Cubs owner Todd Ricketts films "Undercover Boss" episode

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Yesterday afternoon Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune surmised that Cubs owner Todd Ricketts was participating in an episode of the CBS show Undercover Boss being shot at Wrigley Field, and now that the filming is complete the team is no longer being secretive.

Ricketts grew facial hair and donned glasses during the nine-game homestand, where he was followed by film crews while working on the grounds crew, as a vendor, in the Captain Morgan Club, and even emptying trash outside the ballpark. Cubs marketing chief Wally Hayward declined comment on the Cubs’ involvement in the show, which is expected to air sometime during the upcoming season.

I’ve watched more episodes of Undercover Boss than I really care to admit–which is to say more than one–so I feel confident predicting that Ricketts will learn many life lessons by interacting with minimum wage-earning employees and those employees will be shocked to find out that the bearded man being followed around by a camera crew isn’t actually someone trying to learn the ins and outs of a minimum wage-paying job.
Throw in some inspirational music and a few commercial breaks, and that’s basically the show. It’s just a shame Lou Piniella stepped down as manager before the filming started, because as Sullivan points out he’s not much for reality television.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.