Chairman Ricketts referred to Joe Ricketts emails as unacceptable, stressed that his father has no direct role or economic interest in the team and praised him for his charity work in Islamic East Africa.When asked why the team spent so little money this winter, Ricketts replied, Thats a pretty easy question to answer we dont have any more.,He said the impending launch of a regional sports network with Sinclair Broadcast Group would not compel the team to jump into the pool of high-priced free agents.As much as I would love to have a great, new, exciting player every year, Ricketts said, it just cant happen every year.The Cubs made only minimal upgrades to a team that won 95 games in 2018 but lost the division title in Game 163 to the Milwaukee Brewers.,The owner outlined three points to the players, he said: respect the Cubs by acting well on and off the field, respect the fans and contact the team if interested in doing charity work.Then he spoke about his fathers emails.On Feb. 4, the website Splinter News published emails sent by and forwarded to Joe Ricketts, founder and former CEO of TD Ameritrade, whose children purchased the Cubs in 2009.,Ricketts mentioned the raises accrued by Bryant and infielder Javier Baez in arbitration, plus the teams decision to pick up a $20-million option on pitcher Cole Hamels.Those contracts put us well above what weve ever spent before, Ricketts said.The Cubs have shown little interest in either outfielder Bryce Harper or infielder Manny Machado, the two unsigned stars on the market.,To get this behind him, and become a better person.During his remarks to the media, Ricketts bundled the issues swirling around the team his fathers emails, Russells suspension, the lack of spending into the category of distractions.

But unlike HBO and “Game of Thrones,” WGN and the Cubs aren’t hyping their final season together after 72 years.,In my first year as Cubs beat writer in 1997, WGN televised 144 games.,The following January, the Cubs owners — Tribune Co. — decided to reduce the WGN schedule to 92 games, placing 62 games on CLTV, the company’s local cable news channel.,Fans gradually grew accustomed to watching more games on cable, and in 2003 the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks began their own sports channel, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, which is now NBC Sports Chicago.,WGN will televise the Cubs' season opener — likely for the last time »

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