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Tom Ricketts says the Cubs will move if they don’t get their jumbotron and stuff

May 1, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT

This morning, speaking at a news conference regarding the recently-unveiled plans for Wrigley Field, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts made a threat:


It doesn’t seem like a credible threat. While Rosemont, IL has made an offer of free land (how serious that offer is is quite unclear) it’s not like there are any suspects around Chicago who would be willing to foot the bill for a new stadium. And while Ricketts himself is willing to spend hundreds of millions on the Wrigley renovations, I highly doubt he’s willing to spend the 3-5 times as much it would take to build a new ballpark himself.

The only real impediment to the Cubs doing what they want to do with Wrigley are the rooftop owners who may try to sue if their view is blocked and their contract rights violated (they are in a business deal with the Cubs to split the rooftop revenue).  Those folks, like most folks, likely have a price. And that price is way, way less than what it would take to the move the Cubbies out of Wrigley, both in terms of dollars and the terrible P.R. hit.

  1. baseballicious - May 1, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Rightttt…and Scarlett Johansson is my baby’s momma.

  2. chacochicken - May 1, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Any time they threat of moving is made as leverage in a hostage negotiation, the owner should be publicly beaten with a garden hose.

    • cur68 - May 1, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      Careful man. You’re advocating violence against an American. Check out the Psy thread from why you don’t wanna do that. Who knows? One day, The Chicken could be famous. So famous Vin Scully would be able to roll his eyes at The Chicken’s lame dancing. Then these words will come back to haunt The Chicken. The Faux Outrage will stretch on through the morning and deep, deep into the afternoon. This, long, LONG after any sane person should have ceased to give a tiny mouse crap WHAT The Chicken thinks about Americans and Garden Hose Beatings.

      Think of your legacy, man…I mean, bird…or whatever a “chacochicken” is.

      • chacochicken - May 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        We used to publicly beat people all the time. That was what made America great. Do you, sir, a “near-American” want to take away my right to pseudo-threaten a fellow countrymen via the information super-highway? Just back up, man. If you outlaw garden hoses then only outlaws will have garden hoses.

      • historiophiliac - May 1, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        Mmmm, chicken spanking…

      • chacochicken - May 1, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        I just now read the Psy post and..umm, wow. The inability of some to make any sort of fine or even relatively broad distinction is frightening.

      • sportsdrenched - May 1, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        Not only that. But outlawing garden hoses could lead to the censoring of one of the greatest movies ever: National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Because the only reason beating someone with a hose comes to mind for me is that cop saying that CEO should be beaten with a rubber hose.

        Some might find this movie to be too violent and petition to have it blocked from being shown as early as Labor Day on network TV…which would be a travashamockery. We don’t want that do we?

      • Francisco (FC) - May 1, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        I dare say the chicken is mightier than the lion. Especially if it’s made of paper.

      • cur68 - May 1, 2013 at 11:44 AM



        1) I am NOT a “near-American”. Call me that again and I’ll ‘splain the War of 1812 at you. I know how you people hate it when we bring that up.

        2) You will pry my garden hose from my cold dead hands

        3) We need to get The ‘philliac some help. She’s all for beating The Chicken. That may be Un-American in 42 States. I understand in the rest of them Chicken Beating might be legal if one is married to The Chicken.

        4) Is Chicken Beating against Dog? I think not. I can see Dog right now and I’m pretty sure she’s all for Chicken Abuse.

      • chacochicken - May 1, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        War of 1812? I’m sorry I can’t hear over the blaring “Battle of New Orleans” playing behind me. I have my own vicious pack of rescue dogs to help prevent non-consented avian abuse.

        In 1814 we took a little trip
        Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.
        We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
        And we caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.

      • historiophiliac - May 1, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        First of all, what I would do to that chicken would not be made dignified by a marriage certificate. Secondly, he loves it when I rub him in garlic and onion til his eyes burn and he cries so hard he marinates himself. And, finally, he *knows* it makes me angry when he says “bacon”…

      • cackalackyank - May 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        Fired our guns and the British kept a comin, wasn”t quite as many as there was while ago…fired our guns and the British were a runnin, down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico….

      • cur68 - May 1, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        Fired the Whitehouse
        and so they’d paint the soot white.
        Do it again and this time….we’ll do it right…or something

        ‘Philliac: whatever happens between a woman and her chicken is her business. Stop spreading your perversions ’round the information superhighway.

      • chacochicken - May 1, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        Strictly speaking, British regulars burned the presidential mansion. You’re just jealous we won our independence way before you did.

        Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
        And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn’t go.
        They ran so fast that the hounds couldn’t catch ’em
        Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

      • cur68 - May 1, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        Strictly speaking, up you nose with a rubber hose

    • dnc6 - May 1, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      Have you payed any attention to what happened with the Sacramento Kings?

  3. indaburg - May 1, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Call their bluff.

    • 18thstreet - May 1, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      Go ahead, see how much money you can make in Charlotte or Portland.

      And once you leave, the A’s or the Rays will be happy to take over Wrigley.

      • Alex K - May 1, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        That move wouldn’t be out of the Chicagoland area. No way no how.

      • Alex K - May 1, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        That said, they aren’t leaving Wrigley. This is as empty as a threat can possibly get.

  4. echech88 - May 1, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Empty threat

  5. jerze2387 - May 1, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    and this is the guy who, when he bought the team, said it was all about being a chicago cubs fan and preserving and winning, to gain support (so the Mark Cubans of the world cant buy the team). Then he turns around and stabs all the cubs fans in the back, makes it about money, now threatens to move the team. this is why im glad im a Sox fan. Ricketts is a complete douchebag.

    • Alex K - May 1, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      How did he stab Cubs fans in the back? Also, he’s not moving anywhere, empty threat.

      • jerze2387 - May 1, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        he did when he said “its all about winning”, then slashed payroll the next season. Would mark cuban have done that? Then he tries to take out the rooftops, a wrigley institution for years. The advertising….when he wanted to put that big toyota sign up, he claimed the money would be rolled back into the team..then set the payroll from the Major League team to be the entire organizational payroll (slashing payroll…after making more money). Now hes looking to develop wrigleyville into essentially a tourist trap (im not a fan of wrigleyville, but its also part of the cubs fans culture, so more power to em) by opeining that hotel and all the other crap hes proposing. the ONLY move hes made for the benefit of the team is hiring Theo. The man has backed up on his word numerous times and has proven to be an overall snake.

      • jerze2387 - May 1, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        And also even threatening to move the team is a dirty move and shows where his priorities lie, empty threat or not. He’d rather ruin the history and alienate the fan base over a hotel and other financially driven motives.

        If that was his motive from the start, he at the very least should have been honest and not given the facade that he was all about the Cubs history and such

      • supersnappy - May 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        Slashing payroll is not, by itself, an indication that a team doesn’t plan to win… looks like they got rid of a lot of high-paid players who wouldn’t be around for the next great Cubs team. They’ve been trying to build a core of solid young players. I’m no Ricketts fan but blowing up an older, losing team is often the smart move in the long run.

      • Alex K - May 1, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        This Cubs fan doesn’t feel stabbed, at all.

        I could give half a shit about he rooftop owners. It’s a great time to go to a rooftop, but Ricketts shouldn’t care about their opinion anymore than he’s legally responsible to.

        As for the payroll, sometimes you have to get worse to get better. Should the Cubs have just given Pujols and Hamilton gobs of money to say “We’re trying to win!” even if it wasn’t the best idea for their team?

        And Wrigleyville is already a tourist trap. The hotel would just make it easier for people to stay there since there are hardly any decent hotels in that area.

    • jeffbbf - May 1, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      Dumbass Sox fan. Like the forgotten middle child, always looking for a reason to stand up and say “notice me!” I’m better than those other guys! Of course, never letting facts or reality get in the way. Anyone who knows the first thing about baseball knows that, based on the situation Rickets had on hand when he bought the team, this was the only way to get back to a position to compete. As far as the stadium is concerned, I couldn’t give 2 shits about the rooftop owners and their supposed “wrigley institution” (?), and neither should Ricketts. All these “rooftop” people do is complain. “I need a better view of the game” “I’m tired of all the noise before, during, and after games” “I’m sick of not being able to find parking on game days” Screw em.

      • jerze2387 - May 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        So you wanna insult and call dumb? Im guessing youre the 35 year old frat boy wannabe wrigleyville type, calling me a dumbass for being a sox fan when the sox put more effort into winning than the cubs have in 100 years.

        1 word shuts down any cubs fans being dumbasses vs sox fans being dumbasses: 2005.

        So keep following a shitty team and lining the pockets of an owner who doesnt give a damn about winning nor the fans (hes theatening to move the team and youre still riding his nutsack? Whos the dumbass)

  6. joebone - May 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Fanboy Ricketts will pay off the rooftop owners to get his deal, but the Cubs will still suck. I wonder what the excuse will be then.

  7. 4d3fect - May 1, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Worked for Jeffy, right?

  8. sportsdrenched - May 1, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    To me, isn’t any Cubs without Wrigley. All their mojo, their brand, the only reason they’re worth as much as they are…is because of the atmosphere at Wrigley and lovable loser mantra.

    Leave Wrigley…and they’ll be like the Mets or Padres or something.

    • billybawl - May 1, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      Agreed. I can’t think of a baseball franchise that is more associated with its park. The Bosox could have survived a move better than the Cubs would. I hope they work out a compromise. With improvements, it could be the best place to watch a game in the league, hands down.

  9. scoocha - May 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Does Wrigley have the same preserved status as Fenway? National/State landmark?

    • joebone - May 1, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      The Cubs have filed initial paperwork that would open the door to Wrigley Field winning a coveted spot in the National Register of Historic Places, and which might make it eligible for tax credits like Fenway received. As it stands now, they are considered a Chicago Landmark, which basically means they have to get city approval before making any changes. They will get their city approval, but they will first have to settle with the rooftop owners.

  10. crashdavis99 - May 1, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Someone needs a juice box and a nap.

  11. cackalackyank - May 1, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Be Careful what you wish for Tommy Boy….

  12. rcali - May 1, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Chicago will do just fine. Good luck consistently getting the people of Rosemont to support a bottom dweller and overpay for beer and food longterm. Teams are moving into downtown cities not to the suburbs for a good reason.

    • dnc6 - May 1, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      And the reason is that big cities with downtowns have more money that MLB can coerce out of them. No more, no less.

  13. neutrality77 - May 1, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Nothing would make me happier than seeing them leave. I hope he’s serious. I’d be the first in line to buy season tickets at Rosemont… And I live in Lincoln Park.

  14. elmo - May 1, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    The San Jose Cubs!

  15. mazblast - May 1, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    What an amazingly empty threat. He won’t move the team, no way, no how, because all the Cubs HAVE is the Wrigley mystique.

    OTOH, the rooftop owners may have contracts with the team, but they don’t have all that much history on their side. I don’t recall the rooftop view being a big deal until the 1980s. The first time I remember it being significant was c. 1989 when Tom Browning, who wasn’t pitching that day, showed up on a rooftop (in uniform IIRC) and hoisted a beer when the TV camera was on him–and there weren’t that many people up there with him.

  16. comeonnowguys - May 2, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    The reaction here kind of floors me.

    Bears, Sox, Hawks and Bulls all got state money for their stadium builds/renovations. The Ricketts want to put up their own money–and they can’t.

    Rooftop owners have a business model built on piracy, and they need to realize that. Yes, they have an agreement with the Cubs, smart move to take advantage of the previous owner’s need for “goodwill.” Tell me, what good is that going to do them if the Cubs do move? Northwestern Baseball Fever, catch it! That area of Lakeview needs to to realize that they are the tail, not the dog.

    I have always wanted to take my children to Wrigley, but given how this has played out, I will have no problem going to Rosemont or any other suburb that would welcome them.

  17. johnelwayishorsefaced - May 2, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Exactly the type of behavior I would expect from a hardcore right wing republican douchebag. Give me my way or else I’m leaving. I’m very sorry for all you Cubs fans who are going to have to deal with this asshole until he sells the team.

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