There’s No Politics In Baseball, This Is Baseball


April 5, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs owners Todd Ricketts (left) and Tom Ricketts (right) speak before the game against the Washington Nationals on opening day at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

In high school, one of my favorite classes was international relations. In this class we would discuss current events in regards to both American and World politics. Talking about politics is something that I enjoy doing. But there is one forum in which I refrain from talking about politics, and that is here at Cubbies Crib.

I have always operated under the thought that sports and politics should be two separate entities. Following this rule is rather simple considering it is not often that the politics are apparent in discussing about the Chicago Cubs.

But this theory has been tested in recent weeks. The test comes from Joe Ricketts, the father of the Rickets’ clan that are the Cubs’ ownership. It should be mentioned yet again that Joe Ricketts has no connection to the Cubs organization. Though, that does not mean that his actions do not affect how the Ricketts’ sibling operate the Chicago Cubs on a daily basis.

Joe Ricketts recently supported a plan that is known as the “Ricketts Plan”. The Ricketts plan is an anti-Obama campaign that is determined to removing Obama from the White House. In his support of the plan, Joe Ricketts made some controversial comments about the President of the United States of America. Considering the last name, Joe’s comments created a “distraction” for Cubs’ chairman Tom Ricketts.

Remember, Tom Ricketts is currently in the middle of negotiations with the city of Chicago to grant the Cubs $15o million through public funding to improve and renovate Wrigley Field. Taking part in these negotiations is Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. In fact, Emanuel is the one who has the authority to grant the Cubs public funds in order to renovate Wrigley Field. Prior to being elected as Chicago Mayor, Emanuel was the Chief of Staff of the Obama administration. Emanuel is close friends with President Obama and there has been speculation that the comment made by Tom’s father may affect the Cubs deal with the city in securing public funds for a Wrigley Field renovation.

However, the expectation is that a deal between the Cubs and the city of Chicago is close. Though, in order to settle any concerns, Ricketts has been campaigning around the city of Chicago in order to generate support for the Cubs and their efforts in trying to renovate Wrigley Field. To go along with this process, Ricketts has distanced his father from the Cubs’ organization.

In an interview with the “Mully and Hanley” show on 670 The Score this morning, Ricketts said his father “doesn’t really have anything to do with running the team.” Ricketts explained that the money used to purchase team was set aside over a decade ago in a trust that was solely intended for the Ricketts’ children. Thus, dispelling the notion that the Ricketts’ siblings used their father’s money to purchase the Chicago Cubs franchise.

This is a non-story. Though, this non-story has created a distraction for Tom Ricketts in his efforts to secure public funds from the city of Chicago in order to renovate Wrigley Field. When all is said and done, a deal between the city of Chicago and the Cubs will be reached. Though, one would have to consider how the public will react to such a deal.

The Ricketts are asking for public money, not private money. Meaning the money is coming directly from the taxpayers of Chicago. In other words, the money is coming directly from you–the fan. The fan sentiment has long controlled how the Cubs’ front office has operated. Tom, Theo Epstein, and Jed Hoyer have preached patience. Though this time, the Cubs are preaching for your patience while asking for your money. The Cubs and Wrigley Field are going to benefit in the long-term; short-term, however, Cubs fans may be on the verge of becoming restless.

Baseball is a gentlemen’s game; Politics is a gentlemen’s discussion, no wonder the two entities can not stay separate.