Over the weekend, the Cubs put on a number of presentations for their season ticket holders reviewing the progress over the past year and the plans for the upcoming year. I attended the early presentation on Saturday, which featured President of Business Operations Crane Kenney, general manager Jed Hoyer, and radio play by play man Pat Hughes.
Crane Kenney kicked things off with a review of that morning’s official ground breaking for the newly dubbed 1060 Project, the rehab and expansion of Wrigley Field. He followed up on that with multimedia presentations covering, among other things, the new spring training facilities, the new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic, and the goals behind the renovations at Wrigley Field.
Jed Hoyer was next on stage, covering the baseball side of things. His initial focus was on the development of the major league roster, including Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, and, surprisingly, Luis Valbuena. The pitching staff remains a work in progress and should be a focal point of this offseason. Hoyer also went out of his way to point out that signing Edwin Jackson may have been a mistake. Finally, Hoyer addressed the young future of the team, starting with Javy Baez, Jorge Soler, and Arismendy Alcantara, covering both the successes they had and the struggles they faced in the big leagues. He followed that up with a look at the minor leagues, including Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Addison Russell, Billy McKinney, and Kyle Schwarber.
When Hoyer was done, he was rejoined on stage by Kenney and moderator Pat Hughes for a brief Q & A session with the audience. Nothing of much substance was covered during this part of the presentation. Overall, it was a well put together event with only one downside: an audience full of demented Cub fans.
One older gentleman spent the time before the program began telling everyone who would listen that Theo Epstein has no business holding his job because he once attended a panel at the Cubs Convention wearing a red shirt. While focusing in on red being a “Cardinal color”, this scholar has missed out on the fact that it is also one of the colors of, yep, you guessed it, the Chicago Cubs. Another fun group of gentlemen were the mid-20s former frat boys sitting behind me who wondered 1) why there were so many women at an event for season ticket holders and 2) if throwing your wife down a flight of stairs should really count as domestic violence. The Cubs spent the afternoon trying to convince their customers to renew their season tickets. Some of their fans did their best to undo the efforts, just by being themselves.