Back home after a whirlwind tour of L.A. Cubs owner Tom Ricketts showed up at Dodger Stadium and talked with the beat writers who are at Dodger Stadium. Ricketts also talked to the Daily Herald’s Barry Rozner Saturday and to respected baseball writer Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register Friday. Here’s Barry’s column.
Carrie Muskat of mlb.com says Ricketts was “still having fun in his first season as owner.” Not sure the fans feel the same way. Ricketts so far refuses to play the blame game, specifically when it comes to GM Jim Hendry. Ricketts told Carrie and the other writers that he “had the highest level of confidence” in Hendry.
"I'm not going to assign blame to anyone or anything," Ricketts told the writers. "The fact is we came into the season, we had what appeared to be a pretty strong lineup. It hasn't worked out for whatever reason and it seems like the guys are putting it together now and let's just keep winning."
That wasn’t happening tonight, as the Dodgers took an early lead against Carlos Silva, who got tossed after failing to cover first base on a grounder to Xavier Nady at first.
"The fact is right now, Jim is our general manager, I support him, I think he does a great job, and after that we'll just take it one day at a time," Ricketts told reporters, possibly leaving himself some wiggle room for a change after the season if he wants to make one.
It sounds like the writers asked Ricketts about the scores of empty seats at many Wrigley Field games this year. Oftentimes, the announced crowd is much higher than the number of fannies in the seats. Blame the team’s poor start, the aggressive price hikes and the increased number of so-called Platinum games.
"Obviously, the more momentum we have, the better we're doing on the field, the more seats we'll fill," Ricketts said in the mlb.com story. "If we're winning, that will take care of itself, and that's what we're looking for."
In the Futures Game, featuring star minor-leaguers, the U.S. Team beat the World Team 9-1 in Anaheim. Cubs prospect Brett Jackson was 0-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout for the U.S. Hak-Ju Lee was 1-for-2 for the World Team.
In the minors Sunday, Brad Snyder hit a 2-run homer in the 10th to lift Class AAA Iowa to a 2-1 win over New Orleans. Darwin Barney was 3-for-5 with a double. All-star Thomas Diamond started and worked 3 innings, giving up 1 hit. Daytona (A) beat Clearwater 8-7 with DJ LeMahieu going 3-for-4 with a double.
Quickly in yesterday’s games, pitcher Jay Jackson worked 6 shutout innings for Iowa in a victory. Chris Carpenter won for Tennessee. In Mesa, recent draft pick Ryan Cuneo extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He’s 16-for-41 in the streak.