Cubs’ announced attendance at Wrigley Field under 27,000 for first time since 2002

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The announced attendance at Wrigley Field this afternoon is 26,292, which according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune is the first time the Cubs have been under 27,000 since 2002.

Worse yet, even that modest total is misleadingly good in terms of actual fans in the seats, as Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that “there’s a fraction of that at Wrigley” to see the Cubs versus Diamondbacks.

Oh, and “one fan has already been booted for running on the field.” No word yet on if they’ll count him as a full person or a half-person in the final tally.

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

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Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 29-year-old left-hander went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.