I’m having a hard time swallowing some of the entries in this Business Insider slideshow about how stadiums may change in the future.
Or should I say in the future!, because so much of it sounds like those flying car/colonies on the moon predictions from the golden days of the space age in that they were simultaneously implausible yet unambitious. I mean, my suburban Ohio gym already has TVs in the bathrooms, so I don’t think that’s a crazy prediction, but I also don’t see why any stadium owner would spring for it outside of the club level. And really, the list is mostly just “put video screens everywhere,” so it’s not that big a deal.
Still, I tried my best to fight through the skepticism. That is, until I got to this one:
No more beer … It would take a lot for teams to suck it up and kiss one of their greatest sources of easy revenue goodbye, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that something bad enough could happen to force their hands’ and outlaw (or at least severely limit) beer sale at games. Some pro teams have already banned the sale of beer bottles and most college stadiums don’t sell beer at all.
None of us will live to see the day professional sports stadiums stop selling beer. I guarantee you that. In fact, if that ever happens I’ll stop drinking beer myself. And those of you who know me understand just how serious a thing that would be.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.
The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.
Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.
Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”