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.
Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.
Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).
The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.
Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.
As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:
Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!
Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:
I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.