The pending sale of the Cubs to a suburban investment banker and his family is being held up because an accountant misplaced a crucial document, it was announced today, a day after CNBC said the deal is in jeopardy.
Officials from the Tribune Company, which owns the Cubs, are pointing a finger at the team’s front office and the stacks of papers cluttering its accountants’ desks.
Daniel Winbaum, the team’s senior accountant, is accepting blame. He admits to being “extraordinarily disorganized” despite his number-crunching wizardry.
“I just don’t know where it is,” said Winbaum, referring to the financial document that only needs his initials before the sale can be officially completed. “I swear I just had it. This hasn’t happened to me since I lost Sammy Sosa’s W-2 in 2000.”
Winbaum has employed a team of “neat freaks” to organize his office and clear room for the door, which can’t even be opened all the way due to heaps of paper blocking the way. Winbaum says he is also seeking help for his disorganization.
Tribune Company owner Sam Zell is fuming, considering the sale to Tom Ricketts had already been slowed once by a dispute over the value of the team’s broadcasting contracts.
“If I can’t sell the Cubs because of this little piece of paper, I’m going to punch somebody in the knees,” said Zell. “If I could reach higher, I’d slug them in the face, too.”
From the June 2009 issue by Mike Pettit