Thursday, February 10, 2011

Who is the Cubs' Executive Chairman?

In case you missed it, there was a riveting conversation between Tom Ricketts and Al Yellon about who owns the Cubs.  I know what you are thinking - that seems like a very simple question with a very simple answer.  How much back and forth could there be?  Well, quite a bit actually:

BCB: The first question is -- on the record -- who really owns the Cubs, and what specifically is your father’s role in the team, if any?
TR: He doesn’t have a defined day to day role currently. He comes to a couple games. The team is owned by the Ricketts family. I’m not sure what the strict definition of owner is. I think that people should look to me as chairman, as the person responsible for directing the family’s investment. I’m the one on the ground who is leading the family ownership.
BCB: And your dad’s role is?
TR: He’s interested, he comes to games. He’s part of the family, it’s a family ownership.
BCB: So the accurate statement would be to say the Chicago Cubs owner is: "the Ricketts family".
TR: Yes. The Ricketts family is owner of the Chicago Cubs. And honestly, when people talk to me I use chairman. I try not to use the word owner because the meaning gets stretched.
BCB: It’s not one individual then.
TR: No, it’s a family asset. I’m the chairman, my siblings are directors.
BCB: On the subject of you being chairman, the last letter than you sent out was signed "executive chairman".
TR: The only distinction there is that in a lot of cases there’s a chairman of the board and all they do is work with the board. An executive chairman is typically a title people use when they’re not only chairman of the board but they’re active in the business. So my card says executive chairman.
BCB: So would you consider yourself CEO or is Crane Kenney considered CEO?
TR: Well, Crane’s team president.
BCB: I want to clarify so people understand.

This conversation actually goes on further, but I'll spare you the details of Tom clearing up Crane Kenney's role as team president and how that further befuddles Al.

The only way the whole conversation could have been more comical would be if Tom Ricketts' actual name was Who:

Al: Look, if you're a Ricketts, you must know all the Cubs' baseball personnel.

Ricketts: I certainly do.

Al: Well you know my readers are a little confused about who owns the Cubs. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I can clear up who's owning the team.

Ricketts: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know they give these baseball personnel now-a-days very peculiar names.

Al: Is that like a funny name?

Ricketts:  Yes. Well, let's see, we have Who's the executive chairman, What's the team president, I Don't Know has an undefined role...


Al: That's what I want to find out.

Ricketts: I say Who's the executive chairman, What's the team president, I Don't Know is undefined...

Al: Are you a member of the family?

Ricketts: Yes.

Al: You represent the team?

Ricketts: Yes.

Al: And you don't know the fellows' names?

Ricketts: Well I should.

Al: Well then who's the executive chairman?

Ricketts: Yes.

Al: I mean the fellow's name.

Ricketts: Who.

Al: The guy in the excutive chairman's office.

Ricketts: Who.

Al: The executive chairman.

Ricketts: Who.

Al: The guy sitting...

Ricketts: Who is the executive chairman!

Al: I'm asking YOU who's the executive chairman.

Ricketts: That's the man's name.

Al: That's who's name?

Ricketts: Yes.

Al: Well go ahead and tell me.

Ricketts: That's it.

Al: That's who?

Ricketts: Yes.

PAUSE

Al: Look, you gotta executive chairman?

Ricketts: Certainly.

Al: Who's the executive chairman?

Ricketts: That's right.

Al: When you pay off the executive chairman every month, who gets the money?

Ricketts: Every dollar of it.

Al: All I'm trying to find out is the fellow's name in the executive chairman's office.

Ricketts: Who.

Al: The guy that gets...

Ricketts: That's it.

Al: Who gets the money...

Ricketts: He does, every dollar. Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.

Al: Whose wife?

Ricketts: Yes.

PAUSE

Ricketts: What's wrong with that?

Al: Look, all I wanna know is when the executive chairman signs a contract, how does he sign his name?

Ricketts: Who.

Al: The guy.

Ricketts: Who.

Al: How does he sign...

Ricketts: That's how he signs it.

Al: Who?

Ricketts: Yes.

PAUSE

Al: All I'm trying to find out is what's the guy's name in the role of executive chairman?

Ricketts: No. What is the team president.

Al: I'm not asking you who's the team president.

Ricketts: Who is the executive chairman.

Al: One position at a time!

Ricketts: Well, don't change the management around.

Al: I'm not changing nobody!

Ricketts: Take it easy, buddy, or we'll have another 80% off sale in the bleachers.

Al: I'm only asking you, who's the guy in the executive chairman's office?

Ricketts: That's right.

Al: Ok.

Ricketts: All right.

PAUSE

Al: What's the guy's name in the executive chairman's office?

Ricketts: No. What is the team president.

Al: I'm not asking you who's the team president.

Ricketts: Who's the executive chairman.

Al: I don't know.

Ricketts: His role is undefined, we're not talking about him.

Al: Now how did I get on some guy with an undefined role?

Ricketts: Why you mentioned his name.

Al: If I mentioned the guy with an undefined role, who did I say has the undefined role?

Ricketts: No. Who's the executive chairman.

Al: What's the executive chairman?

Ricketts: What's the team president.

Al: I don't know.

Ricketts: He has the undefined role.

Al: There I go, back to the undefined role again!

PAUSE

Al: Would you just stay on the undefined role and don't go off it.

Ricketts: All right, what do you want to know?

Al: Now who has the undefined role?

Ricketts: Why do you insist on putting Who in the undefined role?

Al: What am I putting in the undefined role?

Ricketts: No. What is the team president.

Al: You don't want who as team president?

Ricketts: Who is the executive chairman.

Al: I don't know.

Ricketts & Al Together: Undefined role!

PAUSE

Al: Look, you gotta general manager?

Ricketts: Sure.

Al: The general manager's name?

Ricketts: Why.

Al: I just thought I'd ask you.

Ricketts: Well, I just thought I'd tell ya.

Al: Then tell me who's the general manager.

Ricketts: Who's the executive chairman.

Al: I'm not... stay out of the owner's box! I want to know what's the guy's name in the general manager's office?

Ricketts: No, What is the team president.

Al: I'm not asking you who's the team president.

Ricketts: Who's the executive chairman!

Al: I don't know.

Ricketts & Al Together: Undefined role!

PAUSE

Al: The general manager's name?

Ricketts: Why.

Al: Because!

Ricketts: Oh, he's our director of marketing.

PAUSE

Al: Look, you gotta brother in this family?

Ricketts: Sure.

Al: The brother's name?

Ricketts: Tomorrow.

Al: You don't want to tell me today?

Ricketts: I'm telling you now.

Al: Then go ahead.

Ricketts: Tomorrow!

Al: What time?

Ricketts: What time what?

Al: What time tomorrow are you gonna tell me who's your brother?

Ricketts: Now listen. Who is not my brother.

Al: I'll break your arm, you say who's the executive chairman! I want to know what's the brother's name?

Ricketts: What's the team president.

Al: I don't know.

Ricketts & Al Together: Undefined role!

PAUSE

Al: Gotta a sister?

Ricketts: Certainly.

Al: The sister's name?

Ricketts: Today.

Al: Today, and tomorrow's the brother.

Ricketts: Now you've got it.

Al: All we got is a couple of days owning the team.

PAUSE

Al: You know I can be a good team executive too.

Ricketts: So they tell me.

Al: I go into the office to do some fancy trading and a heavy hitter becomes a free agent. When the agent for the heavy hitter calls, me, being a good baseball man, I'm gonna want to make sure I get the executive chairman's permission to sign the heavy hitter. So I pick up the phone and call who?

Ricketts: Now that's the first thing you've said right.

Al: I don't even know what I'm talking about!

PAUSE

Ricketts: That's all you have to do.

Al: Call the executive chairman?

Ricketts: Yes!

Al: Now who answers?

Ricketts: Naturally.

PAUSE

Al: Look, if I call the executive chairman, somebody's gotta answer it. Now who answers it?

Ricketts: Naturally.

Al: Who?

Ricketts: Naturally.

Al: Naturally?

Ricketts: Naturally.

Al: So I pick up the phone and I make a call to Naturally.

Ricketts: No you don't, you make the call to Who.

Al: Naturally.

Ricketts: That's different.

Al: That's what I said.

Ricketts: You're not saying it...

Al: I make the call to Naturally.

Ricketts: You make it to Who.

Al: Naturally.

Ricketts: That's it.

Al: That's what I said!

Ricketts: You ask me.

Al: I make the call to who?

Ricketts: Naturally.

Al: Now you ask me.

Ricketts: You make the call to Who?

Al: Naturally.

Ricketts: That's it.

Al: Same as you! Same as YOU! I make the call to Who. Whoever it is drops the call and it gets transferred to the team president. What picks up the call and transfers it to I Don't Know. Tomorrow signs the player to a record multi-year deal with a no-trade clause. Why? I don't know! He's got an undefined role and I don't give a darn!

Ricketts: What?

Al: I said I don't give a darn!

Ricketts: Oh, he's on Undercover Brother...

11 comments:

Berselius said...

(dying laughing). Well done.

Berselius said...

I'm only disappointed that you didn't work in a $10 ticket reference ;)

Aisle 424 said...

I worked in the 80% off sale, though.

mb21 said...

That's awesome.

Bradley Woodrum said...

It's... so... beautiful!

wpbc said...

they really are building something over there. when the teams executive chairman makes time for a dolt like yellon, there is little doubt that they 'get it'.

Aisle 424 said...

Al probably gets close to as many hits on his site as the major newspapers sports sections(and maybe more), so keeping him happy is smart on the Cubs part. Tom sits down with him and gets lobbed softballs where he can give pre-planned answers with no follow-up (except when Al can't wrap his mind around the concept of an executive chairman). In return, the Cubs get a guy with tens of thousands of readers in their pocket and selling every move they make as a positive step forward. Al does a better job churning out the Cubs propaganda than Vine Line.

DC said...

"Ricketts: Take it easy, buddy, or we'll have another 80% off sale in the bleachers."

LOL!!!

Saddest part of all this? How similar it looked to the real thing.

F said...

Don't forget that Al has been published in Vine Line. Hey, how soon will the new Cubs Anal be on newstands?

Aisle 424 said...

I think the Anal is out now. There is a typo though. It says Annual this year.

FrankS said...

Maybe I can find a copy somewhere that I can read while waiting on an oil change or some other boredom inducing activity. I sure don't want to buy an Annual.

Post a Comment

The easiest way to comment is to choose the Name/URL option from the Comment As dropdown menu below. You do not need to put in a URL for this option to work.

Sometimes upon submitting the comment, you will get an error saying there is a problem. Submit the comment again and it should work. I am looking into correcting this glitch.