I’m sure most of you are happily digesting your dinners right now, so maybe you can relax with a book…or with this smorgasbord of random baseball tidbits.
While I was still at school, Anno buzzed me and informed me that the Wrigley rooftops are getting more aggressive with their lawsuit:
The owners, led by Edward McCarthy, run the businesses at Lakeview Baseball Club, at 3633 N. Sheffield Ave., and Skybox at Sheffield, at 3627 N. Sheffield Ave. They filed a federal lawsuit last month against the Cubs, accusing the team of anti-competitive behavior and violating the terms of a 20-year contract that granted rooftop owners the right to sell tickets to games.
They are seeking a temporary restraining order to halt installation because they say their businesses will be destroyed before the case goes to trial.
Normally I’m for the little guy, but not when the little guy is represented by a hoard of parasites. As you know, the Wrigley Field construction is well-underway, and beams are going up to set up the new bleachers that can support the huge video replay boards. You can check out the pictures here via Wrigley Renovations. While I’m not a lawyer, I am not too nervous about this because I follow some pretty smart lawyers on the internet (as if that means anything, ha). From my understanding of the lawsuit plus some of their insights, although an injunction request was probably inevitable, actually being granted an injunction is unlikely (or so we think) or else the Cubs would never have started knocking stuff down. I guess we have to stay tuned for this, but over the next couple months it will be interesting to hear if any progress was made to either end. I’m still of the mind that the Cubs have the stronger position.
In other news that actually impacts the game of baseball, MLB is considering a change in the language that defines the strike zone. We’ve talked before about how the expanded strike zone is a likely cause to the decline of offense around the league, and how the Cubs are trying to use better framing catchers such as Miguel Montero and David Ross to control the zone around the edges. If, however, MLB is working to tighten up the language and perhaps eliminate the low strike, then that would obviously favor the hitter some, but there’s some evidence that a better receiver can affect offense too. So the pitchers for the Cubs should still benefit from the offseason catching acquisitions.
In addition to the strike zone/offense issue, MLB is also thinking about improving pace of play. There’s apparently been some progress in making minor changes:
The commissioner’s office believes quickening baseball’s rhythm is essential to the sport’s growth among young fans; the rollout of multiple pace-of-play measures during the 2014 Arizona Fall League reflected how seriously MLB officials regard the issue.
The players’ union does not seem as concerned, but sources say the MLBPA is willing to work with MLB on minor changes.
One way or the other, a resolution is expected relatively soon. Pitchers and catchers report next week, and Grapefruit and Cactus league games begin in less than three weeks. If changes are made, managers, coaches and players will want to use the full slate of spring training games as an adjustment period.
Oh yeah, Cubs pitchers and catchers report on February 19. Whee!