As construction continues at Wrigley Field and the area around the iconic ballpark, Alderman Tom Tunney will submit a proposal at next week’s City Council meeting to set up rules for the open-air plaza outside of Wrigley Field.
Under Ald. Tunney’s proposal live music and other activities could take place until 9:00pm on weeknights and 10:00pm on weekends. Beer and wine could be sold during same hours in the plaza, but “alcohol sales would stop during games, concerts and other events taking place at Wrigley Field and could not resume until an hour after the events end.” Tunney’s proposal would also allow “people to take drinks from the plaza into the stadium for games.” And the proposal could “get to a committee hearing during the next month, though there are still several points of contention on the management of the site.”
Dennis Culloton, spokesman for Tom Ricketts said the “closing times and plaza alcohol sale rules in Tunney’s plan are needlessly restrictive.” The Ricketts family “would like to see something more like 10:00pm on weeknights and 11:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays.”
Culloton explained, “Restrictions on the beer and wine sales go too far, and we would like to continue discussing that. Having beer and wine sales cut off at 9:00pm on weekdays and 10:00pm weekends is more restrictive than what we have now and defeats the purpose of the plaza.”
According to the Tribune, Wrigleyville Residents are okay with the closing time in Tunney’s proposal but “want to make sure there are reasonable caps on how many concerts and large-scale events the Cubs can hold in the plaza.” And they would like a “plan of operation” to accompany the ordinance.
The Ricketts family is looking to maximize revenue in and around Wrigley. The family would like to hold events in the plaza on non-game days “to maximize the appeal of Wrigley Field, one of the most visited tourist destinations in Illinois.”
Bar owners in Wrigleyville are not happy they will have to compete with the team for those dollars and residents are concerned the plaza “will add to the noise and drunken crowds” they deal with during the baseball season.
Ald. Tunney told Fran Spielman, “The Cubs don’t get everything they want. The community doesn’t get everything they want. That’s the nature of politics. There’s negotiating points on either side.” According to the Sun-Times, Tunney has been working with the Cubs for “the last four to five months on a doable situation.”
Cardinals Hacking Scandal
The Cardinals hacking scandal was back in the news Friday. And many are calling for MLB to come down hard on the team.
Christopher Correa, the Cardinals former scouting director, pleaded guilty Friday “to five counts of unauthorized access to computer information.” Correa is scheduled to be sentenced April 11. He was released on $20,000 bail. According to the report from Hardball Talk, “the maximum potential penalty on each of the counts is five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution.”
Correa admitted to “using the accounts of three Houston Astros employees to view sensitive and confidential information such as scouting reports, amateur player evaluations, notes on trade discussions, and proposed bonuses for draft picks.” According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “the information accessed was given an estimated value of $1.7 million by the U.S. Attorney’s office.”
Correa’s motive for hacking the Astros database was to see if Jeff Luhnow took any Cardinals information with him when he left the organization. Correa said he found Cardinals information in the database. The Astros refuted Correa’s claim Friday. In a statement, the Astros said their database did not include any of the Cardinals proprietary information.
Correa accessed the Astros’ database during the 2013 draft and on the trade deadline that same year. After the Astros changed database URL, Correa illegally accessed Jeff Luhnow’s email account to get the new database URL and password. And Correa accessed the Astros information.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday that Major League Baseball “was waiting for the federal case against Correa to come to an end before beginning its own investigation as to whether the Cardinals will be punished for his actions.”
Major League Baseball issued the following statement: “Major League Baseball appreciates the efforts of federal law enforcement authorities in investigating the illegal breach of the Astros’ baseball operations database, and identifying the perpetrator of this crime. We anticipate that the authorities will share with us the results of their investigation at the appropriate time, and we will determine what further actions to take after receiving all of the relevant information.”
Derrick Goold reported, “The Cardinals could face stiff penalties, the commissioner has broad powers to assess fines, limit draft spending, or confiscate draft picks.”
Jeff Passan would like to see Major League Baseball “hammer the Cardinals for their egregious hacking of the Astros by taking away draft picks and money.” Passan thinks MLB should take several draft picks from the Cardinals along with a fine in the seven-figure range.
- Report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Report from Hardball Talk
- Astros Statement
- MLB’s Statement
- Link to Copy of Formal Charges Filed against Christopher Correa
- Jeff Passan: MLB must hammer St. Louis beyond its checkbook for hacking Astros
Cubs’ prospect RHP P.J. Francescon was suspended for 50 games without pay for testing positive a second time for a drug of abuse. Francescon will start serving his suspension at the beginning of the 2016 season.
Francescon is coming off a very good year. Francescon spent a majority of the season pitching for Double-A Tennessee. In 42 relief appearances, Francescon was 4-2 with 22 saves, a 1.86 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Francescon pitched in three games for Triple-A Iowa and made one start. In 45 games, one start, last year at the Double- and Triple-A levels, Francescon was 4-2 with a 1.47 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.
Javier Baez played second base and hit cleanup for Santurce on Friday in their 4-1 win over Caguas. Baez went 1-for-4 with a run scored and two strikeouts.
Baez has played second base in all four playoff games. Baez is 3-for-14 in his last four games.
News, Notes and Rumors
• According to Ken Rosenthal, the Padres are still talking to free agent shortstop Alexei Ramirez. The Padres are also interested in Ian Desmond, but Ramirez is not attached to draft pick compensation and Desmond would cost the Padres its second round pick.
• And speaking of shortstops, Ken Rosenthal reported teams have talked to Jimmy Rollins about playing second base. Rollins “is open to the idea, but waiting to see if shortstop opportunities develop.”
• The Nationals hired Dan Jennings. The former Marlins GM and manager is a special assistant to Mike Rizzo.
This Day In Cubstory
2015 – Cubs signed free agent Chris Denorfia
2010 – Cubs signed free agent Bryan LaHair
2009 – Cubs signed free agent Milton Bradley to a three-year, $30 million contract
2006 – Cubs traded Corey Patterson to the Orioles for Nate Spears and Carlos Perez
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Todd Dunwoody
1975 – Cubs selected Ed Putnam in the first round (third overall pick) in the amateur draft. Putnam signed with the Cubs on Feb. 21.
1969 – Cubs acquired Ted Abernathy from the Reds for Bill Plummer, Kenneth Myette and Clarence Jones
1953 – Ivan DeJesus, born
1952 – Joe Wallis, born