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Cubs 2021


35thstreetswarm
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The second Chicago team.  Official color: offputtingly-bright blue.  Official logos:  baby bear / sans-serif "C" / rapidly closing window.  Official odors:  pee-pee / failure.

The slide into mediocrity continues?  One last run with the 2016 core?  Discuss.  Sorry-not-sorry in advance to the too-cool-for-crosstown-rivalry set.

 

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It wouldn’t be 2020/21 without more news off the field than on it for the Cubs...also, just saw where Dave Portnoy at Barstool was trying to add on sports book features, so everyone’s chasing the fast and easy money right now. 
 

Tom Ricketts, top Chicago Cubs executives and investment advisory firm The Raine Group have formed a special purpose acquisition company seeking $325 million for a technology-media-telecom acquisition, including possible acquisition of a sports team, a sports gambling firm or a digital media and podcasting opportunity.

The SPAC, Marquee Raine Acquisition Corp., filed with the SEC Friday afternoon. The blank check sponsor is an equal partnership between Raine, an investment firm often involved in sports, including the pending sale of the Minnesota Timberwolves,and Marquee, a business formed by Cubs executive chairman Ricketts and other executives, which launched a regional sports network this year.

The Marquee Raine SPAC identified a series of eight “macro themes” in its prospectus that it says guide its thinking about an acquisition. Among them is ”real money gaming,” in which the firm expects “to see a proliferation of investable opportunities across the real money gaming ecosystem” in the U.S. “Sports-enabled assets” are also cited among the themes, which the SPAC sees creating attractive investment opportunities thanks to the rise of global sports platforms, legal sports gambling and single-entity leagues. Digital media, audio podcasting, live entertainment, health and wellness, interactive games and technology are the other themes cited by Marquee Raine.

SPACs raise money at an IPO to make an acquisition later on, but by rule cannot have identified a target ahead of time. For that reason they typically reserve the option to make an acquisition in any area, while identifying preferred sectors to equity investors.


https://www.sportico.com/business/finance/2020/chicago-cubs-raine-group-spac-1234617358/

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On 3/1/2021 at 6:58 AM, caulfield12 said:

It wouldn’t be 2020/21 without more news off the field than on it for the Cubs...also, just saw where Dave Portnoy at Barstool was trying to add on sports book features, so everyone’s chasing the fast and easy money right now. 
 

Tom Ricketts, top Chicago Cubs executives and investment advisory firm The Raine Group have formed a special purpose acquisition company seeking $325 million for a technology-media-telecom acquisition, including possible acquisition of a sports team, a sports gambling firm or a digital media and podcasting opportunity.

The SPAC, Marquee Raine Acquisition Corp., filed with the SEC Friday afternoon. The blank check sponsor is an equal partnership between Raine, an investment firm often involved in sports, including the pending sale of the Minnesota Timberwolves,and Marquee, a business formed by Cubs executive chairman Ricketts and other executives, which launched a regional sports network this year.

The Marquee Raine SPAC identified a series of eight “macro themes” in its prospectus that it says guide its thinking about an acquisition. Among them is ”real money gaming,” in which the firm expects “to see a proliferation of investable opportunities across the real money gaming ecosystem” in the U.S. “Sports-enabled assets” are also cited among the themes, which the SPAC sees creating attractive investment opportunities thanks to the rise of global sports platforms, legal sports gambling and single-entity leagues. Digital media, audio podcasting, live entertainment, health and wellness, interactive games and technology are the other themes cited by Marquee Raine.

SPACs raise money at an IPO to make an acquisition later on, but by rule cannot have identified a target ahead of time. For that reason they typically reserve the option to make an acquisition in any area, while identifying preferred sectors to equity investors.


https://www.sportico.com/business/finance/2020/chicago-cubs-raine-group-spac-1234617358/

I predict Ricketts will become public enemy #1 over the next few years (though probably not for this ^) as the Cubs continue to bleed members of their core and the team slides. An already unlikeable owner shielded for the last few years by the team's success is going to be thrust into the harsh light of post-"dynasty" media scrutiny. 

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23 hours ago, 35thstreetswarm said:

I predict Ricketts will become public enemy #1 over the next few years (though probably not for this ^) as the Cubs continue to bleed members of their core and the team slides. An already unlikeable owner shielded for the last few years by the team's success is going to be thrust into the harsh light of post-"dynasty" media scrutiny. 

I agree with this assessment of Ricketts. The Cubs needed to win because the "lovable loser" stuff had run its course. But winning the World Series really didn't to anything for the team. All franchises appeal to the corporate customer because that is just the way it is. But the charm of going to Wrigley Field is fading and the team's fans are already turning on the team. Losing will not be lovable under Ricketts and this latest venture is just an indication of that.

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On 3/5/2021 at 8:52 AM, 35thstreetswarm said:

I predict Ricketts will become public enemy #1 over the next few years (though probably not for this ^) as the Cubs continue to bleed members of their core and the team slides. An already unlikeable owner shielded for the last few years by the team's success is going to be thrust into the harsh light of post-"dynasty" media scrutiny. 

 

11 hours ago, NWINFan said:

I agree with this assessment of Ricketts. The Cubs needed to win because the "lovable loser" stuff had run its course. But winning the World Series really didn't to anything for the team. All franchises appeal to the corporate customer because that is just the way it is. But the charm of going to Wrigley Field is fading and the team's fans are already turning on the team. Losing will not be lovable under Ricketts and this latest venture is just an indication of that.

What do you have against the Marquee Network?!

https://mobile.twitter.com/AldoSoto21/status/1218409960872169472

 

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12 hours ago, South Side Hit Men said:

 

What do you have against the Marquee Network?!

https://mobile.twitter.com/AldoSoto21/status/1218409960872169472

 

I don't have anything against the Marquee Network because I know nothing about it. I'm not a Cub fan so I couldn't care less about it.

My earlier post also has a general theme  to it. I remember the in the late '90's how Cub fans flocked to Wrigley. The team was losing, but Sosa was crashing home runs, there were the roof tops and the bars. But then came the debacle of '03 and the utter collapse in the playoffs in '08. Cub fans were finally getting fed up with this joke of a franchise. You would think the '16 World Series would have cured many ills, but it didn't. Cub fans are more bitter than they've ever been.

Ricketts thought when his family bought the team that he could stand by the Harry Carey statue with a beer and everything would be fine. All I can say is he was delusional. I would really like to see the White Sox rebuild help bury the Cubs, but I have my doubts about that. Regardless, the cutesy stuff about the Cubs is over.

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2 hours ago, NWINFan said:

I don't have anything against the Marquee Network because I know nothing about it. I'm not a Cub fan so I couldn't care less about it.

My earlier post also has a general theme  to it. I remember the in the late '90's how Cub fans flocked to Wrigley. The team was losing, but Sosa was crashing home runs, there were the roof tops and the bars. But then came the debacle of '03 and the utter collapse in the playoffs in '08. Cub fans were finally getting fed up with this joke of a franchise. You would think the '16 World Series would have cured many ills, but it didn't. Cub fans are more bitter than they've ever been.

Ricketts thought when his family bought the team that he could stand by the Harry Carey statue with a beer and everything would be fine. All I can say is he was delusional. I would really like to see the White Sox rebuild help bury the Cubs, but I have my doubts about that. Regardless, the cutesy stuff about the Cubs is over.

My post linked Rickett’s being booed by Cub fans at their last convention, and his statement when they booed his mention of Marquee Network. That linked video of fan reaction of Ricketts was my response to your post (Cub fan angst, charm going away, fans upset with his business ventures).

I have many Cub fan friends and family, and concur few if any are pleased with the past year plus, or the family in general. As a non Cubs fan, I do believe he hired a solid front office, but do question some of their other financial management decisions (debt, costly older FAs, TV rollout, current predicament).

Perhaps every city and fan base largely disapproves of their local team owners, though I contend Chicago can stand toe to toe in any argument regarding our overall collection as being legit contenders for the worst across the four, though at least two kids are trying to reverse the mistakes of their fathers.

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12 hours ago, Dick Allen said:

What will be interesting to me about the Cubs is their starting rotation.  It will probably be by far the softest tossing in baseball. Can that still work? Will it be a huge disadvantage or perhaps an advantage because of uniqueness. 

I do believe it'll be great for the gophers.

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I have the Cubs pegged for about 82-85 wins.  Their rotation is garbage and their pen has a ceiling of mediocrity and the floor of an oil tanker crashing into a gas station.  I do believe they will experience an offensive resurgence however and they will be buoyed by the overall shittiness of the worst division in baseball, the NL Central: not a single dominant team or title contender, just 4 midgets battling it out for the title of weakest divisonal champ in baseball, with the Pirates bringing up the rear as inarguably the worst team in baseball and one of the most putrid teams of the last 20 or 30 years.

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10 hours ago, YourWhatHurts said:

I have the Cubs pegged for about 82-85 wins.  Their rotation is garbage and their pen has a ceiling of mediocrity and the floor of an oil tanker crashing into a gas station.  I do believe they will experience an offensive resurgence however and they will be buoyed by the overall shittiness of the worst division in baseball, the NL Central: not a single dominant team or title contender, just 4 midgets battling it out for the title of weakest divisonal champ in baseball, with the Pirates bringing up the rear as inarguably the worst team in baseball and one of the most putrid teams of the last 20 or 30 years.

I feel like it's going to be hard to judge the overall win total because unless they have a big lead in the standings by the Trade Deadline, which seems very unlikely, they aren't going to be buyers and should absolutely be sellers. The question will be how aggressive they get selling. If they want to really "start over" things could get UGLY in August and September for them. 

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22 minutes ago, Tony said:

I feel like it's going to be hard to judge the overall win total because unless they have a big lead in the standings by the Trade Deadline, which seems very unlikely, they aren't going to be buyers and should absolutely be sellers. The question will be how aggressive they get selling. If they want to really "start over" things could get UGLY in August and September for them. 

It is not an insignificant fact that Theo bowed out after 2020.  He definitely didn't want to wear that 

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4 hours ago, Kyyle23 said:

It is not an insignificant fact that Theo bowed out after 2020.  He definitely didn't want to wear that 

Absolutely, although I do think (and maybe I'm being incredibly naive) that Theo knew 2020 was going to start them rebuilding/retooling and he knew he wasn't going to be there after 2020, and didn't feel right making those decisions when he wasn't going to be here. You mine as well let the guy who is going to see this through (Jed) make those calls and step to the side. I'm also a big Theo guy so I'm biased. 

Either way, we're basically saying the same thing. I think this was going to happen to the Cubs with out without COVID, but once the pandemic hit, it made it an open and shut case for the Cubs. The window was officially closed, time to start over. 

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14 hours ago, Kyyle23 said:

It is not an insignificant fact that Theo bowed out after 2020.  He definitely didn't want to wear that 

See KW leaving the White Sox after 2012...avoided the 2013 Ventura Year 2 debacle.  

Although that 4-11 those last two weeks in 2012 should have been taken as an omen of things to come.

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19 hours ago, Tony said:

Absolutely, although I do think (and maybe I'm being incredibly naive) that Theo knew 2020 was going to start them rebuilding/retooling and he knew he wasn't going to be there after 2020, and didn't feel right making those decisions when he wasn't going to be here. You mine as well let the guy who is going to see this through (Jed) make those calls and step to the side. I'm also a big Theo guy so I'm biased. 

Either way, we're basically saying the same thing. I think this was going to happen to the Cubs with out without COVID, but once the pandemic hit, it made it an open and shut case for the Cubs. The window was officially closed, time to start over. 

I wonder if this will be the lasting trend in MLB. Tank, rebuild, win. Rinse and do again. Of course, if the winning doesn't happen, the tanking and rebuilding won't go over so well. The Cubs finally did some winning, but their "dynasty" is over. I just hope we see some real winning with the White Sox.

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1 hour ago, NWINFan said:

I wonder if this will be the lasting trend in MLB. Tank, rebuild, win. Rinse and do again. Of course, if the winning doesn't happen, the tanking and rebuilding won't go over so well. The Cubs finally did some winning, but their "dynasty" is over. I just hope we see some real winning with the White Sox.

The goal is obviously to win consistently and while you're winning draft well and keep the train moving with waves and waves of prospects......it just doesn't seem that easy for teams and most organizations can't walk and chew gum at the same time. When you're winning, it seems like most of the time the farm system of those teams suck.....either because of low draft position or trading of prospects for "win now" players. 

So I do think this will be the trend for the foreseeable future. I think the only thing that changes the formula is if the CBA really gets changed next time around. 

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8 minutes ago, Tony said:

The goal is obviously to win consistently and while you're winning draft well and keep the train moving with waves and waves of prospects......it just doesn't seem that easy for teams and most organizations can't walk and chew gum at the same time. When you're winning, it seems like most of the time the farm system of those teams suck.....either because of low draft position or trading of prospects for "win now" players. 

So I do think this will be the trend for the foreseeable future. I think the only thing that changes the formula is if the CBA really gets changed next time around. 

You may be very right. I am just not looking forward to another tank job. I kind of wonder how Cub fans will feel if 2026 rolls around and it has been 10 years since their last World Series appearance. That would mean three quarters of a century with only one World Series.  How's that for a rebuild? How's that for a dynasty? I hope the Sox rebuild really produces something. 

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34 minutes ago, NWINFan said:

You may be very right. I am just not looking forward to another tank job. I kind of wonder how Cub fans will feel if 2026 rolls around and it has been 10 years since their last World Series appearance. That would mean three quarters of a century with only one World Series.  How's that for a rebuild? How's that for a dynasty? I hope the Sox rebuild really produces something. 

I think similar to the Bears in 85.......the Cubs overall are disappointed the rebuild only netted them 1 World Series, but I still believe when you look at what they accomplished from 2015-2020, they had a very successful window. They captured a World Series, and went to three League Championship series. That's a very good team. Would they have liked for it to be longer? At least another World Series appearance in there? For sure. And Theo made some bad trades. Eloy and Cease for Q being on top of the list. Heyward and Chatwood were pretty awful signings. Schwarber didn't develop like they thought. And the biggest issue is they can't develop starting pitching. Like, they are really really awful at it. So you add those things up..that's how a window closes. 

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21 hours ago, Tony said:

Absolutely, although I do think (and maybe I'm being incredibly naive) that Theo knew 2020 was going to start them rebuilding/retooling and he knew he wasn't going to be there after 2020, and didn't feel right making those decisions when he wasn't going to be here. You mine as well let the guy who is going to see this through (Jed) make those calls and step to the side. I'm also a big Theo guy so I'm biased. 

Either way, we're basically saying the same thing. I think this was going to happen to the Cubs with out without COVID, but once the pandemic hit, it made it an open and shut case for the Cubs. The window was officially closed, time to start over. 

If I am Jed I would be hoping to leverage Theo's knowledge to assist in finding a direction over his last year.  I think Theo is a great baseball mind but I also think he was able to accomplish things because he had a $200M budget.  Think about Hahn with Bauer and Machado.

I think GM's become too itchy to acquire proven guys and deplete the farm system for immediate rewards and it does not pay off enough.

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14 minutes ago, Harry Chappas said:

If I am Jed I would be hoping to leverage Theo's knowledge to assist in finding a direction over his last year.  I think Theo is a great baseball mind but I also think he was able to accomplish things because he had a $200M budget.  Think about Hahn with Bauer and Machado.

I think GM's become too itchy to acquire proven guys and deplete the farm system for immediate rewards and it does not pay off enough.

I think Jed has worked with Theo long enough, and is a smart enough guy not to need him around for another year. They've been together for going on two decades. 

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10 hours ago, Harry Chappas said:

If I am Jed I would be hoping to leverage Theo's knowledge to assist in finding a direction over his last year.  I think Theo is a great baseball mind but I also think he was able to accomplish things because he had a $200M budget.  Think about Hahn with Bauer and Machado.

I think GM's become too itchy to acquire proven guys and deplete the farm system for immediate rewards and it does not pay off enough.

Epstein is great at building things.

Pretty terrible at sustaining them, although Boston he did a better job (bigger budget to absorb misses in FA), and those 4 World Series teams stretched out across quite an extended time period (one officially goes to Cherington, but largely put in place by Theo).

With the Cubs, it's obvious that it was a combination of pitching (lack thereof in terms of draft/development/talent evaluation), terrible FA moves and then just bad health or performance declines (guys like Arrieta and Kris Bryant, Arrieta reminiscent in many ways of the run Jose Contreras had in 2005-06).

Then you have that "next generation" of prospects like Almora, Soler, Schwarber, Bote, Happ, etc., with mixed results at best, and little return on investment.

Kimbrel was a killer, added on to Heyward, Darvish (first couple of years), Chatwood, etc.

 

 

In a way, the Royals only had those TWO playoff appearances, but they were within a Madison Bumgarner post-season performance of all-time of winning two consecutive as one of the smallest market teams in MLB.

That, to me, was even more impressive...despite them not being able to follow it up in 2016 and 2017.   They also had bad luck with a combination of injuries (Moustakas/Cain), non-performance (Gordon) and Yordano Ventura's untimely death.

 

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Since I live well outside Metro Chicago, I assume the cubs are still numb 1 albeit waning a bit? Here in NW Illinois, cub fans are a dime a dozen reminding me of cockroaches, step on one and another scurries out from the floor

I beleive if the Sox could put a string of WS wins, all this talk of cub town would be severely damaged. But to give the devil his due, the current cub ownership has strung together a series of winning seasons and playoff appearances that have me a tad envious 

 

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2 hours ago, The Grinder said:

Since I live well outside Metro Chicago, I assume the cubs are still numb 1 albeit waning a bit? Here in NW Illinois, cub fans are a dime a dozen reminding me of cockroaches, step on one and another scurries out from the floor

I beleive if the Sox could put a string of WS wins, all this talk of cub town would be severely damaged. But to give the devil his due, the current cub ownership has strung together a series of winning seasons and playoff appearances that have me a tad envious 

 

I would say that over the past decade the Cubs have strengthened relative to the other team in the city, rather than having waned a bit.

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