GLENDALE, Ariz. — During his annual spring-training address to media covering the Cactus League in Arizona, commissioner Rob Manfred said Major League Baseball looked into the Joe Ricketts email flap but plans no action against the Cubs or their ownership.
‘‘We have talked extensively with the Cubs about this topic and are fully aware of the situation,’’ Manfred said of the racist and Islamophobic emails hacked from Ricketts’ inbox and published by Splinter News. ‘‘Mr. Ricketts, if you follow the ownership structure back, really has . . . no day-to-day role in the club nor control over it, and it is a bit of a reach for baseball to be involved given that set of facts.’’
Joe Ricketts provided the money to buy the Cubs and retained a financial interest in them, but his daughter and three sons represent the team’s top leadership.
There is MLB precedent for taking action against ownership for racist behavior. MLB suspended Reds owner Marge Schott from day-to-day operation of her team for more than two years in the late 1990s for pro-Nazi comments, part of a long history of racist behavior.
Unlike Joe Ricketts, Schott was the managing general partner, president and chief executive officer of her team, as hands-on as any owner in baseball at the time.