7/10 Mr. Ricketts goes to Iowa
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts watched the Triple-A Iowa team on Friday in Des Moines and was asked about the first half of the season for the big league team.
“The first half of the year has been disappointing for every fan, the Ricketts family included,” Ricketts told the Des Moines Register. “The offseason moves were very strong — Marlon Byrd is our All-Star. Getting him was a good decision but I don’t think anyone could really have predicted the difficulty we’ve had this year.
“I’ve talked to thousands of fans, many right here in Des Moines. There’s nothing I can tell them that they don’t know. We’re watching closely how things are going on the field.”
Ricketts shook hands with fans, posed for photos and signed autographs. He dodged a question about whether the Cubs are buyers or sellers at the trading deadline.
“That’s in [general manager] Jim [Hendry’s] court,” Ricketts said.
What about Iowa manager Ryne Sandberg’s chances of moving up to handle the big league team?
“He’s wonderful for the organization,” Ricketts said. “A Hall of Famer helping our kids develop for the future — that’s terrific.”
This is the last year of Lou Piniella’s contract. Sandberg has made it clear he wants to manage the big league team.
“I understand that,” Ricketts said. “He’s always been a crowd favorite.”
Could Sandberg take over for Piniella?
“I’m staying away from that one,” Ricketts said.
— Carrie Muskat