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A Correction, and Wrigley Field's Future

Yesterday, I posted what I believed to be an accurate list of players who had been implicated in PED use in the Mitchell Report. At the time, I had not had time to go through the report myself; I took this list from WNBC's website (this was a different list than the one that was falsely leaked to various news sites early yesterday morning that included other names that weren't on the list); not long after that list was posted, WNBC posted this correction and apology.

As a result, Sammy Sosa's name appeared on the front page of this site as being implicated in PED use. That's not correct, and I have removed his name from that post, and I apologize for including it.

Here's a more accurate list, which also makes distinctions between "players connected to steroids", "Alleged Internet Purchases of Performance Enhancing Substances By Players in Major League Baseball", and a shorter list of players connected to BALCO. I do intend to read the entire report, hopefully over the weekend, and write some more on this subject next week.

Let's move on to another topic: the future of Wrigley Field. As noted yesterday, talks are going on to discuss the possibility of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, which owns the Cell, buying Wrigley Field and leasing it back to the new owner. Mayor Daley pronounces himself mystified by this possibility, and when questioned, spoke up with one of his usual non sequiturs:

And Daley said he would oppose any tax increase in Chicago to pay for a public takeover of the 93-year-old ballpark.

"Let's be realistic," the mayor said. "Wrigley Field is owned privately and it has been very, very successful. It's made an enormous amount of money, and we have a crisis in the CTA right now. It's hard to believe that in this day and age people are now talking about taxpayers helping out the Cubs."

Hey, Mayor. If you read the proposal closely, absolutely no one is proposing a single tax dollar to pay for this -- the rent paid by the new owner would retire any bonds sold to finance this deal -- and what on Earth does it have to do with the CTA? Go on back to being a Sox fan and leave this deal to the state.

It does make a lot of sense; less cash up front for any potential buyer of the Cubs, and the lease payments could be made by things like naming rights, and extra skybox revenues. The Sun-Times article also says that the ISFA could "finance a restoration in the $350 million-range -- with work completed during several offseasons so the team wouldn't have to move out".

Works for me. Now, here's a possible caveat: buried in Michael Sneed's column in the Sun-Times today is this note about why this is being proposed at this time:

Hmmm. Here's a little dugout dirt.
  • To wit: Sneed hears rumbles the John Canning group, which is vying to buy the Chicago Cubs and includes Tribune insiders like Andy McKenna, were well briefed about the possible sale of Wrigley Field to the state -- and may have been trying to push it along because it would benefit them as possible future owners of the Cubs.
  • Isn't it true other groups vying for the Cubs had to wait to hear about it in the news? Questions. Questions.

Hmmm indeed.