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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  • I am right there with you closing in on 60.

    I don't care that much about "mortgaging" one player who is not only blocked by two guys, but is not ready to hit the majors for at least a couple years.

    There is no reason why this team, this year, can't have a real shot at something NONE of us have experienced.

    Further, I don't feel that even if they fall short that they have ruined their farm system.

    I have made my opinion clear here, with others, Warren was shit on the Cubs save one spot start.

    The E-Man 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • Trading for Warren, Warren sucking, getting Warren back for Chapman plus 3 prospects, sounds like Revenge of The Yankees on the former Boston executive. Old rivalries never die.

    I pray to the heavens above Chapman doesn't suck for some reason, or he'll be booed out of town faster than a Todd Hundley revival meeting.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 28 min ago view
  • I'm kind of nostalgic for the Schwarber-for-Miller rumors.

    Brick 1 hour 40 min ago view
  • This offseason, after some ridiculous playoff run and Chapman saving every game from here until the end of the postseason striking out 27/9innings, I welcome anyone to quote this thread and call me a dummy: I hate this trade, and my hate is 2 parts Chapman makes this team less likeable and 1 part that's a ridiculous overpay for 30 regular season innings and, at tops, 10 postseason innings. Already hoping they don't extend him.

    Charlie 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.

    Cubster 2 hours 5 min ago view
  • Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.

    billybucks 2 hours 13 min ago view
  • Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath  of the Chapman trade: 

    SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete  

    EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin 

    There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.  

    And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.

    Hagsag 3 hours 4 min ago view
  • I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.

    Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 8 min ago view
  • chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 11 min ago view
  • The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.

    McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 31 min ago view
  • There is no Comp pick for players traded mid-season. 2+ months of Chapman is it.

    mbauer 3 hours 33 min ago view
  • to get one of the best you have to give up one/some of your best...but it's a bit painful to watch the system's best prospect walk for any 2-3 month rental, especially one that's not an everyday player.

    crunch 3 hours 36 min ago view
  • I assume Chapman will replace Richard on the roster, but who goes down when Cahill gets activated? Maybe Grimm?

    And when Soler and Coghlan get healthy, how do they fit them on the roster when they're ready to be activated?

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 39 min ago view
  • We are giving up a lot, but it's not like we're trading Addison Russell for 2+ months of Jason Hammel. When impact players become available, they are going to cost you. The other bids could also have been high.

    Having Chapman as a rental is potentially less disruptive than having him come in with an extension in place. 

    CTSteve 3 hours 41 min ago view