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updated: 5/25/2012 8:35 AM

All not lost in Cubs' fight for help

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  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during an interview at City Hall, Friday, May 18, 2012, in Chicago. The Mayor discussed a wide range of topics including the upcoming NATO Summit, days after his one-year anniversary in office. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

      Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during an interview at City Hall, Friday, May 18, 2012, in Chicago. The Mayor discussed a wide range of topics including the upcoming NATO Summit, days after his one-year anniversary in office. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • In this photo taken Feb. 14, 2012, online brokerage TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts speaks Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, in Omaha, Neb. Ricketts, the billionaire benefactor of conservative super PAC Ending Spending Action Fund, on Thursday, May 17, 2012 joined Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in distancing himself from a proposed plan to target President Barack Obama's relationship with controversial former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright . (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

      In this photo taken Feb. 14, 2012, online brokerage TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts speaks Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, in Omaha, Neb. Ricketts, the billionaire benefactor of conservative super PAC Ending Spending Action Fund, on Thursday, May 17, 2012 joined Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in distancing himself from a proposed plan to target President Barack Obama's relationship with controversial former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright . (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

 
 

If you're really trying to aggravate Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, then what you want to do is embarrass him.

And if you want to embarrass him, then you really want to do it while a whole bunch of important people are in town so they can ask him why the "City That Works'' doesn't work quite the way he'd like it to.

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But if you're looking for a grand slam, embarrass him while 60 world leaders are visiting Chicago for a NATO summit, when Emanuel is supposed to be showing his D.C. friends what a big deal he is, and not having to explain to his former boss -- also known as POTUS -- why Emanuel and the president are answering questions about Joe Ricketts and the Cubs.

Yeah, this is a bit of problem for the Cubs, though probably a temporary one. It's politics. It's rhetoric. It's about saving face now.

Emanuel isn't going to cut off his nose to spite that very same face, so if he thinks helping the Cubs was the right move before, if there was a framework for a deal already in place, Emanuel isn't going to scuttle it because of the Joe Ricketts super PAC story.

If there was no plan close to completion, well, this certainly extends the process.

Emanuel is not someone to cross and the mayor will get his pound of flesh, which means making the Cubs wait and wonder for many more months whether he's going to help them get a stadium deal done.

If he ever intended to help the Cubs with a $150 million taxpayer subsidy, he's still likely to do it, but now it's going to take more time, more campaign contributions to the right people and lots and lots of groveling.

As of a couple days ago, Emanuel was not taking the Cubs' calls. Don't expect that to change for a while.

At least, not until the summer gets very hot and lots of people sweat through their shirts at Clark and Addison.

Hometown discount

It's no coincidence that Emanuel spent time on the South Side Wednesday night and even sat with Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone for a few minutes.

Unlike Mayor Daley, Emanuel has been called a Cubs fan and it was assumed therefore that he would help the North Siders with their stadium issues, but the depth of his Cubs knowledge doesn't suggest he's really a huge baseball fan.

Asked by Harrelson for his favorite baseball memory, Emanuel pointed to a play when "Ron Santos" caught a line drive.

Sounds like the Ricketts family can pretty much forget the whole Cub fan thing helping them with Wrigley Field.

Public money

I understand Chicago teams have received help in the past. I know it goes on all over the country. I get that the Cubs are economically important to Wrigleyville.

But when a family can afford $800 million for a team, can't it also afford the cost of a stadium rebuild? Or, if it can't, should it have bought the team?

Jay Cutler

So Jay Cutler comes out and honestly voices his concern about the offensive line after the Bears did nothing to upgrade a group that allowed him to take another beating last year.

Cutler wasn't abusive or unfair, but simply made the point that a better offensive system doesn't necessarily make the line better, that there will still be some deep drops and the line will still need to block.

And within hours, the Bears apologists were out in full force, defending the line and backing Bears management, insisting Cutler didn't mean what he said.

Wait, what? He didn't mean what he said? Why, because he openly wondered about the offensive line?

Nothing he said was taken out of context. He wasn't criticized for it. He said what he believed.

So why, as always, the rush to defend the Bears?

Gambling plan

The Illinois House has -- again -- passed a gambling bill that would allow slot machines at the race tracks, along with five new casinos. The Senate will go along -- again -- which means it will be up to Gov. Pat Quinn -- again.

Last year, he insisted he would veto the bill. Recently, he passed on the opportunity to make such a declaration, and this time the House may have the votes to override.

The people who work for the people have spoken. The pols support it. The polls support it.

For the love of The Bart and all that's holy, just sign it this time.

The good cause

The Illinois Patriot Education Fund (IPEF) is holding its third annual Medinah Patriot Day golf outing Tuesday at Medinah Country Club, and it's not too late to sign up for a day of golf at one of the country's premiere courses and donate to a great program at the same time.

The IPEF provides educational financial assistance to support Illinois military service families. For more info, visit medinahpatriotday.com.

Growing baseball

The Chicago Executive Committee for Israel Association of Baseball (IAB) will hold a fundraiser July 25 at the Harry Caray's downtown with all proceeds benefiting the IAB and Team Israel.

Former big leaguers Gabe Kapler, Brad Ausmus and Shawn Green are assembling a team of Jewish players to represent Israel in the qualifying tournament for a spot in the World Baseball Classic.

Self-inflicted

Self-loathing Cubs fan Rick Aronow: "The White Sox have announced a new anti-bullying campaign. Does that mean they intend to cancel the remaining three games they have against the Cubs this year?''

And finally ...

Yahoo's Tim Brown: "The Red Sox hired a law-and-order manager and possess neither law nor order. On the bright side, they are improving their golf handicaps."

brozner@dailyherald.com

• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM, and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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