The ballpark of tomorrow

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The Chicago Tribune has a story contemplating what the ballpark of tomorrow may look and feel like. Holograms! Smart-everything! Virtual reality!

Even in the next few years, Santee anticipates noticeable changes at ballparks — video boards with 4K screens, for one. Another is virtual reality clubs that might allow fans to try to replicate that diving stop they just saw J.J. Hardy make, for example.

“You could walk into it and all three dimensions of the room would be part of the game,” Santee said. “You could be the guy in the outfield. One wall is the outfield, you’ve got fans on three sides. You go in there and you feel like you are completely part of the game.”

I love stuff like this. Sure, it may all be wrong, but future-gazing, even if wrong, is fun and a little uplifting even if it’s silly now and will look even sillier when the future one day comes. Plus, it reminds me of the old “World of Tomorrow” cartoons from the 40s and 50s. With the added bonus of there not being anywhere near the level of sick, twisted violence towards mothers-in-law.

But if you can get past that bit, have some laughs:

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.