The Cubs and Reds received a “night off” thanks to Mother Nature. Weather permitting, the now two-game series will begin Wednesday night and conclude Thursday afternoon. A make-up date for Tuesday’s game has not been announced. The Cubs make one more trip back to Cincinnati this season (August 17 – August 19) and the game could be made up then as part of a day-night doubleheader.
The Cubs have a few decisions to make in the next 24-36 hours. Ryan Dempster is scheduled to return from the DL for the finale in Cincinnati and Kerry Wood will likely be activated prior to Thursday’s game which could mean Scott Maine and/or Randy Wells will be sent back to Iowa.
And, could Bryan LaHair and Anthony Rizzo be in the Cubs’ lineup together in the near future?
Here’s an update … Rebuilding Wrigley
The Cubs and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have been discussing ways in which to rebuild Wrigley Field. The Cubs are seeking financial help to rebuild the second oldest park in the game, one in which has a lot of restrictions attached to the park due to its historical status.
According to a report from Crain’s Chicago Business, on the table is $500 million or so plan – $300 million to reconstruct Wrigley and another $200 million for the ‘Triangle’ building – a multiuse structure in which would incorporate parking and entertainment. According to Greg Hinz, the Ricketts family and/or the team would pay for the Triangle building, leaving $300 million needed for the old ballyard.
Greg Hinz reported that half of the money needed for Wrigley would come from the team “presumably in increased revenue from more signage inside Wrigley and retail and other entertainment in what amounts to a game-day carnival on Waveland Avenue on Wrigley’s north side and Sheffield Avenue to the east.”
The other half ($150 million or so) would come from “bonds to be retired with increased revenue from the existing city and Cook County amusement taxes on ticket sales.” Hinz explained, “Specifically, debt service would get the first six percent in growth above a base level of around $15 million a year now.”
The Cubs would also like a “50 percent cut of any increase in amusement tax revenue growth above six percent and unlike the bonds, which would be retired in 30 or 35 years, that would be forever.”
Greg Hinz pointed out that this is what is being discussed right now … but neither the county nor the state, whose Illinois Finance Authority would issue the bonds, is as yet on board.
Mayor Emanuel hasn’t fully committed to anything but would like to do something.
Bryan LaHair and Anthony Rizzo
According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs have started internal discussions about how they can get both Bryan LaHair and Anthony Rizzo in the same lineup.
The Cubs have not decided to alter their plan to get Rizzo more experience at the Triple-A level. Rizzo will remain in the minors for now (Cubs would like to see him get at least another 100 or so plate appearances) but with both players producing it is not out of the question that LaHair and Rizzo could end up in the Cubs lineup before the All-Star break.
With Marlon Byrd now in Boston, one option could be moving David DeJesus to center because of LaHair’s ability to play the corner outfield spots. LaHair told the Sun-Times that he has been playing the outfield his entire life and is very comfortable in the outfield. LaHair would like to remain at first but acknowledged if it is better for Rizzo to be at first, “it is what it is.”
Bryan LaHair said, “If he was to come here and do what he did there, here, and I keep doing what I’m doing, I mean, that could be dangerous.”
News and Notes
Ryan Dempster told the Tribune he thinks Carlos Marmol will perform better once he receives more save chances. The Cubs had only five save opportunities in April, the second lowest in the majors behind the Padres (4).
The Cubs outfielders hit one home run in the first month of the season. Joe Mather notched the only homer hit by an outfielder on the next to the last day of the month (April 29). The Cubs hit only nine home runs in April, the second lowest output in franchise history. Bryan LaHair hit more than half (5) of the team’s longballs.
Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times reminded the baseball world that Sunday was the 25th Anniversary of the greatest game of Andre Dawson’s Hall of Fame career.
Lendy Castillo is not hurt, he’s just not been used because the Cubs have been more competitive since April 20, the last time Castillo pitched in a game. The Cubs like Castillo’s potential according to ESPN Chicago.
Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.
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