To the Cubs: be a dog. We don’t need no meows. We need more dogs.
- The Cubs will once again eclipse the 3 million ticket mark this season (though how many of those 3 million sold actually showed up? 2.5 million? 2 million?), but they’re still planning to drop bleacher ticket prices next year. As I’ve said: this is an owner who gets it, and who does not appear to be all about making money (or at least appreciates the proverb of “penny wise, pound foolish”).
- Andrew Cashner made his return last night, throwing a scoreless, hitless inning, striking out one. He hit 99 mph on the gun, and felt good. Whew.
- Bryan LaHair capitalized on the few initial chances he was given to start, and now Mike Quade says he’s got little choice but to keep giving him starts where he can. The new GM is going to have a very difficult decision at first base next year, which will largely be dictated by what happens on the rest of the field. If the team isn’t going to go after Fielder/Pujols, do they give Carlos Pena another $10 million to do what he does, or do they take a chance on LaHair, who will cost 1/20 of that? I still strongly doubt LaHair can duplicate Pena’s production at the plate or in the field over a full 162-game schedule, but given the cost disparity, it will be, like I said, a tough decision.
- Relatedly, it does have to be brutally difficult to manage all these players this month. As much deserved crap as Mike Quade gets, it does have to be hard to accommodate veterans who expect to play, youngsters who need a chance to prove themselves, and utility types who might be a part of the team’s future. “I don’t know if I get a kick out of [creating all of these lineups], because to be honest, it is the most time-consuming and biggest part of my day,” he said. “Especially this time of year, with the added kids … trying to get a look at [DJ] LeMahieu, and trying to get Bryan [LaHair] involved and keeping [Tyler] Colvin involved. And also keeping guys who have been here all year and playing hard involved. I wish there were 11 guys on the field.”
- To button up the Chuck LaMar business, it sounds like he left the organization over a dispute about the amateur budget. LaMar was reportedly upset that he was given just $5 million to work with for draft bonuses this year.
- If you needed an investigative report to tell you that the food at concessions at places like Wrigley Field isn’t always prepared and handled in the most pristine manner, I submit that you’ve never been to a ballgame. I’m not saying it’s ok, but, like, there’s a certain amount of acceptable risk you take when you order that bison dog.
- 9/11 first responders and their families can go to Sunday’s Cubs/Mets game for free. There should be some impressive ceremonies all around the sports world that day – I suspect it will be sad and reflective day, but also one to feel proud to be an American.