Cubs Convention 2009
Some of this is from a comment I left to one of Kurt's recent posts, but thought I'd include here as my own commentary/noodlings/things I heard.
THING THE FIRST: REED JOHNSON - I think it was him - well, trust me, you just need to see a photo. ZZ Top Impersonator? Saddam's long lost cousin? Noah? Cat Stevens? Bluebeard the Pirate? You tell me. When he walked into the Kathy and Judy (WGN radio) panel, people just HOWLED. The commentary had me laughing so hard the tears came to my eyes.
I wish I had thought to bring a tape recorder. Kaplan absolutely grilled Hendry (Piniella wasn't at the panel otherwise I'm sure the question would have been directed at him) about why, if we're so concerned about winning, there isn't more calls to bunt, even if it's the clean up man. (I think the implication was that these guys are getting paid a hell of a lot and should know the basics like bunting for the team's good.) I really can't recall the exact wording of the question, and don't mean to imply any commentary of my own regarding his question. I hope WGN puts up audio from the convention on their website. If they do, I would really recommend listening to that one. (I guess it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't type of scenario, however. My question would be, why not sub in another player who CAN bunt if the situation demands it. If the game is on the line, do it.)
Lots of questions from the fans in the audience (in ANY panel that had Hendry it seemed like) about the trading of both Kerry and Mark. Just an observation: many people were not happy about it. I got a little bored with the phrasing of the "questions" however: "Do you really think [x] trade was a good idea?" Jaysus, what do you expect Hendry or Lou to say? "No, I think it was a horrible idea, but looks like we're stuck now!" I mean, just say you think the trade blowed if that's what you really want, but don't ask a question to which you already know what the answer will be.
One thing I didn't necessarily like: Hendry saying he was holding off on long-term, big $ deals until ownership is settled. Not that I'm disagreeing with the principle behind that, but I thought the talk was all "we're not worried, we're not worried"? This sounds like worry to me.
Also dislike (now that I'm thinking about it) the implication in the media (see today's Sun-Times for a quote by Hendry) that it was just the women who had their panties in a twist about the DeRo trade. I.e., we're all mopey over him just because the "handsome man" is gone. This is the same type of idiot logic that says women will buy any baseball product as long as it's pink. I've got plenty of eye candy left, thank you very much (Rich Harden, I'm looking at YOUR posterior), *IF* that was all I was worried about. I dislike the DeRosa trade for other, less hormonal reasons. If Hendry really wants a PMS show out of me, I can give it to him no problem.
It was my first convention. The auto lines were stupid long, horribly managed (at least the one for Stage A I was at on Saturday). Assuming I go again, I'll just stick with the panels next time. Was disappointed Ron was only there for the OC, really. Heard he wasn't feeling well. Hope it's not serious.
My picture upload is taking forever today. Here's a link, but it might be a work in progress for a while. http://flickr.com/photos/17986186@N08/sets/72157612676209851/