Sunday, October 01, 2006

Artie Johnsoning...

Mike Downey with his first interesting column in years:

A couple of months ago, MacPhail and I went to lunch. It was strictly social, off the record, although he never insisted it be so.

I remember asking how it worked when the Cubs wanted to make a costly acquisition or a major trade. Was the team president empowered to OK it? Or did he need a stamp of approval from someone at Tribune Tower?

MacPhail said it varied. But generally, out of courtesy or necessity, he'd run it by Crane Kenney.

"Who's Crane Kenney?" I wondered to myself.

Turns out Kenney is a formidable figure in my workplace, a Tribune Co. senior vice president and general counsel. Yet from a baseball standpoint, he might as well be the invisible man.

It's a good thing the Cubs have always been run independently from the Trib.

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