I’ve only been to Wrigley Field a couple of times, but it never struck me as a particularly kid-friendly place. But the Cubs are thinking about making some kid-friendly changes:
The Cubs are teaming up with Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management to conduct a survey involving kids’ experiences at Wrigley Field, asking selected fans to help provide the “right opportunities for your kids to connect with the team and grow as the next generation” of fans.
Items included in the survey: “batting cages and radar gun zones, kids apps for smartphones and tablets, a kids section, a new Cubs song and ‘interaction with a mascot.'”
Mascot? Introducing for 2014: Bleachy: an oversized, shirtless dude from Lincoln Park drinking Old Style and shunning his friends from the smaller Midwestern city in which he used to live/Big 10 college he used to attend because they don’t appreciate the cultural opportunities that Chicago offers. He’ll only last a few years, though. After that he’s gonna get married and move to a north suburb that has all the same crap his friends back home have.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)