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? 


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."


"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.


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?


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?


The "Homerun Dolphin" is protected by landmark status.

Recent comments

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  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:


    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).

  • I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.