Wrigley Field to keep its essential character

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The Cubs’ new owners may do a lot of things to upgrade Wrigley Field. And with each step they take, there’s always going to be someone watching closely to make sure that the grand old ballpark is not ruined. Some things are obvious: you don’t tear down the ivy. You don’t replace the brick backstop with stucco. You don’t change the name of the place to “Planters XTREME Southwestern Spice Corn Nuts Stadium.”

Other things, however, are not so obvious. Things that make up the very essence of the place. Things like the big stinky urinal troughs in the men’s rooms:

The Chicago Cubs have announced that, while the washrooms at their vaunted ballpark will be renovated this off-season, the stainless steel urinal troughs will remain.

Thank God. For a minute there I was worried that the next time I visit Chicago I’d have to pee with a modicum of privacy and without the overpowering stench of recycled Old Style pouring out of every corner of the park.

Peter Bourjos returns to the Angels on minor league deal

Peter Bourjos
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Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.

Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.

The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.