Bud Selig sides with Cubs owners

4/23/2014 - MLB Chicago Cubs

CHICAGO -- Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig stands firmly on the side of Chicago Cubs ownership when it comes to their fight with local rooftop owners.

"They've had some treatment that's beyond unfair and I feel very strongly about that," Selig said after a ceremony commemorating Wrigley Field's 100th anniversary on Wednesday.

When pressed on who's treated ownership unfairly, Selig responded: "Without portraying it in great detail I look out and see a lot of things out over the wall, so that's all I'll say."

Like Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, Selig believes the team should be able to do what they want with the park despite a contract previous ownership signed with rooftop owners. The particulars of the contract are in dispute as rooftop owners claim they've been allowed unimpeded views of the field while the Cubs want to install a JumboTron and advertising which would block some views.

"I'm disappointed," Selig said "I think they've been unfairly criticized in so many ways I could stand here all afternoon and talk. They're trying to preserve this. Preserve something that's 100 years old.

"I'll do whatever I can do. That's how strongly I feel about Wrigley Field. And you can't ask a team to be competitive and you can't ask people to do things then tie their hands and their legs. It's just wrong. Someone has to say it so I'm happy to say it."

Rooftop owners pay the Cubs 17 percent of their ticket sales and actually have been part of the Wrigley experience for its entire 100 year history. Selig didn't go into particulars in terms of what he can do to move along the process.

Selig also has no issues with the Cubs' on-the-field rebuilding plans and thinks they'll have plenty of money to spend when it comes time.

"The fact of the matter is this group is more than capable economically," he said. "I have no concerns about their economic viability ... I think the Cubs are in very good ownership hands."

Selig preached patience just as the Cubs front office has since taking over in 2011.

"(Dodgers GM) Branch Rickey used to say you never make a judgment 3-5 years in," Selig said. "I think they are rebuilding their club in the right way. I have no quarrel with it."