World Series win, fans greeted Ricketts' appearance at this event with a raucous standing ovation that lasted several minutes, seguing into a chant, "Thank you, Tom!"
   2. Sunday silence Posted: January 19, 2020 at 05:26 AM (#5917301)
when did Joe Maddon become "beloved?"
   3. Scott Lange Posted: January 19, 2020 at 07:57 AM (#5917312)
Around the time he won the Cubs the World Series?
   4. Sunday silence Posted: January 19, 2020 at 09:14 AM (#5917319)
he doesnt seem to get much love around here. Were the fans that upset?
   5. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: January 19, 2020 at 10:03 AM (#5917329)
They’re a tortured franchise who got lucky in 2016 because the baseball gods decided it was their time.
   6. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2020 at 01:58 PM (#5917375)
I think your average cub fan was perfectly happy with Maddon and now that he's going the level will only grow. It would grow a lot more if hung around Chicago but it doesn't look like he will any time soon.

Maddon like all managers had really nowhere to go but down after you manage a team to the workd series. You either keep winning it (a la Torre) or you start getting blamed for the team not winning it again (again a la Torre).
   7. Walt Davis Posted: January 19, 2020 at 06:54 PM (#5917432)
now that he's going the level will only grow

Depends on what happens. If to my surprise the Cubs return to an easy NLC win then fans won't be more nostalgic for Maddon. He'll always be well-remembered but if the next guy succeeds (like Piniella) then 2018-19 will play a bigger role than they probably should in Maddon's long-term Cubs rep like 2005-6 do for Baker. If the next guy flops then 2015-17 will probably dominate.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2020 at 07:48 PM (#5917443)
Gee, you hate to see it.
   9. DFA Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:10 AM (#5917711)
#8: it really is a sad commentary on the human condition. And while I'm not a Cub fan, and I have some other reasons to not like him, the team won a ####### championship during his reign. Or maybe you were being sarcastic. Probably that.
   10. Zonk Hasn't Learned his Aspirational Lesson Posted: January 21, 2020 at 07:20 AM (#5917720)
Vlad isn’t a Cubs fan... and he’s REALLY not a Maddon fan.

In any case, I was long under the feeling that Maddon should have been brought back.... I changed that opinion over the last 10 days of the season - that was the first real “collapse” of the Maddon era.... though, really, it was more Kimberly shitting the bed.... the guys still liked him - both Baez and Rizzo hobbled back from injury late in a desperate push to right the ship.. the players didn’t quit on him and unlike the end of prior regimes, it didn’t get that ugly in clubhouse.

But - a collapse is a collapse, so I was OK with parting ways....

Up until late September, I was very much of a mind that it was the FO that really underwhelmed since 2016..... but whatever. Maddon was making 6m... I doubt he was going to take a pay cut.... I’m good with a change.
   11. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2020 at 11:51 AM (#5917790)
Vlad isn’t a Cubs fan... and he’s REALLY not a Maddon fan.


Yep. My only real regret about how the parting with Maddon went is that he wasn't pelted with rotten vegetables on the way to his car.

That said, the Ricketts family are mostly garbage people too, and as such I'm OK with them collecting a few boos.
   12. bfan Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:12 PM (#5917808)
The Cubs over the last 5 years have been aggressive and successful in landing the most sought after free-agents: Lester; Hayward; Darvish; Kimbrell (okay, that is a stretch) to supplement a young core of excellent talent. So management's sin is not buying every high-priced FA, and not succeeding enough even though other teams are trying to win as well?
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5917809)
So management's sin is not buying every high-priced FA, and not succeeding enough even though other teams are trying to win as well?

As I read it the sins are:

1) making bad decisions on expensive FAs (a Theo speciality)
2) utterly failing to draft and develop young talent

Those are pretty bad sins for a front office.
   14. Zonk Hasn't Learned his Aspirational Lesson Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:57 PM (#5917820)
That said, the Ricketts family are mostly garbage people too, and as such I'm OK with them collecting a few boos.


Much as I do not share your Maddon views, I do generally share your Ricketts view (though, Laura is nice... fun anecdote; she and her then-GF were at my cousin's wedding - classmates or something - and let's just say my cousin thought it more amusing to operate under a bad assumption... but like I said, she was very nice).
   15. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:21 PM (#5917836)
2) utterly failing to draft and develop young talent

They have been better on the international market and with position players. The team would look a bit different with Gleyber Torres and Eloy Jimenez in the lineup.
   16. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:34 PM (#5917845)
The team would look a bit different with Gleyber Torres and Eloy Jimenez in the lineup.
3) giving up way too much in prospect value for midseason additions
   17. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:44 PM (#5917852)
though, Laura is nice...


Yeah, Laura is the one I was thinking about when I stuck that "mostly" in there.
   18. Zonk Hasn't Learned his Aspirational Lesson Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:45 PM (#5917853)
Quite true - but it should be noted.... both Eloy and Gleyber were signed in 2013. That was a long time ago!
   19. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5917857)
I heard a clip of this on the radio. Ricketts sounded genuinely surprised that people were booing the new cable network. Which doesn't say much for his ability to read a room. (Dear Tom, Cubs fans were told that the network would open up new revenue streams that could be put into the team. So introducing it in the same offseason where the Cubs aren't spending any money isn't going to go over well. OK, the team hasn't gained the revenue from the network yet, but it's still a really bad look. And that's on top of the fact that half of Chicagoland can't get the network as things currently stand).
   20. bfan Posted: January 21, 2020 at 03:09 PM (#5917881)
2) utterly failing to draft and develop young talent

They have been better on the international market and with position players. The team would look a bit different with Gleyber Torres and Eloy Jimenez in the lineup.


Yes. For all of those inclined to say go for it and flags fly forever(which are perfectly rational decisions), at some point everyone has to sit down to a dinner of the consequences of their own actions. This dinner is later, but perhaps inevitable? I would assume with those two players in the fold, the Cubs would look like easy favorites in the division right now?
   21. Zonk Hasn't Learned his Aspirational Lesson Posted: January 21, 2020 at 03:19 PM (#5917885)
I would assume with those two players in the fold, the Cubs would look like easy favorites in the division right now?


They'd have a pretty big hole in a rotation that is uninspiring... The Eloy/Quintana trade is more defensible in my mind.

Torres/Chapman - not so much... and I didn't like it at the time. They paid an absolute and utter premium to rent about 40 innings. Should be noted that in addition to Torres - the Cubs also moved Billy McKinney (who was a ~Bish prospect) and Rashad Crawford (a toolsy lottery ticket everyone has laying around).... and Adam Warren.

The defense of the Torres deal is that the Cubs figured Russell/Baez had SS/2B locked up for all eternity - plus the still good Zobrist... and had recently drafted Ian Happ.
   22. bfan Posted: January 21, 2020 at 03:37 PM (#5917891)

They'd have a pretty big hole in a rotation that is uninspiring... The Eloy/Quintana trade is more defensible in my mind.

Torres/Chapman - not so much... and I didn't like it at the time. They paid an absolute and utter premium to rent about 40 innings. Should be noted that in addition to Torres - the Cubs also moved Billy McKinney (who was a ~Bish prospect) and Rashad Crawford (a toolsy lottery ticket everyone has laying around).... and Adam Warren.


I will defer to your better knowledge of the cubs, but it seems to me they would have 2 great cost-controlled players, and finding a .7 WAR pitcher (his 2019 total) for $10.5 million (his 2020 salary) on the open market wouldn't be that hard to do.
   23. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: January 21, 2020 at 05:04 PM (#5917941)
Torres/Chapman - not so much... and I didn't like it at the time. They paid an absolute and utter premium to rent about 40 innings.

Yeah, but some of those were absolutely vital innings. The bullpen was always the Cubs's weakest spot in 2016, and in the last two months of the year both Rondon & Strop cratered. Strop recovered, but Rondon never did. The Cubs didn't need any relief ace to clinch the division, but without a relief ace, do they win Game Five of the World Series?

It was a huge price to pay for two months of a reliever, but flags to fly forever, and no franchise was in so much need of one world title as Club 1908. Torres/Chapman is probably the greatest example ever of a Win Now v. Win Today trade. I'll take it.
   24. bfan Posted: January 21, 2020 at 05:23 PM (#5917955)
It was a huge price to pay for two months of a reliever, but flags to fly forever, and no franchise was in so much need of one world title as Club 1908.


And I agree with that. But I do feel for Cubs management getting booed for delivering the pennant with a win now but take a huge risk later move, when people are mad when the "later" bill shows up.
   25. Zonk Hasn't Learned his Aspirational Lesson Posted: January 21, 2020 at 05:35 PM (#5917957)
Yeah, but some of those were absolutely vital innings. The bullpen was always the Cubs's weakest spot in 2016, and in the last two months of the year both Rondon & Strop cratered. Strop recovered, but Rondon never did. The Cubs didn't need any relief ace to clinch the division, but without a relief ace, do they win Game Five of the World Series?


Well... One can make the case they road him pretty hard in the playoffs, but did they *need* him? Especially when you, of course, have game 7 (when, granted, he was pretty clearly gassed).

Rondon was outstanding up until the Chapman trade - correlation is not causality, of course, but it's as if he completely lost his confidence after the trade.

IDK... I'm not saying the Chapman trade was totally indefensible. I just didn't like it at the time and I still stand by it. They overpaid. If the Yankees were dead set on Torres (or Eloy or Schwarber) - and wouldn't go lower, then I think I'd have moved down the line. Would have to look up who else was available at the time, but I might decided on a couple lesser adds to the pen.
   26. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 21, 2020 at 05:36 PM (#5917958)
The Eloy/Quintana trade is more defensible in my mind.

It is, particularly given his defensive limitations on an NL team. I just wanted to put him on the player acquisition ledger. The Cubs' issue has really been pitching.

And I agree with that. But I do feel for Cubs management getting booed for delivering the pennant with a win now but take a huge risk later move, when people are mad when the "later" bill shows up.

People were unhappy with the Torres/Chapman trade at the time.
   27. bfan Posted: January 21, 2020 at 05:41 PM (#5917959)

People were unhappy with the Torres/Chapman trade at the time.


Just read this thread; rational minds differ on that point.
   28. Zonk Hasn't Learned his Aspirational Lesson Posted: January 21, 2020 at 05:50 PM (#5917962)
If I were at the convention, I don't know that I'd "boo" per se...

But - ultimately?

They haven't been successful from an org perspective the past 3 years - and the trend has clearly been downward. They still made it to the NLCS in 2017; the Dodgers were better. They made a couple big moves for 2018 - those moves were complete disasters (I suppose I should hat tip Cishek, who was fine), the Brewers got hot an took the division from them with an ignominious exit in the WC game. They made smaller moves after 2018 - those were moves were just cheaper disasters; and they collapsed out of the postseason entirely.

Now -- it's coming up on 2020 and the biggest moves are basically letting some big contracts walk.

Boooooo is fair, I think.

   29. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 21, 2020 at 05:58 PM (#5917966)
Yes, a late season collapse followed by a payroll cut and removing your games from half of your local market's television sets is not a series of events typically greeted by cheers.
   30. bfan Posted: January 21, 2020 at 06:08 PM (#5917970)
and the trend has clearly been downward


That is true, but when you start with a WS winner, there has been no repeat winner since 2000, so basically for almost 2 decades now, everybody has a less successful next year. 2017,as you indicate, was the correct result, and they were the 2nd best team in the NL. 2018 was a weird "stuff happens in baseball" ending. 2019 (those last 2 weeks) was even weirder, and I would be upset, too. But their low win total was 84, and that struck me as an oddly blown 2 weeks. I haven't seen all of the 2020 zips projections, but I do not believe there is a team in the division clearly better than the cubs, and 1st place seems just as likely as 3rd to me. And it is funny, but the 3 division winners from the NL as well as the Cubs all seem to be getting grief, because none of them got the big FA's on the market (Cole; Donaldson; Strasburg; Wheeler; and Rendon).

It feels like this is a year where the top talent is spreading throughout the league a bit. I am okay with that, but I get why a fan of a division contender gets mad because their 90 win team is trying to be a 95 win team (or they are, but not when the price gets too out of line).

   31. Zonk Hasn't Learned his Aspirational Lesson Posted: January 21, 2020 at 06:19 PM (#5917974)
Sure... my mix of angst/anger isn't predicated on "these guys are morons!" I mean, again - while I pick and choose some decisions I did disagree with, I've also admitted that most of the FA signings except Morrow (and Descalso, but that doesn't matter... it's a nothing move) were ones I supported and liked.

I'm just saying... well... I wanna be a "normal" (pre-2016) fan of a team. Still got the glow, still got the memories and joy lots of Cubs fans never got -- and for all the faults, even though they can afford it on their, Theo/Jed/Joe/even TOm, would never to have a buy their own beer in my presence -- they haven't gotten it done. It was a nice run, but it looks to be nearing its end - so it's time to figure out what went wrong and fix it.

Unfortunately, there's no easy fix... Unless the Angels want to trade Mike Trout for Jason Heyward. That would help!
   32. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: January 21, 2020 at 07:55 PM (#5918020)
Rondon was outstanding up until the Chapman trade - correlation is not causality, of course, but it's as if he completely lost his confidence after the trade.

Given how he never recovered and given how often relievers flame out, I don't see the Chapman trade causing Rondon's problems.

Also, I'd like to thank everyone for not pointing out my gaffe in calling the Chapman trade "a Win Now v. Win Today trade." Hmmm.... now versus today? Clearly I meant Today vs. Tomorrow.

If the Cubs don't win in 2016, the trade sucks. But they won in 2016. So I'll take it.
   33. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 21, 2020 at 08:55 PM (#5918037)
People were unhappy with the Torres/Chapman trade at the time.
I think this is the main Chapman - Torres Trade Thread. Some comments hold up better than others.
   34. McCoy Posted: January 21, 2020 at 10:23 PM (#5918084)
Called it.
   35. Zonk Hasn't Learned his Aspirational Lesson Posted: January 21, 2020 at 11:22 PM (#5918105)
I think I’ll stand by my comments.... with th noted exception of thinking “well. I’d do Torres for Betances”. Maybe.
   36. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: January 22, 2020 at 09:46 AM (#5918165)
Thanks Yankee Clapper for digging up that old thread. Yeah, McCoy in post #24 in that thread & Kiko in post #51 pretty much nail it.

One other thing about that thread: There was such a broad consensus that the Cubs already had a SS for the next 7 years or so. People still had problems with the trade (just move Torres or someone else elsewhere on the diamond) but part of the problem with trading Torres is what an utter waste Addison Russell turned into.

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