Just Wait ‘Til Next Year
Cubs fans are a weirdly persistent lot; they would follow their team to the ends of the Earth. So much so that many teams like to play the Cubs at home because their usually empty stadiums are filled with concessions-buying Cubbie blue. And they know their team, from knowing oddball songs from decades ago to the story behind every crooked brick or wall stain at Wrigley Field. And they know the deal, too: they hate the Cardinals (but love St. Louis fans), and refuse to hate the White Sox no matter how much Fox gins up the rivalry between the two teams.
Looks like they should know the score about President Obama, too. The Cubs are North Side team (meaning they appeal to the Northeast, Northwest, West Sides, and suburbs, whereas the Sox appeal largely to the Bridgeport neighborhood and Oak Lawn, Illinois). The North Side is loaded with liberals and Democrat-voting union members, and they were a little turned off when Obama said he was a Sox fan but couldnt name a single player on the team.
This, though, they can forgive because it appears Obama knows jack about baseball anyway. But one thing Cubs fans cannot forgive is outright betrayal.
The Cubs are recently owned by Tom Ricketts (et alia), who is running an experiment this season to see if the Cubs can win an appreciable amount of games with no pitching, no hitting, no discernable fielding skills, and a lack of player interest. So far, the answer is no.
But Ricketts has already cleaned out about half of the Cubs thick-headed roster, and needs another season or two to clean out the rest of the dead wood. He also has an ambitious plan to renovate Wrigley Field and turn it from a state park weather shelter into a world class ballpark without eliminating its sense of humor and quirkily welcoming nature. To do this, he needs the assistance of the City of Chicago, which (unlike most big cities) carefully guards its architecture and neighborhood atmospheres. You just cannot tear down Wrigley because you want to: you need the citys blessing.
Oh, and cash. The city and Ricketts were in talks to generate up to $100 million in tax incentives to help pay for the massive overhaul. This is great for Chicago, and great for the Cubs.
Until the last couple of days. Joe Ricketts, Toms father, has been allegedly tied to underwriting an effort to investigate the link between President Obama and Jeremiah Wright. When news of this surfaced, Mayor Rahm Emanuel sought to kill the deal to punish Tom Ricketts for the sins of the father.
In other words, vote against Obama, and you lose in Chicago.
Except, it appears that Joe Ricketts did not write a check for an investigation. And Tom is not his father. But the message is clear anyway. They can punish Tom more easily, and so they shall.
Folks up and down the Internet are of two minds on this issue: first, shame on the Democrats for using the Cubs as a political weapon; it really shows how desperate they have become (the Democrats, not the Cubs). And it shows how pathetically thin-skinned they are about this election. Both ugly traits.
However, a lot of people on both sides of the spectrum are calling Ricketts hypocrites for allegedly leaning Republicanwanting less government involvement and spendingand running to the City of Chicago with a hand out, asking for $100 million in tax dollars when they, themselves, are worth billions.
The Czar takes a different approach. Tom Ricketts is thinking like a CEO. Why should he pay $100 million more for a renovation of Wrigley Field when someoneeven if it is the cityis willing to hand you that much. Is it not his job, as CEO, to seek every possible funding source unless exhausted? You dont like the city council giving Ricketts $100 million? Vote out your alderman. But dont blame Ricketts for using the Cubs brand as a marketing lever. The Cubs have generated a lot more than that for the city.
But this is no different than when liberals blasted Paul Ryan for accepting government money after the death of his father, in an attempt to cast him as a hypocrite about government spending. In fact, it is the same thing.
One has nothing to do with the other (it is more a fallacy of the undivided middle), but merely exists as a distraction to the big issue: the President is penalizing a business owner for not overtly endorsing his Presidency.
Hell, the Cubs put up with Alfonso Soriano because he comes up with the desultory home run; but even they should insist on trading this Milton Bradley of a president.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.