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Theo Epstein, Joe Maddon respond to Donald Trump’s Cubs comments

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Republican presidential nominee hopeful Donald Trump continued his long-running war of words with the owners of the Chicago Cubs by threatening to start running attack ads to criticize their performance in running the organization in response to a Ricketts family member helping fund an anti-Trump super political action committee.

‘‘Well, it means that I’ll start spending on them,’’ Trump said during an interview with The Washington Post’s editorial board, via the Chicago Sun-Times. ‘‘I’ll start taking ads telling them all what a rotten job they’re doing with the Chicago Cubs.

‘‘I mean, they are spending on me. I mean, so am I allowed to say that? I’ll start doing ads about their baseball team. That it’s not properly run or that they haven’t done a good job in the brokerage business lately.’’

Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and skipper Joe Maddon not surprisingly were asked about the scathing anti-Cubs screed. Both didn’t seem too inclined to get into a war of words with Trump over the matter. At least for the most part.

“I have no comment on that,” Epstein reportedly stated, via the Chicago Tribune. “I think that speaks for itself, as does our season last year and the turnaround of the franchise.”

Maddon, who reportedly was “equal parts amused and muted” per the Tribune’s report, said he has been entertained by the events surrounding the upcoming election, so much so he is “to the point where I prefer watching FOX and CNN over ESPN any day of the week.”

“Wow, I don’t want to get in a battle with Mr. Trump,” Maddon continued. “I have no idea what this is all about. … Maybe Mr. Trump didn’t follow the season last year. I have no idea.”

Both Maddon and Epstein clearly feel Trump is in the wrong in his assessment of the current state of the Cubs organization. But the case can be made that they were wise to avoid engaging Trump in any hostile manner. Given that the Cubs stand on the precipice of a season when the team is a trendy pick to reach the World Series, ignoring Trump’s commentary for the most part is arguably the wisest course of action.