2/24 Ricketts address squad
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts addressed the full squad on Friday prior to the first workout at Fitch Park in Mesa, Ariz.
“There’s a new energy, a new vibe, I think they’ll be working a little harder than years past, focusing on fundamentals,” Ricketts said.
And his message to the team?
“We talked about, ‘Let’s make sure we use all 40 days as best we can,’” he said. “Communicate, too. One of the things I talk about is making sure if there’s something we can be doing better, let us know. We want to be the best organization in baseball. If there’s feedback, make sure it gets up to us so we can do what we can.”
He also told the players that they’re working on improving the facilities. One theme in camp has been the creation of the Cubs way, which Ricketts was happy to hear about.
“You do like to hear that ‘Cubs way,’” he said. “What they’re doing is putting everything down on paper and signing off on it.”
The baseball operations department is creating a scouting manual and player development manual, which Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer coordinated. Ricketts likes the idea.
“Not only does it help you be more consistent in the way you treat players and train players,” Ricketts said, “but everyone buys in and you’re accountable and I think that’s a big part of the Cubs way.”
As for recent rumors that the Cubs might have to play their home games in 2013 at U.S. Cellular Field to accomodate renovations at Wrigley Field, Ricketts tried to squelch the talk.
“There’s no plans for us to play anywhere else but Wrigley Field,” Ricketts said.
He also said there is no date set for groundbreaking for the Cubs’ new Spring Training facility in Mesa. The design is being finalized and the plan is still to be ready for 2014.
Season ticket renewals for 2012 were “off the charts,” Ricketts said.
“We know the one thing that sells tickets is winning and that’s what we focus on,” he said.
The lineup may not be the most intimidating but Ricketts said fans are enthused about the 2012 Cubs.
“People are very excited,” he said. “Everyone sees this as a great positive for the organization and everyone is looking forward to letting Theo do his job and letting Dale [Sveum] do his job and moving us forward.”
– Carrie Muskat