CHICAGO (AP) - As the baseball season began, Chicago buzzed about plans to upgrade wilting Wrigley Field. Then word spread that the patriarch of the family that owns the Cubs considered bankrolling a $10 million, racially tinged campaign against President Barack Obama, at the same time the team sought his hometown's help with its $300 million renovation.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the president's friend and former chief of staff, has since refused to negotiate financing or even take phone calls from the Cubs chairman. A best-selling author took to the Internet to vow never to set foot in Wrigley again.
Now fans are left wondering if the complicated financial deals and presidential politics mean the team's owners will have to put more money into the stadium, and less into building a winning ballclub.
"He's got $10 million to spend on that nonsense. He should spend $10 million on pitching," longtime fan Pam Paxton said of Joe Ricketts, head of the Cubs-owning Ricketts family, as she waited for Wrigley's bleachers so she could watch the last-place team.