Reports surfaced Thursday that Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has another plan to renovate Wrigley Field, still using public money but not as much this time.
The kicker this time is that Mayor Rahm Emanuel might actually be behind the plan, whereas Mayor Richard Daley nearly had his chianti coming out of his nose after laughing so hard at the prospect.
At least that's the rumor.
No one's talking for sure yet, and Ricketts hasn't come out to see his shadow and discover his baseball team stinks.
I don't know the details of this proposal, nor was I too clear on the details of the last one. What I do know is that Wrigley drives the value of that entire neighborhood, and those bonds Ricketts wanted floated probably weren't going anywhere anyway. If they were, it's to an already affluent neighborhood. And Wrigley does need some work. But that's neither here nor there. What is important is watching Ricketts boot everything that comes his way. If this were left field, Alfonso Soriano would look on with a smile and relief.
The problem with Ricketts, if I can steal a theory from Score host and friend Dan Bernstein, is that he has this desperate need to be liked. This is why he's gladhanding in the concourse, sitting in the bleachers, on TV all the time. He wants Cubs fans to like him, people to like him. Which is what led to his first mistake, when he blatantly said he wouldn't consider moving the Cubs from Wrigley. Ok kid, then why should we pay for anything if you've just torched your leverage? Why don't you just stay in the dump that you just said you wouldn't leave and like it?
While threatening to move to the burbs or Indiana would anger people, Ricketts need look no farther than across town to see how you make up for that. You may forget that about 25 years ago, Jerry Reinsdorf was literally minutes from taking the White Sox to Tampa-St. Pete. It got him a new stadium. How did he get people past their anger? He won a division the year after they moved into the new Comiskey, and were a constant contender. See how many Sox fans hate Reinsdorf now, with that gleaming World Series trophy.
What Ricketts also needs to realize is he's already not liked and not trusted by Cubs fans. Two seasons of a lackluster product, with little vision and imagination, will do that. His continued loyalty to Jim Hendry -- who baseball has passed by -- and the possible extentsion of that relationship has Cubs fans teetering on the edge. All they want is a winner. Ricketts could threaten to move the Cubs to Vancouver, but as long as he put out a winning product we probably wouldn't care.
Winning cures all, but Ricketts either doesn't know that, or hasn't figured out how to go about it. But that's ok, the bathrooms are so much cleaner, right?
Sam Fels is the proprietor of The Committed Indian, an unofficial program for the Blackhawks. You may have seen him hocking the magazine outside the United Center at Gate 3. The program is also available for purchase online. Fels is a lifelong 'Hawks fan and he also writes for Second City Hockey .