The Cubs had intended to shut down Sheffield Avenue outside the ballpark for nine days — nine days! — to have a big street fair with bands and food and all kinds of hubub, beginning this weekend to coincide with the Yankees coming to town. Due to local displeasure at the disruption of traffic and stuff, however, they’re moving the thing off Sheffiled and into a parking lot nearby.
In other news, there are parking lots near Wrigley Field. Who knew?
The thing that stood out in the Chicago Sun-Times article about this all, however, were the comments from the head of a local merchants’ association, explaining the reasoning behind the street fair idea:
“They’re trying to entertain their fans and have an exciting event around the ballpark, even if the team doesn’t win. I don’t think they want to be doing this. The Cubs are not in the street fair business. But, this is what they have to do to stay relevant.”
Ouch. But hey, enjoy the party!
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.