And Now for Something Completely Different...
We had fun, we had laughs, we had Mark Prior's shoulder, Dusty Baker's lineup card, Mike Quade's awful nicknames and now we shall have goodbye's.
With a heavy heart and far more hours of contemplation than I expected, I'll be stepping down from my reign of terror here at The Cub Reporter. I imagine many of you know the history of the site, but here's a quick recap. The very talented Christian Ruzich began this beauty a long time ago in 2001 back when blogs and the Internet were still a dirty word. He did an incredible job of finding talented writers and eventually had a nice group of team specific blogs at all-baseball.com. Somewhere around 2003 I stumbled across the site, I think from some mention in a Baseball Prospectus article. I sort of hung around the edges of the comments for the next year and started doing my own writing at a site called Most Valuable Network (or MVN for short). Around that time (say late 2004-early 2005), many of the all-baseball.com writers broke off into their own group and started Baseball Toaster and at that time the owner of MVN made an offer to Christian. There were only a few Cubs blogs at that time, and in my personal opinion, The Cub Reporter was the very best, the site I would just hope to be able to write for one day. But because of that purchase, I was sort of thrust upon Christian and as he was slowly backing out of his duties, he found some writers amongst the talented commentators to take over the bulk of the writing and myself, Arizona Phil, John Hill and Transmission began writing for the site. And oh, what a fun few years we had.
We had recaps, previews, satirical write-ups, April Fool's jokes, minor league coverage, stupid Internet arguments, parachat and just hours and hours of endless entertainment.
Somewhere in that time period, Christian backed away completely and I seemed to be the only fool willing to pick up the flag and lead the troops. We picked up some talented free agents along the way like Dr. Joseph Hecht aka Cubster, Don Nelson aka Cubnut, Mike Wellman, CubbyBlue's amazing artwork and most recently WISCGRAD. We migrated to our own site here so we could drop f-bombs freely and lived through the surprise of 2007, the miserable ending of 2008, the lean years of 2009-2011, the surprise Theo Epstein hire that offseason and even leaner years from 2012-2014.
And now it's 2015, the team is a legit playoff contender and shall be one for years to come. And it's still fun, but it's also a bit monotonous and obviously my writing output has slowed to a trickle. I was hoping once the winning began that my writing flame would be re-ignited, but it just hasn't happened. And if this team can't get me to write, nothing will. On top of that, my personal life has had many of the ups and downs that the Cubs franchise has endured. My twins were born 5 days before Mark Prior took a comeback off his elbow (they just turned 10 this last weekend and I still can't get them to sit through a half inning of baseball). My Dad suffered an aortic dissection around the time Michael Barrett was traded (don't worry my Dad is somehow still kicking and letting me know on each and every phone call how dumb the Cubs are). The AngelFan Wife and I bought a house, bought a business, lost a business, lost a house and went through some major health scares and very unfortunately are very much still in the midst of the lean, rebuilding years and any hopes of us being a contender again will require my focus on matters more important than goofing on the Cubs and settling Internet arguments.
So I shall miss all of you (most of you) and I will certainly miss this site. Unfortunately none of the other writers have the time either nor the desire to take over the day-to-day duties so I'm afraid that this might be it for The Cub Reporter. If I can find someone else to take over the daily duties, maybe it will survive, but I can't say for sure. If you know of anyone or have some interest yourself, please contact me through the contact form by clicking the envelope icon on the upper right and I'll happily answer any of your questions. My understanding is that the rest of the writers will continue to write as long as there is a place to write. Arizona Phil said he'd like to at the very least keep writing through the amateur draft and the rest of extended spring training through the end of June, so we'll stay open through then at least. Cubnut will continue to run the twitter account as well. I do have my own twitter account that I'll publish in the near future, although it will be far more than my thoughts on the Cubs, so follow at your own risk. I will be taking down the game chat for now as I won't be around to reset it every night.
So thank you for the laughs, for keeping me honest in the comments, for some dear friendships formed over the years, and for being a part of this rather eclectic and unique point in time and space where we all could commiserate and occasionaly celebrate over this one oddly shared interest that is Chicago Cubs baseball.
crunch 6 hours 51 min ago (view)
i can't believe this kind of stuff is what we're talking about 2 months into the 2020 season...i can't believe a lot of stuff about 2020 outside of the game, too.
crunch 11 hours 9 min ago (view)
contract rights are retained by the team.
in normal times this keeps labor relations between employer and player not too volitile with only a handful of player/owner issues. in times like this you see a system that was not designed for an event like this.
some owners are being responsible over the players who's contracts they control while other owners make us realize why the guillotine was occsasionally popular during revoltutions/revolts.
Jackstraw 11 hours 36 min ago (view)
So they are all free agents? Or still under contract and not getting paid? I'm sure AZ Phil or someone else has covered this but I haven't been keeping up with all the fine points of baseball's problems recently.
Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 9 min ago (view)
Manfred is such a dreadful commissioner. It's his job to walk a fine line and maintain peace in labor relations. Instead he lets the owners do whatever they want.
Cannot wait for a long, bitter strike after 2021. And for the owners to ultimately turn plenty of fan sentiment against players.
crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
"The A's told their minor leaguers Tuesday that they will not continue to pay them their current salary of $400 per week beyond May 31."
classy. absolute class act stuff right there.
crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich
The MLBPA is very disappointed with MLB’s economic proposal today, source tells me and @Ken_Rosenthal, calling additional cuts proposed “massive." League offered to share more playoff revenue, but on balance, those dollars are small compared to what players give up, PA believes.
crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
A's are furloughing nearly all of their staff through the entire organization...including scouts, which make a shockingly low amount of money.
the A's are owned by a multi-billionaire who inherited his loot from dad (founder of The Gap)...and him + family spent $10m trying to keep Obama from getting a 2nd term, which i assume is their idea of a good investment in their community...whereas paying loyal employees for years/decades for a few months is...well...*shrug*
Ryno 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
Depends on who you are.
Ryno 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
Sorry--Just needed to experience a little normalcy.
Ryno 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
That was the dumbest lineup I've ever seen.
Hagsag 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
Cubster 2 days 14 hours ago (view)
speaking of Trump's trained rats...
Hagsag 2 days 20 hours ago (view)
Cubster, your comments about President Bone Spurs could not be more accurate. Thanks for posting!
BobbyD 3 days 7 hours ago (view)
Cubster: I agree with your comments, save one. That the president is "leading" America. He couldn't lead a pack of rats to a NYC dumpster on an August afternoon. The "man" is a f'ing disgrace.
crunch 3 days 10 hours ago (view)
though the team cheaped out on this offseason (still an overall top-tier payroll), i was at least looking forward to seeing the beginning of the david ross era...and who was going to win the 2nd base job...
nothing about 2020 baseball feels legit anymore. just hearing the players talk about it, you'd think they were organizing a casual pickup game for charity at an inconvient time and place...doesn't seem like they're really stoked about it.
Cubster 3 days 11 hours ago (view)
June 1st is a week from tomorrow. Given 5 weeks of spring training before starting (July 4th?), the season is on the brink of going bye-bye. It's bad enough in 2020 to be losing prime career years for Javy Baez and Kris Bryant, let alone Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Kyle Hendricks, and Willson Contreras. If one of them gets coronavirus, loses lung capacity, and alters their career arc, Cub fans will for a long time have a bitter taste in their mouths. All for, at best, a bizarre half-season without fans watching in the ballparks.