Imrem: Cubs' reported tree-chopping casts Ricketts as Mr. T II

  • Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, left, greets Jason Heyward during spring training baseball practice, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, in Mesa, Ariz.

    Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, left, greets Jason Heyward during spring training baseball practice, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, in Mesa, Ariz.

  • Steve Lundy/slundy@dailyherald.comFans gather outside Wrigley Field prior to game 3 of the National League Championship Series in Chicago Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

    Steve Lundy/slundy@dailyherald.comFans gather outside Wrigley Field prior to game 3 of the National League Championship Series in Chicago Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

 
 
Updated 3/6/2016 6:40 PM

Cubs' chairman Tom Ricketts doesn't have much in common with Mr. T, the legendary real-life cartoon character.

Ricketts doesn't sport a Mohawk hairstyle. He doesn't wear a lot of bling. He isn't built like a Buick. He wasn't ever a bouncer in a bar, as far as we know.

 

Nor has Ricketts ever appeared on "The A-Team," though many analysts believe the Cubs will be called that by the end of this season.

Yet a news story early Sunday morning involving the Cubs made Ricketts appear to be Mr. T II, complete with goggles over his eyes, a chainsaw in his hands and environmental malice in his heart.

The report said the Cubs -- owned by the Ricketts family -- are accused of deciding to chop down trees mere steps from Wrigley Field on the 3700 block of Seminary Avenue.

A theme for the 2016 season is materializing here: "The Cubs will chop down all opposition standing in their way!"

After hearing of the tree-whacking, an opposing hitter might be wary of stepping up to the plate with a chunk of lumber in his hands.

Maybe the Cubs will issue a calendar with each odd-numbered month featuring a pitcher wielding an ax and each even-numbered month featuring a hitter swinging a tree trunk.

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Wait, where was I before interrupting myself?

Oh yeah, on Seminary Avenue, where some residents are upset that they weren't notified of the trees-to-stumps movement.

You know, just as Lake Forest residents were upset in 1987 when the first Mr. T chopped down about 100 trees on his property.

The Lake Forest Chainsaw Massacre, it was dubbed, so this latest treegedy must be the Wrigleyville Chainsaw Massacre.

For now, some locals believe the plan to beautify Wrigley Field is uglifying their neighborhood.

The Cubs apparently control that stretch of Seminary and use it for parking, rendering the Ricketts within their rights to do what they want with it.

The original Mr. T also was considered within his rights to do what he wanted with his property in Lake Forest.

So if some trees really are falling on the North Side -- as they did on the North Shore -- it's presumably to accommodate the ongoing renovation work on the ballpark.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Meanwhile, the Wrigleyville Chainsaw Massacre slices into the Cubs' always precarious relationship with their neighbors.

Is this why sports stadiums rarely are built in cluttered residential neighborhoods anymore?

Remember, the Cubs also wanted to close down streets on game days for the professed purpose of securing the ballpark's perimeter.

Such measures aren't necessary at newer facilities built on vast tracts of land with huge parking lots surrounding them.

The Cubs' neighbors objected to the inconvenience of inaccessible streets around Wrigley Field.

Distrust of the Ricketts being what it is in Wrigleyville, one suspicion was that the Cubs were finagling to use the streets for revenue-generating activities.

The city rejected the Cubs' request, and wouldn't it be ironic if hundreds of Mr. Ts in Mohawks and gold chains were hired to form a ring of security around the ballpark?

The Cubs reportedly will replace the trees victimized by the Wrigleyville Chainsaw Massacre, which surely will inspire a tree-hugging festival with a "Mr. T II's Trees T-top" giveaway.

Signs will read, "Free shirt … $5" and pity the fool that falls for that one.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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