Cubs: Tom Ricketts’ latest comments should irritate fans

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Five years ago the Chicago Cubs were about to embark on a historic season. Today, though, Cubs fans are wondering what went wrong? Chairman Tom Ricketts seems to be a major factor in all of it as his approach following the World Series championship 2016 season has driven a wedge between ownership, fans and the club itself.

Apropos of any criticism he would inevitably face, Ricketts spoke freely at a seminar on sports and the pandemic on Wednesday, gave his opinion, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune‘s Paul Sullivan, about the upcoming season, and, specifically the pitching depth of the team.

"“Oh, we do. We’re fine. I’m really pumped about this team. I really, really am. We’ve got plenty of pitching. We’ll be all right.”"

Ricketts is well within his right to offer up his opinion regarding the status of the club, and more so in outwardly exhibiting excitement. The issue, however fans wish to spin it, is Ricketts’ self-aggrandizing attitude and pompousness in trying to justify the many missteps that have occurred in the past few months. Speaking of which, where are those “wheelbarrows of cash”, Tom?

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It began with the decision to deal NL Cy Young runner-up Yu Darvish along with his battery mate Victor Caratini to the San Diego Padres in a move to dump salary. It followed with the discouraging release of longtime leader Jon Lester who “would have played for just about anything.” Amidst the pandemic sweeping the country, last year, Ricketts alluded to “biblical” losses more than once.

Cubs fans need to hold Tom Ricketts accountable for his actions

The Ricketts family, as a whole, has a net worth of $5.3 billion. For $5 billion you could effectively buy a trip to the moon for yourself and two friends and still have $500 million left over for snacks. It isn’t about a rebuild. It is about Ricketts’ miserly behavior. Let’s just call a spade a spade.

In the same piece from Sullivan, Ricketts also spoke on the challenge of handling fans’ frustration as there were not a lot of answers early on in the pandemic.

"“When are we going to play? When are we going to get our season ticket money back? How is this all going to work? We just didn’t know for a long time. We appreciate all the patience of all the fans who waited until we had good answers to give them.”"

Ricketts even discussed transparency and the importance of truth.

"“I do think it’s very important to stay transparent with your fans. It’s not like they can’t figure it out  if you’re not telling them the truth. They’re going to know it pretty soon.”"

It’s difficult to know where to even begin. Holding an optimistic attitude about the future of the team is fine. To be excited for the plethora of prospects working their way through the organization is great. However, it is unnerving to hear Ricketts speak so openly about the focus and direction of this team as though it is business as usual, because, that is not the case.

The slew of minor league deals with lackluster veteran free agents followed up by major league deals for both Joc Pederson and Jake Arrieta create that perception in justifying the team has done something to help the cause heading into the 2021 season.

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In reality, it doesn’t feel to be the case. To blindly buy into the willful ignorance will do nothing for Ricketts or Cubs fans, moving into the next decade of Chicago Cubs baseball.