The Cubs are consolidating the luxury suites down the left field line in Wrigley Field and are turning the space into something of a mega-suite. Season tickets will be able to be purchased individually at the price of $300 a game instead of in lots of 12-15 like normal luxury suites, but the service and all of that will still be luxury-suite quality.
Seems strange to me. My take on luxury suites is that they are first and foremost a business and networking tool for companies. “Bring Gladys and the kids to the game, and we’ll discuss the big deal,” don’t you know. Granted, baseball should never be watched in a suite and these sorts of people will be the first ones against the wall when the revolution comes, but I at least understand why they do it. Buying suite seats on an individual basis, on the other hand, just seems like a deeper kind of wrong.
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.