Yesterday afternoon Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune surmised that Cubs owner Todd Ricketts was participating in an episode of the CBS show Undercover Boss being shot at Wrigley Field, and now that the filming is complete the team is no longer being secretive.
Ricketts grew facial hair and donned glasses during the nine-game homestand, where he was followed by film crews while working on the grounds crew, as a vendor, in the Captain Morgan Club, and even emptying trash outside the ballpark. Cubs marketing chief Wally Hayward declined comment on the Cubs’ involvement in the show, which is expected to air sometime during the upcoming season.
I’ve watched more episodes of Undercover Boss than I really care to admit–which is to say more than one–so I feel confident predicting that Ricketts will learn many life lessons by interacting with minimum wage-earning employees and those employees will be shocked to find out that the bearded man being followed around by a camera crew isn’t actually someone trying to learn the ins and outs of a minimum wage-paying job.
Throw in some inspirational music and a few commercial breaks, and that’s basically the show. It’s just a shame Lou Piniella stepped down as manager before the filming started, because as Sullivan points out he’s not much for reality television.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.