Wrigley Rooftop

Great Moments in Chicago politics

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You wanna know how to keep your lucrative rooftop seating? They put up a billboard, you put risers under your seats. They try to push through major renovations, you give nearly $200,000 to an Alderman. That’s the Chicago way!

A week before Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) declared his opposition to new advertising signs the Cubs want to erect that could block the views of rooftop clubs overlooking Wrigley Field, the alderman’s political fund got contributions from three club owners.

The checks to the Citizens for Tunney fund included $2,500 from George Loukas — who owns the Cubby Bear Lounge as well as rooftop clubs — and $1,000 apiece from Ivy League Baseball Club and Right Field Rooftop LLC, owners of the Skybox on Sheffield club. That makes at least $171,356.50 in all that Tunney has received from owners of the clubs, which offer fans a rooftop vantage to see Cubs games.

The article notes that the Cubs used to give to Tunney too, but haven’t done so for a couple of years.

That’s politics man. And given that all of these donations were reported in campaign finance reports, it’s only usual in Chicago inasmuch as they are perfectly legal.

The more squishy ethical questions we can debate. Part of that debate should include what we think about the fact that the Cubs themselves have a financial interest in other rooftop viewing establishments.

Forget it Jake, it’s Chitown.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.