Monday, May 21, 2012

Let Wrigley Field crumble

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts
The Cubs can't get out of their own way.

The White Sox are relaxing today with a day off after taking batting practice on the Northside this weekend. There were so many balls bouncing on Waveland Avenue that some of the residents thought Iran had figured out their missile technology. The Sox completed the sweep of the hapless Cubbies behind stellar pitching, flawless defense and solid at-bats. 

 Before the season I really thought that the Cubs might turn their ship around with their new Chairman, Tom Ricketts , their proven General Manager from the Red Sox, Theo Epstein, and their stable of bright young talent, Starlin Castro, Bryan LaHair and Darwin Barney. I really thought they could compete, but alas, they look like the same old Cubbies crawling along the cellar floor of the NL Central.

As if having a crappy team isn’t distraction enough, Tom Ricketts seems to have gotten on the wrong side of the Democratic Mayor, Rahm Emanuel.  It seems that the Cubs are in dire need of $300 million to refurbish that relic that they call a ballpark. They’ve had their palm dug into the city coffers for the desired funding and then just this last week the news came out that the Ricketts family is funding a scathing anti-Obama political ad with SuperPAC money.

“I wouldn’t say it’s embarrassing. [But] it obviously was a distraction nobody wanted. I don’t think anybody in the family was pleased to see that article” in the New York Times about the ill-fated anti-Obama ad campaign, Tom Ricketts said.
Cubs prospect rests after a long at-bat

Of course, this begs the question: if the Ricketts have money to throw away on political ads, then why do they need public funds for their beloved privately-owned ballpark?  Are the people of Chicago best served having their dinner disturbed with political rhetoric and lies on TV while Wrigley Field gets a Jumbotron and new toilets at taxpayer expense?  Doubtful.

The miscalculation by Ricketts is that while Mayor Emanuel may not have the only say in this matter, he certainly has some influence....and he may just as well like to see the Wrigley crumble.

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