Craig Calcaterra

Wrigley Field will still be a work in progress, but it will be ready for Opening Day

Wrigley construction
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The renovations at Wrigley Field were not an offseason-only proposition. The bleachers are still being rebuilt, there’s a new video board going up just this week and another that is still under construction. The ivy is going to be somewhat spotty for a good while. Thus is the price of progress.

But the Cubs would like you to know that any rumors about the ballpark not being ready to host games this Opening Day and, especially, that it’s somehow unsafe, are totally false:

Before a renovation update was presented to the media on a conference call, Cubs’ spokesman Julian Green launched an offensive against unnamed individuals spreading rumors that the ballpark wouldn’t be ready, the grandstand and upper decks wouldn’t be safe and Major League Baseball was going to force the Cubs to move the opener to U.S. Cellular Field.

Green called them “wild and baseless accusations,” adding MLB was not “concerned, mad or disappointed in the team or the pace of construction,” and there were no discussions at all about playing at the Cell.

The spokesman went on to call them “absolutely false (and) reckless” rumors. None of which, I think, most of us had heard until he debunked them, but such is the way with a lot of juicy-but-bogus rumors.

No word on whether the Cubs, after playing a month’s worth of games without bleachers and the fans who sit there, will decide that maybe not rebuilding them at all is a better call.

Major League players’ meal per diem to be $100.50 in 2015

Steak
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source:

Yesterday we learned what the annual salary was in Major League Baseball. Now we know what the meal money situation is:

I’m curious why the 50 cents is on there. Or what leads to the decision to raise it $1.50 from last year. I’m sure there are some accountants at MLB who have this all down cold, of course.

For the record, $100.50 in daily meal money can buy you 53 Cool Ranch Doritos Locos tacos at Taco Bell. Or, perhaps, one “Brennaman” steak (12 oz “barrel cut” filet mignon) with a side of 18 Virginia Blue Point oysters at Precinct steak house in Cincinnati.

Jose Mijares suspended 50 games for a drug of abuse

jose mijares getty
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This just in from MLB HQ:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that free agent Minor League left-handed pitcher Jose Mijares has received a 50-game suspension without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Mijares is a free agent and has yet to latch on. It’s gonna be a lot harder now that he has 50 games to sit if and when someone signs him.

Still, he has a bit of a track record, posting a 3.23 career ERA in 259 total major league innings. He has held left-handed batters to a .225/.288/.335 slash line since 2008, and lefties tend to never die.