Friday, March 07, 2008

He Shall, From Time to Time

There you go again.  Always looking for a point.With John McDonough now leading the best run franchise in Chicago (more on that later), it was left to President Pro Tempore to deliver the State of the Cubs Address. In summary? A typical Tribune crapfest. Crane Kenny says stuff that would make Shrillary Clinton blush. The highlights:

...if the Cubs begin a $250 million renovation of Wrigley, Kenney said it's likely they would play part of a season on the South Side...

To be honest, the architects really drive this because they talk about lead time on ordering steel, etc., and how this would all work. There's a school of thought that [sports architectural firm] HOK has that you could actually phase it in and not lose a season at Wrigley. But then the question is, like in [rehabbing] your house, do you want to live through three years of construction? Or do you want to take the pain and maybe lose one season or a major portion of one season and just get it done?

You have to love when a guy with a political angle starts with, "to be honest." Yeah, the decision will be driven by engineers. It won't have anything to do with potential profits and marketing and change in ownership. And, given a single purpose baseball stadium 90 miles north in Milwaukee, there's no reason for reconstruction to take longer than one season. Unless there's a money angle. And there's never a money angle with the Tribune or Sam Zell involved.

Listen, we're not crazy. We know people prefer to keep the name on the building. I prefer to keep the name on the building. If we can make it work to do that, that would be great. But we're not going to leave resources that will go into the payroll and go into our restoration plans on the table to appease people who say, 'I don't think you should do it.' (However, w)e believe the First Amendment protects what letters we write on the marquee.

The Chicago National League Ball Club using a Constitutional argument in support of making money! One wonders why Bank of America never used used this argument to remove the words "Continental Bank of Illinois" off their building on South LaSalle Street. Moreover, instead of the First Amendment, shouldn't they also make a Commerce Clause argument?

On Sam Zell:

In terms of the freedom to get things done, we've never had more freedom to do what we want to do. Does Sam care about his reputation? No, I think he cares about changing Tribune and having it survive.

That sounds more like a commentary on the amount of freedom in the old days of the Stanton Cook - Don Grenesko - Jim Dowdle - Denis FitzSimons regimes.

Look for the Cubs to ask for 40 or 41 night games. Kenney said he understands he has to be sensitive to neighborhood concerns.

"I'll be honest with you, we did a [poor] job reaching out to the neighborhood [before]," he said. "There was an arrogance [by Tribune Co.]."

We'll except that as true. Were you a supporter of the arrogance, Crane?

Clearly, the real games are going on in the battle for hearts and minds and not waiting 24 days to start.

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