The Rundown: Ricketts Family Needs Serious Damage Control, League Rejects Players Economic Proposal, Dodgers Shine Light on Racial Inequality
There is a growing contingency of Cubs fans who want the Ricketts family to sell the team, but, despite a number of PR missteps since Chicago won the 2016 World Series, I still believe that they’ve done a lot of good for the organization and the community. That said, most of the family really needs a media coach, or they should just shut up altogether, especially when it comes to family finances.
Do you know what I've got no time for at the moment? Rich baseball owners crying about "losses." They're not losses. They're a temporary blip on your soaring profits in a 30-year business venture. Read the room, and all of that. YEESH. https://t.co/4H3RPnOff3
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) June 3, 2020
Tom Ricketts, as the principal voice of the organization, needs to orchestrate some serious damage control. And wouldn’t you know it, I have a few ideas.
- Denounce, rather than support or make excuses for, his brother Pete for patently and condescendingly dividing race with his remarks at a general assembly last week.
- Stop crying poor and asking for financial sympathy from Cubs fans. He and his family own a team that has an estimated value of $3.2 billion. They also own or have a financial stake in a growing number of businesses near Wrigley Field. It’s time to cut the crap or open the books.
- Be more transparent on the team’s lack of spending in recent seasons. Dropping the hammer of frugality and then passing the buck to his front office is pure cowardice.
- Let Laura Ricketts have a bigger voice. Please.
- Stop avoiding Cubs fans at the team’s winter fan convention. The family panel that used to be an annual event is far more important than the guest spots with pandering radio hosts. Though the franchise is not publicly traded, the team’s fans and the neighboring community are its stakeholders and deserve a platform where concerns and comments will be heard and addressed.
- Reach an agreement and end the nonsense with Sammy Sosa. Exiling one of the greatest players in the team’s history, and a fan favorite, is an astoundingly dumb power play. Though Sosa has humbled himself recently, Cubs fans — at least for the most part — aren’t demanding apologies or confessions. That’s all on Ricketts.
- Step in and finalize the agreement between Comcast and Marquee. Half of the team’s viewing audience is caught in the crosshairs of those negotiations. I understand the need to respect the hierarchy of the organization and I am not diminishing the role of Crane Kenney in talks. In fact, I truly believe Comcast is the villain in this instance. Sometimes disputes call for upper level support, however, and this may be one of those times.
As Cubs fans, we are all grateful that Mr. Ricketts has engineered a complete reversal of the franchise since taking ownership. He cannot, and should not, be allowed to continually rest on those laurels.
Cubs News & Notes
- The Ricketts family is responsible for pretty much the only organizational news at the moment and I’ve already covered that. I am a little surprised that Cubs players have not been more vocal about ownership during the stoppage of play.
- I do applaud the efforts that the sitting Nebraska governor has taken to make amends after his egregious faux pas. Pete Ricketts shouldn’t stop there, though. A lot of the state is hurting financially due to COVID-19 and racial discord, and he can help a great deal on both fronts.
Find Your Inner Hero
I will accept the Dodgers as a friend…today. When the games start, the rivalry is back on.
Tonight, the Dodgers joined families across Los Angeles in shining our Dodger Stadium lights into the sky at 9 pm for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in recognition of George Floyd. The Dodgers join all Angelenos in this peaceful display of unity to shine a light in the darkness. pic.twitter.com/sGlM6UpuXi
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 4, 2020
Odds & Sods
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees took a stand yesterday that has upset a great number of his peers and fans, while stirring racial divide, though I do not believe that was his intent. We forget at times that he, too, has a right to his opinion, whether we agree or disagree. That does not exclude him from being fair game in the court of public opinion.
Apropos of Nothing
I’ve come to realize that I miss the voices of MLB Network analysts Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds, Billy Ripken, and Eric Byrnes. Now that’s really missing baseball!
MLB News & Notes
The league has officially rejected the economic proposal by the MLBPA and will not make a counter offer.
If the 2020 season is forfeited, it could have a catastrophic impact on the future of the game.
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson singled out Rob Manfred for his role in the disintegrating negotiations between the owners and players.
The daft notion of a scheduling a season of 50 games or less appears to be Manfred’s idea.
Despite the impasse in negotiations, the league will conduct its annual first year player draft next Wednesday and Thursday. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has the Cubs selecting OF Garrett Mitchell of UCLA in the first round of his latest mock.
Free agent outfielder Yasiel Puig intends to “demand necessary change” in regard to this country’s growing racial divide.
If no season is played, outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and second baseman Jason Kipnis could be officially listed as former Cubs players on their baseball resumes without having played a single game for the organization. It also means we may have seen the last of Daniel Descalso.
When life becomes a burden that seems too heavy to shoulder at times, it’s fun to turn to happier times. I’m really looking forward to the ESPN documentary Long Gone Summer so I can relive the exploits of Sosa, Mark McGwire, and their global impact on growing the game’s audience during the summer of 1998. It airs a week from Sunday.
Sliding Into Home
I do not understand unfollowing a person on social media because you disagree with his/her point of view. It is important to remain informed, and hearing or reading contrarian opinions is a strong educational utility, unless responses bleed into your personal space. Sure, you have to have the fortitude to handle a myriad of emotions at times, but canceling a person eliminates your voice of opposition. Some use social media to satisfy their urges of rubbing elbows, so to speak, with the elite. Few of those individuals reciprocate the sense of pride you attached to following them in the first place. Don’t let your reverence silence you or push you away.
They Said It
- “There are scenarios where not playing at all can be a better financial option, but we’re not looking at that. We want to play. We want to get back on the field. … I’m not aware of any owners that don’t want to play. We just want to get back on the field in a way that doesn’t make this season financially worse for us.” – Tom Ricketts
Thursday Walk Up Song
Living for the City by Stevie Wonder – As relevant today as it was nearly 50 years ago.