A can can be six inches from a hard surface, but if they have the option of puking on the carpet or a blanket or the furniture, they will absolutely take it.
• The Cubs released additional details on how they’ll apportion out their limited tickets early in the season, including a lottery system for non-season-ticket holders. Mathematically speaking, given Crane Kenney’s comment that the majority of the tickets will go to long-time season-ticket holders, and given that the bleachers initially are being dedicated to use by vaccinated health care workers and employees from Advocate Aurora Health, I’m thinking that the volume of tickets available to be purchased via the lottery is quite small. It might’ve been easier to get playoff tickets in 2016.
• Meanwhile, the Cubs released a video getting into all that will be done around the park in service of safety and comfort:
While a lot has changed since we were last together, our commitment to you remains the same: We will provide a safe, clean and friendly environment for you to enjoy Cubs baseball. https://t.co/JEZ0IU920j#CubTogether pic.twitter.com/rFXp8Kvtwh
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 9, 2021
• Huge news:
“If you’re a man who has to use the facilities after one too many beers, you can still use a trough, but there will be a partition to separate you from the next person,” sources tell @jon_greenberg. https://t.co/HRRz4nL1Po
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) March 9, 2021
• The troughs are as Wrigley as the bricks and ivy, so whatever accommodations have to be made to preserve their HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE is worth doing. Gonna see how long I can get Mooney and Sahadev Sharma to talk about the troughs with me on the podcast later today.
• As for the rooftops:
While Wrigley Field will operate at 20%, the Wrigleyville Rooftops will operate at 50% capacity this season, Crane Kenney tells @suntimes. The rooftops fall under Chicago’s restaurant and bar guidelines. https://t.co/I1SiN7z6lH
— Russell Dorsey (@Russ_Dorsey1) March 9, 2021
• Elsewhere, we have a new leader in the clubhouse, so to speak, on attendance capacity, and it’s the Baltimore Orioles, as the state of Maryland(?) is opening waaaaay up:
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced the lifting of capacity limits at restaurants, bars, etc., including sporting venues like Oriole Park at Camden Yards, as of this Friday. #Orioles will be allowed to sell seats up to 50% capacity for Opening Day.
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) March 9, 2021
• You may insert jokes here, but you would not be wrong: in 2019, the Orioles averaged just over 16,000 fans per game, or about 35% of capacity. Given that they are expected to be terrible once again this year, you can kinda say the Orioles are now just fully open.
• The Cubs’ long-time PA announcer is moving on to try his hand at broadcast (good for you, man – go get it!), and the Cubs will be looking for a permanent replacement while having some fun in the interim:
— Andrew Belleson (@ChicagoCubsPA) March 9, 2021
Just mentioned on ESPN 1000. Cubs looking for a new PA announcer. Might have celebrities do it in April. They are taking suggestions. Bill Murray anyone? Andrew Belleson, great kid, leaving to pursue some broadcast opportunities. They'll look for a full time replacement soon
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) March 9, 2021
• Fans are coming back to Wrigley Field, but the touchless pandemic experience is not conducive to at least one important element: food and beer vendors patrolling the aisles. Hopefully the situation continues to improve to justify their return to the park (especially after they become eligible for vaccination later this month). It’s not quite the same without them.
• Apropos of the bit in yesterday’s prospect notes about Yohendrick Pinango being a breakout potential guy for the Cubs this year, Keith Law picked one prospect from each org who he really wants to see in person this year, and:
The Cubs’ system doesn’t have a ton of upside in it, but Pinango gives them one of their better chances to develop another middle-of-the-order bat, with potential power along with what is reportedly a good approach for his age. He earned solid reviews from scouts at instructs who bought into the future power even though he hasn’t hit a pro homer yet.
• Pinango, who got a decent IFA bonus but not a top-tier type, was ranked as one of the best prospects in the DSL in 2019, and then obviously could only get in whatever work was possible last year during the shutdown. The variance range in how he could look this year is soooo wide, including where he’ll start the season. He turns 19 in May, so him doing stateside rookie ball would be completely good and fine and normal. Had the minors not changed, you might say he would have a chance at short-season Low-A ball (formerly Eugene), but since that doesn’t exist, the only next-up option is full-season Low-A, now at Myrtle Beach. That’d be QUITE a leap for a 19-year-old who has played only in the DSL (nearly two years ago). Mostly, for now, I just can’t wait to hear what people are saying when he shows up for minor league spring training next month. When he’d just turned 17, the guy hit .358/.427/.442 with a 9.9% BB rate and 7.3% K rate(!) in the DSL. Those are just silly numbers, even in the DSL, at his age.
• (Also, the bit about the Cubs system not having a ton of upside in it … Law is great, but that’s pretty dubious given that the concentration of Cubs talent at this point is at the lowest levels, and most are high-risk, high-upside types.)
• Athletic gear, sleep aids, and smart robots are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
• Massive deferrals in the Jackie Bradley, Jr. deal with the Brewers (and at least some deferrals for Kolten Wong, too), who’ll pay him barely anything this year, and then it depends on what happens. Why not do it if players are open to it:
2021: 6.5M (333,333 1/14/22; 3M 1/13/23; 166,667 1/12/14). Player option 2022 9.5M (6.5M payable: 333,333 1/13/22; 6,166,667 1/12/24) or 6.5M buyout (3M 1/14/22; 333,333 1/13/23; 3,166,667 1/12/24). Mutual option 2023 12M or 8M buyout (1M 1/12/24; 7M 1/15/25)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 10, 2021
How did #Brewers afford to sign JBJ for $24 M and Kolten Wong for $18 M after financial losses in 2020? Well, this year, the team is paying only a total of $6.5 M to those players — $3.5 M to Bradley and $3 M to Wong. Rest of the $8 M owed them is deferred.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 9, 2021
• One of the best names in Cubs history:
A #chicago original: Orval Overall, Deadball Era hurler who won 20+ 2X for @Cubs & 108 w 2.23 ERA career. He was a big dude for the time, 6-2 and 215 & tossed, you guessed it, an overhand curve. Here's his @sabr story. Like, RT, and tell everyone about it https://t.co/BNavySPlfx pic.twitter.com/2lXRwaOm7p
— SABR BioProject (@SABRbioproject) March 10, 2021
• All I can say is hmmmmmm:
STUDY: Sports Fans Have Better Mental Health https://t.co/XA7BlSeZ2P
— 96.9 The Game (@969thegame) March 10, 2021
• It was good to see this man:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) March 10, 2021