Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts has property tax problem

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The Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago Cubs co-owner and Republican/Trump fundraiser Todd Ricketts is in some hot water over property taxes.

He and his wife bought an old 2,500 square foot house several years ago, knocked it down and built a new, much larger house on the lot. Due to what appears to be some governmental inefficiency, the county department which gave Ricketts the permit to build his larger house did not forward the paperwork to the tax assessor, so Ricketts kept being assessed at the lower rate for many years.

Which, hey, that happens. And even as a bleedin’ lefty commie, I can acknowledge that that’s on the government. There’s a law that requires people to say when they think their assessment should go up but, c’mon, people really should not be expected to run downtown and say “wait, I think I owe you more money!” Ricketts would have no recourse if the county figured it out and asked him for back taxes, of course, but I think we all agree that we’d probably wait to be told that our tax bill was going up if we were in his shoes.

Except there was one additional problem here. Ricketts, through his lawyer, later tried to get his tax reduced even more by claiming that he still had the old, smaller house:

In 2013, Ricketts’ attorney had a chance to tell Cook County tax officials about the new home during a property tax appeal but instead sought a reduction based on the age and size of the old house, according to documents the Tribune obtained through an open-records request. The paperwork included a photo of the century-old home that had been demolished.

Say what you want about Todd Ricketts and his lawyer, but they are not lacking in chutzpah. Now, of course, they’re likely not lacking in an investigation as to whether they’ve committed tax fraud or something like it. At the very least the lawyer is going to be in hot water, ethically speaking.

As the Tribune notes, Ricketts, his siblings and his father, who co-own the Cubs together, are not new to the “taxes for thee but not for me” game:

[The Ricketts] family that secured an $8.5 million county historic renovation property tax break for its rehab of Wrigley Field. That project also is in line to receive more than $100 million in federal tax credits.

Those are fine, presumably, as those taxes are apparently being paid by other people.




Anthony Volpe, 21, wins Yankees’ starting shortstop job

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TAMPA, Fla. — Anthony Volpe grew up watching Derek Jeter star at shortstop for the New York Yankees.

Now, the 21-year-old is getting the chance to be the Yankees’ Opening Day shortstop against the San Francisco Giants.

The team announced after a 6-2 win over Toronto in spring training that Volpe had won the spot. New York manager Aaron Boone called the kid into his office to deliver the news.

“My heart was beating pretty hard,” said Volpe, rated one of baseball’s best prospects. “Incredible. I’m just so excited. It’s hard for me to even put into words.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, hitting coach Dillon Lawson and bench coach Carlos Mendoza were also present.

Volpe was able to share the news with his parents and other family members near the Yankees’ dugout and said it is something he will never forget.

“It was pretty emotional,” Volpe said. “It was just an unbelievable moment to share with them.”

Volpe, who grew up a Yankees fan, lived in Manhattan as a child before moving to New Jersey. Jeter was his favorite player.

“It’s very surreal,” Volpe said. “I’ve only ever been to games at Yankee Stadium and for the most part only watched him play there.”

Volpe is hitting .314 with three homers, five RBIs and a .417 on-base percentage in 17 Grapefruit League games. He has just 22 games of experience at Triple-A.

Spring training started with Volpe, Oswald Peraza and holdover Isiah Kiner-Falefa competing for the everyday shortstop job. Kiner-Falefa was shifted into a utility role midway through camp, and Peraza was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“While certainly the performance was there, he killed it between the lines,” Boone said of Volpe. “All the other things that we’ve been hearing about showed up. There’s an energy he plays the game with, and an instinct that he has that is evident. He really checked every box that we could have had for him. Absolutely kicked the door in and earned his opportunity.”

Volpe arrived in Florida in December to work out at the Yankees’ minor league complex.

“He’s earned the right to take that spot, and we’re excited for him and excited for us,” Cashman said. “He just dominated all sides of the ball during February and March, and that bodes well obviously for him as we move forward.”

Volpe was selected out of high school with the 30th overall pick in the 2019 draft from Delbarton School in New Jersey. He passed up a college commitment to Vanderbilt to sign with the Yankees.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get into the organization,” Volpe said. “This day, this feeling, this moment was kind of what I’ve worked my whole life for when I made that big decision.”

“Right now it’s crazy,” he added. “I don’t even know what lies ahead but Thursday I just want to go out and play, and have fun.”