With the White Sox in third place at 40-42 and the Cubs in fifth place at 34-48 the baseball in Chicago hasn’t been pretty this season, but as Jim O’Donnell of the Chicago Tribune writes the beer sales at Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field have also suffered.
O’Donnell reports that beer sales are down about 30 percent between both ballparks, which local vendors attribute to “the weather, the losses, the no-shows.”
Combined the two teams have sold an average of 3,400 fewer tickets per game compared to last season and the actual number of fans in attendance is likely even lower. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry probably can’t turn things around this season, but I’m pretty confident the fans at Wrigley Field are capable of picking up the slack if someone explains to them how pathetic their season-long consumption has been.
Or maybe we’ll just send Calcaterra to Chicago for a weekend.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: