chicago cubs hype trainI’ve got to take The Wife’s computer to the Apple Store today, which, because it requires an appointment, feels more like I’m taking it to a doctor’s appointment for a checkup. Please no forms or absurdly long wait or turn and cough.

  • The Cubs are popular right now, as folks continue to board the Chicago Cubs Hype Train. We’ve already talked about the jump in the Cubs’ season ticket renewal rate this year, and now there’s another benchmark: the Cubs have already stopped selling new season tickets for the year “due to high demand.” I don’t have the data in front of me, but anecdotally I can say that this is much, muuuuuch earlier in the offseason than the Cubs usually stop trying to add new season ticket holders. Indeed, it happened so quickly that some folks who were previously told they would have a shot at tickets this year were contacted this week to let them know it was too late. Bad news for those folks (and the 50 to 60,000 people on the season ticket wait list who are no confronted with the possibility that the list might move very slowly in the coming years), but good news for the Cubs. Increased demand (maxed out, even) for season tickets means consistent, reliable revenue in 2015 and also – probably – higher single game ticket sales before the season. A busy offseason that generates a team that looks competitive on paper heading into Spring Training can only help. And more revenue means more spending ability means more competitiveness means more revenue means …
  • Boooooo: the Cardinals have signed now former Cubs minor league reliever Marcus Hatley. I reckoned that he would be among the most popular minor league free agents this year, and now it’s harder to root for him to finally break through and succeed, because, you know, Cardinals.


  • Speaking of the Cardinals, St. Louis writer Derrick Goold says that the most buzzed about team at the GM Meetings “by far” … is the Cubs. Hooray! Buzz Trophy! But seriously, it’s a good read on how other executives in the NL Central are viewing the Cubs right now.
  • When Jesse Rogers spoke to other GMs about the Cubs’ move to hire Joe Maddon, replacing Rick Renteria, he did not get a sense that there was much acrimony around the league about what the Cubs did. Most would have done the same.
  • A very interesting read on the value of power to left center specifically. Although Wrigley Field isn’t the focus, look where it lands on the list. Makes you wonder about right-handed power, eh? Keep in mind, that’s likely true of right center, as well, because the alleys are extremely shallow at Wrigley.

META: Net Neutrality is back in the news this week, and it’s a subject near and dear to the operation of this here site. The response the FCC received during the comment period to its plan to allow paid priority was almost universally negative, and it apparently reached the President, who came out against the plan, and in favor of strong Net Neutrality (despite the plan being the baby of the very FCC chair that the President appointed).



If you want to understand the issue a little better – you should, because it’s hugely important to the future of your Internet experience and your bills – may I suggest a basic breakdown here at Gawker, and another more humorous take at The Oatmeal.




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