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The [Tuesday] Papers

"Tribune Co. Chairman Sam Zell has rejected former Gov. James Thompson's secret plan to acquire and renovate Wrigley Field for at least $400 million without raising taxes and now plans to package the Cubs and their landmark stadium in a private transaction," the Sun-Times reports.

Thank God that's over.

"[S]ources said Zell has rejected the state's proposed terms because it relies on a novel and untested financing plan: the sale of individual seats at Wrigley as if they were condominiums."

Which would make Cubs fans feel right at home.

"The idea is called equity seat rights and has been advanced by Chicago area business executive Lou Weisbach, who has applied for patent rights on it."

And here it is the patent application.

Zell's Knell
I'm sure the tax implications of the plan were the first thing Zell looked at. That's what he does.

"Tribune Co. reported a huge boost in first-quarter earnings on Thursday because of tax advantages related to its status as an employee-owned company, but a drop in advertising revenue at its newspapers hurt its underlying results."

Not having to pay Tribune Co. taxes has already been very, very good to Sam Zell. But not so much the rest of us.

Second Syndrome
A city that gives Pat Sajak an honorary street has not yet attained world-class status.

Sneed's Ranch
Note: On April 10, the first poll out of Puerto Rico showed Hillary Clinton with a 50-37 advantage over Barack Obama.

Michael Sneed, April 25: "A sure bet: Dems on both sides want this nightmare ended before the Dems' last primary (Puerto Rico) on June 3. But bet the ranch Puerto Rico will go to Obama. 'There is no more popular politician in Puerto Rico than (U.S. Rep.) Luis Gutierrez . . . and he's an Obama supporter,' the source added."

Michael Sneed, May 13: "Hmmm: Even though U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez is the most popular American politician in Puerto Rico, Sneed hears he's got an uphill battle to win the primary for Obama."

By the way, Sneed's "source" for the first item was "a top Barack Obama supporter."

Oversight Oversight
"The [Chicago City] Council's Human Relations Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing today on a resolution 'opposing any U.S. attack on Iran,'" Steve Huntley writes this morning. "The full Council could vote on it on Wednesday. The results are a foregone conclusion. Today's hearing features among its witnesses the anti-war figure Scott Ritter and John Mearsheimer, a University of Chicago professor known for seeing 'Israel lobby' machinations behind U.S. foreign policy."

So that's why the city council doesn't have time to hold hearings on the various scandals emanating from City Hall; it's too busy overseeing America's foreign policy!

"The resolution is sponsored by eight aldermen, including veterans such as Joseph A. Moore (49th) and Toni Preckwinkle (4th) and newcomers like Sandi Jackson (7th) and Robert W. Fioretti (2nd). They accuse the Bush administration of 'a systematic campaign' to portray Iran as 'an imminent threat to the American nation, American troops in the Middle East and U.S. allies.' They compare this to 'the use of unreliable sources, exaggerated threat assessment, the selective use of information' in the run-up to Iraq."

Maybe Scott Ritter knows who hired Angelo Torres. Otherwise methinks the council should stick to zoning ordinances, the CTA, and honorary street names.

Jerry's World
Jerry Reinsdorf answers critics who say it's his fault the Bulls lost coaching candidate Mike D'Antoni to the Knicks.

"I said if we need to get something done this weekend we shouldn't even bother talking because it will take longer than that," Reinsdorf told the Tribune. "He said nothing had to be done over the weekend."

I dunno, maybe when D'Antoni did get an offer over the weekend, he thought it more attractive than engaging in a drawn-out affair whose twists and turns would be endlessly analyzed in the media.

"I also said if this proceeds to where we want to make an offer, we don't deal with coach's agents. He said that's not a problem and that money wasn't the most important thing anyway. He said he wanted a job where he was going to be happiest. He said he didn't want to coach the Knicks."

Well, again, D'Antoni may have been turned off by an owner unwilling to deal with an agent. And, you know, he could have been using the Bulls as negotiating leverage. Or just being polite to Reinsdorf. Who knows, but when the Knicks made an offer and the Bulls didn't, well, that about says it all doesn't it?

Reinsdorf also spoke to The Sporting News - and D'Antoni, who didn't speak to the Trib, responded.

Here's what our very own Jim Coffman had to say about the matter in his SportsMonday column.

Public Service Message
"Most studies advise against paper bags to treat hyperventilation."

Baseball Zen
"The Bobby Valentine on view in the documentary The Zen of Bobby V is both familiar and alien to those who recall him as a manager of the Mets and the Texas Rangers," Richard Sandomir writes in the New York Times. "As the manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines, he is still loquacious and maddening, a grand ham who cannot accept losing.

"And he still gets cranky with reporters, who are much kinder in Japan.

"Now he speaks Japanese pretty well. He rides his bike around Chiba. He is mobbed wherever he goes. A beer and a hamburger are named for him. He lectures at universities about leadership, which he says Japanese baseball needs to survive."


The moment when Bobby V won me over.



Bobby's Cha-Cha

The Beachwood Tip Line: Zen Zen.


Posted on May 13, 2008

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - Harold vs. the Haters.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Go Ahead, Eat Raw Cookie Dough!

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