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Verdict in "People of Chicago v. Tribune Co."

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Mar 30, 2007 12:44PM

For the past six weeks, the Chicago Sun-Times has been conducting a trial against the Chicago Tribune on charges of "gross negligence and neglect in its ownership of the Chicago Cubs."

Over the course of the past six weeks, the prosecution and defense have "called" countless witnesses to the stand. Jerry "The bleacher preacher" Pritikin, Marc Silverman, Milo Hamilton, Jimmy Piersall, Mike Murphy, Dallas Green, and Ron Santo. Santo was the lone witness for the defense.

With the testimony so stacked against the Cubs, the verdict is hardly a surprise: Guilty!

An overwhelming 73% of fans voted that the Tribune was guilty of gross negligence and neglect in its ownership of the Cubs over the past 26 years. As a division of a media conglomerate, the Cubs has been run for profit first, on-field success second. Because of the aura surrounding the "friendly confines" of Wrigley Field and the lucrative national television rights, the Tribune found the magic formula for generating profits without generating many wins. While that may be good for Tribune Co. shareholders, it's not good at all for diehard Cubs fans.

With the guilty verdict, Chicagoist can only expect the pleas for a sale to grow louder. Can somebody — say, Mark Cuban — be the Cubs' savior? Or will the team blow well through the century mark when it comes to futility?

Gavel image via