Cubs owner takes swing at shaping club

CHICAGO -- One thing you might have noticed early about Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts is that he likes to wear an ID badge around Wrigley Field.

It was cute, at first, because he was the new, fresh-faced owner of this maddening team, and it showed a Midwestern humility that is part and parcel of the image he wants to exude. Wearing an ID badge when you're the owner says, "I follow the rules too. We're all pulling on the same rope here. Want a bison dog?"

Now, as his second season comes to a merciful ending, Ricketts can officially take off the badge. Everyone across baseball knows he's the boss.

Ricketts started slow, preferring to take stock of his new team before making any drastic changes. It goes against the prevailing wisdom of the crowds, but it was the right thing to do, even if it cost the team some goodwill and certainly some wins.

But he proved true ownership of the not-so-lovable losers by firing general manager Jim Hendry, the man who ran the actual team. And then again last week, when he re-upped vice president of player personnel Oneri Fleita before hiring a new GM.

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