The Cubs will move into a new spring-training facility next year with a 9,000-square-foot weight room, whirlpools, TVs galore in the clubhouse and iPod docking stations at every locker. Thanks to a bold threat to move their spring home to Naples, Fla., if they didn't get what they wanted from the city of Mesa, the Cubs will be living the high life with what they feel will be the best spring-training complex in the major leagues. Asked if the new digs will spoil the players, manager Dale Sveum replied Thursday: "No, everybody else has it. … We're just trying to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak." Actually, it's more like keeping up with the Henrys, as in principal Red Sox owner John Henry, the apparent role model of Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. From the spring-training complex to the proposed renovations of Wrigley Field to the concept of turning Sheffield Avenue into Yawkey Way on game days, the Cubs basically are trying to emulate the financial success of the Red Sox, hoping it also translates into a winner on the field. That's one reason why Ricketts hired Theo Epstein from the Red Sox. Epstein in turn acquired former Boston slugging prospect Anthony Rizzo. It's not entirely accurate to call the Cubs' new spring-training home "The House That Theo Built," but Epstein's game plan of being an annual contender by 2015 is in sync with the move to the new site in 2014. Sveum, who was given a tour of the construction site Wednesday, admitted that having better training facilities isn't a panacea for the 104-year championship drought. So how much of a difference can a new complex make to victory totals?
New Cubs facility should draw players and revenue
Chicago Tribune | Feb 15