1/17/10 Cubs Convention highlights
Some of the highlights of the weekend at the 25th annual fan fest:
* Watching the Ricketts family patiently and honestly answer questions on a variety of topics. They defended GM Jim Hendry, listened to someone offer his services as a mascot, and outlined plans to preserve Wrigley Field. They emphasized that they’re committed to the Cubs for the next 95 years, not five. Players who met the Ricketts for the first time came away impressed as well. “I hope next year everyone is as happy as they are today,” Laura Ricketts said.
* Seeing the rousing ovation new Hall of Famer Andre Dawson received at the opening ceremonies. No matter what cap Dawson wears into Cooperstown, he’ll always be linked to the Cubs.
* A fan asked Lou if the relievers needed something other than metal folding chairs to sit on in the bullpen. “We’ll get ’em some lounge chairs and some pina coladas,” Piniella quipped.
* Good to know no plans for selling naming rights to Wrigley.
* Marlon Byrd was asked if he’ll do better than Milton Bradley did. “That’s the plan,” Byrd said. “My goal is to stay here longer than he did.”
* Seeing a slim and trim Geovany Soto, now 40 pounds lighter and looking more like a “jockey,” according to Lou.
* Watching fans stop by the Mesa, Ariz., booth to show their support. Byrd and Ted Lilly, who have trained in both Arizona and Florida, picked Arizona as their preferred Spring Training site.
* Brett Jackson, the 2009 No. 1 Draft pick, was attending his first Convention and commented on how “insance” Cubs fans are. He said the weekend had him so pumped, he wanted to start Spring Training this week, not one month from now.
* During the “Kids Only” session, someone asked Sam Fuld what goes through his head when he dives into a wall while trying to make a catch. “Absolutely nothing,” Fuld said. His goal is to one day be able to dunk a basketball.
* Mark your calendar: The 26th annual convention will be Jan. 14-16, 2011.
— Carrie Muskat