Kap's Corner

It's Official....The Ricketts Take Control

After a 30 month period filled with ups and downs it is finally official. The Ricketts family has taken control of the storied Chicago Cubs franchise, Wrigley Field, and a stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

Here is the press release issued by the Ricketts family through their spokesman Dennis Culloton just minutes ago....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 (CHICAGO) -- The Ricketts family says it's official; the family has taken a 95 percent controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and 25 percent of Comcast Sportsnet after a financial closing today.

The closing on the deal, valued at $845 million, completes a more than two year effort that started when Tribune Company put the team, stadium and broadcast interest up for bid.  Family members Pete, Tom, Laura and Todd Ricketts will now assume control of the team, forming a board of directors. Tribune Company will retain a five percent interest in the enterprise and also have a seat on the board. 

Tom Ricketts, 44, will serve as board chairman and issued the following statement:

"My family and I are thrilled that this day has finally come and we thank Commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball owners for approving our ownership.  Now we will go to work building the championship tradition that all Cubs fans so richly deserve. 

It's fitting that this closing takes place during World Series week. Out of respect for the Fall Classic, and at the league's request, we will wait to introduce ourselves to the media and fans until this Friday, a travel day in the series between the Phillies and the Yankees."

The news conference will take place at Wrigley Field at 11 a.m. Friday, October 30th.

More to come later in the day when we discuss this on Chicago Tribune Live at 5:30 on Comcast SportsNet and tonight at 7:00 on Sports Central on WGN Radio.

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19 Comments

joeydafish said:

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Did they replace Hendry yet?

David Kaplan said:

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JoeyD....The entire baseball management team has already been retained. Now let's hope they can move Bradley and add another bat.

joeydafish said:

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I know...It's just taking me longer to accept it.
I'll do better to "move on" as usual...sigh...
Just for kicks Kap, I think we would be better off with
Rich Hill for Bradley! God, listen to me, see what this
Bradley signing has spawned??

IvyChatChuck said:

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30 months? Hardly. It goes back to October 24th, 2005 when this process started. Back when the Trib was still run by Denis FitzSimons and the Chandler family was going to break up the company.

That's over 48 months.

David Kaplan said:

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Mr. Gitles....The club went on the block in April of 2007. By my count that is 30 months. Yes, there were issues going back farther but the club was not listed for sale until April 2007.

IvyChatChuck said:

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Dr. Kaplan (or his he the pathological Sox fan?):

While the club was formally up for sale beginning in April 2007, the rumors of buyers and unsolicited deal books dates back to 2005.

The price tag may have been first displayed at the corner of Clark & Addison in 2007, but the club was well know to be for sale far earlier than that.

joeydafish said:

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I can't believe some fans are nitpickin' over the timeline.
NEW OWNERS people...we..need...to...move on.
And hope THEY mean business as usual is DEAD and "they" go out and get Chone Figgins or better. But PLEASE no more 8 year deals to anybody over the age of 25. That would be the first thing I demand from my GM.

cc002600 said:

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Chone Figgins ?

No way I give that guy what is rumored out there (4yr / $40M)

Please.

He's a glorified Juan Pierre.

Please no.
And you don't want them to sign any more contracts ?
Did you see his stellar postseason numbers ?

Can you say "overrated" ?

IvyChatChuck said:

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4x$40 is the same scale as Bradley, but for a good player.

Note: Do not take this as a for or against Chone argument. Simply making a comparative.

cc002600 said:

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correction: And you don't want them to sign any more "bad" contracts ?

cc002600 said:

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Yes, I understand your point.
But let me ask you this: And how do you like paying Bradley 10M / yr ?

Paying either of them 10M is a really bad idea.

Look at Dodgers paying Juan Pierre 10M.

If they could find a sucker, they would dump that contract faster than you could blink your eye.

Figgins is a decent player, but not worth $10M.

He is marginal defensively, and he strikes out a lot for a guy with no power. Yes, I love the speed and OBP, but that's not worth 10M / yr. PLUS, he's gonna be 32.

Its a bad idea.

hjb4971 said:

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Let's not quibble on months, it's been too long since the Cubs could make deals to acquire the players we need to finally win. Here's hoping the free agent signings start soon as the Series ends.

Kap....any hints on players that are being considered for the pitching staff, outfield, or second base? Now that California is out I can think of a couple, I also can think of one from Toronto, one from San Diego, and two from St Louis.

Cubbiefan07 said:

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Kap, I'd love to be able to play your Cubs Player Interviews, especially Ron Santo's, but I cannot get them to work on my computer. Is there any other way I could hear them?

Karry Ling said:

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Just stick your ear up really close to your mouse.

joeydafish said:

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O.K.!!! You convinced me...Chone Figgins would come at too high a price tag, but I do agree for the same amount of money I wouldn't be pullin' my hair out if we had Figgins INSTEAD of Bradley.
How's that? I think we're all on the same page now. It looks like we would all agree if the Cubs (Hendry??) would just draft and develope more than AN OCCASSIONAL "non-impact" (Theriot? like him, but he's no impact player, just to make my point..) we wouldn't be in this same old same old situation year after year.

TracyT said:

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Dear Ricketts Family,
the weight of the Cubs world and everything linked to it--good or bad--now falls on your shoulders. Good luck.

Please hire more hot chicks.

trent said:

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Kap, Any chance the Cubs try to trade Bradley for Gary Matthews Jr? I just read on mlbtraderumors.com that he wants out of Anaheim and wants to play every day. He is owed $23M over the next 2 years. Might be a good fit with Jaramillo...although so could Bradley.

joeydafish said:

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Trent, that's a pretty interesting scenario. Regardless of Jaramillo being with the Cubs or not. Although Jaramillo may be the "Annointed One" to fix Bradley...I'd rather have Mathews (or just about anybody) other than Bradley.
I wonder what other "contending" team with a HUGE payroll has such an unsettled outfield situation as the Cubs?
Way to go Hendry, a failed right fielder playing center by default of not have a genuine centerfielder, another right fielder being suspended, and a failed second baseman playing left field by yet default again in order to hide his huge defensive liabilities.

trent said:

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Kap, You need to put your entire show on podcasts instead of just interviews. I would love to hear your show more, but I can't always listen to your show.

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