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updated: 6/30/2013 1:33 AM

Ricketts, Emanuel should plow past silly opposition

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  • Tom Ricketts talks about his family's new ownership of the Chicago Cubs baseball club during a news conference at Wrigley Field, on Friday, Oct. 30, 2009, in Chicago.

      Tom Ricketts talks about his family's new ownership of the Chicago Cubs baseball club during a news conference at Wrigley Field, on Friday, Oct. 30, 2009, in Chicago.

  • An amazing thing is happening because of the moaning and groaning about what Tom Ricketts wants to do with his ballpark -- the Cubs' owner is getting sympathy from fans.

      An amazing thing is happening because of the moaning and groaning about what Tom Ricketts wants to do with his ballpark -- the Cubs' owner is getting sympathy from fans.
    Associated Press

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Before Alderman Tom Tunney's list of "demands" suddenly appeared Wednesday, he seemed to already have been bought.

Tunney had months ago signed his name to the Wrigley restoration "framework agreement," along with Tom Ricketts and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He'd been seen with the owner in his great Wrigley seats during opening week, and was finally on board with the Rahm and Tom Show.

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Beth Murphy is now the face and voice of the rooftop owners' association, a public role Tunney had filled for years.

So why the violent turnaround this week? It's right there in the verbiage of his statement via the Chicago Tribune.

"There are no ultimatums, but I have to clearly articulate to my community what are the most important aspects of this plan that we need to look at changing," the alderman said.

Tunney is trying to appear loyal to his residents. He has to ensure his next decade of favorable treatment by non-Cubs entities. There are campaign contributions still to collect.

The duplicity continued during the Landmark Association hearing Thursday, when Tunney opposed something he'd already supported in writing: expanding Wrigley's footprint onto Sheffield and Waveland.

The continued fight over the Cubs' desire to expand their own business with 100 percent of their own money is maddening and tiresome. It's created an amazing and rare feeling toward a sports owner in this town: sympathy.

People feel bad for Tom Ricketts. They encourage him to move his team. They urge him to play hardball with his neighborhood.

Tunney and his constituents need to understand why their property has so much value, and stop complaining about the airplane noises when they choose to live by the airport.

And Rahm and Tom should bulldoze their opposition as much as need be.

Who's Sox' infield captain?

The White Sox' pathetic defense this season found an emblem last week.

Addison Reed was on the verge of nailing down a Chris Sale win Tuesday. As Conor Gillaspie settled under a popup in front of the mound for the final out, Gordon Beckham came from nowhere, blindly sliding into Gillaspie and forcing the ball to drop as the tying run scored from second base.

This was not just on Beckham. Reed could have been more vocal, making sure everyone knew whose play it was. Tyler Flowers could have done the same.

The point is, no one did.

White Sox analyst Bill Melton told us on The Score this week that any good, functional infield needs a captain. Who is it on this team?

Third base has been a hodgepodge, led principally by the newcomer Gillaspie.

Alexei Ramirez has had an awful defensive season, recently expressing his insecurities. He's not very vocal anyway.

Paul Konerko isn't at first base very often, as Adam Dunn has been free to butcher his position. Dunn was a viewer with a glove during this play.

Beckham probably should be the guy, but he's still pretty young.

I'll never forget that despite years of excellence from Derek Jeter at shortstop, when Mark Teixeira arrived in New York, the Yankees' infield became his. He called all popups, loudly, authoritatively, and Jeter acquiesced to the better defender.

Robin Ventura needs to help someone know it's their job to take charge, verbally if not physically. Then maybe some of the myriad mental errors plaguing this team will start to fade.

Expand baseball horizon:

If you love baseball but struggle to find joy in this season, you have options.

Your camera has to zoom out. Baseball intrigue is there to be had.

Can Yasiel Puig possibly keep this up? Are the Pirates really this good? Will all five teams in the AL East finish above .500? Why don't more people know about Manny Machado?

The biggest impact for the Cubs and the White Sox will be as sellers as the trade deadline approaches.

But MLB need not be abandoned.

Zoom out with me.

•Matt Spiegel co-hosts "The McNeil & Spiegel Show" 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday on WSCR 670-AM. Follow him on Twitter @mattspiegel670

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