The Cubs gouge fans more than any team in baseball

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Every year Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times does a little research on ticket “convenience” fees to determine which baseball team is gouging its fans with these seemingly useless add-ons for every ticket sold.  This year’s champions of avarice: the Chicago Cubs who charge a “convenience fee” of $6.14 per ticket and an additional four bucks for “processing.”

At least if you’re buying group tickets. If you’re buying  just one the Red Sox get you the worst, but their tacked-on fee is per order, not per ticket, so that’s mitigated a bit with multiple ticket orders.

The least gouging team: the Reds, who charge a mere buck-o-three per ticket.

Chris goes on to point out the irrationality of these fees. Which go up depending on the price of your ticket. Which means that the fees have nothing to do with “processing” at all, because it should cost no more to process an expensive ticket than a cheap one.  And that’s before noting that teams also charge YOU a most inconvenient “convenience” fee for printing out a ticket on your own printer, which should make things easier for them and save them money, so why are they charging you?

Of course you’ve likely observed that already. And given that they’re charging over $5 for a bottle of water on a hot day, none of the gouging in general should surprise you either.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.