6:10 AM EDT, Wed May 27, 2020
May 1, 2020
Today in MLB history: They played 26 innings in Boston and nobody won

Today in MLB history: They played 26 innings in Boston and nobody won

Braves Field in Boston | Photo by Transcendental Graphics/ The longest game in major-league history happened 100 years ago today. The game between the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Robins on Saturday, May 1, 1920 shouldn’t have happened at all. Per the SABR account of this game, it rained all morning in Boston and it was still “overcast, damp and raw” when the scheduled starting time, 3 p.m., arrived. Even so, they played. And played. And played some more. The Robins (as the Dodgers were known in that time, after their manager, Wilbert Robinson) scored a run on an RBI single in the...
May 1, 2020
If Cubs baseball is played in 2020, spring training could resume at... Wrigley Field

If Cubs baseball is played in 2020, spring training could resume at... Wrigley Field

Photo by Scott Olson/ This is part of MLB’s newest plan for a season this year. Several different plans for having a 2020 Major League Baseball season have been discussed by owners and players. Among them is one to play in teams’ home ballparks without fans, which I detailed here Wednesday. Now, we learn that these empty ballparks could be used for a “spring training” resumption, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today: The move would be driven by an interest in saving time and money, with training camps expected to last three weeks before the start of the truncated regular...
Apr 30, 2020
Cubs unsung heroes: Alan Benes, August 27, 2002

Cubs unsung heroes: Alan Benes, August 27, 2002

Photo by Jonathan Daniel / The younger brother of a well-known Padre and Cardinal had one big game as a Cub. Andy Benes was a solid rotation starter for 14 years in the major leagues, mostly with the Padres and Cardinals. San Diego had made him their No. 1 pick in 1988. Five years later, Andy’s younger brother Alan Benes was selected in the first round (16th overall) by the Cardinals. In doing so they passed on Torii Hunter and Jason Varitek, among others. Alan Benes pitched briefly for the Cardinals from 1995-97, posting a 3.5 bWAR season in ‘97, then suffered shoulder injuries that...
Apr 30, 2020
What’s the best Cubs jersey ever?

What’s the best Cubs jersey ever?

Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in the current, iconic Cubs home pinstripe jersey | Photo by Jamie Squire/ I’ve selected five Cubs jerseys that I think stand above the rest. Which one is the best? Since 1957, the basic Cubs home jersey has remained the same — white, with blue pinstripes, with the iconic “UBS” inside a large “C” logo on the left side. There have been minor modifications in the type of fabric used, and the “CUBS” logo has changed a bit over the years, but that’s more than 60 years of essentially the same look at Wrigley Field. But it wasn’t always that...
Apr 30, 2020
The minor league baseball season might be about to be cancelled

The minor league baseball season might be about to be cancelled

Four Winds Field, home of the South Bend Cubs | Al Yellon ... according to one report, which was swiftly denied. Even while Major League Baseball discusses several different ideas to begin a 2020 season, it seemed clear that Minor League teams would likely not be able to play this year. MLB teams can still make money while playing in empty stadiums, because a large portion of their revenue comes from TV. Minor League teams don’t have that source of income; they need fans buying tickets to have any real source of revenue, and at this time it doesn’t appear possible for them to...
Apr 29, 2020
The Cubs are offering a 5 percent credit to season-ticket holders

The Cubs are offering a 5 percent credit to season-ticket holders

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/ ... but so far, only for games through the end of May. Last week, I wrote here about reports that the Cubs (and White Sox) were planning to offer 5 percent credits for season-ticket holders who were willing to leave their season-ticket money with the Cubs instead of taking refunds for unplayed games this year. Tuesday, it was reported that Major League Baseball had now given teams permission to offer such credits, or refunds. Previously, teams had deferred to MLB for any decisions on what to do with tickets. Today, Cubs season-ticket holders received an email...
Apr 29, 2020
Cubs unsung heroes: Todd Dunwoody, June 7, 2001

Cubs unsung heroes: Todd Dunwoody, June 7, 2001

Bet you don’t remember this guy. The biggest surprise I had in looking up information about Todd Dunwoody is that there were actually photos of him in a Cubs uniform. You can see one of them above. Dunwoody was signed by the Cubs as a free agent before the 2001 season. He played a pretty good chunk of the year at Triple-A Iowa (75 games, .283/.331/.474). But from mid-May to early July, Dunwoody was on the big-league Cubs roster. He appeared in 34 games, starting 13 of them, and hit just .213/.250/.328 (13-for-61) with one home run. I barely remember him, and you probably don’t at...
Apr 29, 2020
A modest proposal for a new Cubs road alternate jersey

A modest proposal for a new Cubs road alternate jersey

Photo: Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via . Photo illustration: Mike Bojanowski This would look modern, yet classic. I’ve never been a big fan of the Cubs’ current road alternate jersey, the one that’s all blue with the walking bear inside a big “C”. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to uniforms: white or pinstripes at home, gray on the road. I acknowledge that many people do like the blue alts and of course, it was worn for the biggest Cubs moment in over a century: So I definitely understand the affinity some people have for the blue jersey. Last August,...
Apr 29, 2020
There’s another MLB proposal to play this year in teams’ home ballparks

There’s another MLB proposal to play this year in teams’ home ballparks

Just add players and play in a Wrigley looking like this? There are a lot of obstacles | Photo by Scott Olson/ ... and it almost certainly won’t work. The 2020 Major League Baseball season merry-go-round has circled the following proposals: Playing in Chase Field and spring training venues in Arizona without fans Playing in spring training venues in Arizona and Florida as “Cactus” and “Grapefruit” Leagues Playing in three states in empty ballparks: Arizona, Florida and Texas As we stand now nearly at the end of April 2020, all of those appear to be non-starters at this point,...
Apr 28, 2020
MLB teams now have permission to offer ticket refunds

MLB teams now have permission to offer ticket refunds

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/ It’s another step in acknowledging that this season won’t happen as scheduled. Major League Baseball went on hiatus due to the novel coronavirus pandemic on March 12, when they cancelled the rest of spring training and announced the start of the 2020 season would be delayed. Until now, games on the Cubs (and other teams’) schedules had simply been listed as “postponed”: Now, according to Bill Shaikin in the Los Angeles Times, refunds for 2020 baseball tickets could be coming soon: With more than 400 major league games already called off...
Apr 28, 2020
Cubs unsung heroes: Willie Greene, May 2, 2000

Cubs unsung heroes: Willie Greene, May 2, 2000

First in a new series about not-great Cubs who had one big day. Today, I begin a new series looking at Cubs history. This one will be a bit different from the previous series. Instead of looking at “best” or “worst” games, or memorable walkoffs, this series is intended to give a moment in the sun to players you might have forgotten, guys who might have had only brief Cubs careers but had one big game during their tenure. There will be one for each season from 2000 through 2019, covering the last 20 years of Cubs baseball, over the next 20 days. Willie Greene should have been...
Apr 28, 2020
Here’s the worst jersey in Cubs history

Here’s the worst jersey in Cubs history

Just who is Mark Grace playing for? The Cubs or Cuba? | What were they thinking? The Chicago Cubs franchise has been in existence for more than 140 years. Despite the fact that the ballclub has now worn the current iconic pinstripe home uniform since 1957 (with a few minor modifications), they’ve had some odd-looking jerseys over the years. For example, from the Hall of Fame’s Uniform Database, here’s the strange-looking “UBS” inside an elongated “C” that was used in 1918: The Cubs also had script alternates in 1932, both home and road: And...
Apr 28, 2020
Mayor Lori Lightfoot says MLB games could be played in Chicago this summer without fans

Mayor Lori Lightfoot says MLB games could be played in Chicago this summer without fans

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/ There are some logistical problems with that, though. We still don’t know whether, or if, there will be a 2020 Major League Baseball season. If the Cubs had played their regularly-scheduled game today, it would have been the 30th game of their season. That’s nearly 20 percent of the scheduled season gone already. So if baseball is played, it’s going to be much later in the summer and on a very different schedule than was originally released. Proposals have been made to play in empty stadiums in Arizona, or in an Arizona/Florida “Cactus/Grapefruit...
Apr 27, 2020
What if MLB had a WBC-style tournament in 2020 instead of a regular season?

What if MLB had a WBC-style tournament in 2020 instead of a regular season?

Dodger Stadium during the 2017 World Baseball Classic | Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/ It’s just one idea floated by a national writer. The World Baseball Classic has become a popular quadrennial event. It was last held in 2017, and at least as of now there are still plans to hold the tournament in 2021, though some qualifying games for the 2021 WBC scheduled for Arizona in March were cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. In a long article that goes through a number of different scenarios for a possible 2020 baseball season — many of which I’ve covered here before —...
Apr 27, 2020
The Cubs should retire several more jersey numbers

The Cubs should retire several more jersey numbers

Could the Cubs first baseman have a jersey retirement ceremony someday? | Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/ The guy in the photo? Not yet, but maybe down the road... The Cubs have retired five jersey numbers. All of them are for members of baseball’s Hall of Fame, and all are among the greatest to have ever worn a Cubs uniform: Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg, Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux. No. 31 is retired for both Jenkins and Maddux. While Greg had his best seasons elsewhere, his 33.7 career bWAR rank 11th in Cubs history (eighth post-1900) and he’s certainly one of...

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