Quick Shots: IOC tries to take advantage of U.S., wants even more

Matt Trowbridge

The betting sites have Chicago as better than even money (4-5) to host the 2016 Olympics, but the IOC 2016 Working Group Report, released this week, ranks Chicago well behind Tokyo and Madrid.

On Tuesday, IOC member Hein Verbruggen complained the U.S. Olympic Committee gets “an immoral amount of money compared to what other people get.”

No, it’s immoral what everyone takes from the U.S. The IOC wants to renegotiate a 20-year-old deal signed when U.S. TV and sponsors almost completely bankrolled the Olympics. Now, they provide 60 percent of the funding. The USOC gets 13 percent of U.S. TV money and 20 percent of global sponsorship dollars. That seems modest, not immoral.

It also sounds like the IOC is using Chicago’s 2016 bid to blackmail the USOC into giving up some of the $450 million it is due the next four years. Instead of getting pushed around, the U.S. should push back. I say agree to tear up the old contract, then demand at least half of all U.S. TV money.

Fun time for NBA, not Bulls

Celtics-Lakers in the Finals, and Paul Pierce returns after getting hauled off in a wheelchair to lead Boston in Game 1.

 The NBA seems relevant again. Chicago even has hope with the No. 1 pick, if not a coach. Hire somebody. Anybody.

Cards no threat to Cubs

Forget the Cardinals (3.5 games back as of Friday); the Brewers (6.5 back) are the Cubs’ only division threat. Milwaukee survived a tough early schedule, playing 41 games against winning teams. The Cardinals had played 24 and the Cubs 23.

St. Louis is a paper contender, loading up with 23 games against the league’s four weakest sisters (Giants, Nationals, Rockies and Padres). That’s twice as often as the Cubs (12 games) and three times as often as the Brewers (seven). The Cards will fade when they play contenders instead of pretenders.

Ozzie being Ozzie no problem

Ozzie Guillen‘s latest eruption was only news because GM Kenny Williams overreacted.

Ozzie going off the deep end normally just makes the White Sox more entertaining, and helps them steal attention from the Cubs. The only thing Guillen did to hurt the Sox this year is to inexplicably play Juan Uribe over Alexei Ramirez for six weeks.

One dimensional, but good

If the Sox are going to be half a team all year, they’re doing it the right way, with pitching and home runs.

The myth is you don’t win in the playoffs with homers, but that’s only if you rely too much on a couple of big bats. You can’t pitch around nine sluggers. The Sox showed that in 2005. They had nine players with at least 12 home runs and outhomered the Astros, Angels and Red Sox 17-9 in 12 playoff games.

Cuban perfect for Cubs

Mark Cuban is a huge fan who will do almost anything to win. If that doesn’t make him the dream owner for the Cubs, this does: Cuban realizes teams belong to their fans and cities as much as their owners.

“The city of Dallas still owns the Mavericks. It‘s about being a good citizen,” Cuban told WMVP (AM 1000) Friday, adding, “I‘m going to pull out all the stops” to buy the Cubs.

Assistant sports editor Matt Trowbridge’s Quick Shots on Sports appear Sundays. He can be reached at 815-987-1383 or