Saturday, November 13, 2010

Master of the House

Tom really needs to learn when to just shut the hell up.  With the state of the economy the way it is, any explanation that Tom throws out there in justification of his asking the state for up to $300 million is never going to play.  It just isn't and if he and his siblings had ever lived with worries about being able to pay bills and be able to put food on the table at the same time, they would know that.

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.


Kin said...

Master of the house, keeping of the zoo...ready to relieve them of a sou or two...

That's about right.

gaius marius said...

Again I would like to float my counterproposal:

Tell Ricketts to go burn, quintuple the sin tax on sports tickets, send the extra revenue to the general fund to pay for things that actually, you know, matter.

Anonymous said...

"this is a good thing for everybody."

bull-fucking-shit tom.

this is where we sports fans have to call bullshit. the state improving wrigley field does nothing for the quality of life in this city or state.

of all the priorities for the state professional sports teams should be at the absolute bottom of the list.

i'd like to give ricketts some more free advice: SELL THE FUCKING NAMING RIGHTS!

Chicago Guy said...

The arrogance of the Ricketts kids standing in line with their hands out for government welfare money probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. Daddy Ricketts has always been there to give them whatever they wanted before. Why shouldn’t the government be there now? What’s amazing is their contempt for those of us who have to pay for home repairs ourselves. First comes the tired, old argument that somehow we will all benefit by them getting richer. Lie #1.

But the real kick in the head is pretending that what they are asking for is anything other than money collected from taxpayers that would---if it did not go to these spoiled rich kids—would go to pay cops, teachers, garbage men and people who repair the streets. They can put any kind of spin or talking points on this they want. Bonds, amusement taxes, blah blah. But the question for any person, even us Cub fans, who even for a millisecond thought that the Rickett’s shell game had merit is this: What would you rather pay for? Enough firemen to answer the call if your house is on fire OR fixing up Wrigley Field?

Because that’s the choice. And unless you say “I’ll take the fireman,” the politicians in the Rickett’s pocket are going to push this through and make the rich people richer.

I'm with you Aisle 424.

dylanj said...

is there a single baseball team with management that runs it in a semi-moral way? If so let me know because I really can't support this shit any more. I dont even live in IL but I agree with GM- this goes beyond stupidity, it goes beyond greed- what Ricketts is asking for is an abuse of the privilege he has been granted in life and an abuse of basic fucking humanity.

Duey23 said...

dylanj there's not a single SPORTS team that hasn't pulled this crap on the public. I don't care if it's the Cubs, Raiders, etc. all owners pull this and have no shame.

So if everyone is going to take the Ricketts to task, then everybody should stop watching all sports because there IS honor among thieves when it comes to professional sports team owners.

Does it make it any more acceptable during booming economic times? No, but no one gives a cr*p. I understand why everyone is ticked off here but seriously, I didn't hear a peep about suffering school systems, state pensions and healtcare when the White Sox did it and when the Bears decided to stick us with that ugly renovation. It shouldn't matter whether they've won 0 championships or 26, when you stick taxpayers with a burden that could ALWAYS be used to help out the citizen of the State, well, it's wrong, horribly wrong.

Today it's the Ricketts feeling our wrath, but tomorrow it'll be someone else and then someone further. Right or wrong, people use sports to suspend their daily life's reality nightmares and until there's some suitable substitute it'll never stop.

This state is corrupt and just continues to spend far more than it can generate any longer. This really is no surprise and shouldn't be to many people.

Anonymous said...

the old everyone else has done it, so we should too argument is not right. their have been entire stadium projects that were financed with private funds. a $200-$300 renovation should be something that ricketts and his family can figure out. it's not like they've had 2-3 years to come up with a plan.

Mercurial Outfielder said...

Just to toss a little more gasoline on this fire:

Duey23 said...

wpbc: I wasn't saying it's right, just saying that this is where they and most sports owners (let's face it it's gotta be 99:1 for those that financed things privately/via PSLs) continue to bone America.

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