The Cubs go into the rooftop bleacher business

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For years the buildings just outside of Wrigley Field have charged admission to people to sit on the roof and peer into the ballpark during Cubs games. Five or six years ago the Cubs got all litigatey about it, and ended up settling with the building owners and accepting a cut of the rooftop gate.  Despite that, the relationship has been rocky, with the Cubs objecting to some of the building owners’ rooftop advertising and, more recently, hatching plans to put up Wrigley Field ads that would block the view of the neighbors.

We’re in a new era, however, because now the Cubs are actually investing directly in at least one of the rooftop businesses which had been struggling due to lack of an operator.

I’m no real estate expert or anything, but I wonder if, in this down market, it wouldn’t be a smart play for the team to try and take over some of those buildings, turning them into team owned seating.  At the very least, you figure that they could use these tough times to try and muscle a bigger portion of the take out of these guys. 

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.