respect wrigleyCommissioner Bud Selig was in Chicago yesterday for Wrigley’s 100th Anniversary Game, and, in the media discussions that attended his attendance, the subject of renovations and the rooftops necessarily came up.

Selig was strikingly adamant in his thoughts on the subject, even as it seems he may not be fully apprised of all of the particulars. You can read Selig’s comments many places, including here, here, here, and here.

In short, Selig believes it’s unfair that the Cubs are about the undertake this kind of renovation project, but are constantly told what they can’t do with the ballpark in order to generate revenue. When the subject of the rooftop contract came up, Selig seemed to sidestep that issue, falling back into a general position: the Cubs can’t be forced to preserve Wrigley Field on the one hand, but then not be able to do what they want (within the parameters of that preservation) to be as competitive as possible.

But, at the same time, Selig says it’s absolutely necessary to preserve and renovate Wrigley Field, because of its importance to baseball. To that end, Selig said he would do whatever he legally could to help get things moving. I’m not actually sure what that could realistically entail, but, hey, maybe he’s got some friends, if nothing else.

The Commissioner also went out of his way to defend the Ricketts Family, generally, against what he has perceived as unfair attacks in the media. Selig believes the Ricketts Family is committed to doing something great in preserving Wrigley Field (again, that’s his view), and believes they are rebuilding the organization the right way, despite the years of horrible results for one of MLB’s marquee franchises.

None of that is unexpected, of course, but it’s always interesting to hear straight from the top man in MLB.

(For what it’s worth, Selig was asked about the sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts Family, and whether he had any regrets about MLB approving a sale that necessarily came with a number of debt-related side effects. Naturally, Selig said that of course he didn’t, because the Cubs are in great hands, and the debt situation doesn’t impair the Cubs’ operations. Because of his position, we can’t really put much into Selig’s thoughts on the subject, because there’s no way he can answer honestly or disinterestedly. It may well be true that he doesn’t have any regrets, but the impact of the sale on the Cubs’ current operations is pretty much undeniable at this point.)

  • bigCEE

    Ruggiano to DL, Parker to AAA

    Cubs callup Neil Ramirez and Zac Rosscup per rotoworld…not sure where they got their source. it’s prob on twitter too.

    • cjdubbya

      It is.

      • bigCEE

        I like how everything I read says it’s to help out their overworked bullpen…

        Veras and Wesley Wright are all like, “I know we suck…but we haven’t pitched in like 2 weeks!” lol

        • Fishin Phil

          It should probably just be correct to read “ineffective bullpen”.

    • NorthSideIrish

      Mark Gonzales ‏@MDGonzales 9m
      Grade 2 hamstring tear for Ruggiano, best case scenario 3-4 weeks, he says

      Curious to see what these two arms can do. Rosscup looked good last September and throws harder than either of the LHPs in the pen now.

      • jp3

        And he’s had a couple RBI in Iowa…

        • Luke

          Rosscup for DH!

          • jp3

            No he can pitch and hit for himself, we can use the dh on Baker or Barney😃

  • cjdubbya

    No ragrets.

  • CubChymyst

    Maybe Selig can waive a carrot like an all-star game at Wrigley once the renovation is done. If Wikipedia is right the Cubs haven’t hosted an all-star game since 1990. So its been 24 years already.

    • TheDondino

      That should be, “waive a carrot like an all-star game IN CHICAGO”. Wrigley (and the Cubs) don’t need a carrot to get them to move on the renovation. The city of Chicago, the Alderman and the rooftops need a carrot like a promised all-star game to get them to get out of the Cubs way and let them spend their $500 million.

  • woody

    Selig has overseen the biggest era of cheaters in the history of the game with all the steroid scandel. The least he could do is reinstate Pete Rose IMO.

    • Brocktoon

      So you seem to have an issue with people taking PEDs but none with somebody betting on the game…

  • DarthHater

    If the Emperor Budpatine wishes me to demonstrate the power of the Death Star on the Rooftops, I am prepared to give the order.

  • FortyFour

    Selig’s comments on the rooftop dispute echo the same delusional analogy Tom Ricketts used at the Cubs Convention and the really tone deaf remarks Sam Zell made when attempting to explain wealth disparity in our country. I think these three are so insulated and surrounded by people that never disagree with them to their face that they end up spouting complete nonsense in public thinking they are furthering a conversation. No wonder there is no rooftop deal. How can you deal with people that are so disconnected from simple notions of contracts being binding, even if you enter them via an acquisition. Their idea of compromise is for everyone to capitulate to what they want, regardless of current agreements.

    • woody

      I agree with that. If Ownership had such a strong legal position they would have made their move by now.

      • mjhurdle

        obviously, because the way Chicago politics work, having an angry alderman would never slow things down even more.
        never ever.

        So they should just go in guns blazing. There is zero possible downside to them angering the rooftops and the local alderman, so the only possible reason they haven’t started yet is because the don’t have a strong legal position.

        If their position was strong, they would gladly enter a legal battle, because those are always quick and relatively cheap. No way it lasts more than a couple weeks. no chance. 0%. never happens.

        So obviously the only answer is that their position is weak.

        • FortyFour

          MJHurdle’s position, if I can read between his snark, is that if Wrigley Field was located in some other City, away from Chicago politics and an Angry Local Alderman, the Cubs could have expected to have prevailed by now. I think that is besides the point. If there is an honest disagreement between the Cubs and the Rooftop Owners, it should go to court and get rulings from a judge to identify which position is valid and the parties could then proceed. Perhaps MJHurdle will later say if the ballpark did not have to worry about angry local judges the Cubs would be well on their way to renovating Wrigley Field. Maybe, just maybe the former owner’s desire to avoid taxes is driving the Cubs desire to avoid complying with their own agreement with the Rooftops. Seems more likely than Chicago politics and an angry Alderman. BTW – I’d be angry too if 2/3rds of my time as Alderman was wrapped up in dealing with an ownership group that does not respect contracts with local businesses in my Ward and yet is more than willing to help a Billionaire (Zell) rip off the American Tax Payer.

          • mjhurdle

            my position (offered with a high degree of snark) was directed at the idea that “if the Cubs position was strong, they would have made their move”. There are way too many variables in situations like this to simply say “well, they think there is a 70% chance they will win in court, so they are just going to start and hope they are right”.

            my position on your opinion? You base your entire premise on the idea that you understand the contractual agreement between the Cubs and the rooftops in its entirety. I think there is a massive grey area involved insofar as to what constitutes intentional blocking the rooftop views. I don’t know what the contract says, but I think that it is clear that neither side has an ironclad position.
            I disagree with your idea that this should be brought to court and let them handle it, because that would almost certainly take years and cost everyone involved money that would probably be better spent elsewhere.
            As to the Alderman, you position is again based on the idea that the Cubs are violating some agreement.

            It seems clear that you have made up your mind that the mean ole Cubs are trying to break a contract, and therefore you give them no quarter. That is fine and you are definitely not the only one with that view. I can’t even say you are wrong, because I don’t know the agreement. However, you have nothing more to support your opinion than someone that would blame everything on the rooftops.

            • FortyFour

              I have stated before and will do so again that the Ricketts should simply put up the size signs that will avoid a lawsuit and enjoy them for the next ten years. At that point, they can put up even larger ones if they prefer. The Cubs will still enjoy the lion share of whatever revenue they would have received despite waiting for the larger signs. This would enable them to have the certainty that they need to move forward with the renovation. If they feel entitled to enjoy the larger signs than the Cubs will have to weigh such benefits with the costs of holding out for the larger signs while they seek rulings that back their claims. It is really only the Ricketts that are now delaying progress as that angry Alderman and those involved in Chicago politics have granted the Ricketts family every last item they need to move forward, including the approved signs.

  • Funn Dave

    Here’s a question that’s been bothering me regarding Selig and Ricketts. If debt restrictions were going to so drastically cripple the Cubs’ spending ability once they bought the team, why did Selig allow Ricketts to buy the club in the first place? From my admittedly uninformed viewpoint, it seems like an instance in which he should have exercised his veto power….

    • Funn Dave

      Wow, I really should have finished the article before posting. I still don’t see how he can say with a straight face that the debt situation hasn’t impaired the Cubs’ operations.

      • Luke

        Keep in mind that the debt restrictions were imposed by the seller. There wasn’t really anything Selig could do about it. Any buyer would have the same problem.

        • Brett

          Eh. He probably could have said I’m not allowing any buyer to buy under these conditions, because it’s not in the interests of MLB to have a franchise hamstrung.

          I think he genuinely believed (and maybe still believes) that this setup is OK, all things considered. Maybe it is. Obviously I do see some financial positive possibilities in the next few years (even if the real explosion of revenue won’t come until 2019).

          • MattM

            Brett, you are absolutely right! Selig has the power to not only choose who can buy a club but also to force an owner to sell! He’s already done it!

            Brett, your next paragraph can’t be true. If Selig thought that this setup was ok why then is he allowing MLB to impose fines on the Cubs based on the purchase agreement.

            Think about it. You mentioned in your writeup that MLB has a rule that if a team doesn’t show a certain amount of profit then MLB can fine them. In this case the Cubs have to keep money behind to make it look like they are profiting and not get fined. Basically it is a fine itself.

            There is no way Selig thought this was an ok deal. I think quite the opposite in fact. I also think that Selig was paid off by Zell to allow it. There is no way that he could have looked at what was going on and said, “hmm, this is great for baseball.” He couldn’t have!

            • Brocktoon

              MLB can fine them, I’d bet my life they haven’t. Suppressing payrolls are a good thing in Seligs eyes. Paid off by Zell?? Come on.

              • MattM

                Come on what? It’s Selig’s JOB to ensure franchises are in a great state.

                The Cubs revenue wise are doing extremely well yet the way the friggen sale was done makes them peniless basically! So, either Selig sucks that the job he’s supposed to be doing (find it hard to believe) or he was paid off to allow it.

                Look at the Dodgers. Mccourt had the same issue in that the Dodgers were heavily leveraged just like the Cubs. Selig stepped in and foced him to sell!

                • Brocktoon

                  Selig didn’t step in and force McCourt to sell

                • Brocktoon

                  He did however arrange for him to get the Dodgers despite the fact that he had no money. Much like Crane in Houston. Much like that piece of shit Loria in Miami

                  • MattM

                    Huh? Article entitled “MLB agreement forces sale of Dodgers.” Should I have just said MLB and not Selig?


                  • MattM
                    • Brocktoon
                    • MattM

                      Not true again….. I’ll quote it for you:

                      “With Bud Selig rejecting the television deal between Fox and the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday, Major League Baseball is one step closer to forcing Frank McCourt to sell the Dodgers.

                      Not only did the rejection of the television deal put the divorce proceedings between Frank and Jamie McCourt back into limbo, it also means the Dodgers won’t receive $385 million in upfront money. My colleague here at Bleacher Report, Doug Mead, breaks down nine reasons how this affects the Dodgers ownership.

                      Basically, the Dodgers (and the McCourts) needed this money to meet a payroll deadline of June 30 (and to once again, pay for some of their own expenses). If the Dodgers fail to meet the payroll deadline, MLB and Bud Selig would be able to step in and force the sale of the team.

                      To meet a payroll deadline earlier this month (and hold off the forced sale of the Dodgers), McCourt was able to convince sponsors to give him an advance and he was able to meet the payroll deadline.

                      McCourt may attempt to sue baseball and force the television deal to be approved, however, I seriously doubt Bud Selig would have rejected the deal if there was any chance his ruling would be overturned by the courts. “

                    • Brocktoon

                      Other TV deal was rejected because McCourt was undervaluing the dodgers tv rights for a short term cash grab in order to remain solvent. Selig didn’t say sell it because you’re bad for baseball he said you can’t devalue the price of MLB tv rights so you can keep getting 300 dollar haircuts

                    • MattM

                      Brocktoon apparently you did not read the most important part of that article. It say quite specifically that under MLB regulations if a team cannot make payroll MLB has the right to step in and force a sale. Mccourt was trying to meet payroll by signing a cheap TV deal. MLB halted it meaning he could not make payroll which led to the forced sale and bankruptcy. So in fact Selig did force the sale.

                    • Brocktoon

                      It’s pretty misleading to say Selig forced McCourt to sell when McCourt was entering bankruptcy

          • Pat

            Brett, he might have been able to try that, but that would have brought up the question of whether MLB has the right to dictate to a federal bankruptcy judge what deals are appropriate or not. My guess is the he (wisely) did not want to open that can of worms.

    • Brocktoon

      Because Selig works for the owners. A destitute owner in a big market = less big contracts for players = more money for the owners.

      • mjhurdle

        maybe, but destitute owners in big markets with no high money players = team with bad players (see 2012, 2013, 2014 Chicago Cubs) which = falling interest and attendance = less revenue from tickets sales, merchandise, ad space, etc = less money for owners.

        • Brocktoon

          Those are for the most part financial shortcomings for Ricketts alone. The effect on the other 29 teams bottom line is rather minimal