Thursday, March 11, 2010

The State of the Cubs (with commentary)

Crain Kenney, the man who's lucky to even have a job, addressed the media today giving us almost no new information about the state of the Cubs as an organization.

Carrie Muskat sums everything up for us.

And I'm going to add smart-ass commentary to it.

First, about the new spring training facility:
The plan for the Cubs' facility can be managed through the Mesa property tax referendum, that will happen in November, and the car rental tax. The proposed Cactus League ticket surcharge is not needed for what the Cubs are building, Kenney said. The team needs $84 million to build the facility, and a portion of that comes from the city of Mesa, a portion comes from the state and a portion comes from the Cubs
So it looks like the "Cubs Tax" is out. Darn. I wanted Sox fans to pay for this place. Dammit!

Even if the referendum passes in November, Kenney expected the Cubs would play two more years at their current site in Mesa.
No matter what, they will only play at their current site for 2 more years because the apocalypse comes in 2012.

Triangle building: ... Kenney said they're halfway through finalizing those plans. The goal is to complete it by 2014, which is the 100-year anniversary of Wrigley Field.
Four more years before we see the Triangle building? Boo!!! Expect an actual plan and new pretty drawings for this building to be unveiled around All-Star break (to help distract us from the horrible season the team is having).

The men's and women's restrooms on the concourse level have been renovated. 
 They've installed the latest cow feeding troughs from all the most modern farms.  Enjoy peeing in them, guys!

The scoreboard is being re-faced
 Instead of green, it's going to be a wonderful shade of purple.

The batting tunnel in the outfield is being turned into a lounge and there will be a one-way window in which fans can watch players hit.
 So you can flip off Soriano during batting practice, and he won't be able to see you.

There's $100 million budgeted for restoration and renovation of the stadium.
That's a lot of money for troughs.

Player development: The Cubs have added an academy in the Dominican Republic and expanded their scouting internationally to try and develop players in the system. The future is bright with players like Andrew Cashner, Brett Jackson, Starlin Castro and Tyler Colvin in the system. Kenney said that's a credit to people in the organization like Tim Wilkens, Paul Weaver and Jose Serra, among others.
I can't make fun of this.  Good work, guys!

Team payroll: Kenney said the situation has improved with the Ricketts family because they are not putting a penny in their pockets, but re-investing all profits into the team and the facilities. "Every time we can stage a concert or a hockey game or a football game or bring a new marketing partner in or find a way to grow the business, it directly impacts what we can do on the field and with the facility," Kenney said.
Great...more concerts so we can pay for more players like Carlos Silva.

If the Cubs need to make a player move by the trading money, Kenney said GM Jim Hendry should have funds. A year ago, the team owner was bankrupt and the sale was still being finalized. It's a different situation with the Ricketts family in control.
So hurry up and trade for Kerry Wood!

Kenney said the Cubs have a long-term agreement with WGN-TV and they have not forgotten how important broadcasting the games on that station are.
I've forgotten.  I WANT A CUBS NETWORK!

Free agents: What will the Cubs do with Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly, who are in the last year of their contracts? "That will be down the road and that will be mostly Jim," Kenney said.
Trade 'em.

Lou Piniella: This is Piniella's last season on his contract. Kenney said they will talk at some point.
"If he feels well and wants to keep going, we'll have an interesting conversation," Kenney said. "He's done a great job. He's raised the bar and that's a little bit of the burden we all carry now. As I tell everybody in our organization, it's a lot better than being picked to finish fourth or fifth and having everybody talk about failure all the time."
Um, I hate to tell you, but there are a lot of people picking the Cubs to finish fourth this year.  Fire him. 

Ok...that's all.  Like I said, nothing new here.  So BLAH!


Silva pitched a scoreless 1st.  So the Cubs have declared him ready to be the #5 starter.