Peter Gammons made some headlines in Chicago over the weekend by saying during a local radio interview that Wrigley Field is “a dump” that needs renovating like “what the Boston owners did with Fenway Park.”
Ozzie Guillen, who has been a vocal critic of Wrigley Field in the past, was asked what he thought of Gammons’ comments and the White Sox manager jokingly made it clear that he agrees:
He did? Good for you, Peter. Finally, somebody else out-tagged me. Why do you say that, Peter? You have only been to Wrigley Field for a few days. You’re not at Wrigley Field all of the time. That’s why Peter is one of the brightest men in baseball.
Wrigley Field is like a monument, and we have to respect that and we have to love that. A lot of people come to Chicago and want to take the tourist buses. They want to go by Wrigley Field. That’s the reason why. The owners would rather spend $200 million in players than [renovate]. People will show up to Wrigley Field. They like going there and all the things they can do there before and after the games
That qualifies as about as diplomatic as Guillen is ever going to get and he even called it “beautiful Wrigley Field” and “a historic ballpark” when discussing Derek Jeter’s chances of reaching 3,000 hits while in Chicago.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.