Beer, Betting, Baseball ... And Politics

Oct 25, 2016

A screencapture of a Gov. Bruce Rauner, on the right, standing alongside Cub's owner Tom Ricketts outside of Wrigley Field on Monday.
Credit screen shot

Politicians will not be ON the field as the Chicago Cubs compete in the World Series for the first time since 1945. But some have found another way to get in on the game.

The Chicago Cubs versus the Cleveland Indians is pitting Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner against Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Rauner stood outside Wrigley Field earlier this week (alongside Cubs owner Tom Ricketts) to say he'll send Kasich Chicago-style, deep dish pizza and a Chicago microbrew if Cleveland is victorious.

"I'll deliver to you an extra-large Chicago-style deep dish pizza and a case of terrific, Chicago-brewed, microbrewed-beer," he said in a video released on Twitter. "How about that, John? But you know what? You’re not going to get that delicious food and beer. We're going to eat it here. Because you know what? The Cubs are going to win."

Kasich responded with a video on Twitter, saying "I'm going to match him in that bet, because I know that the Indians are going to roll."

These sort of political sports wagers are typical, and not just between governors.

U.S. Senators are also betting with beer.

Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois and Sherrod Brown of Ohio have put, respectively, brews from Chicago's Goose Island and Cleveland's Platform Brewing Company on the line.

Illinois GOP Senator Mark Kirk will also have to pay up in Goose Island -- with a case of 312 - if the Cubs lose; if they win, he'll receive a case of Great Lakes Octoberfest from Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman.

Fewer politicians may be in the park to watch the games. Though Chicago alderman were given the chance to buy tickets at face value during the playoffs (as long as they were announced at the game), an updated ethics ruling ends that perk during the World Series.

Rauner attended two playoff games at Wrigley; his spokesman says he doesn't know whether the governor will be at any more but he isn't going to Cleveland Tuesday.