Cubs Convention Recap
Friday- Opening Ceremonies:
- Hendry said “I am going to promise two things. We will be good and we will stay good.”
- Kerry Wood looked great. Definitely lost some weight.
- The video highlight from the previous year was pretty weak, but not surprising coming off a 96-loss season.
- Loudest cheer was for Barrett’s punch to AJ.
- Biggest boos were for George Bush, Larry Rothschild and Dusty Baker.
- Video was mostly about offseason stuff and quotes about offseason or next year.
Management Meeting (Jim Hendry, Randy Bush and Lou Piniella):
- One of the emcee’s said that Wood lost 31 pounds since the season ended and Dempster lost 20 pounds.
- Hendry said “Medically we are in the best shape we have been in years.”
- Hendry said “Painful day when we got Pierre and had to give up a pitcher like Nolasco. It obviously didn’t work out.”
- Hendry said “Marketing Department does not get in the way of the team and never at the expense of the ballclub.” This was in response to a question (I think by All Yellon) about them having clinics on the field before games and thus the team not being able to practice.
- Hendry reiterated he has never felt handcuffed budget wise.
- Hendry said “Game is all about scoring runs and knocking in runs.” I am sure CHAD will LOVE this comment.
- Lou Piniella finally arrives to session 25 minutes late…There were lots of murmuring throughout crowd and not many people were happy he was late as they felt it was disrespectful. (Editor's Note: Piniella claimed his back flared up on him in the morning, causing his delay.)
- Hendry said “It (injuries) just happens…it’s baseball.”
- Hendry said “Jacque Jones has not expressed to us that he wanted to go.”
- Hendry said “We don’t know exactly where we are going to play Soriano.”
- Hendry said “We are not going to do anything to block his (Felix Pie)”
- At one point after a few fans asked some tough questions, Lou turns to Hendry and says “Man Jim, this is a tough crowd.”
- Both Hendry and Lou confirmed it is a virtual lock that Soriano will be leading off.
- Soriano says he wants to lead off and play CF. Lou said he will play all OF positions in Spring Training and then settle in one for the year. No moving him around.
- Lou said “You don’t want your 3-4-5 hitters taking too many pitches. OBP is important, should have a team one at .345 or better.”
A New Beginning (Jim Hendry and John McDonough):
- Some one asked about why they didn’t sign Lofton. Hendry basically said he wants to give Pie every chance to play when ready and doesn’t want him blocked in any way.
- Hendry reconfirmed he offered Furcal years $47.5 million contract.
- Hendry acknowledged that he is not trading for players who can be FA’s after this season and have the possibility of losing them after one year like he did with Pierre (he used Jason Jennings as an example).
Business Operations Meeting (Marketing, Lawyer, Tickets, Stadium Operations)
- Tickets for season ticket holders will be unchaged for this year, but because of the jump in payroll the Cubs have decided to raise ticket prices for individual ticket sales starting when they go on sale February 23rd. Every ticket will go up $2.00 per seat with the newer seats behind homeplate going up $5.00 per seat.
- The ticket brokerage company the Cubs have (Wrigley Field Premium Ticket Services) only sold 12,000-15,000 tickets last year.
Minor Leagues (Tim Wilken, Oneri Fleita, Eric Patterson and Donnie Veal)
- The Cubs will have the 3rd pick, 31st pick (first sandwich pick) with a 3rd and 4th round pick this upcoming year (and more later round picks).
- Oneri said that Angel Guzman was granted a 4th option year. AZ Phil will love to know this information.
- Oneri said that Casey McGhee decided to try catching again.
Overall the mood of the fans seemed upbeat, but they were not overconfident by any means. It seems like they feel the team has improved but are on a wait and see basis.
Thanks to Manny for this writeup....
Eloy Jimenez grand slam tonight. Hoping Soler power returns and gets hot but future looks bright in the outfield regardless.
Finished the night 4-5, with two doubles - 32(!) on the season - along with the grand slam. Sick
Meanwhile, out West:
SF is 2-11 since the break, lead over LA is down to one game, and they are running out Cain and Peavy this weekend against the Nats. Challenging times by the Bay.
Thanks for the updates Phil. Too bad about Frazier.
The Cubs have released RHRP Scott Frazier (2013 7th round dfraft pick - Pepperdine).
A Cubs pitching coach told me in Spring Training 2014 that he thought Frazier had the best pure stuff in the organization. Absolutely electric fastball & breaking ball combo. Other pitchers would gather behind the screen just to watch him throw "live" BP. That's how amazing he was.
Got a chance to see Diamondbacks RHSP Zack Greinke (15-day DL - strained oblique) throw a rehab start at Sloan Park Friday night. Four of the first seven AZL Cubs hitters singled and the Cubs did score an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st inning, but then Greinke got serious and struck out five in a row.
ZACK GREINKE: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 4/0 GO/AO, 49 pitches (34 strikes)
Have fun - It may be good for Arrieta to be facing a team that doesn't know him as well as the NL teams. A nice shutout would do wonders for his confidence. He is confident in public but baseball is hard and he could use a boost, I'm sure.
Me too. I'll be at the game tomorrow and would love to see Good Arrieta.
Last few games have been the April version of the Cubs that disappeared completely the past two months.
Hope they can sustain it.
Don't sell yourself short, Judge.
I love this team.
Looks like Mother Nature is trying to call this fight.
Hey! I remember this team!
The key for Heyward's offense: get early leads. Heard a stat on Mike & Mike on the way to work that his avg/power much better this year when the Cubs have the lead. And true to form he gets the two run dinger with Cubs winning 3-0 ...
I'm sorry - I was probably not looking at the correct line, or spot, or...who knows!
I could blame it on the weed, but I stopped smoking many years ago.
Fortunately, I can rely on the rest of you sober and astute folks to bring the correct info forth.
Oh yeah! It just felt like one for some reason.
Agreed. I was not including Fowler or Heyward.
I'm just not a fan of 2016 Coghlan.....
@Dusty Contreras if it's a Lester or Arrieta start. TLS is good PH too. You also forgot about Heyward, assume Fowler is CF.