Siberian Baseball

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wrigley faithful, meet your new daddy

Assuming all the paperwork goes along smoothly, Cubs fans can expect an end to their seasons of nightmare where their team played without a big boss in charge.

After years under corporate control in the Tribune media machine, the team is lined up to be the property of the Ricketts family in the next few days. After an early release where they were essentially tabbed "bidding group A" - which terrifies any fans who also follow Illinois politics and assume any lettered entity to be a high-profile witness in a corruption trial - the Tribune released word that the Ricketts were the answer to the big question for the ballclub.

The Tribune reports:

The family, which has Chicago connections but made its fortune building a discount stock brokerage in Omaha, confirmed Thursday night that it has been selected by Tribune Co. to begin exclusive negotiations to buy the team, Wrigley Field and a 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet, a regional cable network.

Sources put the value of the bid at about $900 million. That works out to $9 million for each season since the team's last World Series title in 1908.

Thanks for clearing that up, guys. I need to know every piece of Cubs-related trivia in relation to years of futility. It really helps define me as a person.

The article goes on to explain what the process is (especially in the context of the current credit crater).

The family will have to hammer out a final agreement with Tribune Co. and secure financing amid the worst credit markets since the Depression. Once a contract is inked, the deal must be approved by 23 of Major League Baseball's 30 owners. Cubs officials have said they hope to have the new owners in place by the start of the season in April.

So, welcome to Chicago, Ricketts family! It's a wonderful town to own a team - just ask the McCaskey's or the Wirtz's.

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