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Wittenmyer: Cubs Going About Rebuilding All Wrong

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Theo Epstein meets the media as Chairman Tom Ricketts looks on. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Theo Epstein meets the media as Chairman Tom Ricketts looks on. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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(WSCR) It’s neither a secret, nor a surprise the Cubs are in a massive rebuilding process never before seen to this extent on the North Side

But the way the Cubs are going about this rebuilding process is perplexing to Gordon Wittenmyer, who covers the Cubs for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Wittenmyer joined The Mully and Hanley Show on Thursday to discuss concerns he has regarding the way Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein are conducting their business.

“I’m certainly not advocating throwing money at every free agent that comes along every year,” Wittenmyer said. “We’ve seen colossal failures in that philosophy across the league. That’s obviously not a cure-all for anything. They’re pocketing a lot of money for instance on the rebuild process.

“This is the first time in the history of 30 years of free agency, 30-plus years, where a major-market team has intentionally gone into seasons rebuilding with youth and on the cheap. They’re not doing it (by) scaling back ticket prices to any degree that matters – they’re still the third-highest prices in the game. I don’t know what they’re saying they’re selling, but it’s not competitive baseball. They’re selling Theo, they’re selling hope.”

The Cubs have seemingly been trying to emulate the Red Sox’s model of rebuilding in an old ballpark, but Wittenmyer thinks they’re even failing at that.

“The Boston Red Sox have been their model for growing revenue and making an old ballpark work and the whole thing,” he said. “If you go back and look at what the Red Sox did, they won in ’04, they won in ’07 and then they went crazy trying to capitalize on that. That’s when most of the changes, the significant major changes in marketing that team took place and shutting down the streets and modifications of the ballpark and a lot of the other revenue-growing things. They capitalized on winning. Here, they’re capitalizing on ‘wait ’til next year.’”

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