Countdown to Pitchers and Catchers Reporting to Mesa: 5 days
Happy Valentine’s Day from Chicago Cubs Online
The projection systems have the Cubs improving the win total from last year’s 73-89 mark by 5-12 games, which as previously reported, on the high end of the projections, an 84- to 85-win season would mean the Cubs are playing meaningful games in September.
Steve Mikkelson, of the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno, released his annual Major League Baseball regular season win total odds on Friday. And Mikkelson has the Cubs at 81.5 wins for the 2015 season.
According to Mikkelson, the Nationals (93), Dodgers (91), Cardinals (87.5), Pirates (85.5) and Giants (85) will have the five highest win totals in the National League followed by the Padres (84), Cubs (81.5), Marlins (81.5) and Mets (81).
In the Junior Circuit, the Angels (87.5), Tigers (86.5), Red Sox (86), Mariners (85) and Orioles (84.5) will post the most wins. Click here for the over-under win totals for all 30 big league teams.
As is the case every year, when Valentine’s Day comes around that means just one thing, it’s not too much longer before Spring Training begins. And for the Chicago Cubs, it’s five more days before pitchers and catchers report, six days for the first on-field workout, 10 days left until position players must be in Mesa and 11 days before Joe Maddon’s guys take to the practice fields for the first full squad workout.
According to multiple reports, a legal battle has just begun over Ernie Banks’ remains.
Elizabeth Banks, Ernie’s fourth wife, went to court to prevent his remains from being cremated. According to a report from the Tribune, “Elizabeth Banks filed a petition to prevent a woman who describes herself in the documents as a longtime friend of Banks, his caretaker and the executor of Banks’ estate from being cremated.”
Elizabeth Banks was described as his estranged wife and that Ernie Banks was in the middle of trying to divorce her when he passed away.
Elizabeth Banks has been able to block Regina Rice from having Banks cremated. But according to the Tribune it’s unclear where his remains are two weeks after his funeral.
Howard Goldman, Banks’ attorney, said Ernie Banks is buried at Graceland Cemetery. The person the Tribune spoke with at the cemetery said Banks is not buried there and his remains are no longer at Donnellan Funeral Home.
The Tribune explained that Banks’ Last Will and Testament said he was in the “process of finalizing divorce from his wife and that he had appointed Rice as the executor of his will.” The documents do not indicate what Banks wanted done with his remains.
Wrigley Field Restoration – The 1060 Project
If the ongoing feud between the Cubs and the rooftops needed anymore drama, the lawsuit filed by the rooftops claims Crane Kenney said the Cubs own the city and control both City Hall and Ald. Patrick O’Connor.
Two rooftops filed a suit Thursday in Federal Court seeking a restraining order to halt the installation of the signage in right field that will block the rooftops’ views into Wrigley Field. Included in the lawsuit was the statements allegedly made by President of Business Operations, Crane Kenney.
The Cubs have not commented on the accusations but Ald. O’Connor told the Sun-Times the suggestion that the Cubs own the Alderman is “offensive and absolutely not true.” O’Connor would not rule out someone with the team saying it or a rooftop owner making it up.
The Sun-Times spoke with a top mayoral aide “that called the suggestion that O’Connor was controlled by the Cubs laughable on so many levels I don’t know where to begin.”
- Full Report from the Sun-Times
- Rooftop Owners Seeking Retraining Order to Stop Sign Installation
- Rooftop Owners File Lawsuit Against the Cubs (Jan. 20)
The Yoan Moncada news slowed down Friday. With less than 10 days before Moncada and his agent are expected to shift to the decision-making part of the process, Ken Rosenthal dropped this nugget.
An executive Rosenthal spoke to about Moncada expects him to receive a $40-50 million bonus. Which as Rosenthal pointed out would mean the team that wins the sweepstakes will pay $80-100 million for Moncada.
News, Notes and Rumors
Major League Baseball announced Friday the Miami Marlins will host the 2017 All-Star Game. Earlier reports indicated the Commissioner’s Office had awarded Miami the Mid-Summer Classic, Rob Manfred just made it official with Friday’s announcement. At the press conference, MLB also announced the American League will actually be the home team at the All-Star Game in San Diego. National League teams are hosting the game three straight years (Cincinnati, San Diego, Miami) and MLB figured it was the right thing to do to make the AL squad the home team in 2016.
News surfaced earlier in the week that Major League Baseball had been in a trademark dispute with WalletHub, a site run by Evolution Finance, over the use of a ‘W’ for the company’s logo. The Cubs and Nationals own the trademark on the letter. WalletHub reached out to Chicago Cubs Online to make sure our readers know their side of the dispute. WalletHub feels MLB is bullying the company and seeking a “hypocritical trademark ruling.”
According to Joe Strauss, the Cardinals are rolling into Spring Training quietly confident.
And speaking of teams in the NL Central, Marty Brennaman still has issues with Joey Votto … and the Voice of the Reds has trouble with Votto trying not to make outs.
Dave Cameron posted his report on the best transactions of the off-season … spoiler alert, the Cubs are not mentioned and Cameron really likes what the Dodgers did this winter.
Major League Baseball now owns 27 of the 30 actual team domains according to Hardball Talk.
David Schoenfield finished his pre-Spring Training rankings … his top five teams: 5) Cardinals 4) Indians 3) Pirates 2) Dodgers 1) Nationals
Jim Callis posted an alternate-reality All-America team based on if players had to spend at least three years in college before they were draft eligible … Addison Russell is Callis’ All-America second baseman.
The South Bend Cubs are down to two in the Name the Mascot voting … Stu and Colfax. The finals are next week.
Yahoo Sports answered the Cubs pressing questions.
And last, but not least, a must read from The Hardball Times … A King in Exile and The Cubs’ First Curse.
This Day In Cubstory
2011 – The Cubs and Carlos Marmol avoided arbitration when the two sides agreed to a three-year, $20 million contract.
2007 – The Cubs announced for the first time that advertisements will be placed on the green outfield doors in left and right field. Under Armour logo ads were placed on both doors before the company’s spokesperson, Alfonso Soriano played his first game at Wrigley Field.
2000 – Cubs released Andy Larkin
1973 – Daniel Garibay, born
1972 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Julio Gonzalez
1948 – Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown passed away at the age of 71 in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Hall of Fame right-hander spent a majority of his career with the Cubs and posted a 188-86 record in 346 games, 241 starts, over 10 seasons. Brown had 206 complete games and saved 39 games for the Cubs. Brown had a 1.80 ERA, 0.998 WHIP and 2.21 FIP in 2329 innings with the Cubs. Brown was pivotal in the franchise’s success in the early 20th Century, leading the pitching staffs on the 1906-08 National League Champions and the back-to-back World Series Champions of 1907-08.
1940 – Len Gabrielson, born
1939 – Cubs signed free agent Earl Whitehill
1903 – Uel Eubanks, born
1890 – Mike Hechinger, born
1887 – The Chicago National League Ball Club known at the time by the nickname the White Stockings sold Mike “King” Kelly to the Boston Beaneaters for the then unheard sum of $10,000.
1869 – Ace Stewart, born