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Date Posted: 21:52:00 08/29/02 Thu
Fan and Fan Too:
No need to e-mail privately, this is a public forum and I'll be glad to do my best to answer your concerns.
First, let me say that I do understand your viewpoint and I think everything you've brought up is legitimate.
We could indeed have done a better job on the final day of the season - in fact, we could have done a better job throughout the season, as there is always room for improvement.
As general manager, I cannot blame anyone but myself for what happened and didn't happen, and I surely won't try to deflect that responsibility.
You ask if you can be assured that in future years, things will be done differently - I will assure you of just that, and hold myself accountable to accomplish this. This was a challenging, learning year for me and for all of us, and there is a long list of things we will do differently in 2003.
Having said that, please accept this as my apology for the things that did not go as planned in 2002. Behind the scenes, many reasons can be given for the difficulties we faced. Obviously, I won't go into those reasons here, I will only again accept full responsibility for those difficulties.
I hope that we can find the positive in 2002 - attendance was up, food was better, our on-field team was much improved - and build on that. In any season, things go wrong, and my challenge for 2003 is to identify those things and change them. Your input helps in that. However, in 2002 many, many things went right.
I did read the article in the Star this morning, and while the writer has a number of legitimate points, Mr. DiSabato gained all of his impressions from one evening of baseball, not a full season, and a number of his opinions were misinformed. As a small example, he criticized our uniforms - on Tuesday, the team chose to wear their batting practice tops. Mr. DiSabato didn't ask anyone about this, yet pointed it out as a criticism. However, his input also will go into part of our decision making for 2003.
We at the Cheetahs are glad there's a forum like this one to express both good and not-so-good opinions. As the season progresses, we tend to put our heads down in the day-to-day grind of putting on our season, and forums like this help us to see things we should, but perhaps don't.
I guess all I can do is promise to do my best in 2003 and make Hawkinson Ford Field a more fan-friendly place to be. I'm constantly made aware of the things that are wrong with the Cheetahs, and I hope you will believe me when I tell you that I am listening and will do my best to improve for the 2003 season and beyond.
Thank you again for your input.
Chuck Heeman, General Manager
Cook County Cheetahs Baseball Club
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