We all know things are rough out there. A lot of people are out of jobs, struggling to make ends meet.
The Cleveland Indians are trying to help, offering fans the ability to win 12-game ticket packages through an essay contest.
But for those feeling a bit strapped on the cash front in these tough economic times, the Indians are offering the opportunity to win free tickets as part of their 12-Pack Essay Contest. Twenty-five applicants will be awarded four Pepsi 12-Pack ticket packages based on their response to the following:
In 500 words or less, please explain your current economic circumstance and what winning an Indians 12-Pack would mean to you during the 2010 season. Please incorporate your passion as a Cleveland Indians fan and love for baseball in your response.
It’s a cool idea, and certainly a generous offer to give away four 12-game ticket packages to 25 winners. In addition, everyone who applies will receive a voucher for four free seats to a game in April or May (not counting Opening Day).
I would think this contest has plenty of potential to be awkward, however. I’m not sure how eager I would be to outline my financial woes – in as convincing terms as possible – in a 500-word essay contest. Not sure how eager I’d be to judge the essays either.
But as depressing as this contest might be, I have to give the Indians credit for the gesture. When times are tough, it might be nice to take in a ballgame on the house. Plus, if you’re really strapped, you could always scalp your tickets.
(Thanks to The Sporting Blog)
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.
There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.
Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reported over the weekend that the Cubs and reliever Pedro Strop agreed to a contract extension. He’ll remain with the Cubs through 2018 and the new deal includes a club option for the 2019 season as well. Per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Strop will earn $5.85 million in 2018 and the club option is worth $6.25 million with a $500,000 buyout. The two sides already avoided arbitration earlier this month, agreeing on a $5.5 million salary for the 2017 season.
Strop, 31, has been a very reliable reliever for the Cubs over the last three years. He has a combined 2.65 ERA with 212 strikeouts and 69 walks over 176 1/3 innings in that span of time.
The Cubs replaced Aroldis Chapman with Wade Davis, so Strop and Hector Rondon will be bridging the gap to Davis this coming season.
Strop joined the Cubs along with Jake Arrieta in the July 2013 trade that sent Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman to the Orioles. That trade panned out well for the Cubs.