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Archive for Thursday, July 17, 2008

Commentary: Cubs in foreign hands? Don’t laugh

July 17, 2008

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Suppose, just suppose, that Wrigley Field and the Cubs were sold to foreign interests.

Budweiser, king of beers, suds of St. Louis, is in the process of being devoured by another very large brewer, and I don't mean CC Sabathia.

The Chrysler Building, a true New York giant, a large building of the Big Apple, also has a brand-new owner - a very wealthy one, and I don't mean A-Rod.

How about the Cubs?

Suppose a rich bunch of Belgians and Brazilians teamed up to make a bid to Tribune Co. to satisfy a sudden thirst to be Cub men as well as Bud men?

Or suppose a wildly wealthy Abu Dhabi investment group decided to go after a famous little Chicago ballpark built in 1914 the same way it just did a famous New York skyscraper that broke ground in 1928? Would you care?

Does the word "foreigners" scare you? Are you xenophobic? Would your worst fears run amok?

I ask this for no particular reason, other than the obvious one that Euro, Arab and Asian economies could very well be sounder than our own.

One of these mornings, you will wake up to the news that somebody different owns your Chicago Cubs.

Somebody else will become the curator and caretaker of Wrigley Field, a property decaying quickly.

I honestly don't know who is going to be the next owner of the Cubs. I only know that they appear to have more bidders than they have All-Stars.

No inside information has trickled down to me. No one has whispered, "Pssst, Mike, don't tell anybody yet, but the Cubs are about to be sold to Kim Jong-il."

I wouldn't be overjoyed to see the team from the North Side end up in the hands of North Korea, but otherwise I really don't care much who gets it.

I wouldn't mind if the Cubs get gobbled up by Google.

I wouldn't mind if Martha Stewart buys the team and plants a row of green beans and summer squash in the ivy.

I wouldn't mind if the HeadOn "apply directly to the forehead" guys buy the team (because that would suit the Cubs).

I wouldn't mind if ExxonMobil buys the park and sells you a beer for five bucks a gallon.

I wouldn't mind if Starbucks buys the park and opens a new Wrigley Field on every other corner.

I wouldn't mind if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie buy the park and bring in Habitat for Humanity to fix it.

I wouldn't mind if the Church of Scientology buys the Cubs and makes Tom Cruise so happy, he jumps up and down on his couch.

I wouldn't mind if Boniva buys the park and changes Wrigley's name to Sally Field.

What would I mind?

Oh, obviously, I'd mind if some backstabber like that NBA guy in Seattle comes along to buy the Cubs and moves them to Oklahoma City. There the team's fans would have to sing "Go, Oklahoma City, Go! Go, Oklahoma City, Go!" and "My Kind of Town (Oklahoma City Is)."

I wouldn't want a new owner to get rid of the "W" flags, but he should hang on to the "L" flags - you know, merely to keep a good team like the Cubs humble.

I wonder if foreign interests could be interested.

Anheuser InBev Field.

Abu Dhabi Cubbies.

I don't think you need to be American to be in the National League.

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