MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs have not yet picked an architect to build their new Spring Training complex, but the club expects to break ground in the fall and hopes to have it completely ready by February 2014.
Todd Ricketts, one of the team's owners who is coordinating the Cubs' Spring Training efforts, stopped by the team's facility on Friday for an update. Last November, Mesa voters overwhelmingly approved plans for an $84 million complex in the Riverview Park area.
The Cubs might be able to use the new complex for the 2013 Arizona Fall League season, but it will not be ready until the following Spring Training.
Ricketts has met with the Cubs' athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches and Minor League coordinators to get their wish list for the 50,000-square foot facility. The team is still deciding whether to combine the Minor League and Major League complex, or have them separate.
A 15,000-seat stadium will also be built on the site. The Cubs' current ballpark, HoHoKam Park, seats 12,500.
Ricketts has toured all of the Cactus League facilities and taken notes. This spring, the Rockies and D-backs open their new shared complex.
"There has been a 'Keep up with the Joneses' mentality with all these Spring Training facilities," Ricketts said. "We're less about the glitz and we're more about the business.
"We want a facility that will be able to help us win. That's what we're looking for. I don't know if that means having a state of the art hydrotherapy table or not. We'll have some of those things, but at the end of the day, it's simple -- getting your body in shape and getting the players ready to play. It's a simple thing -- you just need a little space to do it."
The new stadium may have the same dimensions as Wrigley Field. However, 368 feet to the gap in Chicago will play differently in Arizona, where balls tend to carry.
"The thing that is going to be different with our [complex] is we're taking a little different approach in how we integrate that retail component with the stadium and the fan experience," Ricketts said. "There are a lot of things that have been done."
Fukudome understands consistency is key
MESA, Ariz. -- Kosuke Fukudome, entering the last year of his contract, said he'd like to stay with the Cubs beyond this season but admits he needs to be more consistent.
Fukudome batted .344 last April, but he also had a .189 June and a .162 July. The outfielder rebounded in August, hitting .365, and finished the season at .263 -- his best average in three seasons. He also set a personal high with 13 home runs.
"There were some times I was good and bad," Fukudome said Friday. "I need to be consistent so I can have good results."
The outfielder isn't worried about playing time, even though Tyler Colvin had an impressive rookie season in 2010 and will be challenging him for at-bats. Cubs manager Mike Quade has to rotate four players in three spots as Fukudome, Colvin, Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano all want to start.
"I don't think about the other guys," Fukudome said through interpreter Hiro Aoyama. "I just need to do what I can do. I need to take care of myself first so I can be a better player."
Fukudome, who bought a house in Chicago, is in the final year of his four-year, $48 million contract.
"The Chicago Cubs are the first team I came to when I came into the United States, so if I could stay, that would be great," Fukudome said. "It's not my decision to make. We'll see what's going to happen."
That said, he's not satisfied with his performance so far.
"I'm getting better little by little, and I just need to put everything together and get better," Fukudome said.
It was difficult for Fukudome to handle a part-time role last year, but he said he learned from that experience.
"Hopefully after this, I can deal with it better," he said.
Cubs to honor Santo, Mesa community
MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs will pay tribute to late broadcaster Ron Santo on March 10 and host a pair of special days at Spring Training games to thank Mesa voters for their support last fall of Proposition 420 to keep the Cubs in the city.
It will be "Ron Santo Day" when the Cubs play host to the Indians at HoHoKam Park. Santo passed away Dec. 2, and this will be one of many tributes to the former Cubs third baseman and broadcaster.
Mesa Little Leaguers, campaign supporters and volunteers will receive special pre-game recognition at two games this spring as thanks for their help passing the measure to authorize financing for a new Cubs Spring Training facility in the city.
On Feb. 27, the Cubs' Cactus League opener against the Athletics, it will be "Mesa Little League Day." The team will host 400 Little Leaguers and their parents, and include young ballplayers in on-field activities prior to the game.
The Cubs also will recognize supporters and volunteers at "Thank You Mesa Day" on March 7 when the Cubs face the Angels. About 250 people who helped on the Proposition 420 campaign will meet with the Ricketts family before the game and be honored in an on-field ceremony. Members of the Mesa City Council will simultaneously toss the game's ceremonial first pitch.
The Cubs have not broken ground on the new complex, which is expected to be ready for Spring Training 2014.
Cubs set for first full-squad workout on Saturday
MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs manager Mike Quade meets with the full squad on Saturday for his first official pep talk of the 2011 season.
The session, scheduled for everyone in the weight room at Fitch Park before the workout, will give Quade the chance to "lay down a little bit of the direction I'd like to see us going, some things I'd like to do, both philosophically and technically."
Quade, who replaced Lou Piniella in August, said he needs to set the tone from the start.
"I'm not allowed to say, 'I'd like this and this' from my club this year, and 'I'd like this and this' coming out of Spring Training, if I don't stress that with them," Quade said. "They're not going to get that by osmosis."
Alfonso Soriano stopped by the Cubs' facility Thursday, and the only position players who have not shown up at Fitch Park are third baseman Aramis Ramirez and shortstop Starlin Castro. Quade wasn't worried about Castro, since he played winter ball in the Dominican Republic and also had two weeks of instruction by Cubs coaches Ivan DeJesus and Franklin Font.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.