Cubs selling leaves of 2016 Wrigley Field Ivy for $200

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Everyone wants a piece of history. The Chicago Cubs know this. And they’re capitalizing on it: the club sent emails to season-ticket holders on Tuesday offering to sell them leaves of Wrigley Field ivy from the 2016 season.

The cost: $200 per leaf. Plus $15 shipping and handling. The email said that there are, appropriately, 2,016 ivy leaves available. Limit ten per customer. I assume there is a certificate of authenticity involved. It’d be a shame if you were sold fake foliage.

This is nothing new, of course. The Yankees and a lot of other teams have sold dirt — just dirt from the field — for a significant chunk of change. The Chicago Blackhawks once sold melted ice from their 2013 Stanley Cup championship season. Melted ice is, of course, just water. It set you back $99 if you wanted some.

It’s your money. Do what you want with it. But know that, if you spend $200 for a dang ivy leaf, you WILL be cited in some article chronicling the degeneracy and downfall of western civilization some day. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Not that it’s all bad. With the ivy gone we’ll be better able to see the wall the purchasers of the ivy will be lined up against when the revolution comes.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.