Less than a year after media magnate Sam Zell sold the Chicago Cubs to the Ricketts family, the lovable losers are reported to be on the block again.  This according to a source close to the family.  The Soap Boxers made a call to Ricketts family spokesperson April Sloof.  When Sloof finally returned our call, she said that she could neither confirm nor deny the rumor.

Our anonymous source, however, was quite willing to spill the beans.  It seems that there was a great deal of buyer’s remorse after the sale was finalized.

The Ricketts era got off to a rough start when the family discovered that the Zell group had stripped the facilities of all tangible assets.  Uniforms, bats, balls, and gloves had all been packed into boxes and removed from Wrigley Field before the sale was completed – likely headed to eBay for sale to collectors.  The theft was not limited to baseball equipment, however.  Office chairs were removed, carpets ripped up, copper wire stolen, and light bulbs taken from the outlets.  Tom Ricketts expressed great dismay:

“When you spend nearly a billion dollars on a team, you expect to buy it lock, stock, and barrel.  This isn’t like buying a house, in that you need to buy the stove and refrigerator.  When you buy a baseball team, you should be able to step in on day one and continue operations without interruption.  It’s completely ridiculous to send the general manager to Home Depot in search of compact flourescent bulbs.”

The Ricketts family also suggested that false statements were made about the recent history of the Cubs.  Tom Ricketts has accused Sam Zell of showing him an altered version of the Cubs’ 1907 World Series trophy.  Our inside source says that Zell hired an engraver to change the inscription from “1907” to “2007”.  Ricketts was reported to be “livid” when he discovered the deceit.

The straw that might break the camel’s back, however, are the zoning restrictions of Wrigley Field.  Ricketts, a devoted environmentalist, had planned to turn the field into a common grazing area for goats during Cubs road trips.  However, the area surrounding Wrigley Field is zoned in a manner that precludes it from being used for agricultural purposes.

If the Cubs are to be sold, who will be the next buyer?  There are rumblings that Portland Trailblazers owner Paul Allen is forming an ownership group.  It is believed that Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, and Beaverton sports apparel company Nike would be the largest investors in the group.  Allen has long been connected to proposals to bring Major League Baseball to Oregon.  Allen is reported to favor a stadium in suburban Tigard because of its closeness to Interstate 5.

We will continue to follow this story as it develops.