Proposing to your partner on the scoreboard: more popular than I imagined

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The website Swimmingly researched how much MLB ballparks charge fans who want to propose at the ballgame. The price breakdown is here. It’s a pretty extreme spread: it’ll cost you $2,500 at Dodger Stadium. It’ll cost you $39 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. That’s rather extreme on both ends.

Some teams don’t allow you to do it at all. Why? Too many people want to and it monopolizes the scoreboard. From the K.C. Star on the Royals’ reason for not allowing such public proposals any longer:

The team was slammed with so many marriage proposal requests at Kauffman Stadium that it ran out of time and space for them and suspended them halfway through last season . . . “we were just running out of space in the game to have them up there,” says Toby Cook, vice president of community affairs and publicity. “So we just made the decision that we weren’t going to do it anymore.”

I have a girlfriend who is just as much if not more into baseball than I am. And she has told me in no uncertain terms that if I proposed to her at a ballpark like that she’d (a) say no; and (b) kill me. Maybe not even in that order.

Who are these people, then, who think this is such a good idea? Just nothing I ever understood.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
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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.”