2/23 Tom Ricketts address players
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts met with the players and staff prior to Tuesday’s first full squad workout at Fitch Park. It was his first address as the Cubs owner.
“There were two messages,” Ricketts said. “One is, it’s a family ownership now and we want everyone to feel like they’re part of the family. The second message is we’re very excited to get the season started. We feel we had a terrific offseason and we have great players and great coaches and we should have a great year.”
Ricketts said he could sense the serious commitment by players, many of whom showed up early in camp. Some of the players have said it’s nice to have an actual person to communicate with as far as the team owner goes.
“Well, I pride myself on being an ‘actual person,'” Ricketts said, smiling. “One of the messages is we’re around and if there’s anything we can be doing better, let us know. The fans will see us, too. We are fans and we’ll be part of the fabric at Wrigley this year. We’ll be around and accessible to both the players, fans and the coaches.”
Among the challenges he faces is Wrigley Field, saying the ballpark “needs a lot of love.” Crews have begun work on rennovating the restrooms and the concourse and fans will see changes this year.
While in Mesa, Ricketts planned to tour some of the potential Spring Training sites. As far as the proposed ticket surcharge for Cactus League games to help pay for a new spring stadium, Ricketts said he’ll leave that to legislators.
“I’m not going to talk about any of that,” Ricketts said. “We’re very confident we’ll get a solution that works for everybody down here.”
How many Cubs games will he attend during the regular season?
“As many as my wife will let me,” Ricketts said.
He does sound like a Cubs fan. It’s been a dream season already for the Ricketts family, who took control in October. What if the Cubs won the World Series in the family’s first year of ownership?
“Obviously, that would be off the charts,” Ricketts said.
— Carrie Muskat