Cubs Convention Recap

Reader MannyTrillo was kind enough to give us his take on the happenings at Cubs Convention. 

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.

 Saturday-

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).

 Sunday-

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....

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Comments

Was this remark you made yesterday just as gratuitous (not to mention redundant) as it seemed to be? There's nothing in your Convention notes to back it up.

"the more and more I hear Lou and his baseball philosophy, it seems to follow Dusty’s line of thinking. The only major difference is their demeanor. I will post something tomorrow morning…"

Did LouPa mention something about "mojo", burning incense, lucking charms or dousing his injured pitchers with holy water?

maybe it's just Manny's opinion? We're all entitled to them....

Thanks for the writeup, Manny. Very nice tidbits you were able to pick up.

I, though, chuckled when I read this particular one:

"- 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.”"

I believe the former, I really don't believe the latter.

CWTP-
It is my opinion based on the things I have heard him say since he was hired and from what I have seen or heard from others. I think much of his in game moves, lineup, pitching moves, etc will be very similar to Dusty. To me he comes off as that same old school style manager, but I could be wrong.

Quote for Carrie Mustache:

"I'm not sure where the rumor started, but Jones is not disgruntled and does not want to be traded."

Thanx manny, much appreciated.

maybe it’s just Manny’s opinion? We’re all entitled to them….

Very good. Nothing to discuss here. Move along everybody.

“I’m not sure where the rumor started, but Jones is not disgruntled and does not want to be traded.”

Hahaha, I think Jones started it himself.

“I’m not sure where the rumor started, but Jones is not disgruntled and does not want to be traded.”

i think the whole world knows where the rumor started and though hendry stated otherwise i really dont believe that jones didnt ask to be moved.

now, i dont think that jones is in dire "get me the hell out of here" mode...especially with the strength in the team's improvements over last season and the fact most people actually want him back as far as his trouble-crew goes (the fans). what looked bad or weak last april (jones) turned out to be the least of the team's concerns and a wild FA market has won over more than a few that dont like jones at all when the market for a replacement is scanned.

i dont really care who takes what stance or revises what history as long as jones or a proper talent is taking the field in 07 in the position jones would be playing.

Um yeah. I was just mentioning the quote to show what a lackey Mustache is. What a tool.

Yeah, I know, TheJoe. I'm a founding member of the anti Muskat club.

Muskat probably still thinks Jones hits right-handed....

ROB G: "Muskat probably still thinks Jones hits right-handed…."

No. No - I think that was, "Jones can only hit right-handers..."

Carrie Mustache?!

That's a good one! HAHA!

Thanks for the great info, Manny!

Cheers, Manny.

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