Wrigley Field: Back to the Future

Apparently Fenway Park is a big part of Wrigley Field's Upgrade Template for Tom Ricketts. 

Cubs management over the past few years has held several luncheon meetings for season ticket holders where they provide a forum for suggestions to improve the ballpark experience. I finally had my chance last Thursday to attend one of these sessions.

Wrigley Field on this warm September non-game day had it's usual majestic feel but without the game day buzz, one senses the serenity that is baseball's crown jewel at rest. The streets surrounding the ballpark maintain their working day activities, construction site sidewalk hazards, beer trucks unloading their wares, but open parking spots on Addison seemed out of place.

The concourse was empty but they provided lunch, so one of the concession stands behind first base had activity, hot dogs, polish sausage, hamburgers, chips, soft drinks...and the mustard/relish stands were set up.

Then that moment I love every time it occurs, walking up the steps going to the stands as the field unfolds before my eyes. I hope this is what Heaven truly looks like. They had set up behind the first base dugout with bar stool seats in the row between lower and upper boxes for the management team. We were invited to sit anywhere in the upper part of the box seat section. Microphones and speakers set up so all could hear and ask questions.  Led by Crane Kenney (Chairman of the Cubs) and Mark McGuire (Exec VP/Business Operations), they had about 8 of the facility management team. I didn't take notes so the others I remember speaking were Michael Lufrano (General Counsel/Community Affairs/Sr. VP) and Carl Rice (Sr Director/Facility Mgt and Information Technology). About 75 season ticket holders were there and the session lasted almost 2 hours. 

Crane Kenney opened with the proviso that they were not going to discuss any on the field issues regarding baseball operations. This was a forum for anything other than the actual team. No complaining about why Soriano is a sucker for breaking balls out of the strike zone or why Bobby Scales is playing LF instead of Jake Fox this September.

Kenney had just returned the night before from Boston with Tom Ricketts to tour Fenway Park with the focus on how they had rehabbed their ballpark in the recent years under the relatively recent (2002) ownership of John Henry.

Here's the Boston timeline: Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Luccino bought the Red Sox in 2002 for $700 Million. From an on the field side of the change, that first year they brought in whiz kid Theo Epstein as GM. They won a World Series by 2004, so that in itself is impressive considering they had their own demons (Yankees) to and curses (Bambino) to slay. Mr. Ricketts, I'm really glad you are paying attention to the Boston experience.

Back to the topic of what Wrigley Field can learn from the Fenway refurbishing experience. What Kenney said was that the Red Sox were able to rebuild Fenway in sections with out leaving the park (for a season) to do a massive overhaul. They rebuilt Fenway's upper deck as well as adding a new annex building allowing them to move out all non essential parts (i.e. the business offices) from the old facility. Now that the Cubs now own the triangle property (on Clark), the Fenway model can be a key part of the Wrigley plan. It should provide a campus feel with shops and restaurants. The re-locations can create space for better team facilities, modernized concession services and restrooms.The upper deck rebuild is a big (probably multi-year) deal but new sky boxes that would come out of that will help that on the revenue side. The current sky boxes are more cement bunker than luxury apartments that newer facilities provide.

The Red Sox also had major upgrades to technology and although the Wrigley Field center field scoreboard is unlikely to see much change they are exploring other ideas including a Jumbo-tron (that's going to spark some intense controversy from the old schoolers if it happens) from one of the buildings on Waveland ave but it's definitely not a consideration inside the park. On technology upgrades, I personally asked for wi-fi access and a dedicated pitch count scoreboard (right now pitch counts are occasionally shown on the electronic board below the upper deck railing, down the right field line).

Fenway's electronic upgrades have a chance of being copied because they were done in a "traditional" way:

Four new electronic scoreboards along the face of the upper deck bring the ballpark into the 21st century technologically. But, Smith said, the graphics used on the LED screens will be limited to information such as scorelines and batting statistics, instead of the fancy graphics used at many arenas.

“It’s the best technology one can buy,” Smith said, “but the presentation of the information is very traditional.”

This isn't directly a Cubs issue but I learned that AT&T has a cell
tower on the roof down the left field line (just behind the light tower). Their cabling is antiquated
but will be upgraded this off season. Apparently a squirrel ate thru
their cabling and it took an absurd amount of time to find this out as well as to repair the damage (not kidding). Their 3G
data network works only for the first 75 phones then everyone trying to access the network above that gets
bumped. Supposedly this problem will get addressed in the off-season as AT&T has targeted Chicago as one of the cities to receive major upgrades.

The session covered many topics as the attendee's were given 2 hours to ask whatever was on their minds.

Topics included (now I wish I had taken notes to cover this better):

• Almost everyone is tiring of the guest singers for the 7th inning stretch, particularly non-Cub/Chicago related singers. One suggestion which drew some chuckles was to bring out a video screen on to the field and have a Harry Caray video lead everyone in "take me out to the ballgame" after all he's still the original. Talk about warm-fuzzy and a bit creepy.

Season ticket issues and PSL's. It was discussed why seat relocations rarely occur. Apparently they have such low turnover that most of the changes are on the "fringe" areas of seats. They have maintained their partial ticket packages. That wait list for season tickets shrinks at a glacial pace. As of this past off season the list was over 100,000 and the reported renewal rate was less than 98% which meant only 200 or so new ticket holders come off the list annually. This lead to the mentioning of PSL's. The dilemma of having "families" hand down ownership generationally was discussed. They try to accommodate families but there is a limit on how these are stretched. There are "consortiums" where blocks of 40 tickets are wielded by one name on the account and those tickets get distributed by the account holder but it's not a family thing. I get the sense that they want PSL's but Tom Ricketts is exploring the implications. I'm sure that if they want to extensively remodel Wrigley it's going to happen.

I took this from the Bears PSL Q and A page on their PSL guidelines:

What is a PSL? PSL stands for "Permanent Seat License." It is a one-time fee. It is called a "Permanent Seat License" because it gives you permanent control over your seats. It also gives you the right to purchase season tickets for those seats and determine who may next gain control of that right for as long as the Bears call Soldier Field home.

So PSL's will create a secondary market for season tickets as best as I can tell. If you decide to sell the PSL (at least wrt the Bears) the Bears will not be the re-purchasers. Still this lets the PSL holder keep the tickets in the family as long as they want them. Once the PSL is purchased it's value will be determined by supply and demand/market forces so I'd expect it to be sold to ticket holders as an investment that should hold it's value. I'm sure the Bears and other PSL experiences will be a valuable comparison if/when the time comes.

Parking. This will be a mess because there just are not enough options to build parking in nearby Wrigleyville. They have shuttled parking at DeVry, and what the call the Green lot (located at 1126 W. Grace) and the Brown lot but basically it's out of control with not much hope in sight. Pricing for parking was also complained about. Looks like using public options including the "L" will be a part of  Wrigley's ambiance going forward. Their bicycle check program has been well received and will continue and may get expanded because of it's success.

Arizona vs Florida for spring training. Apparently the Cubs are negotiating with the Hohokams but they have used an out clause on their lease. Here's the story as of 8/28/09:

The Cubs have indicated they'll take advantage of an out clause in their Hohokam lease in the coming year, making discussions necessary. But this doesn't mean the Cubs are looking to leave Mesa; we hear the team would like to stay in Mesa, preferably in a situation where there's more revenue potential. Whether that means renovated Hohokam Park or building a new facility near the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport remains to be seen. 

Regarding Florida, Kenney said that once they invoked the out clause several sites in Florida where teams have left (Vero Beach/Dodgertown for sure) contacted them to see what could be done to lure them. The Cubs use Arizona as a key hub for many minor league operations including their rehab center and I think Arizona Phil can stop worrying about name changing to Florida Phil. I do expect they will get a significant upgrade to their Arizona facilities even if it takes the form of a new site since they are a key draw to the area. Florida will have to blow them away with an offer and it still is a decision that will be solely in Tom Ricketts hands.

Wrigley Remodeling (funding) issues. This was a Tribune dilemma and will be transferred to Tom Ricketts. They are still bothered by the hotel tax (public funds) that benefits the White Sox stadium operations.

The bond payments for both stadiums (also Soldier Field) are funded by a 2 percent hotel tax in Chicago, which generates about $23 million a year. That tax was first levied in 1988, after the Illinois General Assembly created the ISFA to issue bonds for a new stadium for the White Sox.

I'm not sure what ranking system the Cubs use for this but what is the  #1 and #2 Chicago tourist attractions: Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park or the Museum Campus (Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Field Museum)? According to Crane Kenney, Wrigley Field is the third biggest tourist attraction to the Chicago area (maybe in Illinois too?) but those visitors stay in hotels and pay their taxes to the benefit of Jerry Reinsdorf's facility.  I found this Crane Kenney quote from CSN TV's, "Chicago Tribune Live" show:

Kenney was asked how future renovations and improvements to Wrigley Field could compare to U.S. Cellular Field, and he said, "Jerry is like Phyllis Diller: he gets a face lift about every three years down on the South Side. We actually don’t have a public source of financing, so we don’t have a hotel tax to rebuild our stadium ever year. We’ve got to find it in our own pockets so it’s a little more limited.”

I'd expect some tactful negotiating to address that inequity. I heard something about Tom Ricketts proposing a dollar for dollar matching program possibly to show that he's not just asking for a freebie.

Concessions. They started what they considered an upgrade by bringing in the Levy Group to cater the skybox area and the Stadium Club and recently that group took over the entire concession operations. The facility space limitations are an issue why they can't bring in as much diverse food options but the Triangle project may help there. There was a complaint that they are no longer providing Kosher Hot Dogs  and that probably will be addressed. Someone suggested Hebrew National or Vienna (which is a Chicago company). Apparently the Cubs are aware that the perception is the food at US Cellular is better and it's been a difficult uphill battle to fix that but Mark McGuire pointed out that both stadiums have the same hot dog brands. It was also recommended to get rid of the cotton candy/popcorn on a pole which obstructs views (E-Man hates these almost as much as he does Will Ohman).

Wrigley 2014. They are working even now on Wrigley Field's 100th anniversary celebration. Hopefully the Cubs can break out the confetti before then.

Incidentally, it looks like Soriano has decided to get his knee scoped sometime this week. Bruce Levine reports there are loose "fragments" (of cartilage) to be removed. Soon we'll know the rest of the story.

There will be an additional reason to celebrate in 2014. That's the last year of Alfonso Soriano's eight year deal. 

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Comments

Dr. Hecht -- Great job! Thanks for the info.

Az Phil -- Can you give us an update from your vantage point on the possibility of the Cubs leaving HoHoKam? It's hard for me to believe the Cubs would leave Arizona, but in your last report on the subject, it sounded like there was a chance.

Now I am starting to see why Obama is a Sox fan.

Seriously, though, very interesting. Did reaction to any of those proposals they floated seem to surprise them in any way?

I am still of the opinion that PSL's are for new stadiums - at least for new seats. If they try to charge you PSLs for season tickets you've had for 10 years... well, I wouldn't sit for it.

and there's 1000s waiting to take those PSLs if you don't want them.

i was of the opinion you liked free market.

The point of PSL's is that you're funding a new stadium.

Not sure if locking in season ticket sales helps or hurts the Cubs revenues, I suspect the former, or teams wouldn't do it.

it's an additional revenue outlet to exploit those who can afford to pay it because they can.

not much to justify it besides "well, this is the way it is now and we have others that will pay for this minor luxury."

that's how things like this work, though. wrigley is gonna be a lot like fenway...trying to squeeze every single penny possible out of it to maintain a big ass payroll. those that "have" will finance the status quo.

I understand that they're going to want to try to do it. Personally, if I were a season ticket owner, and they tried it I would write them a nice letter that said "How 'bout instead of that, you go fuck yourself?". In Fenway they added seats to the top of the Green Monster, so at least they could say "you're helping to pay for these new seats" - though I have no idea if they also tried to get people who already had season tickets to buy PSL's for old seats.

If all the season ticket owners say "go fuck yourself" a lot of people will move up that list, but a lot of people on that list will realize they can't afford the tickets anyway.

Yeah, that's me. I've been waiting to have a chance to get season tickets, but if there's a PSL involved, no way I can afford it.

soriano to have knee surgery, fwiw...minor, out a month, per ESPN

Now they mention loose bodies. I doubt that's not new info except to the press. Disclosure issues, surely. Probably would have been more useful info as far as the 2009 team is concerned if they had sorted that out in May. Of course Soriano didn't get the MRI until August 29th.

here's the Soriano link, reported by Bruce Levine:

The surgery will clean up some fragments that have come loose in his knee area.

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?i...
-------
Levine's report after Soriano got the MRI, reporting just inflammation:

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?i...

bleacher idiots are still on milton's back...they brought posterboard to heckle him now. at least they're getting closer to the age they're acting carrying around posterboard with marker scrawl on them.

i swear...if we have to get rid of players because the OF bleacher idiot drunks can't get a positive social experience out of them...yeesh...who's the real selfish self-centered people here?

Crunch -- Bradley just needs to suck it up and let it roll off his back. Fans in every city get on their players as well as the players from other teams. Remember the "Daryl, Daryl" chant. It's part of being a professional athlete. In fact, many athletes consider it a badge of honor and use it to motivate them instead of complain about it. Derek Jeter even does a commercial about it.

I don't want anything I'm saying to be construed as condoning or defending racist comments. I have no patience for such comments. But aside from racist comments, a few fans yelling at Bradley shouldn't even be worthy of discussion.

he does as far as i can tell.

that's not the issue. we have a home park who's drunk ass RF mission for some "fans" is to heckle their own team for fun between $6 beers.

they just don't like how he "plays back" with them...and i'm tired of the pulse of the team being linked to those lame ass losers.

When Bradley makes comments about hoping games only go nine innings at Wrigley so he can get away from the ballpark as quickly as possible, I take that as a sign that he's letting the fans get to him. I recall him making other similar comments as well.

How is the "pulse of the team" being linked to the RF bleacher bums? I'm not arguing that you're wrong. I'm just not sure what you mean.

i could see that...i read that as him saying it like it is, though.

i'm a lot like bradley in the fact that i can look at a shit situation, call it like it is, and not melt down emotionally over it. some people think it's stoic to ignore and go on. some people have no problem what so ever calling bullshit and still going on. different reaction, same resolution. people get all bent out of shape about some words sometimes.

we're not seeing any reduction in quality of play, hustle, etc. at the expense of fans, but today i saw a lot of idiots with beers raises pushing posterboard at cameras while friends pointed at it. yeaaaaaaaah buddy.

and the bleacher bums get a lot of credit for being the fan pulse of the team, though with the expansion that's getting diluted a bit.

i'm not saying the fans need to quit or they got no right, but too many are caught up in some stupid crap "just because". milton is underperforming, but he's being treated like todd hundley.

Bears parachat?

Padres are wearing their tan camouflage uniform shirts today with lighter tan pants and green hats. Apparently they wear them once a year. I wonder if the Rockies are having trouble seeing them (apparently not).

After the game they are shipping out from Point Mugu.

pic link:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3659/3509761429_56d...

opinion link:

...it was explained, and largely accepted, as an appropriate gesture for a team playing in a city so closely tied to the military.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=lu...

That was interesting stuff Dr. I do hope the 7th inning singers get the axe. The TV/radio guys & their audiences surely do too since the celebs spend a distracting half inning in each booth - enough already! Same for the cotton candy poles...both those tweaks are called for but neither will advance the ultimate cause; can anything/anybody?

it's come to this...

Pat/Ron on the radio were calculating magic numbers, not to season ending elimination but to avoid the cardinals clinching the division next weekend in Stl. They recalled the Cubs clinching last year at Wrigley vs Stl (even better as Edmonds caught the last out)

They have to keep the magic number (now at 11) from going below 7 to prevent any chance of a clinch in stl.

Sheesh.

pat and ron doing math...bet that took a few innings.

If the Cubs really want to clean up the fan's acts in RF, then allow the ushers and security personnel to eject drunken idiots as they see fit. They could post warnings above the entrance to the bleachers if they wanted to really ram the point home. I don't wish to see some kind of "Miss Manners" thing take over, but it's well within the club's right to take out the trash at will. Over the course of 40 years I've never seen a fan ejected in person, although it does happen (rarely). The club will only benefit in the long run, and there's plenty of fans that will gladly take the place of the drunken frat boys.

doubt it will happen...dunno if it should. really hope thing don't get as retarded as they are in NYM/NYY bleachers, though. it's such a social thing there that the game practically doesn't matter. youtube is littered with their antics...singling out fans and heckling with 100s of eyes on the mob mentality that's totally ignoring the game while they try to do some other random stuff.

a lot of the issues in recent years in the bleachers tends to be from the "young blood" out there having too many and doing stupid crap, but the useless hate from the older crowd isn't doing much to rein it in.

the issue i got with the bleachers piling crap on bradley is more-so because a lot of it is coming from his attitude toward them, not his attitude toward the game. even when he was producing well after the break these idiots still didn't off his back too much because he wouldn't act like someone who was grateful for their applause or their social experience.

Crunch's phrase/cause du jour..."social experience"

Smokies clinched this afternoon, 3-1.

Hitting stars of the series were Castro, Adduci and Canzler. Pitching stars: Coleman, Chen and Schlitter (3 saves).

It gets tougher against Birmingham or Jacksonville for the crown.

Fukudome back in a bad slump...even with his hitting coach visiting this weekend from Japan.

It looks like he's worn out but at least he hung in there thru August this season, I guess it's an improvement over 2008 even though his final batting average will be about the same.

Judd Sirot on wgn radio said Soriano's surgery will be on Tuesday

Who is this "Soriano"?

here's the box score from the Tenn win:

http://tennessee.smokies.milb.com/milb/stats/stats...

Glad to see Marcus Mateo bounce back from his last outing, getting 2 K's and the Win.

Also good to see Starlin Castro go 3-4 with an rbi

and nice series from Brian Schlitter...I'd love to see what the projections are for him in 2010. Guess he'll start as the I-Cubs closer and have to prove himself from there.

brian what?

Rockies lost 7-3, go camouflages go...

Marquis gets the "L" (15-11)

Didn't MArquis have 13 or 14 wins at the All-Star break?

If so, he's won only ONE or two games since 2nd week of July??!!

He had 11 wins and a 3.65 ERA in the first half, and going into the game 4 wins and a 3.66 ERA in the second half.

Haven't been hanging out here lately because of the simple fact that I'm feeling quite fair-weather-fandish lately, but I wonder what the Cubs record is since Ramirez got back. Even more interesting would be to know how it has been if you take away the first couple weeks that it took for him to get back into a groove.

My other question is, did Jake Fox rape Lou's mother?

I mean, by the Gods, the dude can hit, let's at least showcase him to AL teams.

I really hate the way old, tired managers think at the end of a lost season.

Jake had a bad fielding day replacing Lee on one of the days he was holding his wife's hand. It's really not like Lou to overreact and bench him for a week though...

At this point Lou is the proverbial old man trying to send back soup at the deli.

Neal, do you have kids?

Tito, how much money do you make?

The reason I asked was because you've made two comments now about D-Lee post-kid. The first was asking if something was wrong with the baby since he missed two games. Then a typically Real Neal-ish comment about him holding his wife's hand.

So I asked because it sounds like you don't know what it's like to have a kid. I don't mean that in any negative way, just that you might understand if you did have them. Either that or you do have kids and think D-Lee is some sort of pussy for not making it to NYC for the game the next night.

Well, since it's obviously got your always tight panties in a wad, let me elaborate.

Things I think Derrek Lee should take into consideration when knocking up his wife:

1. The day of the year - He gets paid over $10 million annually for 7 months work. There's a pretty big range of time when getting his wife pregnant won't cost him to miss time.
2. Hiring a nanny with some of that $10 million
3. He has teammates and fans depending on him, the best offensive player on the team in a time when they're playoff chances are dwindling.

Now if Derrek Lee were say, a janitor, and they could call the temp agency to get another janitor to cover him for a week while his second child was born, it would be a different story.

Thanks, that answers the question.

Who really cares. This is a team that's supposed to contend and they didn't, so I don't really care who impregnated who and who is sitting out.

in a time when they're playoff chances are dwindling

The playoff chances were long over by that time, despite front office rhetoric of "not waving the white flag"... in my humble opinion.

Ryno:
It's way too early to count anybody out, it's only September.

Haha, this guy is hilarious.

He took two days off to meet his kid, no one should care. And for all we know there may have been some complication. Not like that stuff needs to get reported....

He took two days off to meet his kid, no one should care.

I wouldn't say that no one should care. I would say that no one should complain.

I care, and am very happy, that Derrek Lee chose to spend time with his wife and new child.

"Well, since it's obviously got your always tight panties in a wad, let me elaborate.

Things I think Derrek Lee should take into consideration when knocking up his wife:

1. The day of the year - He gets paid over $10 million annually for 7 months work. There's a pretty big range of time when getting his wife pregnant won't cost him to miss time.
2. Hiring a nanny with some of that $10 million
3. He has teammates and fans depending on him, the best offensive player on the team in a time when they're playoff chances are dwindling.

Now if Derrek Lee were say, a janitor, and they could call the temp agency to get another janitor to cover him for a week while his second child was born, it would be a different story."

_______________________________

Jeez, Neal. I'm trying to find a way to excuse your comment here as something else besides compelling evidence that you are a 24 carat jerk. Maybe you're just in a real mood today or else you have some issue with Tito that sets you off, but the opinions you expressed here are ones that are outside of the mainstream of general American society in 2009 -- to put it mildly.

Perhaps you were just hoping to get a rise out of people (or Tito) by making over-the-top statements or else the Cubs' poor performance this year has caused your emotions to short circuit your better judgment, but the main effect of your statements was to cause me to say to myself, "Man, what a massive douchebag". Makes me want to tune you out in the future, which I don't want to do because you often bring up some good points and arguments, even if you sometime choose a more aggressive way of arguing than I would.

I'm going to go ahead and assume this is satire. If not...wow.

I have to admit that I am annoyed by our culture of not having to take responsibility for your actions and dismayed at the mentality that fellow Americans show about it.

Ask your parents, if they're alive, how long that your father took off when you were born. I bet less than half of you come up with as long as two days, and your fathers didn't get 5 month annual holidays.

It's really depressing, but that's America today, slack and excuses.

i find a person who doesn't have time for his family aside from collecting a paycheck a bit more depressing, myself.

Yes, I am almost as stupid for replying as the original idiotic comments were, but I can't help myself...:)

Your comments on this thread Real Neal, while don't surprise me based on your comments and persona on TCR, are even over the top for you. I hope you are just trying to get a rise out of people since the Cubs can't do that anymore this year. But your ignorant comments I am sure are amusing to those of us with kids and can only hope you grow up before you have kids.

And your comment about ask you dad how long he took off when you were born, you know that was a different time, right. Many things have changed in our culture like the less percentage the male makes in the household, etc.

Grow up and God bless the greatest country in the world...THE USA!!

C'mon manny, and all the rest of you: ask your parents if they're still around how often they DUI'd, or smoked while pregnant, or smacked their wife. Geez, America: you ain't what you used to be.

stupid environmental regulations have robbed me and future generations from seeing rivers on fire. the pictures look so neat and i bet it's romantic at night. i bet it was clean with the absence of fish pooping (ew!) in the water. all these regulations have absolutely killed my chance of seeing that.

people need to man up and get back to the good ol' days where you only had to be afraid of commies. we have way too much stuff to be afraid of now. it sucks.

"It's really depressing, but that's America today, slack and excuses."

__________________________

Ayn Rand finds you worthy.

Have the Bears even completed a pass yet? Ugly...

Cutler out of synch except on the bomb to Knox, He's had a particularly ugly offensive 1st half but the Defense has kept them in it. Cutler's 3 interceptions are the difference so far. Manning's safety was a thing of beauty. I thought he was going to generate long drives so the defense doesn't wear down. Not his night unless they regroup at halftime.

Hard to ignore the weak offensive line, though. He doesn't have much time to work.

Regrouped

cubbery for adults cubs

CUBSTER: Brian Urlacher now has a dislocated wrist. What is the average time for recovery?

Love the article. Thank you. It's one of the best I've seen this year. After the let-down the Cubs (and their facilities and ownership) have been this year, it's nice to think about what's in the works.

I'm forwarding this to all my non-TCR Cubs friends.

TCR is a great melding of minds and output. Lots of good post-creators here that can interject their personal feelings into their work without being polarizing jerks.

The daily game update/preview might not get done every time, but the meat-and-potatoes posts outside of that realm (like this one) make it worth it.

Brian Urlacher now has a dislocated wrist. What is the average time for recovery?
---
the radio reports say no timetable

a dislocated wrist comes with quite a few variations and often several short but important ligaments get torn. My early guess is more than 12 weeks, so it's probably season ending for #54

still it depends on associated fractures and how extensive are the ligament tears that occur surrounding the lunate bone
---
Anatomy (from the link below):
The carpus (wrist) is composed of 2 rows of bones: the proximal carpal (wrist) row (bones: scaphoid, lunate, and triquetrum) and the distal carpal(wrist) row (bones: trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and hamate). The wrist joint is composed of 2 types of ligaments, intrinsic and extrinsic. The intrinsic ligaments are short, stout ligaments that stabilize adjacent carpal bones, while the extrinsic ligaments span the proximal carpal row and the distal carpal row.

Wrist dislocation link:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/98552-overview

Perilunate dislocation links:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1240108-over...

http://www.eorthopod.com/public/patient_education/...

Anatomy links:

http://tinyurl.com/pmzq9j

http://tinyurl.com/pyyy4n

There's always next year.

Season.

Season for Urlacher over

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/news/story?i...

WEEKEND RECAP:
- Cutler doing his best end of career Farve impersonation with 4 INT's. Hey look at it this way, it can only get better from here.

- Bears Defense live up to their reputation in recent years that they can't come up with a big stop.

- Thanks for the memories MJ!!

- Did the Cubs even play? I think this is one of the first non-vacation weekend where I did not even watch one pitch of a Cubs game in so long I can't even remember.

- Again, good to see the Cubs shut Soriano down and he is having surgery before the season is over.

Oooo, looking at certain x-ray images of injuries gives me the cringies. I'm not squeamish about blood or gory stuff in general, but I can't help but feel sympathy pain when I see a limb move in a way that it shouldn't.

Can we have Orton back?

That QB'ing last night certainly reminded me of some of the Sexy Rexy games.

I know what you mean.

But once Collingsworth pointed it out, it did seem that 2, maybe 3 of the picks were the result of recievers stopping or giving up on a pattern. Certainly the last one was. On another, inexplicably, Knox actually ran away from the ball after it was in the air.

I donno.
Maybe Cutler will demand another trade.

Have to disagree on that #3. The receiver did the right thing, which is run with the quarterback to open space - that's what Collingsworth originally said. It's not like he was playing centerfield, standing there waiting for the ball to be thrown and then adjusting. Did Collingsworth really say that? He should know better.

You are correct. C-worth didnt say that Knox did wrong on that particular play. -and I agree with your observation regarding running to the open space.
By watching the replay from the endzone camera though, it just seemed to me that Knox broke back toward the open space after the ball had been thrown, while the D-backs ran toward the ball. I could be wrong.

Anyway, that play was certainly trivial in light of the 'fake' punt. Yeesh.

When did Barrett and Cedeno get put on special teams?

The magic numbers didn't shrink, and the Cubs playoff chances skyrocketed to a full percentage point. Too early to order Champagne?

It's way too early to count anybody out, it's only September.

Just have to finish up 19-3 and we're right there.

Seriously, though. Who expected that the NL Wildcard team would need 95 wins?

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/hudd...

C'mon Tribune, friggin' use a spell checker:

Surgerically?

When asked about his status Monday, Urlacher said in a text message that his ``season is over.''

He was scheduled to undergo surgery Monday morning upon the team's arrival back in Chicago from Green Bay. A dislocated bone had to be surgerically put back in. The surgery might have revealed more extensive damage.
---
Surgically putting a bone in?

The reporters might ask what bone (damn this recurring theme stuff). I'm pretty sure they mean the lunate, so he had a grade 4 perilunate dislocation. The lunate is the small bone in the center of the proximal row of wrist bones and in a grade 4 injury, it loses all it's ligament attachments except the one attached to the radius and then displaces to the palmar side of the wrist joint but out of it's normal articulating space with the radius. I think one of the links I posted above with anatomic pics indicates the direction of the ligament tearing. If that's what Urlacher is dealing with (I'm still reading between the cyber-lines), it's a maximally severe wrist injury and possibly takes a year to get full recovery.

Seems like I've seen defensive player (I know I've seen O-linemen) play with casts on a hand. There's no chance that he could do that with a wrist and still be able to grab with his hand?

i think I just saw a CB or a safety play with a huge cast on his hand, but I guess it depends on the injury.

I can all ready hear the "Afternoon Saloon" boys barking about Urlacher.

On an entirely different note: where's Sean Marshall? Is he sitting in Lou's crowded doghouse?

clearly I need that Bears blog up and running...of course with the injury, it might be a shorter season than the Cubs.

Urlacher=Hillenmeier?

So, is this the equivalent of Aaron Miles, Farney, Fontenot as a backup?

This is when the upper echelon teams' depth shine compared to the Bears who refuse to spend big coin on veterans who are 2nd teamers.

And, considering the secondary is terrible, the Pitt game is going to be quite interesting.

Submitted by Sweet Lou on Sun, 09/13/2009 - 1:14pm.

Az Phil -- Can you give us an update from your vantage point on the possibility of the Cubs leaving HoHoKam? It's hard for me to believe the Cubs would leave Arizona, but in your last report on the subject, it sounded like there was a chance.

==========================================

SWEET LOU: The Cubs will almost certainly pay the $4M+ buy-out and leave HoHoKam/Fitch after the 2011 season. The Cubs want a state-of-the-art facility like the one the Dodgers & White Sox have at Camelback Ranch (107th Avenue & Camelback Road), except they don't want to share it with another team. The new facility would have to be totally self-contained (HoHoKam and Fitch are a half-mile apart), with a larger clubhouse, a main stadium with a larger seating capacity than HoHoKam, at least five full-fields for work-outs & minor league activity (Fitch Park has only 4-1/2 fields), better parking and access roads, and increased security (Fitch Park is located in a gang-infested neighborhood).  

Where the Cubs will go is unknown at this time, but the City of Mesa is apparently looking for a site somewhere around Williams Gateway Airport (ex-Williams AFB) near the San Tan Freeway (Loop 202) for the Cubs. There are just no viable sites available in downtown Mesa, plus it's not close enough to a freeway. The Mesa Riverview site at Dobson Road & the Loop 202 Freeway would have been a good location, but it has already been developed for retail-commerical use.

The Diamondbacks & Rockies will be moving up from Tucson to a new joint (two team) facility on the Salt River Pima Indian Reservation near the Pima Freeway (Loop 101) & Indian Bend Road (at the border with the City of Scottsdale), so presuming they remain in Arizona (and I suspect they will invite & entertain offers from Florida cities, if only for leverage) and on the east side of town, the Cubs probably will have to look at a location fairly far east in the City of Mesa, near Williams Gateway Airport.

But with the City of Mesa reportedly in financial free-fall, the Cubs might look to the Town of Gilbert (Power Road is the border between Mesa and Gilbert), possibly at or near the Field of Dreams baseball facility (presently used for Little League & softball) that features replications of classic ballparks like Wrigley Field & Fenway Park. That site is also is in close proximity to the Loop 202 Freeway.

Because of the income they rake-in from their casinos, the Phoenix-area indian reservations are in much better shape financially that any of the cities and towns in the Phoenix metro area, which is how & why the D'backs and Rockies were able to get a deal so quickly and easily during down economic times. A site on the Salt River Pima Indian Reservation would have been absolutely perfect for the Cubs, because it's on the east-side and in proximity to two freeways and near the "Tri-cities" (Scottsdale-Tempe-Mesa), but the Diamondbacks & Rockies already got that one.

The Fort McDowell Apache Indian Reservation is located east of Fountain Hills on AZ SR 87 (the Beeline Highway) northeast of Scottsdale on the road to Payson, and the McDowells supposedly went hard after the Dodgers a few years ago before the Dodgers opted for Camelback Ranch, so I guess Ft. McDowell could be a possibility, although the location is a bit far northeast.

A site on the Gila River Indian Reservation south of Ahwautukee and west of Chandler somewhere in the vicinity of I-10 & Loop 202 (near Firebird Lake) would be another possibility, probably more likely than Fort McDowell. A Firebird Lake-area site would be only about ten miles down I-10 from the Angels facility at the Tempe Buttes (Diablo Park) at 48th Street & Broadway on the Tempe/Phoenix border, giving the Cubs a "partner" without having to share the same facility  

The Cubs know they have been the most-popular team in the Cactus League for as long as they've been out here, although the White Sox, Dodgers, Indians, Reds, Rangers, and Royals moving to Arizona from Florida in recent years has had a bit of negative impact on attendance at HoHoKam because Cubs fans on the west side who used to make the trip to Mesa can just stay home and go see the Cubs when they play road games in Peoria, Surprise, Camelback Ranch, Goodyear, and Maryvale. And the D'backs moving up to Phoenix from Tucson and playing Spring Training games on the east-side of town will probably have a further negative impact on Cubs Spring Training attendance, though probably not enough to make the Cubs want to leave for Florida just for that reason.

That said, it's possible that Ricketts believes a sweetheart deal from someplace in Florida might be a better option than remaining in Arizona. Or maybe Ricketts just prefers Florida over Arizona. I don't know.

Although the moves of MLB clubs in recent years have been from Florida to Arizona rather than the other way around, the Grapefruit League could use the move of the Cubs from Arizona to Florida to reinvigorate Spring Training in Florida and maybe keep other teams from looking west. Hendry, Wilkens, and Fleita are all Florida guys, so if they are asked for their opinions, they would probably want to move to Florida, in part because of their own personal roots, but also because of the Cubs increased activity in Latin America.

Speaking of Latin America, some MLB clubs have eliminated their Instructional League teams to cut costs, and the Mets are moving their Instructional League team from Florida to their academy in the Dominican Republic. The Cubs actually operate two Instructional League teams, one in Arizona and another one at their Dominican Academy. Last year, a number of the Cubs better prospects went to the Dominican Republic in November after Arizona Instructs to attend the Cubs Dominican Instructional League program. This was done partly to give players additional post-season instruction, but also to show the American kids what it's like for their Latin American brothers to play baseball in the Dominican Republic.

Don't forget Lou!

Florida isn't any closer to Latin America than Arizona - though it is closer to the DR, I guess.

In the real world, Florida is about 1800 miles closer to the D.R., P.R., Venezuela and Cuba.

How far from St Pete to Mexico?

I don't get the question? IS Mexico a hotbed of prospects? Fernando Valezeula and Esteban Loiza are the only guys I even think about. Certainly a grain of sand compared to Central & South America and even PR.

I am not sure what AZ Phil's comment was intended to imply, that they're going to be closer for their flights home, that they're going to get cooking more like in Caracas, that they're going to find a larger Spanish speaking community... I don't think the flight thing would be major concern, since we're talking about 2 flights a year, and the Phoenix area has a higher Spanish speaking demographic than Central Florida. Is it that much easier to get a Venezuelan dinner in Vero Beach?

heh..newark bears co-owner bought himself a fat ass lawsuit because he threw some teens out of a game for not standing during "god bless america"

that's weird to me because i find it utterly retarded and ignorant when people stand with hands over heart for that song.

evidently we're trying to create a new culture and etiquette around the song.

I always stand with my hand over my heart when I hear that song, even in the theater during the last scene of "The Deer Hunter." /snark

that Kate Smith version people are so fond of playing is so damn stiff and shrill.

i'd rather put my hands over my ears.

that said, it's a great time to hit up the concession stands.

I can't believe this is coming from the keyboard of the guy who demands a new culture and etiquette in the right field bleachers!!!

you're still hearing what you want to hear rather than what is said, huh? i don't even want to know where you think i said that.

i'll just cut to the point and call you a stupid idiot for this and many other things like this. have fun, dawg.

My daughter is friends with a high school exchange student from Germany. She was mystified by our practice of daily reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, the playing of the National Anthem before all sporting events and the displays of the Stars and Stripes on so many different buildings, etc. They all seemed like strange customs to her.

Given the past problems they had in Germany associated with displays of patriotism, I can understand why they may have different feelings about the issue of such public demonstrations than we do here in the U.S. Especially the use of such displays as a litmus test of your worthiness as a citizen. I found it to be an interesting perspective.

the evolution of "god bless america" and what you're supposed to do while it's playing is evolving in front of us.

in some parts of the nation people stand or "remain standing"...it's now not uncommon to see people putting their hands over their hearts for it's playing...and recently we've had issues with others getting angry over disrespecting the song and what you're morally supposed to do while it's playing.

that's what i find the most interesting.

The Star-Spangled Banner is not the most melodious national song around. Also, because the words are the first stanza of a longer poem, they ask a strange question at the end: O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave? The answer doesn't come till the third stanza; but nobody knows those words.

I think, with God Bless America and America the Beautiful, people are looking for a replacement anthem.

all i know is that i love watching the hell outta some ramparts.

No, crunch, I think you're supposed to be watching FROM the ramparts.

My father, in his argument for The Star Spangled Banner, adores that question, which in its complete form is: O say does that star spangled banner yet wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave?

My father, in his argument for The Star Spangled Banner, adores that question, which in its complete form is: O say does that star spangled banner yet wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave?? My father likes to point at that the question should ask whether the land over which the flag waves is still the land of the free and the home of the brave. I think that is the most logical reading of the question when read in isolation from the remainder of the poem. However, rather than reading the text as acknowledgment of a civic duty to continually reassess our values and behaviors, most readings just consider it a rousing pep talk and validation.

Also, The Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, and America the Beautiful all suck. Zealous patriotism and music rarely mix to positive results. Music written to assert the awesomeness of a nation typically just sucks. Music appropriated for nationalistic purposes is also not good; not that I want to prove Godwin's law or anything, but everyone remembers early 20th century Germany and Richard Wagner's music, right? Douchebags ruined that shit.

Yadayada. [End rant.]

What the...

This is very strange... it's like telling people "You MUST Stand up and pledge your allegiance to your country that you love and the freedoms you enjoy... do it now or you will be sent off to a camp."

Huh?

No, part of what makes this country great is our freedom to speak for or against our country.

Just another example of Obama tearing apart the moral fibers of god-fearing Americans.

Also... Walmart!

Announcement today that Kyler Burke and Casey Coleman are minor-league player and pitcher of the year, to be honored at Wrigley on October 3rd.

Good for Burke, who is only a year and four months older than Vitters and needs to move way up on the prospect lists. A few of my favorite Burke stats: 43 doubles, 78 walks, 14 outfield assists, 14 SBs in 16 tries. I also like his size: he's 6'3", 205, whereas Colvin, almost three years older, is listed at 6'3", 190.

burke was the centerpiece of the m.barret trade to SD, fwiw.

If there's anything less accurate than major league height/weight listings it's minor league height/weight listings.

some guy named jake fox is playing LF today...who the hell is that?

Raise your martini glasses in salute!

cst_cubs: Lineup for milwaukee opener: riot, fuky (9), lee, rami, soto, squirrel (7), baker, fuld (8), demp.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 1:25pm.
Florida isn't any closer to Latin America than Arizona - though it is closer to the DR, I guess.

==============================================

REAL NEAL: I apologize for not being more precise with my language. I know that Mexico is also considered to be part of "Latin America," but when I said "Latin America," I was mainly referring to the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, where most of the Latin players in the Cubs organization are from. (Of the non-U.S.players in the Cubs organization, 84 are from the Dominican Republic, 24 are from Venezuela, six are from Korea, six are from Canada, four are from Australia, four are from Taiwan, two are from Japan, two are from Mexico, two are from Puerto Rico, one is from Haiti, one is from Italy, and one is from The Netherlands, and yes, I am aware that Puerto Rico is a U. S. territory).

BTW. speaking of Mexico, the Cubs presently have just two players from Mexico in their organization, RHPs Marco Carrillo and Oswaldo Martinez.

Carrillo was on the DL coming out of minor league camp and was at EXST at Fitch Park in April-June, before moving up to Daytona and then to Tennessee, where he is currently particpating in the Southern League playoffs with the Smokies.

O. Martinez underwent TJS post-2007 and spent most of the 2008 season rehabbing at Fitch Park, before being "loaned" to Los Broncos de Reynosa of the Mexican League in 2009 where he went 6-6 with a 4.97 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, .297 OBA, 13 HR, and 36/44 BB/K in 99.1 IP. He was brought to the U.S. and assigned to Daytona in August (the Mexican League season ended on August 8th), and he pitched much better in the Florida State League (0.59 ERA, 0.65 WHIP .102 OBA, 0 HR, 5/8 BB/K in 15.1 IP over six appearances).

As part of their quest to become a "player" in all corners of the baseball world, the Cubs do have an Area Scout in Mexico (Raul Cano), and they also have had an informal loose affiliation with the Reynosa (ex-Tijuana) franchise in the Mexican League for the past five seasons. They occsaionally "loan" a player to that franchise (RHP Oswaldo Martinez in 2009, RHP Rafael Cova in 2008, and catcher Enrique Lujan in 2005-06). The Cubs also invited a couple of pitchers from Tijuana (RHP Alan Guerrero and LHP Marco Tovar) to the AZ Instructional League at Fitch Park post-2007.

Presumably the Cubs have some kind of unwritten option with the Reynosa club where they have first-dibs on any of Los Broncos players, but so far they have not acquired any, although I suspect if they do, it will probably be either CF Leonardo Heras or closer Alan Guerrero (one of the pitchers who was at Instructs a couple of years ago). Guerrero is 21 years old, and went 9-5 with 22 Saves, 3.12 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and a .278 OBA with only four HR allowed in 66.1 IP over 56 relief appearances for Reynosa this season, and the 19-year old Heras hit 330/376/430 with 21 doubles and ten triples with .Los Broncos in 2009. (Although it's listed as an unaffiliated National Association AAA league by MLB, the Mexican League is really more-equivalent to A++ or AA-).     

BTW, if RHP Julio Castillo has trouble getting a visa to the U. S. next season because of his felony conviction in Dayton, OH (and presuming the Cubs don't release him during the off-season), he might be a candidate to get loaned to Reynosa for the 2010 season, presuming Mexico doesn't care about Animal's felony conviction in the U. S.

Phil, do you happen to know what Tim Wilken's involvement is when the Cubs sign a Dominican youngster like Starlin Castro or Jose Valdez, or a Korean like Hak-Ju Lee? His title is "director of amateur and professional scouting," which could mean that he had a hand in the selection of everyone from Castro to Milton Bradley. But he mostly does his talking regarding the June draft of U.S. amateurs.

i love watching the hell outta some ram parts.
---
ewe...

Oh no.... *shakes head slowly*

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