You’d think that 9am wouldn’t be too early for a guy getting an extra hour back from the shift from Eastern to Central time, but you’d be wrong. In fact, so occupied was I with nursing a headache from the previous evening’s revelry that I was seriously considering staying in bed. But when an obnoxious text from former Cubs Insider staffer Ryan Davis roused me at around 8 to ask when I’d be getting there, I decided I’d better put on a happy face and get to the Sheraton.
I rolled into the big ballroom (they utilized one larger and one smaller room for the sessions, many of which overlapped) at around 8:45, uncaffeinated and a bit left of center, mentally speaking. I was also feeling a bit naked since I was going sans hat, though my hair game was tight so I was pretty happy with that. My bright blue Cubs Insider shirt set me apart from the rest of the more nattily attired media members, which actually worked a bit to my advantage a little later. But enough about me.
Given that the session was early and featured the least exciting panel — that’s not a jab at the owners, just an obvious statement that the fans are a bit more jazzed about the other attendees — it was neither as crowded nor as boisterous as the others. Tom, Laura, and Todd Ricketts talked about their pursuit of the three stated goals of winning a World Series, protecting and preserving Wrigley Field, and being a good member of the community.
Two of those goals have pretty much already been reached and the third is looking a lot less like a joke than it was even two years ago. I may be getting the details mixed up a bit here, but Tom mentioned at one point that something like 150,000 pounds (or tons) of steel had been replaced throughout the ballpark and I know they’ve been working on replacing and/or reinforcing a great deal of concrete as well. The new plaza will add some more family-friendly entertainment to a Wrigleyville neighborhood that is “built for speed” when it comes to the millennial set currently plaguing our nation (okay, he said young men and women, but I think we can all agree that millennials are the worst).
And then in terms of the World Series, well, we know how things are going there. My favorite part of the session was Todd talking about travelling to Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and New York in the playoffs and the way the opposing teams treated them. His wife, who is French-Canadian, is a hockey fan who had previously viewed the Cubs and baseball as little more than just the family business. But while the fans in the Cubs’ first two postseason stops were warm and friendly, the folks in Queens were somewhat less hospitable. So when the Ricketts’ were watching the World Series game in which Matt Harvey refused to come out and subsequently allowed a couple Royals runs to score, Todd’s previously disinterested wife yelled “Screw you, Harvey!” at the screen. That got some chuckles.
I don’t know whether I captured all of that in my Periscope video of the session, but I think it’s somewhere in that 36-minute clip. I got a little more dialed in with my coverage as the day wore on, utilizing Periscope for the introductory portions and then moving to live-tweeting much of the Q&A. That also got me to thinking about branching out a bit more with my multi-media operations here, which have been generally sporadic up to this point.
That said, I’m going to start a semi-regular live chat on Periscope called Inside Corner. My plan is to have some show notes and be able to sound off on the Cubs and whatever else may be interesting me at that moment, but to have plenty of time to answer viewer questions. Pending a safe drive home, I’m planning to have my first broadcast tonight at around 10pm EST.