ricketts-family-wrigley-fieldDerrick Rose’s knee is jacked again (again again again), and I’m really feeling for both him and Bulls fans. I’d say that I can’t imagine what this is like, but I kind of can, being that Cubs fans went through something very similar with Mark Prior.

  • Last week, we learned that South Bend Cubs owner Andrew Berlin had purchased a minority stake in the Chicago Cubs, confirming that the Ricketts Family has indeed been selling small shares in the organization, something that has been expected for almost a year. With Berlin confirming that his purchase was complete, it’s highly likely that other sales have also taken place, and Patrick Mooney reports that is the case. (Mooney, you should note, first broke the story about possible sales last year. He’s been on this.) Although previous rumors had the Ricketts Family selling as much as 20% of the team, Mooney’s sources indicate that the investors – six individuals/families – will have, in total, less than 10% of the value of the organization. The proceeds from the sales of these non-controlling, minority shares will be used to help fund the Wrigley Field renovation and development project (which, as we’ve discussed, makes sense for a variety of reasons). Read Mooney’s piece for more details on the reported sales. I hope we learn at some point what valuation the organization was given for the purposes of these sales, mostly because I’m just curious. In any case, the good news here is that it is a tangible example of the Ricketts Family using its own assets (in this case, the Cubs asset) to help fund the renovation efforts, rather than merely using Cubs-related revenues.
  • Starlin Castro is excited to play for Joe Maddon, and is excited to play on a team with some playoff aspirations (ESPN). I don’t want to say Castro will focus more if his team is in contention – because then you’re necessarily implying that he was just “turning it off” when the Cubs weren’t winning – but I do think it’s natural to get a little more hyped when there’s something tangible on the line (beyond merely getting that hit or winning that day’s game).
  • It sounds like Castro is still struggling with the idea of moving his family, full-time, into the United States (Tribune). He wants to be safe and he wants his family to be safe, but he says when he’s at his house in the DR, he knows he’s safe. It’s just when he’s “in the wrong place.” I can’t imagine being told that you’ve got to leave everything you’ve known, in terms of a home life, and just move to another country, so I think I can empathize with the internal struggle there. Still, I hope Castro is able to make the best decision, and doesn’t talk himself out of making a change, if it’s necessary.
  • Also, Castro says he’ll do his job wherever he is in the lineup (Joe Maddon has given no meaningful hints on the lineup just yet), but he would prefer to be in a one spot (he mentioned 6 or 7, specifically) and stick there (Cubs.com).
  • The Cubs keep adding to their new sponsorship tally, with Assurance Agency joining the fold as the new sponsor for the Executive Club at the mezzanine level (you may remember that it was the PNC Club before last season). You can see more on the deal at Crain’s. This offseason has seen the Cubs undergo a virtual sponsorship blitz, adding American Airlines, Wintrust, Sloan Valve, and ATI Physical Therapy. That’s more revenue for the organization, and a sign that positivity about the Cubs is trending up.
  • Speaking of Sloan, the Cubs officially dedicated Sloan Park yesterday.
  • The South Bend Cubs have released their promotional schedule, and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans have details on their ticket sale.
  • Want to live where Kerry Wood lived? Have a ton of money? Go for it.
  • In the ongoing dispute about Ernie Banks’ estate, his caretaker has been order to give an accounting of his assets, which she claims total just $16,000 (Tribune). This is an ugly story.

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