There are reports that Rangers star Josh Hamilton has had a very public relapse involving alcohol earlier this week (Hamilton battled a very serious drug addiction for a number of years that robbed him of most of his early baseball career, and, as you may know, part of getting and staying clean for folks who have an addiction problem is avoid all intoxicating substances). He was spotted drinking at a bar in Dallas a few days ago, and I’m not going to wag my finger too aggressively, knowing that we’re all flawed. But I will turn my judgmental eye on whoever was drinking with Hamilton, because we know he wasn’t drinking alone. Shame on you folks. You know what he’s battling.

  • It’s no surprise – and, indeed, if he’s getting a Major League deal, it’s required – but newly-signed Cub Gerardo Concepcion will be in Spring Training this year, though he’s not expected to compete for a rotation spot (which, like, duh – he’s a teenager (his birthdate remains a minor mystery – I’ve seen January 1993, January 1994, and June 1993 – which is why you see him sometimes said to be 18, sometimes said to be 19).
  • Curt Schilling, who was courted to the Red Sox by, and then played under, Theo Epstein in Boston, is a big fan of the Cubs’ new president, and believes good things are on the horizon for the Cubs. “I would feel very comfortable putting a very large chunk of money that [a World Series title] would happen in the next five to 10 years,” Schilling said Thursday on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “This guy is a game-changer from a baseball knowledge perspective. He is as smart, as aware as anyone I have ever been around, and I’m talking about game smart. The kind of smarts that generally have been associated with people who have been on the field. He understands the human element to this. A lot of what I learned from and about Theo I’ve taken into my company and tried to help my company grow. Theo gets it, and it’s not lost on the people who played for him. He’s the only general manager I ever played around who fit into the clubhouse. That’s a very dangerous thing for general managers, especially if they don’t fit. He was always welcome. He’s a very smart guy.”
  • Alfonso Soriano’s is NOT the worst left field contract in baseball, according to CBSSports. Vernon Wells and his three years and $74 million remaining earn that distinction. Soriano’s – three and $54 million – are next.
  • Jon Greenberg notes that the Cubs have – quietly – revealed pricing for the rooftop-style seats/patio section going into right field for the 2012 season, and, as expected, it’s quite high. Tickets range from $125 to $250, but they include food and drink. That part isn’t too bad, but the rub? You can’t buy solo tickets right now. Indeed, the smallest block of tickets right now is 50(!). So, if you want access to that section right now, the cheapest investment you can make is $6250. It’s obviously a very different area for a different set of folks (business outings, upscale bachelor parties, etc.), but I’ve still got zero beef with it. It doesn’t impact me in the least, and it helps generate extra revenue. Bring it on.
  • The Cubs received approval yesterday from the Landmark Commission to proceed with those plans in right field, but an alderman is pushing that the Cubs should have to get City Council approval before adding more advertisements to Wrigley Field. Why? Because there are community members (and the politicians who want their support) acting as though they own Wrigley Field, and should have a right to control what ads the Cubs put up there (calling it things like a “treasure” and a “part of the community”). Well, excuse me, but forget you. You want to have a right to control what the Cubs do with Wrigley by acting like you “own” the place, but when the Cubs look to the community for support in renovating Wrigley Field, you turn a cold shoulder? Again: forget you. You can’t have it both ways: either help the Cubs fix the “treasure” up out of your own pocket, or let them do their thing with ads.
  • Never end on an angry Bullet. I just got a whole bunch of Cracklin’ Oat Bran yesterday on sale. Love that stuff.
  • JB88

    Go ahead, Brett, end on an angry bullet. Succumb to the dark side … Mwuhahahahaha

  • cjdubbya

    Not to turn this section of bullets into a cereal comparison, but if you want heaven in a bowl, try this combo: Peanut Butter Multigrain Cheerios and Kellogg’s Krave (just the regular chocolate, not the double chocolate). Schilling calls Epstein a game changer, that mix is a gamechanger for your mornings. After a bowl of that, your life up to that point will have been a lie. Pure Awesome.

    • yield51

      I saw a video not to long ago where Steve Montador was talking about mixing peanut butter and chocolate cereal. I haven’t tried it, but he had similar feelings to you on the concoction.

  • Ryan

    Looks like I will never get to experience the right field section…that’s so much money!

  • florida Al

    just becareful you dont use colinblow cereal instead!!

  • Stinky Pete

    I’m going to go ahead and go on record and say that the “Major League Deal” has been misreported. Just can’t be right. Makes no sense in regards to Concepcion himself and makes no sense in regards to the ripple effect it causes with Soler. Nope. Not buying it.

    • Fishin Phil

      That was my first thought as well, Stinky.

    • Kyle

      Making it a major-league deal allows them to spread the payments out and not just drop $7 million on him in a signing bonus.

      There’s reports that it includes incentives. Can you put those in a minor league deal?

  • Packman711

    Nice to know that the fearless leader of BN will be regular for months to come.

    • Brett

      It is critical…

      • Wilbur

        The stuff is addicting. I pop it like candy as I walk around the house. The dog loves it too! He follows me everywhere hoping I’ll drop or throw him a piece.

        It’s the ultimate food …

        • Katie

          I used to love that stuff so much I would eat it sans milk. Then I bought a box a few months ago and it seems like they dicked with the flavor. Way too much cinnamon now!

          And I’ve sat in the RF Bud Light Bleachers. Probably my least favorite of all the places I’ve sat at Wrigley.

  • Bacon

    Ryan my guess is in a few years they will lower the amount of tickets required and u could afford it then. Or save a little cash and put together a big group from ur community and u all split the cost.

    • Ryan

      cool, because, from a personal standpoint, I would have a hard time finding 49 other people to organize an event like that and have them all willing to pay over $100 a ticket.

  • Bacon

    Or…Brett let’s get a BN group for a particular game and we all pony up in advance!!!

    • cubsnivy56

      I’m in!

  • WGNstatic

    When my brother was little. Cracklin’ Oat Bran was the only cereal he would eat. He called it dog food.

  • baseballet

    Both links in the bullet regarding the Landmark Commission link to the same ChiTrib article when I click on them. Is there a separate article? I wish the ChiTrib would have done a little more reporting and fleshed out this story more. The reporter didn’t really provide much context.

    • Brett

      My bad – fixed the second one. It’s a Sun-Times piece.

      • baseballet

        Thanks! What confuses me is what kind of authority the Landmark Comission has regarding advertising signage in Wrigley. Was the team required to obtain LC approval for the big new electronic billboard? Going forward, what authority would the LC have when the team wants to install additional electronic signs? Is there a size threshhold that automatically requires LC review?

        • Brett

          I read that the Cubs were of the opinion that they did not require LC approval (didn’t impact any of the landmarked pieces of Wrigley), but chose to do so out of an abundance of caution. If they wanted to fight some of this stuff going forward, I suspect they could. But, given the political climate and what they’re trying to do going forward, they don’t want to make any unnecessary waves.

  • ferrets_bueller

    I used to eat that stuff, but its still too sweet, IMO.

    This….is the greatest cereal in the world:


  • cubfanincardinalland

    Heard that someone got ahold of Ian Kinsler, and he went to the bar and was trying to get Hamilton to leave and go home with him. Now that is a good friend.

  • die hard

    Curt’s shilling for the Cubs can only mean hes angling for Brenly’s job and so we should hold the applause. But more importantly, pricing 99% of the fans out of the new seats affects all of us as there is a contagion effect as to prices of other seats and concessions. Moreover, it is a form of segregation rich from poor. If a benefactor buys up the seats and donates them to those who dont make that much in a year that would be good. Maybe Soriano would ante up. But this is what concerns me and about which I have ranted. Where is the next generation of fan base going to come from? Not from the 1% in these new seats who are usually not there for the game but for business. The bring back of Sunday doubleheaders with 1/2 price for second game to families with children will be the only way to create a long lasting fan base. And no beer sold in the stands on Sundays so families can better enjoy the games.

    • Cedlandrum

      Please, that is crazy. Segregation? Well then they should rip out the luxury boxes too!

      There is clearly a difference between rich and poor in every stadium in the country. They are trying to make money and have the right to price their seats however they want.

      • die hard

        well then how about reducing prices of the 99% seats and give 50% coupon to concessions with each ticket as a balance?

        • scorecardpaul

          I try real hard to ignore you, never mind, not worth it. how many tickets have you ever bought for people. all of the bitching you do about this, and what do you do about it.
          why should we have to repeatedly listen to your bable. I almost said you aren’t any different than the people you ridicule, but then I remembered who I was talking to. I don’t obviously know you, but I am quite sure that you are different than most.

        • cjdubbya

          Do you get paid to make such inane comments? Back under thou bridge, yon trolles!

          • Wilbur

            die hard is Brett’s evil twin … the dark side of our host that only appears when his supply of Cracklin’ Oat Bran creates a sugar imbalance that affects his personality.

        • hansman1982

          Let me see, how do I effectively respond to what you said:
          When you make oatmeal cookies (since increased fiber intake is the theme of the day) you have to stir the batter anti-clockwise, otherwise it comes out hard and lumpy.

    • ferrets_bueller

      I always think Ive seen the stupidest Diehard post ever, and then he goes and makes another one, and tops it. Wow.

    • Dave H

      The next generation will come from the previous generation properly educating their offspring. My daughter has learned so well, her soccer jersey number is 23. And that’s not for Jordan.

    • Mick

      You obviously haven’t visited any new stadiums. Seriously, look at Target Field’s seating and pricing There are 23 different sections! Notice the Twins have a Budweiser party deck too. When they opened the stadium they had the same restricitions in that it could only be reserved for parties or corporate events but now they’re opening it up for individual tickets on all Thursday home games. I suspect after a few years Wrigley’s party deck will start losing its charm too and they’ll have to open it up periodically for individual ticket sales.

    • mysterious4th

      Ummmmm no beer sold on Sunday??? You’re nuts! Beer and a hot dog while watching the cubs on a summer afternoon is what I wish I could do every Sunday! Growing up my fam would go to wrigley and it was beer (soda for the kids) and hot dogs. The generation of fans will be there. But this generation is by far different. Traditions have been lost with this generation. The cubs will forever have one of the biggest fan bases in all of sports. Since the cubs started playing, generation after generation we have all been die hard cub fans! Its about sharing the passion and rich history of the cubs with the generations to come. And part of that is preserving wrigley, the scoreboard, and ivy wall!

  • Cubbie Blues

    I always knew Soriano’s contract was #2.

    We now also know definitively who #2 works for (Rickets). (Austin Powers reference)

  • notcubbiewubbie

    this is why wrigley field stinks; this is the only business in the united states of america where you have to ask for permission to make your product better. who are a bunch of yuppie politicians to tell the ricketts family maybe you can add advertising to the inside of the ballpark. hey chicago politicians is it ok if we upgrade our product. i know i will get barbequed for posting this but as they say wrigley field is a shrine ,that is the problem, so is the alamo.the ballpark was there long before the current people who live there. someday i hope the ricketts family plays the trump card and tells all the politicos of that nejghborhood if you dont let us do what we want we will build a new wrigley field somewhere else. they aren’t attempting to do anything that ruins the neighborhood just trying to join the 21st century in baseball my time runs out i would like to see my team someday play on a level playing field with all the other teams who can play when they want at what time of day they want. like everybody else i grew up at beautiful wrigley field but maybe the time has come for change.

  • TeddyBallGame17

    Wow, diehard you have either never been to Wrigley Field or you’re the one that was hanging out with Josh Hamilton. You’re beyond drunk with suggesting no beer sales in the stands of Wrigley. Deal with it or become a White Sox fan…either way, you come off as a douche…

  • cubsnivy56

    At $6250 for 50 people that is $125 each.  And that includes food and drink!  Can you say bus trip from Iowa!  We usually make two games per year and pay $50 to $100 bucks per ticket.  I don’t think it’s that bad of a deal.  I think it is more likley to fill up with bus trip groups than corporate parties.

    • hansman1982

      The $6250 is also for the Silver level games and those are generally a Tuesday day game in April against the Marlins

  • ThereWillBeCubs

    My personal opinion is that the poop jokes are lame. The comments which solely flame Die Hard are a waste of time. The people that were going to say something (and then say it anyway) are just being passive aggressive.

    Concerning the right field bleacher box… what is everybody getting so upset about? Who does this really affect anyway? Sit some place else. Not everybody gets to sit in the luxury boxes (as somebody previously mentioned). I live a mile north of Wrigley and go to a bunch of games every year (always get the magnet schedule) and personally I don’t even care for the bleachers. I like the 400 level best, but that’s beside the point.

    If giving 1st crack at $6000+ puts a better product on the field, then so be it.

    As far as double-header value days go, I don’t think it would be such a bad idea if done as a promotion (once a year?). No booze Sundays will never happen IMO. I get the wont for old-timey baseball goodness, but it’s 2012 man. We need to get with the program (and I think we are).

    There’s been a drastic change in the Cub fan base, from the acceptance of advanced statistics to even allowing any changes to Wrigley *at all*. I can’t remember the last time I read about someone threatening to “stop being a Cub fan because of _______.”

  • Kev

    Something tells me that we’re going to hear a lot more chants of “Right field sucks!” this year.

  • mike

    Chill out, dude! What do you expect from a group of politicians that used to have televised fistfights(well, maybe not fistfights but it was so ugly it was called “Council Wars!”) during Harold Washingtons term? Unusual to hear Schilling talking positively about something. Whats next, David Wells complimenting Jerry Reinsdorf?

  • Left Field

    So much for the old family section!