Recent News

Wrigley Field Could Be Without Bleachers on Opening Day

November 28th, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

As you all know, the Chicago Cubs have almost completely torn down Wrigley Field’s outfield bleachers as part of the stadium’s extensive, five-year facelift. But what would happen if the project were to fall behind? According to ESPN.com and Chicago Cubs president of business operations, Crane Kenny, there is a very real possibility that the new bleachers are not completed by opening day 2015.

Large projects like this are bound to run into problems and complications, but more important than the project falling behind, what will Wrigley Field without the bleachers mean symbolically? Talk about a metaphor that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer don’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole. The Wrigley Field bleachers are a staple just like the scoreboard and the ivy. Opening a season in which the team is experiencing a monumental “rebirth” and having the bleachers incomplete would really set a poor tone for the year; particularly if the team struggles out of the gate. Imagine the headlines; “Cubs’ roster and stadium remain incomplete”, “Only bums, no bleachers”. Surrounding a very young team and a team with such high expectations with such debilitating negativity and criticism could ruin the 2015 season. Not that the Cubs’ young players need to be coddled, but trying to perform in an environment that is thick in doubt and skepticism can make even the most talented underperform.

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Chicago Cubs’ Mid-Level FA Pitching Targets

November 27th, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

The Chicago Cubs are not going to sign multiple $100 million dollar pitchers this off-season, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer put that rumor to rest a while ago. However, that doesn’t mean that the Chicago Cubs won’t target multiple mid-level free agent pitchers this off-season. If the Cubs’ mid-season acquisitions are any indication, they will likely target low cost, high risk/reward arms. Pitchers like Felix Doubront and Dan Straily were perfect additions for the Cubs this summer because they have the potential to be legitimate second or third starters, but should they fail to reach that potential, the consequences would be minimal.

#

Starter

1

Jake Arrieta

2

Kyle Hendricks

3

Open

4

Open

5

Tsuyoshi Wada

The Chicago Cubs have at least two open spots in their rotation and, although they have plenty of internal options, here are five legitimate free agents that should be on Epstein and Hoyer’s radar:

Pitcher

Age

W-L

ERA

WHIP

IP

Jason Hammel

32

10-11

3.47

1.123

176.1

Justin Masterson

29

7-9

5.88

1.632

128.2

Jake Peavy

33

7-13

3.73

1.278

202.2

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Making Sammy Sosa’s Hall of Fame Case

November 26th, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

The 2015 MLB Hall of Fame ballot was released this week and it is ripe with superstars from the late ‘90’s and early 2000’s. Newcomers, such as Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz figure to make a serious run a making the Hall on their first attempt while the likes of Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens hope to end their waiting. Among those still waiting is, Former Chicago Cubs’ right fielder, Sammy Sosa who will make his third appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2015. Sosa is just one amongst many who are surefire Hall of Famers, despite receiving just 7.2% of the vote in 2014, and here is why:

Period

HR

RBI

SB

.slg

Career

609

1667

234

.5338

All-Time Rank

8th

27th

261st

39th

· 1 MVP

· 7 All-Star appearances

· 6 Silver Slugger Awards

· Occupies 3 of top-6 most prolific HR seasons in history (1998-66, 2001-64, 1999, 63)

(Stats per baseball-reference.com)

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Jon Lester Watch: Cubs Make Offer

November 26th, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

According to CSN Chicago, the Chicago Cubs have made an offer to, free agent starter, Jon Lester. The exact terms of the deal are not yet known, however, the offer has been characterized as “significant” and is expected to be in the excess of six years and $135 million dollars.

Team

Meeting date

Contract Offer

Odds up/down

Boston Red Sox

November 16th

6-years, $110-$120

Even

Chicago Cubs

November 18th

6-years, $135+

UP

Atlanta Braves

November 20th

None

Even

San Francisco Giants

This week

None

Up

New York Yankees

Unscheduled

None

Even

St. Louis Cardinals

Unscheduled

None

Down

Also of note on the Jon Lester-front, the San Francisco Giants have emerged as a legitimate contender. Lester is said to be out on the West Coast this week and the Giants appear especially motivated to make a splash after losing Pablo Sandoval to the Boston Red Sox yesterday. The San Francisco Giants are a very scary adversary in the race for Jon Lester because, in addition to being the reigning World Series champs, they have a lot of money to spend, they reside in a very winnable division and they are extremely motivated to make something happen. On as side note: it also appears that the Giants have shown some interest in, Cubs third baseman, Luis Valbuena, as well.

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Cubs to Sell Pieces of Wrigley Field & Renovation Update

November 25th, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

The moment that many of us have been waiting for is finally here! The Chicago Cubs announced yesterday that they will begin auctioning off pieces of Wrigley Field; items include bleacher benches, scoreboard flags, infield dirt and more. For more info on how to get in on the action, check out Cubs.com (Click HERE).

For those of you who have lost track of the Wrigley Field renovations, the only things that remain standing in the outfield are the scoreboard (and supporting infrastructure) and the outfield wall. The outfield bleachers have been completely demolished and are ready to be rebuilt according to the Rickett’s reconstruction plan.

In terms of the overall project, we have only just begun to see the changes manifested at Wrigley Field. A complete timeline can be found at Cubs.com (Click HERE), but here is a brief overview of the major changes that we can expect to see in the coming months and years:

2014/2015:

· Reconstruction of the bleachers

· New concrete/steel framing throughout the ballpark

· Installation of leftfield and rightfield video boards

2015/2016:

· New state-of-the-art clubhouse

· Relocation of bullpens

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