The Cubs started the All-Star break seven games over .500 with a 47-40 record and the improved play that has put the team in the post-season picture has resulted in a significant jump in the ratings.
According to a report from Danny Ecker, the Cubs “are on track to finish with their highest TV ratings in at least a half-decade. Through their first 47 games on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the Cubs have averaged a 3.0 household rating, or more than 104,000 Chicago-area TV households tuning in per game.”
Ecker pointed out that is more than double from a year ago when the Cubs “had the fifth lowest local ratings among all 30 Major League Baseball teams.”
Danny Ecker reported while the numbers are not known for Cubs games on WGN-TV Ch. 9 or WLS-TV ABC-7, the viewership for Cubs’ games on those channels should be in line with Comcast SportsNet.
Arismendy Alcantara and Carlos Pimentel
INF/OF Arismendy Alcantara and RHP Carlos Pimentel were in the starting lineup for the Pacific Coast League in Wednesday night’s Triple-A All-Star Game. The International League topped the PCL by a final of 4-3 after scoring three runs in the top of the ninth inning.
Carlos Pimentel started the game and pitched the first two innings for the PCL. Pimentel gave up a run on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Pimentel gave up a triple to James Beresford with one out in the first … a ball that Peter O’Brien got a glove on at the wall. Matt Hague followed with a single to center and plated Beresford.
Arismendy Alcantara played the entire game. Alcantara started in center field and moved to second in the sixth inning. Alcantara was 1-for-4 with a double on the night.
Jonathan Papelbon might have punched his ticket out of Philadelphia on Monday. Papelbon did not hold back his criticism of the Phillies and the front office. Papelbon would really like to be traded and does not understand why he hasn’t been dealt yet.
Ruben Amaro Jr. responded to his comments during his weekly spot Tuesday morning on WIP Morning Show. And the Phillies’ GM said Papelbon “doesn’t know anything about the front office.” Amaro Jr. said he is talking to teams about Papelbon and he thinks “there’s enough of a market” the Phillies will probably get something done. Amaro Jr. pointed out “there’s a lot of clubs that are interested in a lot of our players and we have to sort through it and make the right deals.”
Amaro Jr. maintained that he and Pat Gillick “are calling the shots while Andy MacPhail is observing and offering opinions.”
Jim Salisbury asked Papelbon about what Amaro Jr. said after Tuesday’s All-Star Game. According to the report, Papelbon shrugged off Amaro Jr.’s comments and said, “That’s just my opinion. Everyone is entitled to it.”
News, Notes and Rumors
• Comcast SportsNet asked: Can Theo Epstein land a big fish at the trade deadline?
• One of Jay Jaffe’s seven bold predictions for the second half, the Cubs make the playoffs.
• Kris Bryant was baseball’s top rookie before the All-Star break according to MLB.com.
• The Cubs are one of the 10 storylines of the second half according to Tim Kurkjian. The Cubs are a year ahead of schedule according to the report and Kurkjian thinks the Cubs will be aggressive before the deadline and try to add a pitcher, like Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto. The Cubs would like to trade Starlin Castro for pitching according to Kurkjian. In the same report, he points out “there doesn’t appear to be a market for Castro and from all indications the Cubs will not mortgage their future by dealing any of their best young players.”
• The Cubs open the second half in Atlanta. And it appears the Braves will still be without Freddie Freeman. According to a report from Hardball Talk, Freeman won’t return this month from wrist injury. Freeman has been on the DL since June 18.
• Joel Sherman explained why he does not think the Yankees will make a big move before the deadline … and that includes making a run at Cole Hamels.
• The Phillies, Reds and Padres have spent a lot of time scouting the Astros and Rangers’ farm systems according to Jim Bowden. And the Angels, Mariners and Royals are considered the top suitors for Justin Upton.
And last, but not least, Joel Sherman reported, “There are also executives in the game who think the Cubs might try to make a run at Justin Upton to play left field. Even with Upton a free agent after the season, San Diego would expect significant prospects in exchange.” Sherman correctly pointed out, the Cubs have the players to make a deal for Upton without including Kris Bryant, Addison, Russell, Jorge Soler and Kyle Schwarber, but he did not report the Cubs are on Justin Upton’s no-trade list.
This Day In Cubstory
2007 – Cubs acquired Jason Kendall from the A’s for Jerry Blevins and Rob Bowen
2001 – Fred McGriff invoked his no-trade clause and blocked a deal that would eventually send him to the Cubs.
1992 – Greg Maddux announced at a press conference in Pittsburgh that he had broken off negotiations with the Cubs on a contract extension and he would become a free agent at the end of the season. Maddux told the press he had given the Cubs two chances to sign him and he thought it should have been taken care of by then.
1937 – Lee Elia, born
1922 – Hack Miller hit a homer in the fourth inning, his fourth home run in three days, but the Cubs lost 10-7 to the Phillies at Wrigley Field
1905 – Charles W. Murphy purchased an interest and is made Vice President of the Cubs. Murphy would soon be named President of the team and would hold the position until 1913.
1897 – Cap Anson became the first Major Leaguer to collect his 3000th hit. Anson singled off Baltimore’s George Blackburn.
1885 – Bill Kennedy won both ends of a doubleheader, 9-3 and 13-9 over Buffalo. Ed Williamson replaced Kennedy in the sixth inning of the second game. The two victories were the last of Kennedy’s career.