Results tagged ‘ Tom Ricketts ’

1000 Words: Welcome Back

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and his siblings welcome right-handed reliever Kerry Wood back into the fold at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Cubs Convention. The packed house at the Hilton Grand Ballroom greeted the news of Wood’s one-year deal with a thunderous ovation and chants of “Kerry, Kerry.” (Photo by Stephen Green)

2012 Cubs Convention kicks off this weekend

The 27th Annual Cubs Convention will be held this weekend, Jan. 13-15, at the Hilton Chicago, located at 720 S. Michigan Ave., and Vine Line will be there blogging all weekend to keep you up to date on the latest news and happenings.

The three-day fanfest gives Cubs faithful the opportunity to interact with more than 80 current and former Cubs players, coaches and prospects. This year’s event features a number of new family friendly sessions and activities, including an interactive baseball area hosted by the Illinois Baseball Academy, a gaming zone and the LEGOLAND Discovery Zone.

But the real stars of the show might be the team’s new baseball leadership — Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer,  Jason McLeod and Dale Sveum — and their vision for the Cubs future. This vision has become clearer in recent weeks, as a flurry of moves have sent old-guard players like Sean Marshall, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano out of Chicago in favor of younger talent like top first base prospect Anthony Rizzo and starters Travis Wood, Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm.

Opening Ceremonies begin Friday at 5 p.m. in the Hilton Chicago Grand Ballroom. The Saturday morning proceedings will be highlighted by  “Behind the Scenes with Theo Epstein”, followed by “Meet Cubs Baseball Management” with General Manager Jed Hoyer, Assistant General Manager Randy Bush and Manager Dale Sveum.

Other notable weekend sessions include:

  • “Coaches’ Den,” featuring new manager Dale Sveum, new bench coach Jamie Quirk, new pitching coach Chris Bosio, new first base coach Dave McKay, hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo and bullpen coach Lester Strode discussing their coaching philosophies, moderated by Bob Brenly.
  • “Ron Santo: Beyond the Game,” featuring widow Vicki Santo, son Ron Santo Jr., and friends and teammates Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley and Billy Williams discussing the personal side of Ron Santo and his recent Hall of Fame election, moderated by Pat Hughes.
  • “Outside the Foul Lines,” featuring Tony Campana, Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto and Randy Wells sharing their personalities and experiences beyond the game.
  • “The Ricketts’ Family Forum,” featuring Ricketts family members Tom, Laura, Pete and Todd discussing their journey as team owners and what they hope to accomplish in the coming years.

To keep up on all the happenings from the Cubs Convention, check back with the Cubs Vine Line Blog all weekend long.

Cubs to introduce Hoyer and McLeod today

The building of a dream team in the Cubs front office continues.

New General Manager Jed Hoyer and Executive Vice President of Player Development and Scouting Jason McLeod will be introduced to the media in a press conference scheduled for 3 p.m.

Hoyer and McLeod were both most recently in San Diego, where they helped build up the Padres farm system in a couple years on a limited budget. And the pair were part of Theo Epstein‘s most trusted advisors in Boston—including with two championship teams—before that.

Vine Line will bring you quotes, video and more from the press conference later this afternoon. An exciting era in Cubs history continues.

For full coverage, pick up the November issue of Vine Line and grab your subscription today. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty)

Video: Theo Epstein sets out his vision for the Cubs

Theo Epstein talks about the first steps in baseball operations under his new regime. Click above image to watch the video, and subscribe to Vine Line today for all the upcoming coverage of a change in the Windy City.


Epstein sets out to build a new “Cubs way”

Theo Epstein made his vision clear: The Cubs will start with scouting and player development, and they’ll be infusing the game’s best and brightest minds into a front office working toward one common goal.

A new “Cubs way,” starting with a focus on fundamental play, would be taught everywhere from the Dominican Summer League to Chicago.

It was a statement that sold Tom Ricketts immediately.

“After 10 or 15 minutes of our conversation, I knew that this was the guy that we needed here.”

Ricketts clarified that he didn’t go into his GM search with a specific name—or list of names—in mind but rather used an analytical process that looked at major league then minor league success. Through various metrics, as well as advice from around the game, Epstein’s name kept coming up.

Now Epstein comes to the Cubs in the newly created position of president of baseball operations, and he said that the Cubs were a dream place to make his next move. The tradition. The classic baseball setting. Day baseball. The fans. And the commitment from ownership to preserve all of that while building a consistent winner that plays in October.

“That does not happen over night, and it certainly does not happen because of any one person,” Epstein said in his opening remarks. “Over time and together, we will build a solid foundation that delivers sustained success for the Cubs.”

Stay tuned to the blog for more from the press conference and Vine Line’s one-on-one interview with Epstein, including video clips. And subscribe to Vine Line for the insider’s pass into the Epstein era in Chicago.

1000 Words: An arrangement for a new age

Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein quickly found common ground that will set forth a new “Cubs way” of doing things in Chicago. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Theo Epstein introduced at Wrigley Field

Tom Ricketts introduced Theo Epstein as the team’s new president of baseball operations today in the United Club at Wrigley Field. (Photo by Stephen Green)

The Quade Squad


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgA big day here at Wrigley Field yesterday. Longtime organizational man Mike Quade finally got his shot at skippering his own ship. Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said they sought a manager who wanted to coach.

In Quade, general manager Jim Hendry found exactly that. The press conference was loose, and Quade kept his address pretty informal. He’s exceptionally unguarded and straightforward. But he knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance. After taking 10 days off to decompress by going fishing and crabbing near his home in Bradenton, Fla., he got the call from Hendry–with blue crabs in hand.

“I had the crabs in one hand and my cell phone was ringing,” Quade said. “I looked at the number and it was Jim’s. The timing was almost comical.”

QuadeSquadsmall.JPGIn the October issue of Vine Line, we ran this sketch from our resident editorial cartoonist, Tim Souers. Indeed, it’s Quade’s squad now.

With yesterday’s announcement, it seemed only fitting that we ran it again on our blog. For more of Vine Line‘s editorial cartoons, visit our landing page at

Quade got a two-year deal, but he said money never was going to be an issue.

“There was no way I was going to let money get in the way of this [opportunity],” Quade said.

Quade’s a lunchpail kind of guy, one who admits he has only one suit and hates wearing it. But when it comes to teaching and coaching, the Chicago-area native wears both hats with ease.

“We’re going to build on the last six weeks of the season,” Quade said. “We’re going to grind it out every day…You set yourself up as an example by being involved. I plan on taking a hands-on approach [with our players].”

We’ll have more behind-the-scene photos tomorrow including some candid moments with Quade in the Cubs clubhouse.

–Michael Huang




1000 Words: Toasting Harry


Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts joins Dutchie Caray in the rededication of the Harry Caray statue, which now has taken root at the Bud Light Bleachers, known as the legendary broadcaster’s favorite spot.

Thumbnail image for 1000 WORDS LOGO.jpgThe new Billy Williams statue — already installed outside the Hall of Famer’s former home in rightfield — will be unveiled in a ceremony beginning 5:30 p.m. CT later today. Stop by the ballpark to congratulate Billy in person and grab a ticket for what’s turning out to be a beautiful evening game. We’ll have full coverage of the Williams statue in the October issue of Vine Line.

Fill up the Cup! Sponsored by BP

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgOn Monday morning, executives from both Chicago baseball teams unveiled the annual Crosstown Cup, sponsored by BP, at the Cloud Gate of Millennium Park. It was the perfect neutral site for such a partisan event.

From the North Side, on hand were Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, manager Lou Piniella, Cubs President Crane Kenney, Chief Marketing Officer Wally Hayward and Cubs players Marlon Byrd and Randy Wells.

From South Side, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Brooks Boyer, White Sox players Gordon Beckham and AJ Pierzynski were on hand. WGN on-air personality Dave Kaplan emceed the event.

BP logo small.JPG“It gives [the city of Chicago] two weekends where everyone is just focused on baseball,” Ricketts said.

The previous Crosstown Classic now will be known as the BP Crosstown Cup. Under these new rules, the team with the most wins in the yearly series will be formally awarded the rivalry’s namesake trophy. If the annual series is split 3-3, the BP Crosstown Cup will be awarded to the winner of the series’ last game.

“I’ve been here three years, so I know what this series means to the city of Chicago that has such great sports fans,” Piniella said. “Obviously my focus is winning games on the field, but it’s going to be hard not to think about winning that cup for the first time.”

Here’s a trio of photos from yesterday:

Lou Bean.JPG

Lou Piniella in front of the “Bean”

Tom Ricketts Cup presser.JPG Tom Ricketts and Randy Wells mug for staff photographer Steve Green.

byrd cup presser.JPG

Marlon, we know it’s a bit brisk, but a parka? You better get used to Chicago springs! 

  –Mike Huang


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