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Ricketts, up for Commerce spot, on Cubs winning formula

WASHINGTON — How do you boil down the formula that led to the Chicago Cubs winning the 2016 World Series?

Cubs Board member Todd Ricketts, who is President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the deputy secretary of Commerce, in 157 words highlighted how the Ricketts family turned around the long-suffering Cubs and made them winners.

It’s in the questionnaire he had to fill out for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Ricketts wrote it as if it were a mini-case study for a business school, not the sports pages.

Freshman Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is among the 25 members on the Commerce panel, and she huddled with Ricketts on Tuesday afternoon. He’s been making the rounds on Capitol Hill, meeting with about 20 senators so far. Ricketts’ committee hearing has not been scheduled.

A touch: Duckworth had a Cubs blue World Series champion cup on the table where they were seated.

Ricketts told me after meeting with Duckworth that his Cubs distillation was a matter of “I was just trying to be as concise as possible.”

Here’s the B-school version of how the Cubs broke the 108-year curse.

“Several years ago, my family and I led an effort to become the majority owner in the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball franchise. Of course, as any sports fan knows, buying the Cubs presented us with the ultimate turn-around opportunity.

“As a member of the board of directors, I have worked closely over the last seven years to bring about the type of organizational change that we believed was necessary to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the World Series.

“I have been involved in the efforts to do a bottom-up review of all business and baseball operations: grow our management and front office teams; rehabilitate old facilities and construct new ones; and create a culture of winning.

“The hallmarks of this effort included setting long-and-short-term goals; setting and keeping realistic deadlines to achieve those goals; establishing metrics to measure success; identifying the right talent for the mission; and promoting accountability at each step of the process.”

Full story: Chicago Sun-Times

Todd Ricketts