Prosecard from Cubs Nation – 2013 – Anthony Huether

One of my favorite features of Prose and Ivy is the Prosecard from Cubs Nation interview. It’s great to get to know fellow Cubs fans. Today’s Prosecard features Anthony Huether, who believes in Theo Epstein and Co. and would like the restrooms at Wrigley taken care of ASAP. Take it away, Anthony:

AJ

Name: Anthony Huether

How long have you been a Cubs fan and who do you have to blame/thank?  I have been a Cubs fan from the moment I saw them on WGN Superstation and I thank my dad.  Though, he is a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, without him turning on WGN Superstation so we could watch baseball, I fear I might have been a fan of a different team.

A lot of the off-season news and even the Cubs Convention has been focused on the changes that are going to be made to Wrigley Field. Do you view these plans as improvements or would you rather them simply patch up the ‘ol place and leave it in better shape, yet looking the same?  Upgrading is fine with me.  But my thing is, don’t take the nostalgia out of Wrigley Field.  Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are stadiums that provide a link between baseball of yester-year to the modern day.  I love that.  I don’t want that gone.  Go ahead and make the stadium more modern but don’t lose the old fashion feel.  But please, please update bathrooms.

When you attend a game, do you have a favorite hangout spot around the neighborhood before or afterwards? What’s your typical game day routine as a fan like?  Before the game I have to go to Bacci’s Pizza.  So good and they have great prices.  Routine?  Chill with fans.  Going to Wrigley and watching the game is great, but when you fully interact with other loyal Cubbies, it makes everything better.

First thoughts when you hear the following words: Cardinals. Braun. Castro. Pennant. Spring Training. Opening Day. 1908. Curse. Theo.

Cardinals – We win, you lose.

Braun – You have some explaining to do.

Castro – Baez is breathing down your neck.

Pennant – 2015

Spring Training – Optimism and the bunting tournament

Opening Day – Clean slate

1908 – Far too long

Curse – Goat

Theo – The man with the plan

Looking back at the Matt Garza trade today, how do you feel about the prospects the team had to give up at the time in order to land him?

The two prospects that really come to mind are Sam Fuld and Chris Archer, who was originally part of the Mark DeRosa deal.

Sam Fuld – A guy like Tony Campana.  Everyone loved him.  Even I did.  But he wasn’t going to see playing time with the Cubs and Tampa was looking for a ready MLB player.  So it fit.  Tough to see him go, but at least he got playing time and making the SportsCenter’s Top Plays, weekly.

Chris Archer – I was a bit upset getting rid of.  He was the top pitching prospect the Cubs had.  He could be in the rotation, right now for the Cubs.  But for a team, like Tampa, they wanted a young, cheap, high potential arm.  And he fit that mold.  Tough to see him go, but for a potential ace like Garza and whatever was going on in Jim Hendry’s mind, it had to be done.

On the flip side, besides Garza, keep an eye on Zachary Rosscup.  I have seen this guy pitch.  He is a bit short, by certain standards, but he is lefty and he has a very good fastball, which he controls very well.  An interesting player, I am very interested to see if the Cubs decide to keep him or maybe a he could be a player in package deal.  I hope they keep him.

Do you have any favorite Cubs podcasts, blogs, news sources you use as go-to’s that other fans may not know about but should check out on a regular basis? World Series Dreaming.  They are always updating their Twitter and Facebook pages.  They want Cub fans to interact.  They don’t hold back.  They are a must to check out.

How do you feel about the Cubs organization as a whole? On the right track? If not, what would you like to seem them do differently?

I really do like what Theo, Jed and the rest of the organization is doing.  It is nice to see the farm system being flooded with talent. It is looking like the Cubs are willing to have more homegrown players.  Not having a payroll going to almost $180 million dollars, because the Cubs spent on big time free agents is very nice.

I liked the idea of not having Peoria as the Single-A affiliate and making it KaneCounty.  Keeping younger players closer to Chicago, that is nice.

It will be interesting to see what kind of new television deal the Cubs get, very soon.  The WGN deal expires after this season.  Seeing what the Los Angeles Dodgers got, the Cubs could be looking, more than likely, in deal similar.  And if they get that, it will be very interesting to see how the Cubs deal with the extra income.

Which Cubs season of recent years has been your favorite and why? The easy answer would 2008 but the favorite was 2007.  They started that season so poor, than the Barrett/Zambrano fight and let’s not forget about Will Ohman and him bouncing the ball to the plate.  Did you think the Cubs would come back and win the NL Central?  Probably not.  But they did and what a ride that season was.  Aramis Ramirez walk-off against the Brewers, that was the kick start to start the comeback.  That win didn’t even put the Cubs back to .500.  But it was a start.  And it was great to see Kerry Wood pitching, out of the bullpen, again.

What are you most looking forward to seeing this Spring Training?  The bunting tournament.  Dale Sveum added some excitement to a generally boring start to Spring Training.  Other than that, I want to see how Javier Baez and Jorge Soler react to there first experience with the Cubs.

You are asked to select the next former Cub to have their own statue in front of Wrigley. Who would you select and why?
Ryne Sandberg.  Hall of Famer, best second baseman in Cubs history and the most important thing… he played, pretty much, his whole career with the Chicago Cubs.  He did play 13 games with the Phillies in 1981.

What are your expectations of the 2013 season?

To put it very simply, the Cubs will win 75 games.  Not if, it will happen.  Now, if the Cubs could catch a break here and there they could win 85 games.

In your opinion, how soon do you feel the Cubs will be in their best position to finally win another World Series title?

2015 is the year the Cubs could win the World Series.  The devolvement of Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, and Anthony Rizzo are key.  Drafting, with high picks, is huge.  A college standout, like Mark Apple, could help, right away.

Rumors out already that TampaBay is very high on the Cubs’ farm system, knowing that David Price will be traded in December of this year, 2013.  Wouldn’t that be nice to see a true ace in the Cubs rotation?

The Cubs win the World Series. How do you celebrate?

I think we all have an idea of how we would celebrate.  If in Chicago, I will be partying outside of Wrigley Field.  If not in Chicago, I got to be with my Cub friends and there will be a lot of Old Style’s going around.

Any final words to include here for Cubs fans that may be reading this? To fans of other teams that may be reading?

To Cub fans – Two things come to mind, recently.  One… Stop overreacting.  We know Matt Garza got hurt and it blew up on twitter.  Take a deep breath and relax.  He is human, he does get hurt.  Luckily, his injured occurred during the first week of Spring Training.  If he does miss the first moth of the season, he misses about five starts.  It is okay.

Two… We are trying to win a World Series.  And we will win a World Series.  And this is also a business.  Some business decisions are not favored by fans.  Example, Tony Campana.  As an organization, you must do what is best for the team.  Yes, Campana was/is loved by Cubbies, I love him too, and he will always be loved by Cubbies.  But the Cubs felt that Scott Hairston brings more to the table, and he probably will, so Campana had to move on.  We, as fans, can’t build a team around individual players we solely love.  It can’t work.  We want to win and sacrifices must be made.

To the other 31 teams:  Don’t take the Cubs lightly.  We are not going anywhere.

Thank you to Anthony for taking the time to be the first Prosecard of 2013! If you are interested in being featured in a Prosecard from Cubs Nation interview, email me and I will send you the questions right away! Go Cubs Go!

What are you waiting for?

No, no. Don’t get up.

This isn’t about you doing something. I don’t mean so much that you are sitting around doing nothing as much as literally, what are YOU waiting for? Not what are you WAITING for? What are YOU waiting for? What are we all WAITING for?

Going into a brand new season of Cubs baseball with high hopes and yet an even higher level of realistic expectations…it’s all happening again. Yet this time, it feels different. Maybe it’s because there was no big name signing over the winter to encourage delusional expectations. Maybe it’s because of the 100+ losses last season. Maybe it’s because we’ve barely started Spring Training and already you’re hearing about key injuries. (Wow, Garza, that sure was fast).

What are you waiting for? Are you waiting because you think it will all be worth it?

What are you waiting for? Are you waiting to see a new addition to the roster deliver on the promise we’ve been hearing about? Are you waiting to see if this batch of up-and-comers can do what no batch of veterans has been able to in the past?

What are you waiting for? Have you bought your tickets yet? Have you watched even one inning of Cubs baseball yet this Spring?

What are you waiting for? Are you waiting for some type of proof that this is the group of players that can end the streak? The Streak that would even take The Undertaker aback?

What are you waiting for? Are you feeling a bit of fatigue from the years and years of losing? Are you waiting to see what all the waiting was all about? Are you still waiting because you still care or are you waiting simply because you’ve been waiting so long, what would be the point of stopping now?

I could say yes and no throughout this rambling of a start to the 2013 and my answers leave me conflicted with every question I look at listed above. What am I waiting for? Maybe it’s sports. Maybe it’s the Cubs. Maybe it’s baseball. All I know is I’m tired of the waiting. I’m losing patience. I’m looking forward to the season starting but trying to not look ahead to the regular season and ignore the pre-season. Spring Training has it’s value, I need to remember that. But man, when it’s been months since meaningful Cubs baseball, the Spring sure is hard to wait through.

I think it’s even harder to wait through it as a Cubs fan. You want to see them get on the winning side of the standings again and earn more Ws than Ls as soon as possible, especially after last year…yet….with all the focus on the young talent that could fill the holes in the lineup in the future, now is the time to take advantage of the showcase. I find myself waiting for them to get here so they can contribute and make a difference in the Cubs’ drive to winning a World Series, yet I’m tired of watching the journey. Destination, please. I’m all about the journey. I understand what the journey brings to the table and what it is compared to the destination, but man, this has been one long journey.

It’s the perfect conflict and challenge I believe we all face as Cubs fans. The reboot that took place when Theo and Co. took over changed the game. The rules are the same and the obstacles remain the same, yet we’re supposed put aside the fact that we’ve already been in the game for what seems like forever despite the fact that there is a promise that the new guys off-the-field are finally the guys to get us the right guys to make it happen on-the-field. Patience is something I want to have and something I believe is worth having, especially with the stakes staying the same yet the strategy updated to potentially make more sense. The reboot has taken place but what about all the years the program was running beforehand. Something has to be said about that. That was a whole lot of waiting.

It’s hard to hang in there isn’t it? Maybe that’s what makes it all worth it? The chance to say that you hung in there through the whole journey and all the waiting?

Or maybe it’s the destination that makes it all worth it, in this case. When you go to the doctor’s office and you wait in the waiting room forever…..and then they bring you into the smaller waiting room….and to them, it’s like a reboot. Now you’re in a different situation, the wait restarts in here now…but to you…what about all the waiting you just did? And that destination is simply an uncomfortable exchange to try and decipher what’s wrong with you.

In this Cubs scenario, we’ve all waited in the big waiting room forever (unless you were alive in 1908). Now, we’ve been called into the smaller waiting room with new magazines, new statistics on the wall to read, the promise that you’re getting closer to where you need to be, just need to wait a little more time. Perhaps the journey becomes something you can look back on in a more favorable light once you reach the destination. I’m sure that’s what it is. ‘We’ll look back at this and laugh’. That sort of thing.

Where do you stand in your devotion to the Cubs? What are you waiting for? And do feel it’s more of a ‘What are YOU waiting for?’ in a postive way, or when you reflect on your time supporting this team in their quest to win a World Series, do you look at your journey and time waiting in more of a negative light? More of a ‘What are you WAITING for?’

To officially answer for myself, I’m waiting to see this crop of players prove themselves as the guys that give us the best chance to win and I’m waiting for the destination of a World Series championship to arrive so I can look back fondly at the journey, at the wait.

Ironically, I’m waiting to wait again.

Now, that’s something worth waiting for. Go Cubs Go!

Extreme-Lee Good Timing