No Jumbotron for Wrigley Field

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I tend not to think of the dark and horrible things in this world, so I had never considered that the Cubs might one day add a Jumbotron to Wrigley Field.  Good thing that the first I’ve ever heard about it is when the idea is rejected:

Plans for a Jumbotron at Wrigley Field aren’t in the team’s
immediate future, though the Cubs are looking at bringing instant
replay to fans with smartphones . . . The Cubs, of course, remain the last major professional sports team
without an electronic scoreboard with replay capacity, which is one of
the charms of going to Wrigley Field. But with all the lost revenues
from not having a Jumbotron, some wonder how much longer the team can
hold out from installing 20th Century technology, especially in an
economic downturn.

If the Cubs can survive 100 years of losing, 70 years of day baseball when everyone has gone to night, and a couple decades without state-of-the-art luxury boxes, they can certainly survive without dot races and giant electronic letters informing the fans that, yes, it is time to make NOISE.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.