Great Moments in Chicago politics

18 Comments

You wanna know how to keep your lucrative rooftop seating? They put up a billboard, you put risers under your seats. They try to push through major renovations, you give nearly $200,000 to an Alderman. That’s the Chicago way!

A week before Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) declared his opposition to new advertising signs the Cubs want to erect that could block the views of rooftop clubs overlooking Wrigley Field, the alderman’s political fund got contributions from three club owners.

The checks to the Citizens for Tunney fund included $2,500 from George Loukas — who owns the Cubby Bear Lounge as well as rooftop clubs — and $1,000 apiece from Ivy League Baseball Club and Right Field Rooftop LLC, owners of the Skybox on Sheffield club. That makes at least $171,356.50 in all that Tunney has received from owners of the clubs, which offer fans a rooftop vantage to see Cubs games.

The article notes that the Cubs used to give to Tunney too, but haven’t done so for a couple of years.

That’s politics man. And given that all of these donations were reported in campaign finance reports, it’s only usual in Chicago inasmuch as they are perfectly legal.

The more squishy ethical questions we can debate. Part of that debate should include what we think about the fact that the Cubs themselves have a financial interest in other rooftop viewing establishments.

Forget it Jake, it’s Chitown.

Adrian Gonzalez might retire after his contract is up if his back isn’t any better

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:

“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.

“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”

Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

Getty Images
11 Comments

Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.