By John Byrne and Fred Mitchell
3:59 PM EDT, April 11, 2013
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said today that a goat's head dropped off at Wrigley Field is no laughing matter, but tell that to Cubs players.
"Come up with something original," scoffed Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija, noting that the billy goat curse against the team "has only been around for 60 or 70 years. You would think they would come up with something new."
"I don't have many thoughts on that," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum. "It's just some unfortunate fan doing something crazy. I spent two years in Boston, so I have a pretty good idea of the passion of the fans and the willingness to want to win."
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo added, "In my opinion, it's just dumb. But it is what it is."
A man drove up to the ballpark around 2 p.m. Wednesday and handed a package to a security guard at Gate K, according to police and Cubs spokesman Julian Green.
The man asked the guard to deliver the package to Ricketts, then got back into his truck and drove away, police said. Security officials found the goat's head inside. The head was all black and had a U.S. Department of Agriculture tag on its ear, police said.
The package did not contain a note and was never delivered to Ricketts, police said. The head was taken to the city's Animal Control department, police said.
At an unrelated news conference today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he talked to Ricketts Wednesday night and promised that police will take action.
"There's nothing else to say, it speaks for itself, it's wrong to do," Emanuel told reporters. "I did call Tom last night, and said obviously that the police need to do something, we'll be on it."
No arrests have been reported but police are investigating the "intimidating package," Police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala said.
The Cubs are in the middle of highly publicized negotiations with city officials and neighborhood interests regarding proposed changes at the ballpark, including whether the team should be able to install a Jumbotron-like scoreboard and increase the number of night games from 30 to about 40.
Goats are part of Cubs lore, dating back to a supposed curse placed on the team by the late Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis during the 1945 World Series after Sianis' goat was denied entrance into the park.
Columnists including Mike Royko and David Condon helped popularize the legend, and Cubs officials over the years have repeatedly denied the existence -- or at least the relevance -- of the curse.
Tribune reporters Liam Ford, Ameet Sachdev and David Heinzmann contributed.
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