Before I get to a recap of what it’s like to throw out the first pitch, I came by some interesting information recently that I want to share. I was contacted yesterday by a party very close to the Cubs, someone who works with the front office often. This person, who is in a position to know what’s going on inside the organization to some extent, wanted to express his frustration with the current state of the Chicago Cubs. He asked to remain anonymous and I’m honoring that request. Â For the purposes of this piece, we’ll refer to him as “Pop Fly.” Okay, so it’s not as good as “Deep Throat,” but it’s 6:34 am and I’m not feeling all that creative.
The first thing Pop Fly wanted me to know was how completely appalled he was by Mike Quade throwing Starlin Castro under the bus last week. He was watching the press conference up in the corporate offices, and recounted Laura Ricketts turning red in the face, making a disgusted noise, and storming off following Quade’s comments. He also recounted that, later that night at Ryan Dempster’s Casino Night, Quade stayed away from the players and kept to himself.
Pop Fly stated that Quade has no connection or relationship with the veteran players, and that he has left the young players to flounder on their own. All the comments about Quade being great for developing younger players turned out to be wishful thinking. Pop Fly says the young players on the team, such as Castro, Barney, and Marmol, have been largely left to find their own way.
Further, he was somewhat surprised and dismayed at the way the women hostesses in the luxury suites have begun dressing as of late. Apparently, their clothing choices have taken a turn for the trollop-y, which was not the case in the past. When Pop Fly mentioned this to one of the hostesses, he was met with an eye roll and some disgusted comments. He wouldn’t go so far as to say that women are being TOLD to dress in more revealing clothes to keep the corporate sponsors’ minds off the terrible product on the field, but the Cubs certainly aren’t discouraging this tactic.
Pop Fly has routine contact with several different front offices, and stated the Cubs’ office is by far the worst office to work with, due to its tiny size. He described the Cubs front office as “the left hand neven knows what the right hand is doing,” and confirmed that the Ricketts have their own inner circle who are separate and apart from the Cubs. Since the Ricketts have taken over, there has been an increased push in marketing, game day experience, and corporate accomodations, leaving even fewer employees to attend to the baseball operations side of things. Â Pop Fly was adamant that the Cubs’ front office, already the smallest in baseball, must get much bigger, and in a hurry, if they ever want to compete.
Pop Fly didn’t share all this information because he wanted to kick the Cubs while they’re down. On the contrary, I sensed in him a great fondness for the organization and a real desire to see the Cubs improve.
On a somewhat happier note, thanks to everyone who supported me in my effort to throw out the first pitch yesterday. If you want to read about it, you can check out Red Eye later on today. Â I can, however, tell you this: Sixty feet, six inches is way farther than it looks, especially with 35,000 people and Tony Campana staring at you. After telling everyone the only thing I didn’t want to do was one-hop the ball into the plate . . Â well, I one-hopped the ball into the plate. Luckily, it bounced up and landed right in Tony Campana’s glove, so I think I came out of it looking okay.
By the way, I told Tony that we refer to him as “Tony Campanarama,” and his response was “OMG, that’s awesome!”
All in all, it was a great experience, and I’m really grateful to BP for giving me the opportunity. Thanks!