Cubs Convention Open Thread

The powers that be here at TCR are unable to attend the Cubs Convention unfortunately. But, I'm guessing a few of you will be fighting the crowds this weekend. So please, drop us your notes in the comment and let us know the buzz filling the event. Who showed up, what's being said, which players have the hottest wives, and if anyone can get a question into Baker or Hendry, please, please ask them why they've soured on Todd Walker and what would possibly possess them into thinking of starting one of the historically worst offensive players of all-time over one of the best offensive 2B in the game today? I demand answers...
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I have attended most of the conventions over the years. I once asked Hendry about OBP. & how it might be taught in the minors. He glared at me & said, "we want to teach them how to hit first, they can always learn patience when they get up here." I was disappointed to say the least.

KedzieKid,

Did you ever see Bruce Sutter at the Convention??

Went last night to Kitty O'Sheas for the annual kick off bar time and saw Glendon Rusch, Michael Wuertz, Todd Wellmeyer, one of the new guys out there, and a long haired blonde guy who looked a lot like Ryan Dempster having a good time. I'll report on other things on Saturday after my time there.

BTW, that's a great Hendry anecdote of yours. It sure explains (1)why Hendry and Dustbag get along so well, and (2)why the Cubs led the NL in batting average most of the year while being last in walks, and (3) were tops in Slugging yet only middle of the pack in runs scored.

You think if we storm the Tribune Tower we could have holiday like Bastille Day?

Never saw Sutter. Might be the only "Star" player never to be at the convention. Although I don't recall seeing Greg Maddux either. Without a doubt, the most "entertaining" player was always Mark Grace. Very fortunate one year to see Brickhouse, Harry, Vince, Lou, & Stoney telling all kinds of anecdotes. It was a magical hour.

My favorite was Santo, Beckert, Williams, Jenkins and Banks recalling the glory days of the late 60's and early 70's. It was hugely funny and very informative.

Good coverage of the Convention tonight on WGN radio -- you can listen over the net.

If there are any questions you guys have, let them shoot as I attended all the managements meetings and there was a ton of info given out, but instead of giving it all out, just let me know what you want to know and I will tell you what I remember.

did management have anything more to say about all our second basemen?

Edgar:
To answer your question, the second base situation is as follows: Todd Walker is more or less history. No one came out and said that, and they are kind of dancing around the issue, but you can't miss the tone in their voice. "They" includes Hendry, Dusty, and all the broadcasters. All of them say essentially the same thing: good hitter, defensive liability. He is also listed third (behind Hairston and Perez) at second base on the Cubs web site's depth chart. What does that tell you? Personally, I don't want to see Walker traded, unless it is for a quality (I repeat...QUALITY) starting pitcher. During one session I attended, Ron Santo kind of let it slip out that they are trying very hard to trade Walker to Oakland for Barry Zito, give or take a few other players on each side.

Edgar:
"did management have anything more to say about all our second basemen?"

Hendry wasn't as definitive, just saying we have 3 2nd baseman and we will have to see what happens. Dusty did say flat out that Walker is his 2B right now. I think this clearly shows a divide between Hendry and Dusty on Walker. It appears to me that Hendry is willing to get rid of him, while Dusty appears more apt to want him at 2B.

did someone get booed at the cubs convention? I heard an allusion to this on WSCR but they didn't go into detail...

Chris,
Several people were booed, including Hendry, Baker, and one or two of the guys from the audience asking questions. It was a bit tense at times.

yikes. what has happened to this fan base?

Chris:
"did someone get booed at the cubs convention? I heard an allusion to this on WSCR but they didn't go into detail..."

When Hendry got introduced at the Opening Ceremonies, he got mostly boos and some cheers. Baker got mostly cheers and some boos.

It was a soft crowd. The biggest boo's occurred anytime the "White Sox" were mentioned. The two guys who got up and displayed any sort of anger were not well received.

The four announcers, to a man, ripped Walker a new one for his lack of defense. Pat Hughes reminded us that he knocked in over 80 ribbies for 2003 Boston, and he was here in 2004. Why would Boston give up on him? Why, indeed?

Baker absolutely did not say Walker is his 2B. During the "The Skipper and his Crew" segment on Saturday, the crowd lobbed softballs like, "Why are the Cubs going to be so awesome in 2006" to Dusty, and I got sick of it.

Finally, the ever-sexy PR girl, Liz, handed me the mike, and I asked him, "Why has management seemingly soured on Todd Walker?" To which, Dusty responded:

"No one's soured on him, I don't know where you got that idea. Is it better to just hand the job to one guy or make 3 people compete for it?" (Booing commenced) "Hey, I'm answering the question, don't boo."

I then proceeded to ask Porky Lopez what I could do to earn a job as a bullpen catcher, and his answer was mostly unintelligible, except for the part about "waking the pitchers up on game day." I think I can manage that.

Oh, and one other thing -

Dusty mentioned again how they went and got guys who wouldn't "clog up the bases." If I hadn't been so preoccupied with the guy talking loudly on his cell phone behind me, I might have started laughing out loud.

The best question of the session went to a 6 year old who asked Dick Pole, "what do you do?" His only response was that he often asks Dusty "what the hell were you doing there?"

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