has engulfed the Chicago area as the Cubs make a bold move to finally end their historic 103-year drought without a championship. While salivating Cubs fans anxiously await "Theo's Reign," naturally, Snerd is busy with the hard-to-find, behind-the-scenes scoops surrounding this momentous event -- when baseball wunderkind, Theo Epstein, leads Cubs Nation
Baseball insiders are reporting the Cubs and the Boston Red Sox are quibbling over compensation for the Cubs to snag Theo from Beantown, but my East Coast Snerd scoopers tell me the real deal. Apparently, Theo is more concerned about his creature comforts than his opening day roster. Case in point: When Theo and Cubs owner Tom Ricketts began talking turkey in the boss man's office, Epstein immediately declared, "First off, unless I can have THIS office, we can stop talking right now." A stunned Ricketts responded, "But this is my of
," to which Theo quickly stopped him in mid-sentence, "Uh, uh
do you want to win it or not?" Ricketts dropped his head and agreed. After winning Round One, Theo continued, "And I'd like ownership of one of those rooftop buildings across the street. The one with the best view. I'll have lots of friends and family visiting and those look pretty cool on TV. So, if you're down with the office and the rooftop, then, awesome, Tom, let's talk."
Former Illinois governor and major Cubs fan, Rod Blagojevich, not surprisingly, is looking for a way he can profit from Theo's arrival. Blago views Theo as the one who can bring a World Series to Wrigley, AND be a potential-buyer for his Ravenswood Manor home. The carefully-coiffed, convicted politician was asked about the pending hiring of Theo, and Blago blurted, "As a Cubs fan I'm excited, but as the owner of a beautiful home currently for sale at a great price, I'm doubly excited. It's got great curb appeal; it's 3,800 square feet, with five bedrooms, four baths, a beautifully-updated kitchen, and a spacious family room. Plus, I'll throw in my Cubs memorabilia for free. It's the perfect place for a family man and a Cub fan just like me!" Blago added that the current $1 million price tag for the abode is flexible. "I know Theo is an expert negotiator, but I'm not too bad myself. I was governor of Illinois, you know. I've closed a few deals in my day, too. But I might be willing to offer a "Cubbie discount." Just sitting at the negotiating table with Theo, well, that would be f**king golden!"
Rahm's Renaming Offer
Chicago's other wonder boy, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is wasting no time in putting the power of the Fifth Floor into play to lure Theo. My City Hall sources are whispering that Rahm, a Cub fan, has already offered to rename Sheffield Ave. -- the street that runs behind the Wrigley Field bleachers -- after Epstein. Emanuel has already spoken to Alderman Tom Tunney, whose 44th ward includes Wrigley, about the renaming the street and they've agreed it can be called either "Theo Way," "Epstein Boulevard," or "T.E. Drive." Added Rahm, "Or if he'd like, we can rename Addison St. "Theo," and rename Clark St. "Epstein," so the park will be located at Theo and Epstein. We also should start calling the neighborhood "Theoville" rather than "Wrigleyville." That name is so 20th Century." The guy's gonna own the city
"The Theo Bear"
Speaking of name changes, the owners of the famous Wrigleyville watering hole (or I should say "Theoville" might as well start getting used to it!), The Cubby Bear, also are excited by the prospect of having Epstein at the team's helm and as its newest neighbor. In order to tap into Theo-mania" and to show its continued support of the team, the owners are seriously considering renaming their popular saloon, "The Theo Bear" and would do so on the day of the Cubs home opener in 2012. "He'll need somewhere to hang after the games
how about a place right across the street with his name on it?" said a Cubby Bear owner.
Theo Gets A Goat
Epstein already is credited with breaking Boston's long-time "Curse Of The Bambino," and as he prepares to slay the Cubs' equally-legendary "Curse Of The Goat," I've "over-Snerd" he may get some help from the real thing. Sam Sianis, owner of the epicenter of the curse, The Billy Goat Tavern, is planning to get a new goat and name him "Theo." The legendary tavern's owner plans to bring the goat to Wrigley and greet Theo. "The only way to truly beat the curse is look it straight in the eye." Me and the "other" Theo will be there waiting for him," the smiling Sianis said.
Chicago's latest celebrity citizen is Rosie O'Donnell, now a regular resident of Our Town while she shoots her new daily chatfest, OWN TV's "The Rosie Show" at Oprah Winfrey's hallowed Harpo Studios. And because Rosie's living large in a $2.5 million home in Wrigleyville, she's also become an instant Cubs fan and is getting in on the Epstein excitement. Rosie rapped, "Oh, are you kidding me? He's so cute! And I LOVE the name! I used to have a crush on Tom Cruise, but now I'm on 'Team Theo.' How incredible is this
I come to Chicago, live near Wrigley Field, become a Cubs fan, and now they are going to win the World Series my first year here! I HAVE to get him on my show! By the way, what position does Theo play? Is he a good hitter?" Better do your homework, before jumping on the bandwagon, Rosie
Speaking of Oprah, my Snerd spies tell me she's having a hard time dealing with being out of the spotlight since shutting down her daily talk show. I've "over-Snerd" she was heard griping last week to close pals, "Who is this, 'Theo' everyone in Chicago is buzzing about? Don't they know I'M the only person in Chicago who is to be referred to by their first name? I'm Oprah, damn it! This sista has to get back on TV fast. This sucks." Oprah, there's a new kid in town
Not celebrating a birthday anymore: Popular Chicago-area car dealer known as "The Baron of Barrington," Joe Gentile, 87; and ABC-TV's new reboot of "Charlie's Angels," four episodes-old; both breathless.
Until next time, keep venting!