One of the highlights of each year’s Cubs Convention has been the session with chairman Tom Ricketts and the rest of the Ricketts family with fans. They’ve done this every year since they bought the team, with the first such session being in 2010, thus nine years in a row.
Except, here’s a report that this session won’t happen at this weekend’s Convention:
I don’t know how to sugarcoat this, so I’ll just come right out and say it: This is not a good choice by the Ricketts family. The Cubs are coming off a rough year with an early postseason exit, and fans have been restless all winter with several major things having been reported involving the team. Those include the Cubs appearing to have a payroll ceiling, the Addison Russell situation, and the coming launch of the team’s TV network.
All of these are things I’m sure Tom Ricketts and his siblings would be asked about during their usual hour-long session, and now they will, per Bruce Miles’ tweet, simply be “part of Ryan Dempster’s Friday night show.” The Dempster show tends to be lighthearted with a comedy aspect, and it’s unclear whether questions to the Ricketts from fans will even be permitted during that show, or whether they’ll just be interviewed by Dempster, or be involved in comedy bits in Dempster’s show and not say anything of substance.
A pass to the Cubs Convention has a face value of $125. For that, you’d think the Ricketts family could face fans for an hour, and if nothing else try to reassure the fanbase that they are indeed doing everything they can to win again, and make the Cubs a team fans can be proud to root for. By not having such a session, they are giving the impression — right or wrong — that they don’t want to face fans. At best it’s a bad PR move, at worst...
It also raises the question of whether Tom Ricketts will even make his usual speech at the opening ceremony, or whether the Cubs will simply have Pat Hughes do introductions.
This isn’t a good look for the Cubs, in my opinion, at their signature event of the winter. It’s probably too late for them to change their minds, but in my view they shouldn’t have made this decision in the first place.