It wasn’t that long ago that the only headlines the Chicago baseball team known as the Cubs made was when reporters would tongue-in-cheekily assert that their World Series victory may come ‘maybe next year.’ Since the Ricketts bought Wrigley and everything involved with the Chicago Cubs, there is little talk about the team. It’s all about the Ricketts and their multiple dramaa. Quite incredibly, the family who owns the team is now even squabbling a with a presidential candidate. They are having their latest embarrassing battle on the public stage with Republican front-runner Donald Trump, according to the USA Today on Monday.
The last time the Ricketts made the headlines – very recently – it was over the increased ticket prices to see a Cubs game next season. It was reported with the asinine assertion that it’s better for the fans that the price goes up. Really, that was the jist of the logic that many reports claimed. The reason was allegedly that the higher price for tickets – as the team becomes more popular due to its more-successful past season – will help ensure that the true Cubs fans will get to see the team play.
The fault in this lack-of-logic is, of course, that the extent of one’s loyalty and adoration of the Cubs has nothing to do with the amount of money he has to spend on a ticket. For all the Ricketts really know, the biggest Chicago Cubs fan in the world may be one of those homeless people on the street corner begging for change during the games.
So Ricketts’ family matriarch Marlene Ricketts donated an incredible $3 million to an anti-Trump super PAC. The PAC is called Our Principles PAC. Public-accessible campaign finance reports that were filed over the weekend disclosed that Marlene Rickett’s donation was the largest received by the PAC. The irony according to many is that as the Cubs’ ticket prices skyrocket higher than Chicago’s tallest skyscraper, the family has money to allegedly buy its political influence. Many are asserting that it would be more than appropriate – in fact, it would be honorable – if the Ricketts keep ticket prices down in these times, even if it means having to swallow their need to be political influencers.
When Trump learned of the incredible dollar amount spent by the Ricketts’ matriarch to harm his chances in the presidential run, he reacted in typical Trump style. He fought back, as we now know. Trump pointed out that the family was secretly spending money against him – and warned that they better be careful because they have a lot to hide. In typical media style, the media turned on Trump for the threat rather than asking the obvious question which many would like to know: What are the Ricketts hiding, Donald? So, let it be asked here by someone is curious as to what Donald knows about the Cubs-owning Ricketts that the rest of us don’t know. What is it that the Ricketts are hiding, Donald?
Besides the Ricketts-Trump controversy, the Ricketts-Chicago controversies, the Ricketts-neighborhood rooftop owners controversies, there have been Ricketts’ family versus Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel controversies as well. The Ricketts-Emanuel feuds date back at least four years, according to a Washington Post report, when it got to the point that Rahm Emanuel was refusing to return calls from the Ricketts family. In Esquire Magazine-fashion, the Ricketts story made headlines. That story went beyond a mere presidential candidate. That story involved the allegation that Joe Ricketts commissioned a proposal for a multimillion-dollar ad campaign linking President Barack Obama to the president’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright. Apparently, need to be politically impactful dates back.
Reading about the Wrigleys and the Cubs used to be fun. It was a heck of a lot of fun – even for non-diehard sports fans. With the Ricketts, the fun is gone for some of us – maybe for most of us. Maybe the Ricketts can finally make enough money and get any thrills that can possibly be had by being politically impactful, and then just pack up and become part of Chicago’s history. Maybe they can let someone else own the Cubs – someone who doesn’t need the Ricketts-styled drama and who will put the spotlight back on the team and the game. Someone – anyone – who knows how to bring fun back into the game of baseball for Chicago’s Northsiders and beyond.