There's just no hope for Ricketts' Cubs guarantee

  • Mike Imrem still doesn't believe there will be a World Series title for the Cubs, renovation or no renovation for Wrigley Field.

    Mike Imrem still doesn't believe there will be a World Series title for the Cubs, renovation or no renovation for Wrigley Field. Associated Press

Updated 4/17/2013 5:27 AM

Let's return today to the sports side of sports, if the Cubs can be called that.

First this: A charity inserted a card into a solicitation envelope that arrived in the mail a few months ago.


"Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope," it read. "With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything."

The charity wasn't fundraising for the Wrigley Field renovation, but hope always is in ample supply in this ballpark, isn't it?

The headline of Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts' news conference the other day was his claim, "If this plan (to fix up the ballpark) is approved, we will win the World Series for our fans and the city."

No they won't.

Sorry, but I just can't believe Ricketts on this one. I already must accept too many of life's mysterious treasures on faith, among them girls, golf and God.

To add a Cubs championship to the list is asking too much.

I can't envision the Cubs scoring the winning run in a World Series, can't hear the Wrigley Field crowd celebrating a championship, can't taste the champagne being spilled over the heads of players and fans alike.

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So it comes down to either Ricketts or I being wrong because I have been proclaiming for decades that the Cubs won't win a World Series title in my lifetime, and I plan to live forever.

So, whom are you going to believe, an aspiring ghostbuster like Ricketts or a Chicago sports realist like me? Consider our credentials.

Ricketts met his future wife in the bleachers during the 1980s; I barfed watching Handsome Ransom Joseph Jackson Jr. play on losers in the 1950s. Ricketts owns a rooftop across from the ballpark; the Cubs made friends of mine want to jump off a rooftop. Ricketts came along about when saloon-come-lately Murphy's Bleachers did; I remember and preferred when the joint was Ray's Bleachers.

Maybe you get the point: Tom Ricketts' wounds are my scars.

So it's easy for him to say the Cubs will win a World Series and difficult for me to take him seriously.

I don't doubt that Ricketts will get Wrigley Field fixed, that the park will generate a lot of revenue and that Cubs baseball president Theo Epstein will know how to spend it.


But Ricketts and Epstein could do everything correctly the next few years and still not win a World Series with this futile franchise. They'll be more like a field manager who makes all the right bullpen moves and still loses the game on a broken-bat single.

So, yes, I'm still betting that the Cubs won't win a World Series in my lifetime while Ricketts still is firm in his belief that they will.

The championship proclamation sure seemed like a guarantee. I was waiting to hear the "or else … " part to follow. You know, as in we'll win a World Series within, say, a decade "or else every fan will be allowed into Wrigley Field free until we do."

The last time the Cubs moved into a new ballpark, new owner Charles Weeghman might have also promised a World Series championship. That was in 1914 and how did that work out for all you great-great-great-grandpas?

If Ricketts' proposal for a renovated Wrigley Field is approved, he'll certainly stick to his vow.

Meanwhile, I'll stick to mine that the Cubs won't win a World Series in my lifetime, all the while pulling for them to prove me wrong.

For now, though, whether you believe Tom Ricketts or me depends on your hope threshold.

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