Hope folks are staying warm-ish out there. All these pictures from Spring Training are making me happy for the baseball, but the remote warming effect is not taking hold. Instead, I just have to patiently wait for March 9 when I finally head out to Mesa.
Speaking of which, I’ll have a full Spring Training update coming soon. Until then, non-ST Bullets …
- There was a report yesterday that South Bend Cubs owner Andrew Berlin would soon be taking a minority stake in the big league team, which would be very notable given last year’s indications that the Ricketts Family was considering selling minority interests in the Cubs at a huge valuation. It’s been tentatively expected for quite some time that this would eventually happen (read those three links if you’ve missed any of the background on why this would simultaneously be not a big deal, but also a good thing). But Berlin denied on Twitter that he was getting directly involved with the Cubs, calling the report “premature,” which was an interesting choice of word. In any case, this is something to watch. Minority stakes are typically regarded as merely an investment – rather than a way to have a real voice in the organization – but it’s appealing to have some of that minority interest going to someone who already understands the game (Berlin is presently a minority owner in the White Sox) and is already a part of the broader organization.
- Ameet Sachdev adds in the Tribune that sources say the Ricketts could sell up to 20% of the team, and the family could be close to completing deals with investors.
- Oh, and my offer stands: if the Ricketts Family would like to sell me 0.001% of the organization for $20,000 (that’s a $2B valuation), I will totally come up with the cash. Conflict of interest concerns are dumb.
- Patrick Mooney spoke with Anthony Rizzo about the Wrigley renovations, and about the rooftops’ failed attempt to get a TRO blocking construction of the outfield signs (which, to remind you, is just the first legal step). More on the court’s ruling here from Jon Greenberg.
- Tim Brown offers the kind of nice, interesting, national read on the Cubs and Joe Maddon that we didn’t see much in the last three years once the rebuild really set in.
- Also, Phil Rogers looks back at the Cubs organization changed at the advent of, and then during, the Ricketts Family era of ownership. Getting the new front office in place was obviously the defining moment.
- A FanGraphs fantasy look at the Cubs’ infield.
- Rick Kaempfer is writing a small biography for every single Cubs player ever. You can see his work at Just One Bad Century, and you can read about it here at DNAinfo. Also: certain well-respected, handsome bloggers make their way into the “T” section.
- The things you find on the Twitters:
— John Baker (@manbearwolf) February 20, 2015