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Jerry Reinsdorf
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Cubs

Why Jerry Reinsdorf is Partially to Blame for the Chicago Cubs’ Downfall

What if I told you the person that broke up the ’90s Bulls dynasty – the same person who refuses to open his checkbook for the White Sox to flourish – is the reason the Cubs are in their current state?

It has not been a great year for many. The same can definitely be said for Cubs fans.

It started with another offseason of limited spending and payroll limitations to get under the luxury tax. A shortened 2020 season eventually played out and the Cubs did what they have done the past few years: forget how to hit the ball and score runs. The offense mustered up one measly run while getting swept out of the playoffs by a team with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, the Miami Marlins.

I wish I could say that was the worst occurrence in 2020 for the Chicago Cubs, but that was just the beginning.

Theo Epstein stepped down as the President of the Chicago Cubs. Kyle Schwarber was non-tendered. Jon Lester bought beers for the entire city because the Cubs declined his club option. Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini were traded to the Padres for a bag of balls that is still just a bunch of yarn waiting to see if it becomes a baseball. Now, the Cubs are reportedly shopping Willson Contreras, so he could be the next to go.

When will it end?

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The big fear is that the worst is yet to come. The Cubs couldn’t be further from a World Series contender after the aforementioned moves and it looks like a rebuild is inevitable at this point.

The bullseye of every Cubs fan’s dartboard right now is Tom Ricketts. His fall from grace is similar to Michael Jordan falling from Earth to Looney Tune Land. Instead of hanging out with Bugs and the gang, he is greeted by a legion of angry bleacher bums every day. The Marquee Network has been a failure, the Cubs are in a financial mess, and morale could not be lower on the North Side of Chicago. Needless to say, things are not what they once were for the Ricketts family.

What if I told you the person that broke up the ’90s Bulls dynasty — the same person who refuses to open his checkbook for the White Sox to flourish — is the reason the Cubs are in this position?

When the Tribune Company put the Chicago Cubs up for sale in 2007, Mark Cuban was one of the potential suitors for the franchise. Yes, that Mark Cuban. One of the most electric, successful NBA owners wanted to own one of the most storied franchises in all of sports. There was a big problem, however. One person was adamantly against Cuban joining the ranks of becoming a prestigious MLB owner. His name is Jerry Reinsdorf.

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At the time, Reinsdorf was one of the most powerful owners in baseball. Business Week had ranked him the 47th most powerful person in sports. When Mark Cuban lobbied to buy the Dallas Mavericks in 2000, there was one owner who voted against this.

The following is an excerpt from a Chicago Tribune article in 2007 that explains the situation.

“I never said I was against Cuban,” Reinsdorf said, and he wasn’t chuckling anymore. “The way it happened, I was standing around the batting cage at a Sox game one day and when the subject came up, I mentioned that when the basketball owners voted on Cuban, it turned out to be 29-1. I never said I was the one who voted against him. And I never said I wasn’t.”

Smelling blood, I pressed on.

“Well,” I said, “were you the 1?”

“I see no value in saying yes or no now,” Reinsdorf responded. “How did you get my number again?”

– ‘Cuban likely to strike out with Reinsdorf’, Bob Verdi for The Chicago Tribune (2007)

Regarding his attempt to buy the Texas Rangers, Cuban had this to say:

“There was no way Major League Baseball was letting me in. I mean, [White Sox owner] Jerry Reinsdorf told me verbatim that I had no chance.”

The Ricketts family eventually won the bid and became majority owners of the Chicago Cubs. The Ricketts family has turned Wrigleyville into Disney World. They have put the Cubs in a financial hell hole. They created a TV network that truly is a steaming pile of crap.

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Do you think Mark Cuban would allow the Cubs to fall into the financial situation they are currently experiencing? Absolutely not, he is one of the most successful businessmen on this planet. Do you think Mark Cuban would have torn down all of your favorite dive bars along Clark Street? Good joke! This man went to college in Bloomington, Indiana. He is built on slamming beers at Kilroy’s on Kirkwood. He would rather mix it up with the locals than change everything Wrigleyville was built on. Most importantly, do you think Mark Cuban would have put the Cubs in this position?

Mark Cuban would have been the perfect owner for the Chicago Cubs. His infectious energy and passion would have resonated with Cubs fans everywhere. He would have spent his own money to ensure the product on the field pleased the fans.

It is time to unite as a city. Bulls fans, White Sox fans, and now Cubs fans can direct all of their ire toward Jerry Reinsdorf. Jerry thought he had it bad with Bulls/Sox fans, but just wait until a bunch of drunkards at 1060 West Addison realize what could have been.


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