So far, Tom has not come off looking great. He's kind of reminded me of this guy:
But, in an effort to help improve his public image, Tom went on WGN radio yesterday to clear up a few things:
"The dollars are only coming from people who buy Cubs tickets, and only the increase over what they pay today."
Cubs fans (AKA: Fools)
Yes, the money comes from the money that is already being paid into the budget by the Cubs, but Tom leaves out the next question: Where does the money come from to replace that money in the budget?
If I've been paying for a friend's lunch every day for years and I suddenly decide to use that money to spiff up my wardrobe, it isn't directly costing anybody anything. But now my friend doesn't get lunch and he has two options: he can go hungry or he has to find someone else to buy his lunch.
Whatever money the Ricketts decide to keep out of the state budget will have to be replaced from somewhere or something is going to get unpaid. Either Tom doesn't understand that (which I doubt), or he thinks we are too stupid to realize that (which is entirely more likely).
"It's easy to get upset about headlines or editorials, but you just got to dig a little deeper and understand what's really going on here. I think as people understand what the real facts are, they'll come to the conclusion that this is a good thing for everybody."
Yeah, we're probably overreacting to a state that is $15 billion in debt, state employees are going to get laid off, and people who contract with the state just plain won't get paid. Unless Tom has some hidden "real facts" somewhere that we don't know about, there is nobody with a shred of ethics or morality that can suggest the Cubs ability to keep an aging stadium is a priority for the state.
I understand the Ricketts are in trouble. They were suckered by Zell into paying more than this team should have been valued. I'm sure their worst case scenario financial models came nowhere close to the shitstorm they now face. At the time they were negotiating, no one thought both the team and the economy would crumble as quickly and as vastly as they did. But exactly how is that the State of Illinois' problem?
The Cubs aren't going anywhere. Even if the Ricketts have to cut their losses and bail, whoever the next owner will be won't be moving the team. If the team ever wins a World Series and becomes a viable team on its own merits, then there is a risk that they will move. But the Al Yellons of the world aren't going to follow this loser team to a ballpark that isn't Wrigley.
So, Tom, you should probably break out those secret "real facts" you have hidden behind your back because the ones we are aware of make you look like a giant douche who could give a shit about the people who live in this state.
"The increases (in the amusement tax) won't exist unless we fix up the park."
You won't be able to raise ticket prices until you fix the park? HOW ABOUT FIXING THE MOTHERFUCKING TEAM! You say you have $200 million to put towards this project? PUT IT TOWARDS THE FUCKING TEAM!
Instead of crying about not having payroll flexibility to do what you would like to do, just do it. You obviously have the money if you really wanted to do that. But instead, you preach patience to the fanbase that continues to support you in mind-boggling numbers so that you can speed up the timetable in which you will take even more money from the same fans... WITHOUT WINNING A GOD DAMN THING!
If Tom dedicated the kind of resources to making the Cubs a winner that he does to fixing the bathrooms, the fans would find the money and gladly give it to the Ricketts. It wouldn't even be a question in most fans' minds. But Tom wants all of the money without any of the effort or risk. And then gets indignant when people call him on it.