2014 Chicago Cubs Thread

Discussion in 'Chicago Cubs/White Sox Forum' started by little bear, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    Happy 100th birthday to the one and only Wrigley Field! The Great Vin Scully recorded this 25 years ago

  2. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/24597/rapid-reaction-cubs-draft-c-schwarber

    Rapid Reaction: Cubs draft C/OF Schwarber

    [​IMG]

    CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' first-round pick, No. 4 overall, in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft.

    The pick: Kyle Schwarber, catcher/outfielder, Indiana University, 6-foot, 240 pounds.

    His stats: Schwarber hit 18 home runs in 2013 then followed that up with 14 in 2014 while hitting .358. His on-base percentage rose in each of his three years at Indiana, landing at .464 his junior season. He walked 44 times while striking out 30 his final year at Indiana. He registered a .992 fielding percentage and threw out 16 of 43 runners this past season.

    His background: Schwarber, a native of Middletown, Ohio, was a second-team all-state linebacker his senior year in high school and led the Greater Miami conference in hitting with a .474 batting average.

    ESPN draft guru Keith Law’s take: In a draft light on power-hitting bats -- particularly in terms of college prospects -- Schwarber might have the most raw power of any prospect in the class, showing plus-plus power to right field thanks to tremendous lower-body strength and strong wrists. He transfers his weight well and has the type of raw power that could produce 30-plus homer seasons if he's able to play every day. He shows good feel at the plate, and a willingness to work pitches and get on base via walk, but doesn't have elite bat speed, and there's a lot of swing-and-miss in his bat as well.
    What it means: He could have a similar trajectory to the one Kris Bryant is on, as both were college juniors when drafted. That means time at rookie ball as well as Class-A later this summer. It’s yet to be determined if he’ll play outfield or catcher, though the Cubs need players at both positions.


    “We feel he’s a really good, underrated athlete that could certainly move to an outfield position, in the corner,” Cubs director of scouting Jason McLeod said. “His bat is obviously why we drafted him.”

    The decision: The Cubs claim Schwarber was No. 2 on their board after pitcher Brady Aiken, the left-hander who went first overall to Houston. That’s how highly they think of Schwarber’s bat.

    “We felt Kyle was the best hitter -- hands down -- in this year’s draft,” McLeod said.

    The Cubs are loading up on bats, especially with their high draft picks, as they can be game-changers. And the fact that he's lefty is a huge need, too.

    “These last three years we’ve been picking so high,” McLeod said. “When you’re picking up that high in the draft, you have a chance to get a talented, impactful player. That was no different this year.”

    Signability: McLeod made it clear that Schwarber shouldn’t be a tough signing and it would leave the Cubs with extra money to spend elsewhere in the draft. He was selected higher than most mock drafts indicated so the Cubs could get him at their price. Those selected right after him could get more.

    “We expect this to be a very quick process and get him out and playing in the organization and spend some money elsewhere,” McLeod said.

    Schwarber’s reaction: He was at a golf course with friends and family Thursday when he got the news. He said he realized in the past few days that the Cubs had serious interest in him when area scout Stan Zielinski reached out recently. Schwarber met with Cubs baseball operations president Theo Epstein in February during a college trip to Arizona.

    “Right now, I’m really embracing the moment,” Schwarber said on a conference call. “The Cubs organization has a very rich history and I got a taste of it when we were there with Team USA this past summer. That was the first time I was at Wrigley. I fell in love with the place right away."

    Schwarber said he loves to catch, but he’s open to a position change if the Cubs ask. Epstein told him to enjoy the moment -- and at the proper time they’ll talk about signing a contract.

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  3. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/24639/cubs-see-something-big-in-schwarber

    Cubs see something big in Schwarber

    CHICAGO -- The naysayers will definitely be out when it comes to the Chicago Cubs' early-round draft picks. But their first-round pick, catcher Kyle Schwarber from Indiana, and second-round pick, pitcher Jake Stinnett from Maryland, might be the most easily signable top two picks for any team in baseball.

    This means the Cubs can save some money and potentially use it elsewhere. And when director of scouting Jason McLeod declares Schwarber the "best hitter -- hands down -- in this year's draft," those are hard words to ignore.

    Maybe the Cubs think they took the left-handed version of Kris Bryant, their up-and-coming slugger who went No. 2 overall last season. As much as pitching wins games, there's still a price for power these days.

    "It lines up perfectly because he is hitting from the left side, and we don't have many of those players," McLeod said Thursday. "We feel this is an impact bat that can hit in the middle of the order."

    That makes sense, but the question remains whether Schwarber is really as good as McLeod believes. McLeod flatly said his team would have taken Schwarber ahead of pitchers Carlos Rodon and Tyler Kolek. However, Rodon could be fast-tracked to the majors for the White Sox, while it's the Cubs who are desperate for pitching, which makes it hard to believe they would have bypassed Rodon for Schwarber.
    But Bryant gives the Cubs some currency: They claimed he was the best hitter in the draft, and he's proving as much in the minors this season. Gaining the two best hitters in the draft in back-to-back years can only be a good thing -- whether for production at Wrigley Field or for use in trades down the line, presumably for some pitching.


    Maybe that's the way the Cubs are going about their rebuild. McLeod said that picking as high as they have lately demands taking impact players. That said, he admitted they were "enamored" with high school lefty Brady Aiken, who went No. 1 to the Houston Astros, so pitching was on their minds, but after Aiken it was all about Schwarber.

    "Everything came back [to] just what type of person he is," McLeod said. "That's the type of people we're trying to bring into the organization."

    The same could be said about other hitters in the draft, such as Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto, on whom the Cubs passed. The bottom line is almost no one had Schwarber rated this high. He isn't the sure thing Bryant looked to be, but the Cubs get the benefit of the doubt because of their seemingly brilliant choice of Bryant over a pitcher in last year's draft.

    The problem might be where Schwarber plays. More than one scouting report said first base might be his best option, as it's doubtful he'll remain at catcher. If he does stay, he becomes a valuable commodity; hitting catchers are hard to find. Otherwise, he'll move to left field, where he doesn't project to be one of the better players defensively.

    But, as McLeod said, the Cubs drafted him for his bat. If he hits, they'll find a place for him and prove the naysayers wrong.





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  4. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    Very controversial topic. No team has ever won the World Series with Minor Leaguers. You need proven MLB talent to build a winning team. Trading Samardzija for 2-3 prospects who might do something in 3 years or do nothing gets you nowhere.
    On the other hand, if a player is not going to be a contributor when the team is ready to compete, it makes no sense to hold onto him.


    Benji, your opinion please?

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    http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/stor...-talks-regarding-jeff-samardzija-jason-hammel

    Cubs talking Jeff Samardzija trade

    The Chicago Cubs have talked with multiple teams about trades involving ace Jeff Samardzija and veteran starter Jason Hammel, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
    Citing multiple sources, the Sun-Times reported that the Cubs may already have begun fielding trade offers from multiple teams. The report identified the Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays as some of the teams most interested in acquiring either Samardzija or Hammel.
    Hammel could generate more interest than Samardzija because he likely will not command as large of a return in a trade, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney earlier this week. Hammel could be targeted by teams needing short-term rotation help like the Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Miami Marlins, according to Olney.
    Samardzija is set to become a free agent after the 2015 season and has been speculated as a top trade target since this past offseason, when he was unable to agree to a long-term deal with the Cubs.
    Samardzija, 29, is just 2-6 this season despite pitching to a 2.77 ERA. The right-hander went winless in his first 10 starts before finally claiming his first victory on May 26 against the San Francisco Giants.
    Hammel, who will become a free agent after this season, also has been outstanding for the Cubs, going 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA in 13 starts. The nine-year veteran signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Cubs in February following a disappointing 2013 season with Baltimore.
    Despite the solid pitching from Samardzija and Hammel, the Cubs (27-38) entered play Saturday with the lowest win total in the National League and just percentage points ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks (29-41) for the NL's worst record.


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  5. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    the short of it is this. Samardzija wants to hit the free agent market and is not willing to settle for a team friendly deal.He wants Ace money, and he is not an ace pitcher. So, he will test free agency after the 2015 season (unless whichever team he is traded to this Summer gives him his mega deal). If he were still a Cub, chances are he gets signed elsewhere when another team outbids the Cubs, and all they get is a draft pick.

    Keeping him is a massive gamble, because you could lose him for nothing.

    But some of the rumors I have heard have the Cubs getting back some very nice players, such as Guasman from Baltimore with another top pitching prospect (Heard Bundy) back in return. That is a deal I would do yesterday.
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  6. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    Can't wait to see Bryant play at Wrigley.

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    http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/11102799/chicago-cubs-promote-kris-bryant-triple-iowa

    Cubs promote Kris Bryant

    Kris Bryant @KrisBryant_23 Follow
    Can't wait to join the @IowaCubs tomorrow! Thank you to @smokiesbaseball and all my teammates for so many great memories!


    Bryant, 22, led the Southern League at Double-A Tennessee in batting average (.355), home runs (22), RBIs (58), on-base percentage (.458) and slugging (.702).
    Previously, the Cubs said their top prospects have to dominate each level in the minors before being promoted.
    Bryant, a third baseman, has been on a tear since winning honors as best collegiate player last season at the University of San Diego.
    The Cubs chose him No. 2 overall in last June's amateur draft, and he quickly took to the professional game. Bryant hit .336 with nine home runs last season in Single-A. He went on to win Arizona Fall League MVP, and now leads the Southern League in all three Triple Crown categories at the All-Star break.
    On Monday, Bryant won the Home Run Derby at the Southern League All-Star Game.
    He joins another top pick, Javier Baez, at Iowa. In addition, Manny Ramirez is headed there shortly as a coach and a part-time player.
    Headed to Triple-A along with Bryant are right-handed pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Armando Rivero.
    Vizcaino, 23, is still a highly regarded prospect despite two years of arm problems. The Cubs purposedly started his season in the warm weather of Class-A Daytona then moved him up to Double-A Tennessee. He had a combined 1.99 ERA at both stops in 23 games. Rivero, 26, had a 1.59 ERA at Double-A appearing in 26 games. Both performed well for Cubs brass in spring training.


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  7. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    Wait til 2015 at least :D

    Should be fun
  8. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Veteran

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    Guess whos got the best record in the NL over the last 31 games ? Da Fubs at 18-13 . Yea. Maybe they'll finish 4th .
  9. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    View: http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/25502/lester-could-make-sense-for-cubs-in-15

    Lester could make sense for Cubs in '15


    CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs are in need of top-of-the-rotation pitching in the coming years, so why not call Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, who likely is headed to free agency this winter?
    Lester was a longtime favorite of the Cubs' current front office when Theo Epstein ran the Red Sox for a decade. Epstein signed him to a five-year extension worth $30 million in 2009 which included a team option for $14 million for this season. Now, at age 30, Lester likely will be a free agent for the first time in his career.


    [​IMG]

    "They always treated me with the utmost respect and class," Lester said this week of Epstein and the front office. "I have nothing but good things to say about them."

    Lester wouldn't comment specifically about the Cubs, but it's been well reported that a new deal with the Red Sox doesn't seem imminent. The Cubs might open their purse strings for a player such as Lester, who's reportedly already turned down a four-year, $70 million extension from Boston. That offer seems way below market value.

    "If you're in that position you do your homework," Lester said about free agency. "Obviously, there's the familiarity with those [Epstein] guys. That's kind of predicting the future and possibly be putting a foot in my mouth which I don't want to do."

    Lester is 9-7 this season with a 2.92 ERA. He's made at least 31 starts in each of the past six seasons since becoming a full-time big league player and beating cancer in 2006-2007. That kind of durability is going to be attractive to teams, although no one knows what his asking price is or what the market for him will look like.
    The Cubs reportedly offered Jeff Samardzija five years at $85 million, so maybe a deal could get done with those kinds of numbers. But more than likely it would take much more. The Cubs might go higher if they believe in him as an ace, something that's in question with Samardzija.


    "Watching them and looking at them it seems like they are pretty close to being there," Lester said of the Cubs. "Maybe one or two players away from putting it together."

    Lester had only good things to say about Chicago adding his wife "never misses that trip." He also knows that Cubs fans are "fanatical."

    "They do such a good job no matter who it is, they make it attractive to go there," Lester said. "Next year or two will be good for them. I know what (Epstein's) able to do."

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  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Anybody been checking the Cubbies for PEDs lately? One win is usually a winning streak for them but what's it now 4 or 5 games?
  11. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    View: http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/11177585/chicago-cubs-trade-jeff-samardzija-jason-hammel-oakland-athletics

    Cubs ship Samardzija, Hammel to A's


    The Chicago Cubs have traded starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for 2012 first-round pick Addison Russell, 2013 first-round pick Billy McKinney, pitcher Dan Straily and a player to be named later, sources close to the situation confirmed to ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Insider Keith Law on Friday night.
    Samardzija, 29, is 2-7 with a 2.83 ERA this season. Hammel, 31, is 7-5 with a 2.98 ERA after his latest win, earlier Friday against the Washington Nationals.
    Hammel is set to become a free agent after this season, while Samardzija has one more year of arbitration before becoming a free agent.
    Russell, 20, is ranked third among all prospects on Law's top 100 list. He plays shortstop, the same position occupied by current Cub Starlin Castro and top Cubs prospect Javier Baez. Russell has appeared in only 18 games this season due to a hamstring strain, hitting .333 in 58 at-bats at Double-A Midland. Current Cubs Triple-A hitting coach Brian Harper was on the staff of the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League last year when Russell was a member of the team.
    McKinney, 19, has a .241 batting average with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs in 75 games for Class A Stockton this year.
    Straily, 25, is 1-2 with a 4.93 ERA in seven starts for the A's. The right-hander is 13-11 in 41 starts for Oakland over the past three seasons.
    Samardzija was drafted by the Cubs in the fifth round in 2006 and worked his way up from reliever to starter. He put together his best two months of his career in April (2.38 ERA) and May (1.38 ERA) but got little run support or bullpen help, leading to his 2-7 record. However, in June, his ERA was 5.45 as he went 1-3.
    The Cubs and Samardzija had been talking on and off for two seasons about a contract extension but never got close to inking a deal. Samardzija wants to be paid full market value, although he's still a year and a half from free agency. The Cubs reportedly offered him a 5-year, $85 million deal that he rejected.
    Hammel was pulled from his start Friday after just 92 pitches and told reporters he was confused as to why he was taken out of the game.
    "I would have liked to have stayed out there in the seventh," Hammel told reporters after the 7-2 win. "I have no idea why I came out of the game. I honestly believe you learn how to pitch when you get to 100 pitches. If you're not allowed to reach that, I think that's hurting you more than help."
    Hammel was aware he could be moved, recently saying, "I knew what I signed up for here." The Cubs have said they are in rebuilding mode, and Hammel is just the latest player on a one-year deal to be flipped for prospects.
    With the trade, the Cubs' farm system got even better. It now boasts six of the top 75 position player prospects in baseball, according to Law's preseason rankings: Russell (No. 3), Baez (No. 7), outfielder Kris Bryant (No. 15), outfielder Jorge Soler (No. 26), outfielder Albert Almora (No. 28) and second baseman Arismendy Alcantara (No. 71).
    The Cubs are solidly in last place in the NL Central at 38-46, while the Athletics currently have the best record in the major leagues at 53-33.


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  12. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...bs-will-add-pitching-20140704,0,4194300.story

    Cubs positioned for more deals

    WASHINGTON -- On the same night top prospects Javier Baez and Kris Bryant each hit home runs for Triple-A Iowa, the Chicago Cubs loaded up on more prospects.
    That came at a cost of top pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, leaving a Cubs team that won its fourth consecutive game now faced with the challenge of not collapsing as badly as they did last year after trading the likes of pitchers Matt Garza and Scott Feldman and veteran position players Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus.
    But if the Cubs couldn't acquire a bonafide No. 1 starting pitching prospect directly, they at least added quality inventory to make their desired young high-ceiling pitching acquisitions possible after their six-player deal late Friday night with the Oakland Athletics.
    The Cubs have three of the top 14 prospects entering the 2014 season ranked by Baseball America, and eight of the top 100.
    With the addition of Addison Russell (ranked 14th) from Double-A Midland, the Cubs now have two of the top young shortstop prospects in baseball (along with Baez). They also added center fielder Billy McKinney, who has 10 home runs and 33 RBIs at Class-A Stockton as a 19-year-old.
    Dan Straily, 25, might get a chance to fill some of the holes left by the departures of Samardzija and Hammel, based on Straily's 10-8 record and 3.96 ERA in 27 starts for the Athletics this season. Straily, however, told the Tribune late Friday night he will report to Iowa but was excited to join the Cubs' organization.
    The Cubs' deep bullpen is one of its strengths, and team officials haven't ruled out the possibility of either Justin Grimm or Neil Ramirez returning to the rotation, where they started their careers in the Texas' Rangers' system.
    But there's a need for young quality pitching, especially with the losses of Samardzija and Hammel and injuries to top pitching prospects C.J. Edwards and Pierce Johnson that stunted their development this season.
    There's plenty of depth at third base with Mike Olt, Bryant and Christian Villanueva. Russell already is playing at Double-A at 20, one level behind the 21-year-old Baez.
    Arismendy Alcantara, who started Friday in center field, is developing the versatility to match his production that could land him a major league promotion before Baez or Bryant. Alcantara, 22, is a swich-hitter who is batting .307 with 23 doubles, 11 triples, 10 home runs, 41 RBIs and 20 stolen bases for Iowa.
    General manager Jed Hoyer was delighted that Baseball Prospectus recently acknowledged Alcantara's upside in a recent ranking of top prospects this season.
    After a slow start, Albert Almora has picked up his production at Class-A Daytona. But McKinney adds depth at that spot.
    Even one Athletics source admitted this marked an emotional night because of the investments the teams made in their respective players, but this marked the right time for the Athletics to push for more than just a playoff berth.
    For the Cubs, the option to move Baez to another position remains possible. Talk of moving Bryant to right field hasn't completely quelled. In short, there are plenty of options.
    With the departures of Samardzija and Hammel, the Cubs will lose about 30 quality starts for the rest of the season. Jake Arrieta will become the staff ace, and more consistency will be expected from left-hander Travis Wood and mercurial Edwin Jackson.
    Straily, 25, is major league ready, and Iowa pitchers Tsuyoshi Wada and Dallas Beeler and Kyle Hendricks are ready for auditions for the rest of the season.
    In the meantime, President Theo Esptein and his staff have enough depth in the minors and in the their major league bullpen to package a deal for more pitching that will help his mission to build the Cubs for long-term success.


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  13. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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  14. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Veteran

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    Obviously there's plenty to be excited about with the position players coming up . It's still a couple of years before they arrive , but what I'm not hearing is that we have studs in the pitching ranks . And anyone who really knows baseball will tell u .... that that's what has to be the best part of your team - especially in the playoffs . I just hope they make the right moves to shore that up so we have a complete team when they all arrive .
  15. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    It was a good trade for the Cubs. A) They couldn't sign Samardzija, B) Hammel was only brought in as trade bait anyway, and C) despite a few wins recently they aren't going anywhere this year anyway.

    Adding more prospects who are position players works as long as they're either developing some pitching to go along with them or they intend to reverse this strategy and use the excess prospects to acquire the pitching they need.

    It's being called a blockbuster trade and yet IMHO few in Chicago didn't see it coming.
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  16. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    The world is coming to an end.

    Soul said something good about the Cubs
  17. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...on-lakeview-residents-20140707,0,535592.story

    Wrigley Field plans come under fire at neighborhood meeting

    More than 100 people who live near Wrigley Field packed a meeting hall at a nearby police station Monday night to ask Cubs representatives about a controversial renovation proposal that faces city review later this week.
    Many aired concerns about already approved parts of the renovation, such as a public plaza and elimination of parking spaces, and revised proposals such as an expanded number of outfield signs. The city's landmarks commission is expected to review the latter idea at its meeting Thursday.
    The plan is part of a new renovation blueprint for the 100-year-old stadium that is dramatically different from the Wrigley plans the city of Chicago approved last year.
    In addition to the video board and right-field sign that were already approved, the Cubs want five more signs in the outfield and other changes to the ballpark.
    The meeting, organized by community groups, was hosted by Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th, who said some of the Cubs' plans “fly in the face of what I believe is being a good neighbor.”
    “The neighborhood has rights also,” Tunney said.
    Many neighbors complained that there has been a lack of communication by the team and that the city seems to eager to accommodate the Cubs.
    “The Cubs keep going to the well … the buffet table catered by Rahm Emanuel and he keeps bringing out more food and they just keep eating it,” said Jim Spencer, the president of the East Lake View Neighbors community group, who said he lives about a block east of the field.
    Kam Buckner, manager of neighborhood and community relations for the team, told the crowd that the “historic renovation” aims to “maximize revenue inside the ballpark” and signage is internal, though he would not say how much revenue the new signs are expected to generate.
    Its plan doesn't include increasing seat capacity, which he said is among the reasons it should have minimal impact on neighbors' lives.
    Some residents at the meeting said they saw no problems with the plans. Even some with grievances said they appreciated the business, revenue and jobs the field brings to the neighborhood.
    “There are some major benefits” to having them here, said Terie Kata, who said she has lived about a block from the field since 1991. But the team needs to include the community in conversations about renovations more, especially longtime, established residents, Kata said.
    “It's not just a bunch of college, bar-hopping people that are there for a year and are gone,” Kata said.


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  18. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    Blah blah blah.

    The park was thre before you. Deal with it
  19. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Veteran

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    Wouldn't it be funny if they just bought some land ( where they could actually have parking lots ) in say , Dupage County , and just decided to build a replica of Wrigley . I'm tired of all the caterwauling from the residents . If it wasn't FOR the park , they'd just live in another neighborhood .
    If you build it they will come .
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    ßearz ßuckz:
    126ß
    Condemn the rooftop buildings, knock 'em down, vacate the street, rebuild/increase the bleachers/scoreboard/signs out into the street, take the area of the rooftop buildings and make a museum/souvenir shop or parking etc.

    I am sick of the rooftop owners and their moaning. They have no rights to anything the Cubs do.

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