The Chicago Cubs haven’t made any big moves this offseason, and fans aren’t happy. With the team’s annual fan convention starting, the Ricketts family is staying quiet.
The Chicago Cubs are a topic of conversation this offseason for all the wrong reasons. As the hot stove heats up with rumors about superstar free agents like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, the Cubs are silent on their plans for 2019.
The rumors of Harper signing with the Cubs go back years. Harper is childhood friends with Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. He also apparently has a dog named Wrigley. These factors made many people believe Harper would end up in Chicago.
But now it seems as if there’s almost no chance that Harper will sign with the Cubs. While the White Sox were rumored to be in on Harper, there’s little possibility that he ends up in Chicago.
Cubs fans were extremely disappointed after the team took a nosedive last September and lost the division to the Milwaukee Brewers in a one-game playoff. The next day, the team’s season ended when they lost to the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card game.
"Falling one game short in the NL Central and making an early postseason exit, while both unfamiliar and uncomfortable, will motivate us. We will spend the winter working hard to give Joe Maddon and our team the support they need to reclaim our division…The overwhelming sentiment, from our front office to the clubhouse, is that we have a lot of work to do and will be back stronger than ever."
With major stars on the free agent market, many Cubs fans took this message to heart and expected the team to make a big move in the offseason. That hasn’t happened yet, and fans are upset with the front office.
The Ricketts family (owners of the Cubs) apparently noticed this outrage and have dialed back their availability at the upcoming Cubs Convention.
In years past, the family would have a Q&A panel to kick off the second day of the convention on Saturday morning. That panel has been canceled for this convention, and fans are starting to get impatient with the lack of answers. Ricketts explained the decision (Via NBC5):
"We had the lowest rated panel last year, so they cut us. We just thought we are boring people. I think I’m the most accessible owner in sports. People ascribe some agenda to it, but [fans] want more time with players and coaches."
Call me skeptical but I’m not sure that I buy this explanation. Who is “Rating” these panels? Ricketts is a smart guy. I doubt he believes that fans don’t want to hear from his family, especially with the offseason outrage over inactivity.
Rival teams in the NL Central have made big moves in free agency and the trade market already this offseason. Fans are expecting the Cubs to keep up, and if that doesn’t happen there will be a lot of nervous Cubs fans heading into the 2019 season.
I wrote an article last week about needing to trust the front office and have faith that they could still make a big move to bolster the team. I’m not so sure that’s going to happen now, and I do admit that it’s a frustrating situation as a Cubs fan.
Tom Ricketts did a media tour on Thursday morning to better explain the situation. The phrase “Money doesn’t win championships” was brought up, and Ricketts was clear that the team didn’t have the financial flexibility to make a big move this offseason.
There are still fans out there that believe this is an elaborate smoke screen and that the Cubs will swoop in at the last minute to make a huge move. I had a lot more faith that this would happen before these comments from Ricketts came out.
The Cubs are apparently done spending, and there are still team needs like the bullpen that haven’t been addressed. It’s a tough situation. While I understand why the Ricketts family is fine with the roster they have, I feel like fans have a right to heavily question this decision.