With full squad workouts beginning, Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts delivered his state of the Cubs address. He spoke on many topics, including the Cubs thirst for another championship.
Tom Ricketts and Chicago Cubs VP of Communications and Community Affairs Julian Green spoke at length on a number of different topics surrounding the Cubs, baseball and more.
Everyone wants to get a glimpse of the World Series trophy. The Cubs have had the trophy traveling all around the Chicago area and even other parts of the country this off-season. Ricketts announced the trophy will be at Wrigley for good. The current plan is to have it on display in the new plaza west of the ballpark, at least for this year.
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As for the renovations, everything seems to be right on schedule. The plaza, as well as the new western gate, will be open and ready for Opening Day. The offices and retail in the building itself will be ready to go shortly after Opening Day. Unfortunately, only those with tickets to a game will be able to utilize the plaza per an agreement with the city. Green stated that the Cubs are in constant negotiations about the plaza. The Cubs want it available for those that don’t have a ticket as well.
Ricketts spoke on the Cubs thirst for another championship. He stated that he wants the Cubs to keep winning. The Cub logo should show success, multiple championships and a winning franchise. He wants the Cubs to be one of the best sports franchises in the world. He doesn’t believe that sustained success and multiple championships will cause people to start hating the team.
Ricketts said the pressure is different this year. Last year the team was expected to be good and was hungry enough to win a championship and break the drought. This year, it’s different because you’ve already won it. Now, you have to maintain that level of success and it’s not the exact same guys as last year. You need to maintain that level of hunger and passion for a championship. Personally, I don’t see that being a problem for this year’s Cubs team.
With a new CBA complete and the Cubs near the luxury tax threshold, Ricketts stated how he’s happy a new CBA was agreed upon. He agreed that a work stoppage this off-season would have been a horrible thing for baseball. It also sounds like the luxury tax threshold is a soft-cap for the Cubs payroll wise.
The pace of play continues to dominate talk across baseball but doesn’t see major issues. Instead, a focus should be placed on eliminating dead time and increasing game action than actually shortening the game. In theory, if you focus on increasing dead time, the length of the games should naturally get shorter. Personally, I agree with this and I think the majority of fans do as well.
“I think that it would be great for the league, great for the game and it would be great for Chicago to have it at Wrigley Field.”
There really is nothing new on the TV deal. It’s a long tedious process and it’s the Cubs next major business decision. A World Series Championship and sustained success should definitely play a huge role in getting a TV deal the Cubs want.
The Cubs continue to push for the 2020 All-Star Game but nothing is set in stone. “I don’t think it’s inevitable,” Ricketts said. “I think that it would be great for the league, great for the game and it would be great for Chicago to have it at Wrigley Field. But nothing’s inevitable on that. There’s a process that we have to go through and hopefully at some point soon the commissioner will give us the nod.”
Discussions about the new Trump administration and Todd Ricketts’ involvement on Trump’s Cabinet also came up. Tom didn’t dive too deeply into it, basically saying his family has different political views and anything that’s happening in Washington has no effect on the team whatsoever. Tom wasn’t sure if Todd would have to step down from his board of directors position if Todd gets approved to be on the Cabinet.
As you can see, we got a lot of information from Tom and Julian. Overall, it sounds like the Cubs are in a good place and ready to take that next step. They are committed to keeping a winning team on the field and having the best franchise in the world.