The questions I'd ask
This is perhaps the first time since GROTA was founded that we don't have a presence at the Cubs Convention. It's mostly that I just couldn't buy tickets, and I'm pretty sure that we'll be there in force in 2010.
In the past, we'd ask Lou Piniella/Jim Hendry some questions, usually because it was the first, best way to get our names out there to the thousand+ people in the room, along with the thousands of others who would listen on the radio later on. If I was there today, these are the kinds of balls that I'd bust.
1. With Milton Bradley getting slotted into the middle of the order, it opens up a whole array of questions that we could be debating right now - but I would ask Lou this one question above all others: Derrek Lee is a great hitter, but he's no longer the premier hitter who dominated pitchers in 2005. If he's not your BEST hitter, why would you keep him batting third when an Aramis Ramirez would fit there so much better?
2. For Jim Hendry - I think that as fans of baseball, it's hard for any of us to really understand how complex your job is except to say that I've heard rumors that you sleep with a cell phone taped to your head just in case somebody wants to blow in a trade call at 3AM. But as great as you've been with trades and free agency, the Cubs have only developed one All Star hitter since the days of Grace and Palmeiro. How are you going to improve upon your track record in drafting and developing hitters?
3. For Hendry again - without naming names, are you concerned that the new owner will be less like the Boston Henry's and more like the Baltimore Angelos's?
4. Lou - what would you prefer your players to if you had a choice - godly talent, or a positive attitude?
5. Jim - in my experience, certain members of the organization adopt an anti-blogger stance when it comes to dealing with people like me. Wouldn't it be possible to allow very limited, very controlled access to the team and players for, say, half a dozen bloggers a year?
I'd probably go with #1 or #2, but these are the questions I'd ask. But before you get to crappy - or excited - about any of them, I'll give you the canned answer.
"Well (insert name), that's a great question. I think we've (drafted/developed/acquired) a number of very talented players, such as (Theriot/Pie/Lee/Bradley), and we'll continue to (draft/develop/acquire) more who will have (positive attitudes AND talent/good use of). I'm not concerned about (Lee/my draft status/any potential owner) and I'm looking forward to how we do in 2009."