Schuster: Ricketts Admits Cubs Have ‘New Energy’

By David Schuster-

MESA, Ariz. (CBS) –  Tom Ricketts usually makes himself available to the media one time during Spring Training, and that one time was Friday.

The Cub’s owner sprayed to all fields and though he answered all the questions much like a politician, he hardly said anything.

Ricketts did admit, however, there is a different feeling with the team this spring with the new management team in place.

“There is a new energy and vibe here and the players will be working harder than in years past,” he said.

That was a definite shot at former general manager Jim Hendry, and even more so at last year’s manager Mike Quade.

Ricketts steadfastly would not answer any questions regarding Starlin Castro, who was accused last September of sexual assault. Ricketts turned those questions away like a goaltender swatting away pucks.

“Obviously we’re glad that Starlin is here, but beyond that, it’s him and his advisors that you need to ask any questions,” Ricketts said.

All follow up attempts were equally swatted away like flies.

When asked about the recent story that the team would move out of Wrigley Field during any future renovation projects, the Cubs owner forcibly said, “There are no plans for us to play anywhere else but Wrigley Field.”  And then he added the words, “full stop” for emphasis, although I have no idea why.

Ricketts did say the new Spring Training facilities are a full go and should be ready for the 2014 spring, but he wouldn’t indicate when the ground-breaking is scheduled. He did say that tickets are still available for regular season games in April and May, but that season ticket renewals and new season ticket packages were both very strong.

Ricketts went back into his shell when asked about the public funding negotiations for Wrigley.

“Were still in the initial stage of talks with all the elected officials that have an interest in this. I think there is a lot of general interest in this but we’re not there yet,” Ricketts said.

In other words, it’s none of your business until we’re ready to announce something.

For more Cubs spring training coverage from Mesa, Ariz, click here. Find all of David Schuster’s spring training blogs here and follow him on Twitter (@schumouse).

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