Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's His Yard -- He Can Call It Whatever the Sprock He Wants

Current Tribune Co. overlord (and minority shareholder in the Chicago White Sox) Sam Zell recently stirred up a poopstorm when he suggested that he'd sell the naming rights to Wrigley Field if some sucker...errrr...marketing partner were to step up with the cash.

As the resident Cub Fan here, I guess it falls to me to offer my mostly-useless opinion on the matter.

The short version: Don't care.

The slightly longer version: If the new cash flow is put towards developing a championship team (i.e., invested in the farm system, used to retain home-grown talent, or spent on needed free agents), then I don't care.

I know there is a certain segment of Cub Fan who will whine and moan and have a hissy fit over this. There will also be a certain segment of the media who will whine and moan and have a hissy fit over this, but for different reasons. For these folks, I offer these two nuggets of wisdom:

1. Zell owns the Tribune Co. Tribune Co. owns Wrigley Field. Therefore, Zell owns Wrigley Field. The practical upshot of that is Zell can call Wrigley Field whatever he wants. Kinda like when you buy a house from someone, you're not obligated to keep the same color scheme or bathroom fixtures the previous owners had.

2. Even if Zell sells the naming rights, who is going to refer to the place as anything but Wrigley Field? I certainly won't, but it won't be for warm, fuzzy nostalgic reasons (I've been calling it Wrigley for nearly forty years, and I'm too damned old to learn to call it something else). Other fans might have their own reasons, but the results will be the same: it will be forever Wrigley.

That's all I got on the matter. Can we pay attention to something important now?

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