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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Telander: Tom Ricketts promises World Series title if Wrigley renovation plan is approved

Wave soldering combined with aqueous washing…can only mean victory!

Onetime boy-genius baseball executive Theo Epstein was brought here from the Red Sox to make the Cubs winners. So far Theo, which means ‘‘God’’ in Greek, has presided over Hades. The Cubs reek.

Fans have been instructed to wait. I’ve been waiting for 64
years. It gets old, you know. And then you die.

But now Ricketts has declared that Epstein will have everything he needs to win it all. This is more than a boast, people. This is a guarantee, and guarantees must come with accountability — like being run out of town.

Part of me feels that this purported deal never will be consummated and that Ricketts will be able to say, ‘‘It’s not my fault the Cubs are bad.’’ But who knows whether Ricketts will pump the extra cash — should it come — into the signings of star players and the development of minor-league prospects? Nobody.

It’s not certain this deal won’t get sued back to the Bricks-and-Ivy Age by that renegade band known as the rooftop owners, who have 11 years left on a contract with the Cubs that guarantees them an unobstructed view of their already-obstructed view of the field. That Kenney-brokered deal is so insane that I can’t even begin to address it. But it’s legal — and it might be explosive.

For now, though, we’ll believe the happy news and breathe a sigh of relief.

A redone stadium. A big replay screen. Two thousand new jobs. Millions of dollars in new tax revenue. Big smiles and handshakes all around.

We won’t even mention the 4-8 team. Or the biggest guarantee in Cubs history.

One that better come true.

Repoz Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:56 AM | 56 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs

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   1. Bhaakon Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:07 AM (#4415409)
I smell a new curse coming.
   2. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:13 AM (#4415431)
I would love to read more about the contract between the rooftop owners and the Cubs since if it is really true that the contract is ironclad and prevents renovations I have no real idea why the Cubs are trying to renovate. I've read elsewhere that the Cubs and the rooftop owners had a deal in which the Cubs didn't renovate until 2012 or so so Telander's tidbit is something completely different and I'm wondering what is true and what isn't.
   3. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:45 AM (#4415454)
The connection between these improvements and the Cubs' success on the field is wholly frivolous -- a con.
   4. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 16, 2013 at 09:38 AM (#4415483)
McCoy: has there been any announced timeline on the renovations? It's possible they are going to wait out the contract for the outfield stuff. Of course, one of the articles I read yesterday (maybe this one) had a spokesman downplaying the obstructive effects of the changes - so maybe not.
   5. Dale Sams Posted: April 16, 2013 at 09:39 AM (#4415485)
Wrigley has drawn more than the Rangers the last 3 years. I'm jus sayin.
   6. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: April 16, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4415497)
And Dan Gilbert promised the Cavaliers would win an NBA title before Lebron James.

Also, what's with the URL? Was someone at the Sun Times having a seizure? ( http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/19506771-573/hedy-hdy-hgedy-h-hedy-hdy-hgedy-h.html )
   7. Canker Soriano Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4415512)
The connection between these improvements and the Cubs' success on the field is wholly frivolous -- a con.

Are you kidding? He also has a rock that keeps away tigers.
   8. Canker Soriano Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4415514)
Also, what's with the URL? Was someone at the Sun Times having a seizure?

Maybe they're employing the ghost of Charlie Callas.
   9. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4415518)
And Dan Gilbert promised the Cavaliers would win an NBA title before Lebron James.


I haven't been following the NBA, but I assume he was correct, right? I mean, he promised.
   10. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4415519)
McCoy: has there been any announced timeline on the renovations? It's possible they are going to wait out the contract for the outfield stuff. Of course, one of the articles I read yesterday (maybe this one) had a spokesman downplaying the obstructive effects of the changes - so maybe not.

They'd be waiting a long time then since they have like 10 years to go on the contract running out. So just a year after Soriano's contract runs out then.
   11. The Polish Sausage Racer Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4415522)
All I know is if they "renovate" Wrigley to make it into the same kind of sideshow ######## that most other ballparks are with loud racket and flashing lights, I'm not going back.
   12. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4415524)
I mean, he promised.
In fairness, I'm pretty sure promising something in comic sans is the font equivalent of having your fingers crossed.
   13. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4415534)
He didn't say it would be in his or anyone else's lifetime. Mathematically, if Major League Baseball continues in something close to its current state for infinity years, the odds of the Cubs winning one of those infinity World Series is nearly 3%.
   14. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4415539)
All I know is if they "renovate" Wrigley to make it into the same kind of sideshow ######## that most other ballparks are with loud racket and flashing lights, I'm not going back.


That is a really weird statement to make in regards to Wrigley. But no stadium makes you treat the actual game as a sideshow. If you want to sit down and watch the game you can. If you want to walk around, drinking beer, eating food, playing games, meeting people, and watch the game occasionally what is so wrong with that and how does that stop you from sitting in your seat and watching the game?
   15. zonk Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:56 AM (#4415557)
Wrigley has drawn more than the Rangers the last 3 years. I'm jus sayin.


Well, on one hand -- the Cubs do miss out on some revenue streams... they're near the bottom of parking receipts, the landmark status does limit their revenue streams for ad space in the park. Even with the addition of luxury boxes some decades back, I'm betting they're also in the lower 3rd amongst MLB teams in revenue from that little cash cow, too.

On the other, if you believe Forbes -- the Cubs are THE most profitable team in Major League Baseball.... not the most revenue and not the most valuable, but the team with the best bottom line.

That said... yes... I fear a new curse is upon us. And I really do wish we would start disposing of the many old curses - yes, most of which are stupid - before we started creating new ones.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4415584)

The connection between these improvements and the Cubs' success on the field is wholly frivolous -- a con.


What's frivolous about it? If you make improvements, they can add more revenue and be able to buy better ball players. They're barely scraping by right now.

EDIT: Or what Zonk said.
   17. bunyon Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4415593)
It will be tought for Ricketts to displace Loria, but I'm glad to see he's giving it the old college try.
   18. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4415602)
That is a really weird statement to make in regards to Wrigley. But no stadium makes you treat the actual game as a sideshow. If you want to sit down and watch the game you can. If you want to walk around, drinking beer, eating food, playing games, meeting people, and watch the game occasionally what is so wrong with that and how does that stop you from sitting in your seat and watching the game?


There's vastly more piped-in noise in ballparks these days, which is very distracting. It's generally worse at minor league parks, but there's a lot of it in the majors too. Then there are those who find the ever increasing number of flashing lights and video screens another distraction. These things don't force you to ignore the game, but they certainly encourage it.
   19. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4415605)
You know it is going to be a bad season when all of the Cubs' threads have to do with the ballpark and not the players on the field.




All of that piped in noise and flashing lights don't occur while the game is going on.
   20. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4415606)
On the other, if you believe Forbes -- the Cubs are THE most profitable team in Major League Baseball.... not the most revenue and not the most valuable, but the team with the best bottom line.


In fairness to the Cubs, they were the most profitable team while carrying an $88 million payroll. Revenues would presumably go up with wins, but a lot of the profit comes from being a a high-income team with a midrange payroll.
   21. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4415609)
All of that piped in noise and flashing lights don't occur while the game is going on.


But a chunk of it occurs between pitches, or at least between batters. There's almost never a lengthy stretch without some sort of artificial noise.
   22. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4415612)

But a chunk of it occurs between pitches, or at least between batters. There's almost never a lengthy stretch without some sort of artificial noise.


you're in a stadium with 20,000 to 50,000* other people. There is going to be noise and distractions no matter what. What it comes down to is whether or not a person is going to let minor things annoy them in a major sort of way. Being in the service industry it always makes me chuckle a little when I see what minor little insignificant things will send people into a froth.



*Unless it is a Marlins game.
   23. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4415618)
you're in a stadium with 20,000 to 50,000* other people. There is going to be noise and distractions no matter what.

Except there isn't a lot of artifical noise blaring at the current patrons of Wrigley. The team wants to put up a big huge video board to end this and start bombarding people with ads and a bunch of unnecessary noise. That's at the core of this renovation -- putting up unsightly things to pipe in more noise and ads.

No one can possibly suggest that Wrigley Field is somehow a lesser venue because it lacks a big huge video board. This is just another totally unnecessary change being foisted upon people to generate totally superfluous and unnecessary revenue streams. The Cubs and Wrigley Field are a cash cow as it is.
   24. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4415624)
The videoboard (and proposed left field sign) are noticeably absent from the artist renderings of the renovations which I have seen.
   25. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4415659)
It will be tought for Ricketts to displace Loria, but I'm glad to see he's giving it the old college try.

I have no idea what half the comments on this thread even mean, but this is the most baffling.

I would love to read more about the contract between the rooftop owners and the Cubs since if it is really true that the contract is ironclad and prevents renovations I have no real idea why the Cubs are trying to renovate. I've read elsewhere that the Cubs and the rooftop owners had a deal in which the Cubs didn't renovate until 2012 or so so Telander's tidbit is something completely different and I'm wondering what is true and what isn't.

Where'd you read that? Because I cannot fathom a contract that would be signed by the Cubs could possibly include that type of clause. It seems like a pretty straight-forward agreement that as long as the rooftops pay the Cubs, they get unobstructed views. I fail to see how it would be difficult for the Cubs to get out of that deal. The only holdup to the Cubs completely telling the rooftops to go #### themselves is because of Tunney/"neighborhood assoc." and the other stuff the Cubs want to do.

The Cubs and Wrigley Field are a cash cow as it is.

Wrigley is still falling apart. There's only so much constant maintenance that can be done until it becomes dangerous. Now, that doesn't mean all this other stuff has to be included to remodel it, but since they're actually paying for it themselves, that extra money does come in handy.

The fact that the Cubs are paying for this themselves really is the biggest story here and it's constantly overlooked.
   26. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4415670)
From a 2004 article:

Tunney told The Tribune that if the Wrigley bleacher expansion is completed in the next eight years, according to the agreement, the Cubs would have to compensate those rooftop owners whose views were obstructed.
   27. Spahn Insane Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4415677)
It will be tought for Ricketts to displace Loria, but I'm glad to see he's giving it the old college try.

Yes, because financing renovations out of one's own pocket while expressing a commitment to winning is so similar to shaking down multiple municipalities for taxpayer funded stadia and committing multiple bait-and-switches in constructing the rosters that play in said stadia to enable said shakedowns.

Or, what Moses said. I have absolutely no idea what you're basing this comparison on.
   28. Long Time Listener, First Time Caller Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4415698)

Except there isn't a lot of artifical noise blaring at the current patrons of Wrigley. The team wants to put up a big huge video board to end this and start bombarding people with ads and a bunch of unnecessary noise. That's at the core of this renovation -- putting up unsightly things to pipe in more noise and ads.


I've sat in the Wrigley Field bleachers on many occasions. There's plenty of non-ballgame related noise to distract you there. I'll take the Chicken Dance over "Get a load of that babe! Do you think she agrees that Left Field Sucks?" any day.
   29. boteman Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4415802)
"Mr. Ricketts? I have a Davey Johnson on your private line, he says you shouldn't make promises that you can't keep."
   30. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4415837)
Tunney told The Tribune that if the Wrigley bleacher expansion is completed in the next eight years, according to the agreement, the Cubs would have to compensate those rooftop owners whose views were obstructed.

Great source, and very timely. Not that I'm criticizing you, but I find it highly unlikely that even that can be stretched into the Cubs being restricted. And if that's all that's out there on it.... Also, that 8 years is up and is specific to the bleachers.

I'm sure the compensation is peanuts compared to the whole project, considering the rooftops are paying the Cubs relatively little for this "right" in the first place.
   31. Monty Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4415840)
Also, that 8 years is up and is specific to the bleachers.


Isn't that exactly what the claim was? "The Cubs and the rooftop owners had a deal in which the Cubs didn't renovate until 2012"
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4415842)



I've sat in the Wrigley Field bleachers on many occasions. There's plenty of non-ballgame related noise to distract you there. I'll take the Chicken Dance over "Get a load of that babe! Do you think she agrees that Left Field Sucks?" any day.


The fact that they still play "YMCA" during every damn pitching change is inexcusable. The fact that people *still* do the stupid dance is even more inexcusable. Also, memo to the organist: Playing "Down on the Corner" when runners are on first and third is no longer clever after about the fourth time.
   33. cmd600 Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4415861)
And Dan Gilbert promised the Cavaliers would win an NBA title before Lebron James.


I'd bet your from Cleveland, so you know, but I'm amazed at how much traction that bought Gilbert, and that he still has it. He's a barely competent owner, but fans there absolutely eat up every bit of his bluster.
   34. bunyon Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4415864)
Or, what Moses said. I have absolutely no idea what you're basing this comparison on.

Can I just plead that I haven't kept up with this? THe last I read, he was trying to get financing to move Wrigley. If he just wants to put up a scoreboard, have at.

However, I'm with everyone else about the blare and gall of the modern ballpark. It IS during the game - it's between pitches and between batters. Bad enough if it's between innings but once the inning starts, there shouldn't be, IMO, sound and lights.

As a consumer of the service industry, I'm always amazed at what the servers expect us to pay to put up with.

Having said that, trying to make the ballpark experience appeal to me will probably make it not very appealing to a broad audience, so it's hard to blame them for going for mass appeal. I just won't be going.
   35. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4415871)
Isn't that exactly what the claim was? "The Cubs and the rooftop owners had a deal in which the Cubs didn't renovate until 2012"

Well, that was support for the first sentence of the post: "if it is really true that the contract is ironclad and prevents renovations I have no real idea why the Cubs are trying to renovate," which is the part I haven't heard and have the hardest time believing.
   36. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: April 16, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4415940)
I'm amazed at how much traction that bought Gilbert, and that he still has it. He's a barely competent owner, but fans there absolutely eat up every bit of his bluster.
He's a bumbling fool who has convinced himself (and most of Northeast Ohio) that he's a genius. It helps when you've got the best basketball player in the universe on your team for a few years.

In Gilbert's defense, he's bankrolling (and almost certainly losing money on) the only professional sports team in my hometown. So there is one redeeming quality among the idiocy.
   37. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4416028)
Can I just plead that I haven't kept up with this? THe last I read, he was trying to get financing to move Wrigley. If he just wants to put up a scoreboard, have at.

Just a minor nitpick. I don't think that was ownership, rather the municipality was offering free land to the Cubs. But I might be wrong.
   38. bunyon Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:56 PM (#4416042)
Just a minor nitpick. I don't think that was ownership, rather the municipality was offering free land to the Cubs. But I might be wrong.

I probably shouldn't compare someone to Loria without being much better versed as to the details.
   39. Spahn Insane Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4416045)
I probably shouldn't compare someone to Loria without being much better versed as to the details.

That was what drew the heat in my response; it's one thing to not be on top of the details, but comparing someone to Jeff Loria's a pretty serious accusation in the absence of proof. Your mea culpa is acknowledged, so all's well...
   40. zonk Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:04 PM (#4416048)
In fairness to the Cubs, they were the most profitable team while carrying an $88 million payroll. Revenues would presumably go up with wins, but a lot of the profit comes from being a a high-income team with a midrange payroll.


Oh sure - current profitability most definitely is tied to the midrange payroll (and for the record, I've been wholly on board with having a midrange payroll at this point in the cycle).

However, without going back to look it up -- I do think the Cubs were still in the top 5 in overall revenue and I believe they were 3rd in team value.
   41. Walt Davis Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4416065)
Playing "Down on the Corner" when runners are on first and third is no longer clever after about the fourth time.

Ahh, but the Shea organist playing "Me & Mrs Jones" as the maritally-troubled Chipper came to bat about 15 years ago made up for all baseball organists' sins for eternity.
   42. cmd600 Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4416098)
He's a bumbling fool who has convinced himself (and most of Northeast Ohio) that he's a genius. It helps when you've got the best basketball player in the universe on your team for a few years.


I was pretty sure I was the only one from Cleveland who thought this way. Viva la revolucion!
   43. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:23 PM (#4416411)
He's a bumbling fool who has convinced himself (and most of Northeast Ohio) that he's a genius. It helps when you've got the best basketball player in the universe on your team for a few years.

No opinion on how he runs the team, but his company (Quicken Loans) is extremely impressive and well-run, and he's basically trying to rebuild downtown Detroit. Maybe that's a bumbling move, I don't know.
   44. Brian C Posted: April 17, 2013 at 12:41 AM (#4416529)
The fact that the Cubs are paying for this themselves really is the biggest story here and it's constantly overlooked.

This is so true. I can't imagine - and I'm not exaggerating, I seriously can't imagine - what fans would have rather had Ricketts do differently than what he's done. Threaten to move the team to Charlotte without 100% public financing? Let Wrigley collapse from age and neglect? Just let Tom Tunney design all the renovations?

I mean, really. Dude's handled this as well as can possibly be hoped for, and what happens? People either whine about a new video board or they pretend that hiring Theo Freakin' Epstein is all just a devious plot to trim payroll.

Whatever. People are morons.
   45. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: April 17, 2013 at 02:23 AM (#4416542)
Totally agree, #34. It's mind-blowing. I'm amazed that (1) MLB park owners thing it's a good thing, and (2) they haven't been sued.

My guess is, it's the end effect of the loudness wars. Songs are recorded super-hot, so it sounds good on shitty iphone earpieces, then they clip the hell out of it at the venue, because bass, and, I guess, someone profits. I don't get how, or why, but I guess they must.

Just don't try to talk baseball with the person sitting next to you.

   46. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 17, 2013 at 05:06 AM (#4416553)
I'd bet your from Cleveland, so you know, but I'm amazed at how much traction that bought Gilbert, and that he still has it. He's a barely competent owner, but fans there absolutely eat up every bit of his bluster.

Gilbert is an incompetent moron who thinks he's the greatest. If he hadn't bumbled building a team around LeBron, they would likely have a few titles now, and they might still have LeBron. Has any all time great ever consistently had such bad support as James did in Cleveland? All the anger Cleveland fans directed towards LeBron should have been towards his incompetent ass. If the NBA didn't reward his suckitude with top draft picks, they would be the worst team in the NBA on a yearly basis.
   47. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 17, 2013 at 05:39 AM (#4416554)
TuNNey IdEA
in MoVIe 2001
ReSsUrRect DeAD
oN PlaNET JuPiTER
   48. McCoy Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:28 PM (#4418797)
Why in the world is dale still placing Castillo in at the 6th spot? Reminds me of dale putting lahair there last year.
   49. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:07 AM (#4418886)
Yeah, we all saw how stupid he was for not trusting LaHair last year. Who exactly do you want to drop down to move Castillo up? After 14 games.
   50. Brian C Posted: April 19, 2013 at 05:22 AM (#4418994)
The problem with Castillo is that after his batting average drops 150 or so points - which it probably will, given his history - his numbers are going to look a lot less impressive. It's not like he can coast on a .500 BAbip all year long.
   51. McCoy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:23 AM (#4419190)
One of the nice things about Lou was that he wasn't afraid to go with the hot bat. Dale on the other hand appears to take forever to realize a player has a hot bat.

Who would I move down? That is pretty easy. Alfonso Soriano. Or you put Castillo in the #3 spot and move Rizzo to 4th.
   52. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4419306)
One of the nice things about Dale is that he evaluates his players based on more than a 2 week period.
   53. CFiJ Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4419379)
In May of 2001, I traveled 9,000 miles from Japan to Chicago to see the Cubs play. It was only my second time at Wrigley. At first I enjoyed the wonderful scenery, the organ music, the vendors hawking beer, the old-timey atmosphere. The game began. The Cubs went down 1-2-3 in the first. Then they went down 1-2-3 in the second, while the Padres scored. Then they went down 1-2-3 in the third, while the Padres scored a run. And the thought occurred to me that I had come all this way to see the Cubs lose. And I tell you, the organ, the vendors, that old-timey atmosphere? It was getting on my damn nerves. The beer vendors were so obnoxious I would have punched one in the face if I'd been sitting close enough. The harsh notes of the organ were nails driven into my brain.

Then Sammy homered in the 4th, and Gary Matthews Jr. hit a 2 run shot in the 5th. Then Mueller went yard in the 6th. Now the Cubs were on top, and I was loving the scenery, the organ music, the vendors, and the old-timey atmosphere. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm a Cubs fan, not a Wrigley fan (though I like it very much). Regardless of whether the innovations could bring about a championship, if I went to a game I'd be a hell of a lot happier if the Cubs were winning with a Jumbotron than if they were losing with just the organ and the hand-operated scoreboard.
   54. McCoy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4419539)
One of the nice things about Dale is that he evaluates his players based on more than a 2 week period.

Yeah, that's done wonders for the Cubs so far.

   55. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 19, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4419548)
Truly that's what's been holding the Cubs back the last 2 years. Dale Sveum hasn't ###### around with lineups enough.
   56. McCoy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4419593)
What's been holding the Cubs back is that Dale is a shitty manager and the owners and front office pulled a tank job that is going to leave the Cubs shitty for awhile.

Would you rather talk about that, Wrigley Field, or talk about baseball that is actually happening in the year 2013?

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