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Todd Ricketts threw a tantrum at the Cubs not being given tax dollars for Wrigley renovations

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The Ricketts family is one of America’s wealthiest and most powerful families. In case you are unaware:

  • Patriarch Joe Ricketts is the founder and former CEO of TD Ameritrade — his work is the original source of the family’s billions — and is extraordinarily active in conservative politics;
  • Son Pete Ricketts is the current governor of Nebraska;
  • Son Todd is the current Republican National Committee Finance Chairman and was considered for President Trump’s cabinet;
  • Daughter Laura is a lawyer, Democratic activist and philanthropist, having been recognized for her work with Lambada Legal; and
  • Son Tom, as you probably know, is the president of the Chicago Cubs.

But the Cubs are not just Tom’s business. Controlling interest of the team is owned by the family as a whole. Tom is merely the one in charge on a day to day basis. The entire family has a say in how the team is run.

I lay that all out because, over at The Splinter, Molly Osberg has published a trove of emails and documents from the Ricketts family, as a part of an ongoing series in which she, well, does that. Most of the emails deal with family financial management and economic and political matters — go read all of them if you want to get a glimpse into how the top sliver of America’s wealthy view the world — but a few of them talk about the Cubs. And they’re pretty illuminating.

For example, you may recall that the Ricketts family tried for years to get either Chicago or the state of Illinois to pay for its renovation of Wrigley Field. Which they, in the end, did not. As that was going down, the Ricketts family was quite upset. Insulted, even!

What gets me here is the entitlement. When a government official says he will not give a private business owned by billionaires a subsidy to improve its facilities, it is construed as “public official does not want us here.” As if it is completely and utterly inconceivable to them that there is another option, involving them actually investing in their own for-profit business.

I will say, though, the bit about “I think we should contemplate moving” answers an age-old question I’ve had about such matters. Specifically, “do they actually think people will believe they’ll move the team if they don’t get their subsidy?” Welp, yes. At least this billionaire believes that, if Chicago didn’t give them money for Wrigley, they’d move out to Naperville or something. I can’t decide if that’s more dumb than callous or more callous than dumb.

A followup email from the same day:

This one perplexes me. The only way I read this is him saying “hey, we bought your city’s falling down stadium, the LEAST you could do is pay us to fix it up.” If I’m missing a potential interpretation here, by all means, let me know!

As the old saying goes, the rich are different than you and me. They ain’t better, they ain’t smarter, but they’re certainly different.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.