In case you were wondering, yes, the BN Podcast is taking the week off. With the managerial search stuck on Girardi for most of the last week, there wasn’t a great deal for us to discuss during our usual recording time, so we’ll reconvene next week (complete with preseason predictions gone awry).
- So, the Tigers beat the A’s last night, meaning that the four remaining teams in the playoffs are the four teams that feel the most likely/least Cinderella-y (yes, I know that the A’s actually had more regular season wins than the Tigers … but come on). I’m not rooting for the Cardinals because obviously. I’m not rooting for the Dodgers because SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS. I’m not rooting for the Red Sox because I’m still a little salty about how the Theo compensation stuff played out. I guess I’m rooting for the Tigers by default.
- The Cubs made their deal with Ryan Sweeney official yesterday. You can read the details here, in case you missed it.
- Yesterday’s AFL action saw Albert Almora leading off (and playing right field) for the Solar Sox, and once again raking – 2-5 with a triple. Armando Rivero pitched a scoreless 9th inning, allowing just one hit (but striking out none – a shock for him).
- The City of Chicago continues to look for additional sources of revenue, what with the budgetary issues, but several possible tax increases have been taken off of the table, per the Sun-Times. Notably not yet taken off the table is a further hike in the amusement tax on large events, which is that ungodly 9% additional tax on your Cubs tickets, already one of the highest in the country. In a showing that he does recognize the economic value of the Chicago Cubs in his ward, Alderman Tom Tunney strongly opposes any further increase in the amusement tax because it could drive customers away.
- Keep in mind, an amusement tax hike is effectively a tax hike on the Cubs, even though the tax is borne by ticket buyers. For every dollar of “tax” added to Cubs tickets, that’s one less dollar that the Cubs can charge. The market will bear whatever price it will bear – total price, including taxes – and when some of that price is going to the City/County, that’s money that the Cubs don’t get as revenue. It’s particularly problematic when the Cubs desperately need revenue (apparently), but are facing a continuing attendance decline in the wake of back-to-back-to-back awful seasons on the field. I’ve got to believe, when the various parties were having Wrigley renovation conversations, the problem of the steep amusement tax – let alone any increases thereof – has come up from time to time.
- Miguel Cabrera and Juan Pierre on the 2003 NLCS against the Cubs. Make sure to kick yourself in the stones before you read – then their words can’t hurt you.
- Lou Piniella coming back to the manager’s seat? Not in Chicago, and also not in Seattle. The 70-year-old told Ken Rosenthal he’s not in the running for the Mariners’ job, even though he did have a conversation with them.