(desperate to restructure, FitzSimons offers all Trib assets)
Crain’s Chicago Business reports today that the Chicago Cubs, just last May deemed by Tribco an American institution Not For Sale, is now on the block. For those out there who like to bash corporate America as soulless two-faced liars who’ll say anything o make money and put greed before the national good — well, yeah, but today’s soulless about face works for me.
The Chicago Tribune said the company’s newspapers may go private, with its television stations and possibly the Cubs spun off. A proposal from Washington, D.C.-based private-equity firm Carlyle Group to purchase the television stations for more than $4 billion still stands.
Also, this week’s Cubs Mailbag includes Cub fan Adrian B of Green Bay already in line for World Series tickets, another fan demanding a loyalty oath from Jacque Jones, another who named her black cat “Wrigley,” but a surprising admission from MLB’s Carrie Muskat in that there’s only one reason Sosa isn’t on the Cubs today.
Q: Other than the fact that Sammy Sosa and Cubs general manager Jim Hendry don’t get along, wouldn’t picking up Sammy have been better than Floyd? I mean, Sosa has said he feels like he’s in better shape than ever before, making me think he would be better to play right or left. What would you say?
— Jeremy C., Chicago
A: The Cubs wanted help in the form of a left-handed hitter. Sosa is a right-handed hitter.
9 thoughts on “Cubs Finally on the Table”
The Cubs are the duddiest investment out there short of the Scooter Libby defense fund. They’ve got an irreplaceable ballpark (until it disintegrates in the next year or three) that’s already maxed out in terms of capacity and pricing; Cub fans will never accept going to a game at “Wrigley Field at Boeing Park” or somesuch abomination so naming rights as revenue stream are out of the question. The Trib’s spending spree this winter was just a fresh coat of paint on a rusted machine. Basically their only hope is for an Abramovitch or Cuban-type to use his own fortune to keep them floating, but I’d be perfectly happy if the Wirtz family decided to make them part of their craptocracy- excuse me, holdings.
Actually, the Cubs are one of the few moneymachines the Tribco has right now and a large part of that is Wrigley Field, if one goes by the W-L column. “The Wrigley Experience,” as Philip K. Wrigley used to call it, was what the owners have made sure they got right since WW II and the Cubs as a baseball team second â€“ or third, once they hired Harry Caray.
Cub fans will never accept going to a game at â€œWrigley Field at Boeing Parkâ€
well the place is already named after one local company, after the initial hue and cry (and obligatory knee-jerk columns from marriotti, mike north, etc.) no one would notice. look at u.s. cellular field, everyone still calls it sox park so what does the official name matter?
Comiskular, The Cell, Comiskey, New Comiskey, and Cominskey probably all beat out Sox Park in popularity. But this is about the Cubs, and I don’t want to distract.
Cub followers by and large are so drenched in their own sappy prelapsarian mythos that there would be mass suicides in Lakeview if Wrigley ever bore another name – for crikey’s sake, there’s still grumbling about the lights. “Wrigley” as a corporate presence is pretty much hollow; the park was named after William Wrigley for being an investor in the ballclub, not for owning the chewing gum company. Sure, everyone would go on calling it “Wrigley” but the junta that let something as sacrosanct as the name of the park go on the market would be vilified pretty badly. The Sox analogy isn’t apt because, well, the Sox do things like selling the naming rights to the times of their games. All the Sox do is shill. Darin Erstad has already tried selling me “Duragizer” batteries and oversized bags of Peanut M&M’s for his “youth league” on the El.
I understood your thoughts on Wrigley, and I agree, a sale of naming rights is a long-long-longshot. Debating what team is the bigger corporate whore, however, is pretty futile considering the current owner of the Cubs. I actually find the Veeck-ish ingenuity of selling the start time to 7-11 endearing.
Good point: If Veeck were doing the 7-11 thing it would smack of cleverness and ingenuity; but with Reinsdorf in charge it’s just this side of putting “Vote Daley” on the front of their jerseys.
Still, in all this intracity squabbling Cubs and Sox fans tend to forget who the real baseball villains in the area are: those goddamn Kane County Cougars.
maybe it’s because i work with dudes who are all in their 50s & 60s but all i ever hear it referred to as is “sox park”. of course they also call wrigley “cubs park” so i guess i should be taking all this with grains of salt.
And in Indiana, it’s “Cubs Stadium.” Out in hicksville, everything looks “big city” to them but in Chi it looks like a park.
Anyway,the Cubs need a new park whether Chicago has the stomach for it or not. Wrigley is what — 17th for hitters in the MLB?
Imo, losing owners like Tribco need to be traded out as much as losing players. Owners should get a license with MLB, like five years, and if you prove to be nothing but a corproate greedhead after tv money and local political clout, you should lose your license. You either make an effort to win or get out. Baseball owners benefit from all sorts of legalities due to MLB’s national pasttime status — baseball profitteers should have some limits like any other business.