About a month ago, final Cubs bidder Tom Ricketts revealed that he was considering the idea of selling limited ownership stakes in the Chicago Cubs. The ownership stakes would cost $25 million a piece and would last for five years, until Ricketts is finished paying down the debt from the sale. After that, the ownership is over, and the part-time owner doesn't share in any of the appreciation of the club.
Still, though, it's a chance to call yourself "part-owner of the Chicago Cubs." It's tempting stuff.
Apparently, three local celebrities agree: Jim Belushi, John Cusack and Bill Murray have all met with Ricketts and discussed the ownership deal. Ricketts is looking for between five and 10 people to throw in; why not include three celebrities with a long-held interest in Cubs baseball, right?
There are other obvious advantages here: By attaching their money to the club, Ricketts gets a sort of home-grown celebrity cachet. Maybe that means more Bill Murray sightings at the ballpark. Maybe John Cusack does the seventh inning stretch more often than normal. Maybe the Cubs can finance a re-make of "High Fidelity," starring Milton Bradley.
The only downside here is Belushi. Somehow, some way, without charm or appeal, Belushi has managed to attach his name to the Chicago sports scene merely by being around. He's always there. We're not sure he needs another $25 million reason to come to the ballpark. (On second thought, maybe the Cubs can cut him a deal on ownership if he agrees to stay away. Hmm.)
Anyway, you read that right: Bill Murray could soon be a part-owner of the Cubs. Depending on what kind of Cubs fan you are, this is either the best news you've heard all week, or the worst.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.