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Lip Man 1
10-19-2006, 01:24 PM
Pretty frank piece about the state of the Cubs:

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/cs-061018downey,1,633762.column?coll=cs-home-headlines

Lip

SOXPHILE
10-19-2006, 01:38 PM
I saw that article this morning. My only questions are, Who Are You ? and What Have You Done With The Real Mike Downey ?

"......Mike Downey, please report to Mr. FitzSimons office...Mike Downey, please report to Mr. FitzSimnons office IMMEDIATELY !"

chaerulez
10-19-2006, 01:41 PM
I agree with points 1 and 3. Their farm system is a joke and fans will stay away if they keep losing. But maybe they can't buy a World Series, but they can at least buy a playoff spot like the Yankees. If they got either Schmidt or Zito and Soriano or Carlos Lee, I'd say in the NL they are instant contenders (and that's the NL being a poor league, not the Cubs being a good team). And the Cardinals are a bad team. They managed to barely win what I think is one of the worst divisions in the entire league. If the Cardinals were in the AL Central they would've finished only ahead of the Royals. And i guess 5 is a toss up. We don't know what the influence of Lou is going to be, we haven't seen anything to judge that off of. We can only go by his previous managerial stops and that's a mixed bag. It can really only get better for the Cubs, If I were a fan I would at least expect a 80 win season, not a contender next year by any means, but at least a step in the right direction.

palehozenychicty
10-19-2006, 01:49 PM
I guess that he is getting laid off...

MarySwiss
10-19-2006, 01:55 PM
Like others, my first thought was "he must have a new job lined up." I'd say the piece was an accurate analysis.

thegooch
10-19-2006, 01:59 PM
Once he mentioned the financial situation at the cubune, i knew he was auditioning for a new gig.

Baby Fisk
10-19-2006, 02:10 PM
I didn't know he was taking a new job somewhere. Did ESPN grab him up?

Hangar18
10-19-2006, 02:16 PM
As long as Wrigley remains where it is, the Sheep will flock by the busload, by the Trainload, by the carfull. They will fall-down-running to get in line for tickets. Im not buying.

FielderJones
10-19-2006, 02:16 PM
TV ratings for the White Sox are now comparable to the Cubs'. Who thought that day would come?
That's the one that clinched it for me. He's got to have something else lined up. No way does a Cubune employee get away with pointing out a failure of corporate synergy.

A anxiously await Hangar's next installment of Cubune Theatre©.

Iwritecode
10-19-2006, 02:20 PM
As long as Wrigley remains where it is, the Sheep will flock by the busload, by the Trainload, by the carfull. They will fall-down-running to get in line for tickets. Im not buying.

I'm quite interested to see how their ticket sales do when they go on sale next year. I guess it depends on what moves they make between now and then but there were thousands of people dressed up as emtpy seats the last month of the season.

Ol' No. 2
10-19-2006, 02:21 PM
As long as Wrigley remains where it is, the Sheep will flock by the busload, by the Trainload, by the carfull. They will fall-down-running to get in line for tickets. Im not buying.Good. Let all the doofuses go up there.

Hangar18
10-19-2006, 02:23 PM
Fine article I must say, he tackled a few "myths" with some logical points.
Piniella is laughing all the way to the bank .............

Hangar18
10-19-2006, 02:31 PM
I'm quite interested to see how their ticket sales do when they go on sale next year. I guess it depends on what moves they make between now and then .

they already made their move. They got Lou Piniella. Tribune rhetoric to commence in 3...2.....1..... Had a SCFM just the other day. After hearing an ESPN announcer at halftime talk about Piniella taking new manager job in Chicago, a group of Sheep Hooped and Hollered and told me they were going to the World Series, hi-fiving each other. They really believed what they were telling me, on top of reminding me "you guys couldnt get 3 million and you won the series!" So Downey is a bit off in his column regarding their general sentiment

oeo
10-19-2006, 02:41 PM
I agree with points 1 and 3. Their farm system is a joke and fans will stay away if they keep losing. But maybe they can't buy a World Series, but they can at least buy a playoff spot like the Yankees. If they got either Schmidt or Zito and Soriano or Carlos Lee, I'd say in the NL they are instant contenders (and that's the NL being a poor league, not the Cubs being a good team). And the Cardinals are a bad team. They managed to barely win what I think is one of the worst divisions in the entire league. If the Cardinals were in the AL Central they would've finished only ahead of the Royals. And i guess 5 is a toss up. We don't know what the influence of Lou is going to be, we haven't seen anything to judge that off of. We can only go by his previous managerial stops and that's a mixed bag. It can really only get better for the Cubs, If I were a fan I would at least expect a 80 win season, not a contender next year by any means, but at least a step in the right direction.

If they get all of those guys, they might be a contender, not just one or two. That team is awful. If they played in the AL they would have lost over 110 games last year. They are by far the worst team in Major League Baseball right now. It's going to take a lot to turn them into a contender, they're not going to be able to do it in one offseason, it's going to take multiple years.

BUT, Jim Hendry and the rest of that organization think they can just slap together a team over the offseason and they'll win. That's what they will try to do, instead of rebuilding the team...and forever they will fail.

Hangar18
10-19-2006, 02:44 PM
...and forever they will fail.


:santo

" You know Pat, I really think this time, the team is really coming together"

Baby Fisk
10-19-2006, 02:55 PM
I'm quite interested to see how their ticket sales do when they go on sale next year. I guess it depends on what moves they make between now and then but there were thousands of people dressed up as emtpy seats the last month of the season.
Ticket sales will suffer if the Cubs have repeated last place finishes. All Piniella needs to do is haul the Cubs back to the .500 mark, which in the NL Central gives you a fighting chance at the post-season. The marketing machine will take it from there. False hope comes in an unlimited supply, and there are enough suckers in the world who will buy it. Piniella may be there "to win", but the powers that be will likely be satisfied with average results that can then be spun as being "on the verge of a championship".

FielderJones
10-19-2006, 02:55 PM
BUT, Jim Hendry and the rest of that organization think they can just slap together a team over the offseason and they'll win. That's what they will try to do, instead of rebuilding the team...and forever they will fail.

I'm not convinced that's the case. I think that Hendry et al are more concerned with maintaining the illusion of building a competitive team while ensuring that Wrigley Field (not the Chicago National League Ball Club) remains a Cubune company cash cow. As Hangar so often points out, the sheep are eager to believe that this is the year. Once June rolls around the Cubs are out of it, the tourists continue to spend cash for the Wrigley experience.

In other words, I see this as an exercise in creative incompetance. Mediocrity is good for the corporate bottom line, so why take risks?

Hitmen77
10-19-2006, 03:58 PM
I agree with points 1 and 3. Their farm system is a joke and fans will stay away if they keep losing. But maybe they can't buy a World Series, but they can at least buy a playoff spot like the Yankees. If they got either Schmidt or Zito and Soriano or Carlos Lee, I'd say in the NL they are instant contenders (and that's the NL being a poor league, not the Cubs being a good team). And the Cardinals are a bad team. They managed to barely win what I think is one of the worst divisions in the entire league. If the Cardinals were in the AL Central they would've finished only ahead of the Royals. And i guess 5 is a toss up. We don't know what the influence of Lou is going to be, we haven't seen anything to judge that off of. We can only go by his previous managerial stops and that's a mixed bag. It can really only get better for the Cubs, If I were a fan I would at least expect a 80 win season, not a contender next year by any means, but at least a step in the right direction.

But if it's as easy as just signing free agents, who's to say that the Cardinals won't improve at least as much as the Cubs. Last I checked, they have a lower payroll and higher attendance than the Cubs.

We'll see what happens, but unlike the Chicago media I'm not going to fall for the annual promise (or from our perspective, fear) that the Cubs are just going to have free agents falling into their laps to propell them to greatness.

White Sox Randy
10-19-2006, 04:15 PM
He's pretty much right on but despite all of that us Sox fans will have to suffer because:

6. After signing Lou Piniella, Hendry will sign atleast a couple of big name free agents. It will be enough to keep the team around the .500 mark for most of the season and they won't be officially eliminated until the beginning of September - MEANING THIS IS A GREAT CUBS SEASON AND WORTHY OF CUB- FEVER SWEEPING THE CITY AND MEDIA !

Hangar18
10-19-2006, 04:33 PM
Ticket sales will suffer if the Cubs have repeated last place finishes..


The late 90's and early 2000's prove this to be a myth. The Cubs lost 90Plus games, and yet, inexplicably, had some of their HIGHEST attendance ratings ever! The years they drew 3million plus, were coincidentally the years the stunk the most. Imagine that.

Ol' No. 2
10-19-2006, 04:34 PM
But if it's as easy as just signing free agents, who's to say that the Cardinals won't improve at least as much as the Cubs. Last I checked, they have a lower payroll and higher attendance than the Cubs.

We'll see what happens, but unlike the Chicago media I'm not going to fall for the annual promise (or from our perspective, fear) that the Cubs are just going to have free agents falling into their laps to propell them to greatness.The bottom line is that they have a front office that doesn't know how to build a winning team and an owner who doesn't care about building a winning team. 2003 was an accident.

miker
10-19-2006, 04:38 PM
The bottom line is that they have a front office that doesn't know how to build a winning team and an owner who doesn't care about building a winning team. 2003 was an accident.
But they do know marketing...and will gladly stuff that fact in the ears of anyone within shouting distance of the Tribune Tower!

I shed no tears for the Cubs, their players and I especially refuse to feel sympathetic towards their fans.

Hangar18
10-19-2006, 04:38 PM
................. 2003 was an accident.

YES. If the SF Giants hadn't bumbled and stumbled thru September, THEY would've been the NL WildCard "Champion". The manager of that bumbling Giants team? Dusty Baker. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

GoSox2K3
10-19-2006, 05:12 PM
The late 90's and early 2000's prove this to be a myth. The Cubs lost 90Plus games, and yet, inexplicably, had some of their HIGHEST attendance ratings ever! The years they drew 3million plus, were coincidentally the years the stunk the most. Imagine that.

Ruh-roh, Raggy - we're straying into the "A" topic.

I'll give you a few things that made their ticket sales "explicable":
- '98 playoff appearance
- Sammy Sosa
- They won at least 88 games in '98, '01, '03, and '04
- '03 being 5 outs away from a pennant.

GoSox2K3
10-19-2006, 05:13 PM
Ol' No. 2[/B]]
................. 2003 was an accident.
YES. If the SF Giants hadn't bumbled and stumbled thru September, THEY would've been the NL WildCard "Champion". The manager of that bumbling Giants team? Dusty Baker. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

You're thinking of '98.

TDog
10-20-2006, 02:00 PM
The bottom line is that they have a front office that doesn't know how to build a winning team and an owner who doesn't care about building a winning team. 2003 was an accident.

Wood and Prior had great years. At the time the pitchers' seasons looked "solid," with fans no doubt imagining even better results, but three years later neither seems on the verge of repeating them any time soon.

The Cubs learned from the Tigers that it isn't so hard to get to the World Series. All you have to do is hire a great manager and start printing those World Series tickets.

It didn't work with Dusty Baker. It didn't even work with Leo Durocher. But as long as people are lining up to buy tickets in February, empty seats in September really aren't a problem.

palehozenychicty
10-20-2006, 02:33 PM
2003 was an accident.

Exactly, if the Cardinals didn't have multiple injuries to their starting position players, they win the Central yet again.

infohawk
10-20-2006, 02:54 PM
Sounds dead on to me. Actually, I was pretty much convinced that the Cubs would continue to flounder in futility when their new President (from marketing) stated that the goal was nothing short of a World Series next year. That statement simply has no credibility whatsoever and underscores what ails Cubdom. Sell people a pipedream to keep them coming thru the turnstyles.

The Cubs need to follow the model of other franchises that have hit rock bottom -- start a rebuilding plan and provide fans with a general timetable for a return to contention. It doesn't even have to be a long-term timetable if management really believes it can make the team competitive in two or three years through free agent pick-ups and minor leagers. Cub fans probably don't want to hear about "timetables," but at least a plan doesn't insult whatever baseball intelligence they might have. The Cubs probably have the money to take some shortcuts. Whether they actually spend it or not remains to be seen.

The Tigers' upper brass turned things around rather quickly using the free agent market and some very good players from their farm system. Notice, however, that the Tigers' front office didn't set 2004 as the year they had to get to the World Series following the 100-loss season in 2003. They took some shortcuts but it still took two full seasons before they became competitive.

Ol' No. 2
10-20-2006, 03:00 PM
Sounds dead on to me. Actually, I was pretty much convinced that the Cubs would continue to flounder in futility when their new President (from marketing) stated that the goal was nothing short of a World Series next year. That statement simply has no credibility whatsoever and underscores what ails Cubdom. Sell people a pipedream to keep them coming thru the turnstyles.

The Cubs need to follow the model of other franchises that have hit rock bottom -- start a rebuilding plan and provide fans with a general timetable for a return to contention. It doesn't even have to be a long-term timetable if management really believes it can make the team competitive in two or three years through free agent pick-ups and minor leagers. Cub fans probably don't want to hear about "timetables," but at least a plan doesn't insult whatever baseball intelligence they might have. The Cubs probably have the money to take some shortcuts. Whether they actually spend it or not remains to be seen.

The Tigers' upper brass turned things around rather quickly using the free agent market and some very good players from their farm system. Notice, however, that the Tigers' front office didn't set 2004 as the year they had to get to the World Series following the 100-loss season in 2003. They took some shortcuts but it still took two full seasons before they became competitive.Do I have to say it?

Rockman218
10-20-2006, 09:11 PM
That's the one that clinched it for me. He's got to have something else lined up. No way does a Cubune employee get away with pointing out a failure of corporate synergy.

A anxiously await Hangar's next installment of Cubune Theatre©.

Welcome to the Chicago Sun Times Mr. Downey

1951Campbell
10-20-2006, 11:37 PM
Cub fans probably don't want to hear about "timetables"...

Hell, I'd be impressed if they could spell "timetables," what with their average BAC of .18 and all...

DumpJerry
10-20-2006, 11:49 PM
If they got either Schmidt or Zito and Soriano or Carlos Lee, I'd say in the NL they are instant contenders (and that's the NL being a poor league, not the Cubs being a good team).

"If" is the biggest word in the English language. Top notch FA's want to go with contenders, not pretenders. The Cubs are known pretenders to the talent. Also, for all this talk about increasing the payroll, the beancounters at Tribune Co. will clampm down on it because they will point out how $200,000,000 did not get the Yankees the World Series and the company still owes the IRS $1,000,000,000+ (yes, that is Billiion dollars!)

As long as Wrigley remains where it is, the Sheep will flock by the busload, by the Trainload, by the carfull. They will fall-down-running to get in line for tickets. Im not buying.

The late 90's and early 2000's prove this to be a myth. The Cubs lost 90Plus games, and yet, inexplicably, had some of their HIGHEST attendance ratings ever! The years they drew 3million plus, were coincidentally the years the stunk the most. Imagine that.
Take a deep breath, Henry. Ticket sales will plummet on the North Side. Gold Coast and other brokers were offering Cub tickets below face value in late August and Sept because nobody was buying them. Also, the no-shows in August and September was very noticable at The Urinal this year. I see nothing to change that fact for next year.

Finally, the Cubs will not, I repeat, not land major players via trades because they have nobody to offer. A-Rod may be Pinella's buddy, but Stienbrenner and Cashman won't part with him without getting serious talent in return. I don't think the Cubs have enough prospect talent to work out a three=way trade to get A-Rod. Felix Pie, the Next Best Thing, was a bust last year.