Ex-Cubbie scrounging for tuition money

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The sale of the Chicago Cubs has hit a road block.

Former Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston, a two-time All-Star, has filed an objection to the sale of the team to the family of billionaire Joe Ricketts, claiming that the team still owes him college scholarship money.

In a handwritten, one-paragraph statement docketed by the court Thursday, Dunston said he was objecting to the sale because the Cubs owe him college scholarship funds, which he has not used.

Well obviously he never used it, as it’s difficult to use something you don’t have. The Tribune Co. was too busy using that money to not save the newspaper industry.

Baseballreference.com estimates that Dunston made more than $24 million in his 17-year career, so I’m pretty sure he can afford college. Maybe not one of those fancy private schools where they make you wear a jacket with a crest on it, but any state university ought to be within reach.

That being said, baseball owners tend to walk around in loafers with million-dollar bills stuffed inside for padding. So come on, give Dunston his money. Let the guy go to school. He just wants to learn.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.