Scoreboard Watching

This morning the CEO of the Chicago Cubs issued a PSA to the fans of the Chicago Cubs and to the City of Chicago. In it he discussed his displeasure not only with the lack of success by his team, but the inability to work out an agreement with the rooftop owners who have long disputed his plans to expand and renovate Wrigley Field. In the six-minute video an embedded Tom Ricketts brings the fans into the clubhouse and shows fans how mediocre the accommodations are for his players and how far behind the Cubs are when compared to the other 29 baseball clubs in the majors. Ricketts shows models of his expanded proposal as initially announced at the Cubs Convention in 2013 and tells us why his proposed renovations are needed.

According to Ricketts, while the the Cubs might have state-of-the-art facilities in Mesa, Arizona and the Dominican Republic, at home field the team is lacking the basic necessities required to field the most competitive ballclub he can. Ricketts mentions Fenway Park and the signs that generate additional revenue that can be used to help the club and the experience. He also mentions competitors in the division like the Cardinals and Pirates who do not suffer the Cubs’ plight.

Tom Ricketts argues that it is his right under the guidelines to move forward with the renovations in spite of the disagreement with the rooftop owners. He would say that Wrigley is one of the highest-visited tourist attractions in the state of Illinois and that his stadium helps to generate hundreds of millions of dollars – not only for the team, but for the surrounding area and the city because of his landmark.

Ricketts is whining that he’s sick and tired of dealing with the people who are impeding his attempt to field a competitive ballclub and, dammit, he’s not going to take it anymore. I say good for him; he owns the team and the stadium and it’s completely ridiculous that he has to pander to a group of landlords who make boatloads of cash off his product. His team hasn’t won a World Series in over a hundred years and while he understands that it’s not completely because of the park, the inability to generate more revenue and make the Cubs a more attractive place to play for free agents does play a role.

The Cubs lost a heartbreaker to the Yankees yesterday on an absolutely spectacular day in the Chire. I don’t know if this was the straw that broke the camels back, but it probably couldn’t have hurt when deciding when to launch this video. Having the Yankees come to town and bring with it a sold-out crowd must’ve been a good time to shed to light the fact that the park needs to improved for all .