Patton: Thirty years from now, when you're sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee and he asks you, "What did you do in the great World War II," you won't have to say, "Well... I shoveled sh*t in Louisiana."
Very early this morning, baseball's newest owner was awakened by his Steve Goodman "Go Cubs Go" ringtone. A nearly breathless Crane Kenney apologized for his intrusion but had to immediately share the startling and most unexpected announcement just delivered by Commissioner Bud Selig's office. Tom Ricketts dropped his cell phone in disbelief. His wife inquired what was wrong. He turned to her with a sheer look of bewilderment and euphoric joy.
"That was Crane calling. He told me that I just won the World Series".
The news quickly swept across baseball's landscape.
"Ricketts deserves it. The Cubs deserve it. As a baseball fan, I'm overjoyed by this news!"
"A little early perhaps, but Ricketts is so much better than the Tribune. This will inspire him to keep his promises."
"I am a lifelong Cubs fans. 100 years was just too long. I've never been so happy! I can now die in peace!"
"Tom Ricketts has restored pride to Wrigleyville. The man has saved the Cubs. This was a wise decision."
"Woo woo! Cubs! Woo woo! Ricketts! Woo woo World Series! Woo woo!"
"I'm speechless. I've never been so proud of being a Cubs fan. He brought us out of the light!"
"For so long the world hated the Chicago Cubs. I could never tell others that I'm a Cubs fan. This just confirms once and for all, that Tom Ricketts has changed the world's view of the Chicago Cubs."
"We are no longer the losers! We are now winners! Thank you so much Tom Ricketts!"
And so on... And so on....
An excerpt from Bud Selig's late night/early morning press conference with the announcement of the news:
"For the past century or so, the Chicago Cubs have been regarded as lovable losers. So why not do it now? Geez, we just canceled the Colorado game because global warming made it really cold and snow there. Baseball needs to change and Mr. Tom Ricketts has been its change. Baseball was never meant to be played in snow so why not just reward the World Series to Tom Ricketts now and be done with it? Some people say — and I understand it — 'Isn't it premature? Too early?' Gosh tooting, this season has not even ended yet and the Ricketts era has yet to really begun. Well, I'd say then that it could be too late to respond for another hundred years from now. It is now that we have the opportunity to respond — all of us."
Thunderous applause erupted from the press conference. And in a touching moment of baseball solidarity, a tearful spontaneous rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" was sung by all.
A sleepy eyed, Scooby-Doo pajama clad Tom Ricketts addressed reporters on the edge of his drive way:
"Let me be clear: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of Cubdom leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all baseball team-doms - and that includes New York! To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative teams who've been honored by this prize. But a World Series is indeed a World Series. So, this one is mine!"
Not everyone was cheerful of the news.
"I spent the most money. And now I get robbed. This sport is dead." - Hank Steinbrenner
"Why the (blank) are we still playing (blank) baseball if the (blank) Cubs already are declared winners?" - Tommy Lasorda
"I don't give a (blank). We already got swept." - Tony La Russa
"(Blank) those (blanks)!" - Patti Blagojevich
"Those (blank) rats!" - Ozzie Guillen
"Do I still get my playoff bonus money?" - Milton Bradley
Selig's shocking announcement has been divisive at best. He acknowledged, "Clearly those that hate Ricketts and Cubs might be disappointed by this announcement. However, times change. They lost and just need to get over it. No longer will be required to play the game on the field. Especially when it is so darn cold. Baseball needs to be viewed as more passive. And apologize for its arrogance and brashness. Tom Ricketts recognizes the ills of our previous ways. He is our guiding beacon of light. The candle of enlightenment burns within his soul. And I too was touched by this awakening. God bless Tom Ricketts. He truly has earned this distinction. And should everything go wrong, such as Jim Hendry offering Kevin Gregg yet another contract then one cannot say that this was because of Tom Ricketts. It could be that it is because of us, all the others, that didn't respond. Today, everyone is declared a Cubs fan."
During a telephone interview, Lou Piniella burst into tears:
"Well this is a really, really nice surprise! And the nice boys I managed this season will be so happy! They tried so hard but things just did not turn out that well. But this makes up for everything that went so wrong. Boy, I gotta tell ya, that Mr. Ricketts sure is a really nice young man and he just.... just.... just.... is such a good, young baseball owner. He's earned it. And I cannot be happier for our players and fans. And best of all, Jim and I get to keep our jobs."
In a brief statement from the Mayor Daley's office, the press was informed that a 5 day festival would be held to honor Tom Ricketts and be hosted by Oprah Winfrey. Special guests include recording artists Eddie Vedder and Kayne West. A parade will be held TBA and plans are already underway to "temporarily" close the Kennedy Expressway "for the most super awesome raucous celebration ever celebrated by Chicago".
Rev. James L. Greanias of the Greek orthodox faith weighed in and probably said it best, "It is an award that speaks to the promise of Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts' message of hope. The goat curse is finally exorcised."