What I Would Ask Mr. Ricketts

On Friday, the Cubs' new owner will be confronted by more microphones, cameras, and sweaty members of the press than I imagine he has ever been confronted by before. I predict he will say something to the effect of, "I can't give you a definite answer at this point, but that is absolutely something we are going to be looking at," more times than we'll be easily able to count. Nevertheless, after the ridiculously protracted sale process and with so many critical issues facing the team—from the immediate future of the leadership team to the long-term viability of Wrigley Field—I will join many of you in hanging on every word Ricketts has to say. (I've also never heard his voice, so I'm curious.)

Apart from all of the obvious questions Ricketts will face, probably multiple times, here are some questions I would ask if I had press credentials or the ingenuity to sneak in.

– In your wildest dreams, did you ever imagine when you began this process that it would take this long to resolve?

– How hard was it to persuade your family to pursue this purchase? 

– Did you always consider yourselves favorites to win the team?

– On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being virtually no involvement with day-to-day decisions and 10 being complete immersion in every detail of the team's operation, how would you characterize your ideal level of involvement with the club?

– During the long period when you were clearly the eventual owner but not yet officially so, did you have any contact or decision-making authority with regard to the operation of the team? If not, were Crane Kenney or Jim Hendry at least able to "keep you in the loop"?

– Though the Ricketts family is prominent in Omaha, by the end of this press conference and the subsequent replays of it, you will not be able to go many places in Chicago without being identified. Did you or your family consider that level of visibility when deciding whether to pursue the team? How do you feel about the possibility of hostile encounters with fans if the team is not doing well?

– How often in recent years have you seen the Cubs play at Wrigley? Where did you sit?

– Dating back to when you first became a Cubs fan, who was/is your favorite player?

 That's my list. What would you ask a 44-year-old billionaire-turned-baseball team-owner? 

Comments

1) How much longer do we have to endure Jim Hendry as GM?

2) Do you read Bill James, Baseball Prospectus or any other statistically-slanted baseball publications?

Here is one I did not include:

Do you consider The Cub Reporter a great Cubs blog or the greatest Cubs blog?

CUBNUT: Send these over to Bruce Miles - he will be in the room!

"Your business acumen is renown, as is making a profit. What areas are you targeting to produce more revevue, and do you envision PSL's in the future as a necessary stream"?

"When will renovations start, or at least bathroom renovations?"

Thanks, E-Man. I just forwarded a link to Bruce.

Here's a few baited questions I would ask:

1. Do you plan to keep Jim Hendry on as sort of a "lame duck" GM and if so how much autonomy will he have in making baseball decisions?

2. What is your vision for rebuilding this team?

3. Developing good talent in-house can be a nice cost-savings way of fielding a winning baseball team, what organizational, business office-level vision do you have for developing a talented farm system?

My list:

1. Are you looking for a 30 year old faux Dr to help you in any official baseball capacity?

2. Do you need said faux Dr. to work as a bodyguard, money holder-onto, or general entourage lackey?

3. If you answered yes to 1 or 2, where do you turn in resumes?

Do you plan to keep the Tribune-era organizational chart wherein baseball operations essentially report to the marketing department? We love Ron Santo, we hate the guest conductors, and even though they both need to go, fans don't feel like they ever will.

My question would be:

"Wouldn't Aaron Miles make a nice lawn ornament for your mansion in Omaha? I have a lantern you can borrow."

Win!

"Wouldn't Aaron Miles make a nice lawn ornament for your mansion in Omaha? I have a lantern you can borrow."

This is a LOW BLOW!

But, wonderful. Very nice.

Get used to Aaron Miles, pt. 2

Have you considered Arizona Phil for GM?

For those of you that didn't catch it locally - here is the stream from Hendry's interview with Bruce LEvine and J. Hood from Talkin' Baseball last Saturday.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/player?context...

Proud of the fact we got in the Playoffs two of the last three years. Only disappointment was "we didn't get in".

"Our job is not to make excuses..."

Discloses no Bradley stuff. "He's still a Cub..."

Takes the responsibility, but wants the blame shared around. Was not too specific.

He is not giving any salary back.

The E-Man wrote:
[Hendry] discloses no Bradley stuff. "He's still a Cub..."

Of course, that frustrating to hear, but it's a better approach to negotiation than trashing what you're trying to sell, as the Cubs were doing in September.

an owner question?

umm...how much payroll you gonna give the GM and do you plan on staying the hell out of the way like a good owner should? =p

...btw, zell looks to be one of our greatest owners even if he "maybe" was spending a little more to cash in a new trophy for his mantle.

Is there any chance that Milton Bradley will suit up as a Cub in 2010?

How much of Milton Bradley's contract are you willing to eat in order to get rid of him?

When you go to sleep at night, do you trust Jim Hendry and the baseball people in this organization with your 845+ million investment?

The answer is very important. If yes, fine (that won't last, but fine). If no, proceed to fire Jim and hire somebody you do trust.

Look, if I paid 845 million for a baseball team, you damn well better believe for at least a year or so, it would be my version of MVP Baseball 2003 for playstation. However, a rich owner meddling in the baseball stuff is called the Balitmore Orioles, and look how well they're doing.

Having said all that, maybe a rich fan with the strings in his hands is what we need. I don't know about you guys, but not many people would have paid MB over Ibanez and Abreu last offseason. And Tom Ricketts isn't paying me squat to come up with that logic.......

on a legit question, I would probably like to know which franchises and organizations he sees as good models for the Cubs. I imagine the Red Sox would be one...I'd like to hear the Angels as another.

also, do you have a strong marriage?

http://www.tmz.com/2009/10/27/frank-mccourt-911-ca...

Whoa! The Mighty Cubnut is back in action. Awesome!

We missed you and in case you weren't able to pay attention the 2nd half of the season really sucked rotten eggs.

Thanks, Cubster. I just know that Tom Ricketts and Rudy Jaramillo are going to make everything right.

(I'll ask this for Mike Wellman's(non)benefit)...

What are the chances of the Cubs AAA team moving to Omaha?

I think they already moved them to Chicago.

Mr. Ricketts:

1. Do you feel, long-term, Wrigley Field (even with modifications) can produce the revenue streams necessary to effectively compete over the next 20-25 years?

2. Are there circumstances where you would consider participation in the construction of a new stadium not unlike Miller Park either in Chicago or a suburban location?

3. What involvement (1 to 10 with 10 being the highest) will you have in the hiring or retention of the President, General Manager, and Field Manager positions?

4. What are your 3 highest short-term and 3 highest long-term (3-5 years) priorities?

How do you feel about owning a team where one of your worst players makes the most money--and will for the next five years?

Can you lend me 100 bucks?

What can you do about that smell in the bathroom?

Can you bring back the ball girl? The Marla Collins model?

Ricketts will be on Boers and Bernstein on Friday from 3:30 to 4:00.

I would pay money to hear all three of these questions being asked at the press conference (specifically, asked all together at once -- as in a three part question).

"What is your succession plan?"

Mr. Ricketts, what changes do you envision for parachat sounds?

HAHAHA!

The "Homerun Dolphin" is protected by landmark status.

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  • "trout's one of the best, and at this point should probably win over donaldson (and should have more MVPs in the past, too), but the defensive aspect of valuing WAR still needs more tweaking...imo."

    that's from my 1st post. there's no suck involved in that. maybe with a few less posts about bullshit that point would have jumped out more.

    crunch 5 min 30 sec ago view
  • crunch - you do know that, taking defense out of the equation, Trout has led the AL in wRC+ each of those years, right?

    And, if you want to complain about position adjustment (which would be serious #crunchsplaining), he's been in the top 3 in the AL in WC (not park/league/position adjusted). And the only players ahead of him (if there were any players ahead of him) in any of those years have been DHs or 1B that play lousy defense.

    But sure - Trout sucks (or at least isn't as good as WAR says). Because it factors in defense and position.

    big_lowitzki 1 hour 20 sec ago view
  • early tim tebow stuff rolling in...

    ran a 6.7 60yd (above average)...shagging flies in RF and showed off a rather impressive arm a few times, but average-at best on most of his throws...hit a few over the fence (both fields), fouled or weak contact a few...he's got a touch of power

    it'll be interesting to see who bites on this project, if anyone. he probably projected himself out of RF and into LF/1st because of his arm, but unless he can make that power work on a steady basis it'll be hard for him to play himself up anyone's system.

    crunch 1 hour 45 min ago view
  • LHP Clayton Richard (released by the Cubs earlier this month) is pitching very well as a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and could be a good candidate to get traded to a contender looking for a veteran SP before tomorrow night's post-season roster eligibility deadline.

    Because they released him, the Cubs are paying most of Richard's 2016 salary (the Cubs are on the hooks for $2M, minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary that is paid by the Padres).

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 32 min ago view
  • it is honestly awesome (for real) that anyone would even have a strong opinion on AZL playoffs. i guess if you invest enough time watching it, you want to see a fair/just playoff structure.

    plus, the kids deserve it.

    crunch 3 hours 33 min ago view
  • The AZL team with the best record over the course of the full 2016 AZL season and the only AZL team to play .600 ball (the AZL Dodgers) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, and the AZL East Division team with the best record over the course of the full season (the AZL Athletics) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, either. 

    That's because of the ridiculous "split season" schedule most of the minor leagues now play, a stupid system that rewards mediocrity at the expense of the worthy. 

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 39 min ago view
  • Despite good movement on his fastball, I think location kept him from getting Ks. Left some pitches up and away that got hammered up and away. Then of course Travis Wood gave up the 2-run double in the 7th, but both runs counted against Arrieta.

    Charlie 4 hours 16 min ago view
  • "i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date."

    This level of discourse is #charming.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 4 hours 16 min ago view
  • I would be having this discussion with anyone who (a) blathered on ad nauseum about the topic. (See, "Olt, Mike, not given an opportunity") or (b) responded directly to what I posted (which you did).

    Have a nice day.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 4 hours 19 min ago view
  • what would you do without me? aside from having your posting content here cut by 75%+?

    i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date.

    crunch 4 hours 22 min ago view
  • In this instance, yes, I care more about the result of this big thing that isn't really a big thing.

    #crunchsplaining

    #willlistentojeffsullivanmorethanyou

    #blessyourheart

    #hitler

    #tcrmartyr

    #billyhamiltonwar

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 4 hours 23 min ago view
  • Two things:

    Fangraphs WAR #s include baserunning and Hamilton is elite at that. He leads in SBs with the 54 and and has an 87% rate which is really good. I'm sure once he gets on base he's able to take the extra base quite often too. Both those things will up his overall WAR value.

    The differences between BR and FG WAR is pretty well documented online and thus If there are discrepancies it's fairly easy to figure out why. It's fairly well accepted that BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is better at predicting future value.

    johann 4 hours 27 min ago view
  • i have no doubt at all you quit reading at that point. you're very enamored with outcomes without caring what it takes to get there.

    the fact it's exploitable, especially without someone to cover the running game for him, as well it's evolution in how people are testing possible exploits is interesting to some people...to me...i'm some people...hurrah.

    some people want to check the boxscore to see who won, some want to know how it went down.

    crunch 4 hours 40 min ago view
  • I read it as him saying it's not really that much of a concern and that the one time it really cost Lester, vs. K.C., was an anomaly.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 4 hours 45 min ago view
  • if jeff says it, it's cool...when i say it, it's straight from the mouth of hitler.

    aside from the lack of jeff touching on the insane leads runners take and lester's inability to throw if he's fielding, this is a lot of what i've said about the issue.

    exploitable, needs his own personal catcher to control his shortcomings, relies on his ability to get outs along with his personal catcher keeping runners in check before things become further exploited...

    crunch 4 hours 47 min ago view
  • That would be Rice Krispy Treat

    The E-Man 6 hours 6 min ago view