Commissioner 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.)