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Renovate Wrigley? Dodgers owner Guber provides insight on CTL

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Renovate Wrigley? Dodgers owner Guber provides insight on CTL

Peter Guber joined Chicago Tribune Live Friday afternoon and chatted with David Kaplan about several things. Guber is the owner of the Golden State Warriors and is now part of the ownership group -- along with Magic Johnson -- that bought the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Guber discussed his leadership style as a businessman and his new book, "Tell to Win." He also sounded off on a myriad of different topics on the business end of sports, including the Marlins' recent salary shedding trades.

"They've won and lost with all the different strategies," Guber said. "There's no one clear path to success certainly in sports or in life, but one thing that's for certain is, you better be acutely sensitive to the fact that if you're failing, you have to make a change. And the question is if it's really a failure or just a speed bump.

"And for them, they decided they weren't going to get there, so they cut their losses. One of the things you learn in business is when you have a failed proposition, you want to move off it as quickly as possible...It's a business, after all."

The Ricketts wowed the sports world when they purchased the Cubs for 845 million, but Guber was part of a group that bought the Dodgers for more than 2 billion.

While Ricketts and the Cubs are dealing with potential renovations to Wrigley Field, Guber is facing similar issues with Dodger Stadium -- what do you do with a historical, popular stadium that needs to be updated and modernized? Can you continue to win with a stadium like Wrigley?

"You can continue to win on the field, but everything is a part of the process now," Guber said. "The venue is an important factor. Clubs that don't have good training facilities, good medical facilities, good clubhouses, as well as good bathrooms for women -- a very important issue -- different kinds of food, they compete less favorably...There's different models that have worked different ways. You have to look at your marketplace and decide what you can do."

"The Cubs are a tradition. Going to that park has become part of the culture, it's been venerated. And that's what the Red Sox also did. Is Dodger Stadium that way? Maybe. Maybe not. It's a different kind of fanbase. I think the truth is, at the end of the day, we compete against home entertainment. And as a location-based entertainment venue, you better be up to snuff, cause over time, it'll eat your lunch if you're not."

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred: 'We weren’t going to play more than 60 games'

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred: 'We weren’t going to play more than 60 games'

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made an interesting revelation Wednesday about negotiations between MLB and the players union. In an interview with Dan Patrick, Manfred said the 2020 season was never going to be more than 60 games given the spread of the coronavirus — at least by the time they got to serious negotiations two weeks ago.

“The reality is we weren’t going to play more than 60 games, no matter how the negotiation with the players went, or any other factor," Manfred said on The Dan Patrick Show. "Sixty games is outside the envelope given the realities of the virus. I think this is the one thing that we come back to every single day: We’re trying to manage something that has proven to be unpredictable and unmanageable.

"I know it hasn’t looked particularly pretty in spots, but having said that, if we can pull off this 60-game season, I think it was the best we were gonna do for our fans given the course of the virus."

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Manfred unilaterally imposed a 60-game season after the two sides couldn't come to terms. The union rejected the owners' final proposal, retaining the right to file a grievance against the owners for not negotiating in good faith.

Whether Manfred's comments become a point of contention in any grievance the players might file is unclear. The league would likely argue Manfred was referring to negotiations after his face-to-face meeting with MLBPA executive director Tony Clark on June 16. Manfred's comments to Patrick's follow up question — if the league would have been willing to go to 80 games, had the players agreed to all their terms — also points to this.

"It’s the calendar, Dan. We’re playing 60 games in 63 days. I don’t see — given the reality of the health situation over the past few weeks — how we were gonna get going any faster than the calendar we’re on right now, no matter what the state of those negotiations were.

"Look, we did get a sub-optimal result from the negotiation in some ways. The fans aren’t gonna get an expanded postseason, which I think would have been good with the shortened season. The players left real money on the table. But that’s what happens when you have a negotiation that instead of being collaborative, gets into sort of a conflict situation.”

The players' final proposal called for a 70-game season. At this point in the calendar, 60 games in 69 days (Sept. 27 is the reported end date for the regular season) leaves room for a couple more games, not 70 (or more).

So, Manfred's right that 60 games on the current timetable was probably the most MLB can fit in amid the pandemic. But you have to wonder if the union will use those comments in a potential grievance. 

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Cubs fan base named second most loyal in MLB, only trailing Red Sox

Cubs fan base named second most loyal in MLB, only trailing Red Sox

When you wait more than 100 years for a championship, you must maintain a strong sense of loyalty to your favorite team. 

Cubs fans have done that, supporting the club through thick and thin, from the mediocre years to the curse-breaking 2016 World Series season. They pack the Wrigley Field stands, consistently ranking in the top 10 in attendance season after season.

That devotion led to Forbes naming Cubs fans the second most loyal fan base in Major League Baseball, second to only the Red Sox.

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Per Forbes, the rankings are based on "local television ratings (per Nielsen), stadium attendance based on capacity reached, secondary ticket demand (per StubHub), merchandise sales (per Fanatics), social media reach (Facebook and Twitter followers based on the team’s metro area population) and hometown crowd reach (defined by Nielsen as a percentage of the metropolitan area population that watched, attended and/or listened to a game in the last year)."

All that science aside, does the 108-year wait for a championship warrant the Cubs being first on this list? In fairness, the Red Sox waited 86 years before winning the 2004 World Series, their first since 1918. Plus, in terms of attendance, the Cubs have only out-drawn the Red Sox in six of the past 10 seasons, a near-equal split.

Two historic clubs. Two historic ballparks. Two historic championships. In a loyalty ranking, you can't go wrong with either franchise. Here's how the list's top 10 panned out:

10. Braves
9. Phillies
8. Indians
7. Giants
6. Brewers
5. Dodgers
4. Yankees
3. Cardinals
2. Cubs
1. Red Sox

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