Cubs overtake Yankees for highest-priced tickets… kind of

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In its annual study released Wednesday, the Team Marketing Report concluded that the Cubs have overtaken both the Yankees and Red Sox for baseball’s highest-priced ticket.
The average ticket for non-premium sections at Wrigley Field now costs $52.56, a 10.1 percent increase over last year. Boston’s Fenway Park is just behind at $52.32, a 4.1 percent increase from 2009. Yankee Stadium has dropped from first to third at $51.83 after a mere 0.4 percent increase from last year.
Of course, there’s some fine print there: the Yankees petitioned to have additional lower-deck seats reclassified as premium, even though they don’t include free food like the previously classified premium seats. The Cubs have a far smaller percentage classified as premium seating than either the Yankees or the Red Sox.
Some other facts from the report:
*The average ticket this year costs $26.74, a 1.5 percent increase from 2009. That 1.5 percent increase is the smallest since tracking began in 1991.
*The Diamondbacks have the cheapest average ticket at $14.31. Next are the Padres ($15.15).
*The Twins, being the only team to move into a new stadium this year, had the largest increase from 2009, a whopping 45 percent ($21.70 to $31.47).

Mookie Betts could play second base in the World Series

Mookie Betts
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The Red Sox have some tough decisions to make in advance of the World Series next week; namely, what to do with some of their hottest-hitting players once the series shifts to a National League park — and National League rules. During a press conference on Saturday, manager Alex Cora said he’d be open to the idea of starting All-Star right fielder Mookie Betts at second base when the club’s regular DH, J.D. Martinez, is forced to play the outfield during away games.

The Red Sox carry home field advantage through the Fall Classic, so Games 1 and 2 will be played at Fenway Park — as well as Games 6 and 7, should those become necessary. Depending on the outcome of NLCS Game 7 later tonight, World Series Games 3 through 5 will be played at Dodger Stadium or Miller Park. That’s when Betts might take over the keystone from Ian Kinsler and Brock Holt, both of whom have shared second base duties over the course of the 2018 postseason.

The idea isn’t without merit. Betts and Martinez comprise two of the team’s top talents at the plate and, should the Red Sox need to stave off elimination in Games 4 and 5, sitting either of them doesn’t make sense. The 26-year-old Betts led the team with a staggering .346/.438/.640 batting line, 32 home runs, 30 stolen bases, and career-best 10.4 fWAR over 614 PA, while Martinez posted some career totals of his own, slashing .330/.402/.629 with 43 home runs, a 1.031 OPS, and 5.9 fWAR in 649 PA. This wouldn’t be the first time Betts has taken reps at second, either, as he’s logged 15 games at the position over the course of his five-year career, most recently during a 4-1 win over the Yankees in August.

Whether or not Betts is considered a lock for all three games is another question, one to which Cora didn’t give a definite answer. “I don’t know, man,” the skipper told reporters Saturday. “[Betts] already played second during the regular season, so there’s always a chance, I guess.” He later added that while Betts would be taking ground balls at second, it’s part of the routine he’s maintained all year — so nothing should be read into it until a clear decision has been announced.