8:58 AM EST, Sun February 17, 2019
58 mins ago
Cub Tracks features creatures

Cub Tracks features creatures

...playing for the Chicago Cubs, and other bullets As I write, it’s Saturday night, and, in my mind, I’m in Berwyn (I actually lived there for a while, around the corner form the car sculpture)! We remember Julie Adams with an encore of “Creature from the Black Lagoon”! And actual baseball news is still back. Good times! And I was inspired by the music pages to create a ‘Duane Radio’ group on Facebook. I’ve been in the habit of filling idle time with chestnuts and nuggets for quite a while now, and some other people convinced me to let them in on the fun. You can join if you...
18 hours ago
A look at Cubs spring training season tickets

A look at Cubs spring training season tickets

... along with some information about price points. SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — The Cubs have gone all-mobile for season tickets at Wrigley Field this year. If you want them printed, you can have that done (for a price!), but you simply get the same ticket someone would get at the box office, not on special season ticket stock. This isn’t the case for spring training tickets, fortunately, for those of us who like attractive season tickets on heavier, glossy stock. The team is still issuing nicely-printed tickets for Sloan Park season ticket holders. Here’s the full ticket from which I took...
22 hours ago
Wrigley Field construction update: February 15

Wrigley Field construction update: February 15

Lots of things are covered up at the ballpark, but work goes on underneath those tarps. BCB’s Sara Sanchez headed out in the cold Friday afternoon to take photos of the 1060 Project at Wrigley Field. Here’s her report: The sun was out but it was a brutally cold day at Wrigley Field. The left and right field corners were mostly all covered up now that the new seats are in, but that doesn’t mean the crews have stopped working, they’ve just shifted towards the marquee and Gallagher Way. Near the marquee there are some black pipe looking structures set up on the scaffolding. You can...
Feb 16, 2019
Cub Tracks puckers up

Cub Tracks puckers up

Dynasty canceled, and other bullets I’m between PCPs, have run out of BP meds and can do a Scanners imitation at any time, even though I know how to reduce blood pressure herbally and am doing so. I ate a cat’s claw, did a shot of apple cider vinegar, and drank a half-cup of warm water with a teaspoon of red hot chili pepper and a crushed garlic clove in it. Give us a kiss. Or some chocolate. Heh. In other news, Addison Russell said stuff, the Cubs are partnering with a questionable media company, and the winter didn’t yield any high-profile free agents, a cause for consternation...
Feb 15, 2019
Addison Russell took questions from the media in Mesa

Addison Russell took questions from the media in Mesa

The press conference was the first time the Cubs shortstop has spoken publicly since his suspension in 2018. Addison Russell spoke to the press in Mesa today for the first time since he was suspended for 40 games under MLB’s domestic violence policy. He was suspended in October after his ex-wife Melisa Reidy posted about her experiences while married to the Cubs shortstop. That initial blog post jump started an MLB investigation into Russell’s behavior that had previously stalled in 2017. Over the course of the offseason Reidy has been more outspoken about the abuse she experienced...
Feb 15, 2019
Cubs Historical Heroes and Goats: 2003, part 20

Cubs Historical Heroes and Goats: 2003, part 20

Following a strong homestand, the Cubs head back on the road. When last we looked back at the 2003 Cubs, they’d taken four of six from two pretty decent teams at home. The calendar had turned from July to August. There was a day off for the first time in more than two weeks. Now, the Cubs would head to the west coast for six games with the Padres and Dodgers. The team would get a big lift for the trip in the form of their most effective starting pitcher in Mark Prior. Despite things looking up, the Cubs continued to sit in third place in their division. They were still 31⁄2 games out...
Feb 15, 2019
The Xavier Cedeño signing by the numbers

The Xavier Cedeño signing by the numbers

A look at the left-handers pitch makeup and statistics In his press conference Tuesday, Theo Epstein mentioned that the Cubs front office was staying involved in the free agent market and specifically referenced the possibility of picking up another reliever. Well, we didn’t have to wait long to find out what Theo meant by that because on Wednesday they signed Xavier Cedeño to a one-year, $900,000 non-guaranteed contract. So I took some time to do a deep dive on Cedeño’s pitches and stats to see what he brings to the Cubs bullpen. Spoiler alert: I like it, I like it a lot....
Feb 15, 2019
The Cubs say there won’t be a political slant on the Marquee Network

The Cubs say there won’t be a political slant on the Marquee Network

Crane Kenney commented on this topic on a radio interview. This is a subject I don’t really like to broach on this site, where the focus is the Cubs and baseball. Nevertheless, there have been comments and concerns noted about Sinclair Broadcasting, who will partner with the Cubs with their new TV channel, the Marquee Network. Sinclair is known for putting a right-wing slant on some of the news broadcasts on their owned television stations. Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney tried to lay any fears of such a slant on the Marquee Network to rest Thursday in a radio...
Feb 15, 2019
Some young MLB players are signing team-friendly contract extensions

Some young MLB players are signing team-friendly contract extensions

What could it mean for some of the young Cubs core? While star players such as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Craig Kimbrel sit at home waiting for a 2019 (and beyond) contract, this happened earlier this week: The Philadelphia Phillies and starter Aaron Nola are in agreement on a four-year, $45 million deal that includes a club option for a fifth season, league sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 13, 2019 Nola was to be in his first arbitration year in 2019, so this contract buys out all his arb years and at least one and possibly two of his first years of free...
Feb 15, 2019
MLB Bullets is getting pretty cranky

MLB Bullets is getting pretty cranky

We’re all pretty cranky over the lack of offseason signings, and we’re not even the ones not getting the money. Trevor Bauer is upset about his arb hearing, even though he won. Good morning from sunny California, where we appear to be on Day 10 of Noah’s 40-day flood. On top of that, my daughter brought home a special gift from school as a Valentine’s Day present for my wife and I: some sort of crappy cold bug. She’s so sweet. Al took my lead story today with his take on Craig Calcaterra’s piece on how teams are putting profits over winning. I’m glad he did because he gave...
Feb 15, 2019
Baseball history unpacked, February 15

Baseball history unpacked, February 15

The first female scout, the Penguin’s natal anniversary, and other stories A wildly popular Cubs-centric look at baseball’s past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we review select scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history. The embedded links often point to articles that I’ve chosen as illustrative of the scenes, from The Society for American Baseball Research, reproductions of period newspapers, images, and other such material. It’s all lightly unpacked and tidied up, just for you. You might learn something, but...
Feb 14, 2019
2019 MLB Draft Prep: Division 1 college baseball resumes on Friday

2019 MLB Draft Prep: Division 1 college baseball resumes on Friday

And scouting for the June draft will begin to ramp up. Division One baseball games begin on Friday. The events this off-season, or lack thereof, hint that players you may be currently unfamiliar with are of great importance to MLB front-offices. Many of these players are currently being scouted for the June Draft. Among my hopes is to give you the feel of numerous specific games, and the general college landscape. That I enjoy watching college games, and have the ability to notice “loud contact off of the bat,” doesn’t mean I can dictate what or whether a player will be able to do in...
Feb 14, 2019
The city of Chicago and the Cubs have a deal for this year’s player parking structure

The city of Chicago and the Cubs have a deal for this year’s player parking structure

And they got this done weeks before Opening Day! For the last several years, Cubs players have been parking underneath a tent that’s been set up in the location of the old Blue Lot, which is north of Waveland Avenue and west of Seminary Avenue — basically, north and west of the firehouse that’s across Waveland from the ballpark. In past years this area has been a bone of contention between the Cubs and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), who claims it’s made things complicated for residents of Clifton Avenue, the block west of the parking tent, to get into their homes and garages. Last year the...
Feb 14, 2019
Cubs single-game tickets go on sale Friday, February 22

Cubs single-game tickets go on sale Friday, February 22

Here are all the details for buying Cubs tickets this year. Although there is a photo of fans lined up at a Wrigley Field ticket booth at the top of this post, this year, as in recent years, the Cubs’ official sale of single-game tickets will be conducted only online and by phone. Here are the details. On Friday, February 22, you can purchase tickets at cubs.com. A virtual waiting room will begin accepting customers at 9:30 a.m. CT. At 10 a.m. CT, customers will be randomly selected from the virtual waiting room to begin purchasing tickets. All internet customers will need a valid...
Feb 14, 2019
MLB teams are prioritizing profit over winning and that’s not good for the sport

MLB teams are prioritizing profit over winning and that’s not good for the sport

It’s becoming pretty obvious, and that does not bode well for baseball’s future. SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — It’s a rainy day in the Valley of the Sun, so indulge me while I tell you a rather long rainy-day type story. Thursday morning at Hardball Talk, Craig Calcaterra, a writer whose opinions I greatly respect, posted a 2,400-word article titled “Braves think their fans are idiots.” Well now, that is a provocative headline. You’d click on that, most probably, even if you weren’t a regular reader of Craig’s writing. He begins by stating he’s been a Braves fan for 35 years,...