10/12 A letter from Mr. Ricketts

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts wrote a letter to Cubs season ticket holders. Here’s his message:

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

3 Comments

I am sure you will receive many negative comments, but this fan really appreciates your update. As a die hard Cub fan, I have witnessed through press and blogs that many of the things you mention, are actually being done.
You also mention many things that Press and Blogs dont mention often, that I was not aware of.
Because of your commitment and updates to your fan base, this fan supports Ownership and Management 100%. I have been a Cub fan since 1966 and have not always been patient in the past. Updates such as the above have a positive impact. Epstein, Hoyer and their record of success brings hope for the sustained success they have mentioned.
So thank you for the updates and hopefully they will come more often? Monthly would be awesome.

I agree with you Jasper 100%. I too appreciate your work with the Cubs and I know that it willl pay off soon. You have a great base of seasoned players and I know will fill the gaps in 2013. Having had a losing season it is hard to be ultra patient but that is what we HAVE to do when rebuilding is in the process. I think you have made some good headway in that respect. Rizzo at 1st and Barney at 2nd are, in my opinion unbeatable. I am concerned about Castro’s errors at SS but know that he is a great offensive player. I am concerned with Castro’s lack of attention (ADD?). Would also like to see him pay less attention to his sunflower seeds – reaching into his pocket, shoving them in his mouth, drizzling down his chin. I have been watching the playoffs and have not seen this behavior in any of the players on the championship teams. Could it be that they are paying more attention to their game than their seeds? The players chew gum, blow bubbles, etc. but Castro’s spewing seeds is really off-putting.
At one point this summer I threatened to start a T-Shirt Co. with shirts saying “Hit, Don’t Spit” on them. But I digress, this is mainly to thank Theo and Hoyer and Sveum and all you guys for your dedication and hard work for the Cubbies. WE WILL WIN!

So far, I think the only mishap on Hoystein’s part was including Colvin in the Stewart deal.
Other than that I think the new owners, president and GM are on the correct, slow, well planned path. (BTW…I can make those shirts for you.)

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