UPDATE: False alarm, apparently.
Pat Gillick will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend alongside Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar, but now there’s some speculation that the Cubs are interested in hiring the 73-year-old former Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners, and Phillies general manager.
Details are scarce in terms of which role the Cubs are interested in Gillick filling, but Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that team chairman Tom Ricketts has spoken to the Hall of Famer within the past week. Gillick was last a GM with the Phillies in 2008, holding the position for four seasons before Ruben Amaro Jr. took over.
Ricketts hasn’t commented on the report yet, but did give current general manager Jim Hendry a vote of confidence last month. Chicago has the second-worst record in baseball at 39-59 and Hendry as been GM since 2002, during which time the Cubs have made just three trips to the playoffs.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.