You know it’s been a rumor-heavy morning when the Bullets don’t arrive until mid-day. It’s OK to admit it: you didn’t even notice the missing Bullets …
- Pearl Jam is playing at Wrigley Field tonight, about which you already knew and are happy (because you’re going), or about which you’d forgotten and are now bummed out (because you’re not going). How stoked are fans for the concert? They were lined up early morning yesterday to buy the concert merchandise. If you braved all of that Mankind, I guess that makes you a Better Man than I. If you decide to get a beer after the concert, ring me up, because I Got ID. Do these puns make you Smile? (But, seriously, if they play ‘(Someday We’ll Go) All the Way,’ and it isn’t recorded *legally* for distribution among the masses, I will be very sad.)
- Jed Hoyer spoke with Dave Kaplan last night about a variety of things, including rumors, the Wrigley renovation, and developing prospects. He also addressed outside commentary about the Cubs’ top prospects not really being interested in taking walks. “I think Soler is going to wind up being a guy that’s going to be a pretty high on-base guy,” Hoyer told Kaplan. “We feel the same way about Bryant. I think Baez and Almora will continue to develop their on-base skills. They may never be high walk guys. We’re certainly hoping get to that average walk rate, if we blend them with the rest of the guys in the lineup it will be okay.” I listened to Hoyer’s interview, and he was putting it as politely and positively as possible that Almora and Baez are probably never going to be high OBP guys, but that’s OK. It’s not their game, and it doesn’t mean they can’t still be huge contributors. And, hell, if they hit .280 to .300 (very plausible), their OBP will probably be fine, anyway.
- Shawn Camp is a Diamondback (well, a minor league Diamondback, to be precise, after signing on with them on a minor league deal). Best of luck to him in figuring out what was wrong with his slider.
- Although we’ll discuss it more next week in advance of the full City Council meeting, here’s a good take from Danny Ecker at Crain’s on yesterday’s Plan Commission approval of the comprehensive Wrigley renovation and development plan. You can see what’s coming, what’s been agreed to, and what minor bits are left to be negotiated.
- You may have seen the “Billy Cub” mascot walking around outside of Wrigley Field over the last few years. Well, it turns out that he’s not actually sanctioned by the team, and now there’s a little bit of a scrape going on about his ability to keep doing what he’s doing (posing for pictures, shaking hands, accepting tips, etc.). I try not to call upon my legal experience too frequently – because I am no longer a practicing attorney, and no, I can’t offer any legal advice – but one thing that being in the law showed me is just how true the whole “two sides to every story” thing is. (Indeed, The Wife often gets frustrated with me when I offer up the opposing viewpoint to an obviously horrible thing that Person X is doing.) In this situation, I can certainly see why “Billy Cub” wants to be able to keep doing what he’s doing, and why it seems harmless at worst and fun for the fans at best. On the other hand, I can see where the Cubs are coming from. Because of the way Billy performs, it sure looks like it’s an official Cubs thing. And if fans think it’s an official Cubs thing, then when Billy reportedly swears at fans or grouses about a lousy tip, it reflects badly on the organization … and it’s completely out of their control. So, as I said, I can see both sides.
- Brandon Phillips continues to say incredible things. And I don’t mean the “super wonderful” definition of incredible. Specifically, he still can’t believe – and is saying this publicly – that the Reds “slap[ed him] in the face” by signing Joey Votto to an extension before signing Phillips to his extension. There has to be an inside joke here that I’m missing.