President-elect Donald Trump is reported to have offered Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts the job of Deputy Secretary of Commerce. Assuming everyone gets confirmed, Ricketts will report to Wilbur Ross, Trump’s choice for Commerce Secretary.
Ricketts is the younger brother of Tom Ricketts, who is the Cubs Chairman and principal owner. Besides Todd and Tom, other co-owners include Ricketts siblings Peter and Laura and their parents, Joseph and Marlene Ricketts. Todd has run a conservative political action committee for some time and father Joseph Ricketts, the billionaire founder of Ameritrade, is a conservative activist who runs his own PAC. Sister Laura, on the other hand, was a supporter and fundraiser for Hillary Clinton and is a leader of Lambda Legal, which advocates and litigates for gay rights. I’m guessing Thanksgiving dinner conversation was lively at the Ricketts residence yesterday.
Given that Tom is the MLB control person for the Cubs this shouldn’t impact the ball club. One assumes, however, that Major League Baseball — itself run by politically active folks — will be pleased to have one of their own serving in the new administration.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Blue Jays have signed Steve Pearce to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million.
Pearce, 33 had some health issues in 2016, but he hit .288/.374/.492 across 302 plate appearances when he was on the field and he mashes lefties in particular. Pearce is versatile as well, logging time at first base, second base, right field, left field, and DH in 2016 while splitting time between the Rays and Orioles.
Last week Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang was arrested in South Korea for driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. That’s bad, but it turns out that it’s nothing new. The Yonhapnews Agency reports that Kang has been arrested for DUI three times since 2009:
Gangnam Police Station in southern Seoul confirmed that it was Kang’s third DUI arrest, with the three strikes law resulting in the immediate revocation of his license. According to police, Kang had also been arrested for a DUI in August 2009 and May 2011. No personal injuries were reported in either case, though he’d caused property damage in the latter incident.
The report also notes that a companion of Kang initially claimed that he, and not Kang, was behind the wheel at the time of the accident which led to Kang’s arrest last week. It was later revealed by the car’s black box, however, that Kang was driving. So add in some obstruction of justice, whether it is charged or not, to the scene. Police are investigating that.
Between all of this and the fact that Kang is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault in Chicago this past season, a pretty ugly portrait of the Pirates’ infielder is beginning to reveal itself.