I tend not to think of the dark and horrible things in this world, so I had never considered that the Cubs might one day add a Jumbotron to Wrigley Field. Good thing that the first I’ve ever heard about it is when the idea is rejected:
Plans for a Jumbotron at Wrigley Field aren’t in the team’s
immediate future, though the Cubs are looking at bringing instant
replay to fans with smartphones . . . The Cubs, of course, remain the last major professional sports team
without an electronic scoreboard with replay capacity, which is one of
the charms of going to Wrigley Field. But with all the lost revenues
from not having a Jumbotron, some wonder how much longer the team can
hold out from installing 20th Century technology, especially in an
If the Cubs can survive 100 years of losing, 70 years of day baseball when everyone has gone to night, and a couple decades without state-of-the-art luxury boxes, they can certainly survive without dot races and giant electronic letters informing the fans that, yes, it is time to make NOISE.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.