The Cubs gouge fans more than any team in baseball

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Every year Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times does a little research on ticket “convenience” fees to determine which baseball team is gouging its fans with these seemingly useless add-ons for every ticket sold.  This year’s champions of avarice: the Chicago Cubs who charge a “convenience fee” of $6.14 per ticket and an additional four bucks for “processing.”

At least if you’re buying group tickets. If you’re buying  just one the Red Sox get you the worst, but their tacked-on fee is per order, not per ticket, so that’s mitigated a bit with multiple ticket orders.

The least gouging team: the Reds, who charge a mere buck-o-three per ticket.

Chris goes on to point out the irrationality of these fees. Which go up depending on the price of your ticket. Which means that the fees have nothing to do with “processing” at all, because it should cost no more to process an expensive ticket than a cheap one.  And that’s before noting that teams also charge YOU a most inconvenient “convenience” fee for printing out a ticket on your own printer, which should make things easier for them and save them money, so why are they charging you?

Of course you’ve likely observed that already. And given that they’re charging over $5 for a bottle of water on a hot day, none of the gouging in general should surprise you either.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.