Ricketts Writes Cubs STH

Chairman Tom Ricketts wrote to Cubs Season Ticket Holders following the conclusion of the regular season. Here’s my interpretation of the letter in short form. Make of it what you will…(read the letter in its entirety below the jump)

-Many pleasantries.
-You’re important to us as fans.
-Our No.1 goal is to win a World Series.
-We’re spending a ton of money to achieve it.
-This won’t happen overnight.
-We’re trying to be honest about this message.
-Be excited about our unproven minor leaguers.
-We’ve grown the front office with smart people who are good with computers.
-Our new facilities in the Dominican Rep. & Arizona are pretty cool.
-We donated millions of dollars to various charities this past calendar year.
-Thanks for being supportive while we clean up this 101-loss mess.

As part of the Cubs’ ongoing efforts to engage and communicate with their fans, Chairman Tom Ricketts wrote the following letter to Cubs Season Ticket Holders:

Dear Season Ticket Holder –

With the 2012 season having drawn to a close, it’s time for all of us at the Chicago Cubs to thank you for your support and provide an update on the progress we’ve made toward building a championship-caliber organization. You are a vital stakeholder to this franchise and an important partner in our transformation.

Despite this year’s results in the standings, we are confident the Chicago Cubs are heading in the right direction. Our players, coaches, management and front office have approached their jobs with professionalism, effort and unity, which has created a winning atmosphere inside the organization. It’s our responsibility to turn that effort into additional wins on the field. Our number one goal is to reward loyal generations of Cubs fans with a World Series and we’re reinvesting every dollar spent by our fans into the franchise to achieve that goal.

To achieve our goal, it was clear the team needed a long-term strategy. Over the past year, we recruited new baseball leadership to create and execute a plan for building a consistently-competitive ballclub. We now have a long-term strategy in place and a baseball organization focused on delivering a championship to Wrigley Field. That team is communicating openly and honestly about implementing a proven model for sustained success.

As part of that strategy, we are developing a core of young players at the major league level. This season provided an opportunity for homegrown and acquired players to gain valuable experience and establish themselves as potential long-term contributors to the club.

Our minor league system improved in 2012, as the Cubs acquired, drafted or signed a significant wave of new talent into the organization. We welcomed a strong 2012 first-year player draft class into the system, building on a franchise-record investment in draft signings in 2011. Many of these players made immediate positive contributions. In fact, five Cubs prospects were included in MLB’s recently-released Top 100 Prospects list; a total topped by only three other teams in the league. A number of our newly-acquired players excelled in both the minor and major leagues and look to contribute further in 2013 and beyond.

We’ve welcomed new talent in the front office as well. Perhaps no operation bears more responsibility for advancing our organizational plan than scouting and player development. After a season of evaluation, our scouting and development teams have been reorganized to procure and develop the best amateur, professional and international talent available. Our scouts and coaches have been equipped with state-of-the-art analysis tools and equipment to enhance the club’s analytical capabilities.

In addition to personnel investments, we’ve made significant upgrades to our facilities. We are currently building a new baseball academy to serve our Latin American players in the Dominican Republic. The facility, open year-round, will span 50 acres with baseball fields, training facilities, player housing and an education center, making it the largest academy in the country. Additionally, we broke ground this season on a new Spring Training facility in Mesa, Ariz., that will be one of the premier training facilities in baseball, as well as a more enjoyable venue for watching a Spring Training game. We continue to make improvements to Wrigley Field’s facilities for our players and fans, with larger scale investments coming down the road. All of these improvements will enhance your fan experience and bolster the club’s ability to attract and develop elite players throughout the world.

Lastly, we continue to invest in the Chicago community to help deserving children and families. The Cubs and Chicago Cubs Charities will support a team-record $4.5 million of donations to worthwhile nonprofits and programs across Chicagoland this year. We’re honored to support the people and organizations that make our city a great place to work, live and play baseball.

In the end, we are fans and our goal is to win. We’re committed to building an organization you can be proud of and we’re committed to building a champion the right way. This franchise has embarked on a path that will present challenges along the way, but the destination is promising.

We deeply and sincerely appreciate your ongoing support.

Tom Ricketts
Chairman, Chicago Cubs



Filed under Cubs Blog

2 responses to “Ricketts Writes Cubs STH

  1. Ryan Grzynkowicz

    While I understand that Ricketts wants to get out of the red after such a large investment, the Cubs wealth in fans could also be running short soon. They fielded a mediocre AAA team this season. Trading our young players when our system is “poor” is incomprehensible. The Rizzo trade, I understand. The Stewart trade, I do not. Trading our most consistent bullpen arm to a division rival for a fly ball pitcher blows my mind. If he wants to change the course, he needs to start by investing in free agents during the off season. That way we can keep the youngsters and also give ourselves an opportunity to compete in 2013. We have one pitcher in the rotation that is qualified. And he’s gonna be coming off an injury. Patience among the fans will be short with another terrible season. I’d hate to see those new seats, or even the old ones, start being vacant. Spend the money in the right context and the next few seasons will be less embarrassing. After all, we’ve lost the Astros from the division so fifth place isn’t an option.

  2. Ryan, Ryan, Ryan…there are no shortcuts to winning, remember!?!

    This past season sucked, no doubt about it. But the Cubs did what was necessary to start rebuilding the proper way…even though it resulted in 101-losses.

    Yes, the Stewart trade backfired…however, trading Marshall was a good move in the long run, albeit frustrating he went to the Reds.

    Nonetheless, the LAST thing the Cubs need to do is rush the process and start overpaying FA…

    Of course, that’s what we’re use to seeing in Chicago…and of course, that quick fix, stab in the dark solution was never sustainable…

    If the Cubs wanted to continuing building that way, they would have extended Jim Hendry—not fired him!

    That’s exactly why Ricketts brought in Epstein to Chicago…whose job is to build a system from within the organization…which is going to take time, and precious patience.

    And before we clamor for Ricketts to spend big money on FA remember…THE CHAIRMAN HAS SPENT MILLIONS ALREADY EATING CONTRACTS FOR PLAYERS TO GO AWAY!

    Now, you don’t have to agree with the process…but I’ll tell you this: I’m thrilled the Cubs are finally trying something other than paying the Sorianos of the world.

    Whether you agree or not, however, my point is to get use to the “New Cubs Way”…because it’s not changing, and there’s little hope the Cubs revert back to signing FA in favor of growing its players from within.

    The Cubs are at least another season from reaching .500…maybe even 2 years out. And yes, there will be many empty seats again at Wrigley…but make no mistake, the first time this team crawls above .500…the Friendly Confines will be packed like days of old.

    The midterm getting there sure ain’t gonna be easy, my friend. But if Team Theo doesn’t work…at least we’ll know nothing will :)

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