Will Cubs Stay in Mesa?
There has been a lot of talk out here this Spring about if and when the Cubs will leave Mesa.
I think it's 100% likely the Cubs will leave Mesa after 2016 (when their contract expires), 80% likely they will leave after 2011 and pay the $4M+ buy-out, and 75% likely that whenever they do leave Mesa they will stay in AZ and move into a new one-team state-of-the-art facility, probably somewhere in the East Valley
The Cubs want out of Mesa because Fitch Park is limited to only 4-1/2 fields, and has less-than-satisfactory practice facilities (the Cubs want a large enclosed batting cage complex and an enclosed ten-pack bullpen) and a smallish clubhouse that cannot be expanded without adding a second floor, and because HoHoKam Park is a 1/2-mile away from Fitch Park.
The Giants (Scottsdale) and the A's (Phoenix Papago Park) have similar-type inferior arrangements as the Cubs, and so the Giants & A's will probably want to move to a combined facility ASAP, and it's only a matter of a short period of time before the Rockies and Diamondbacks move from Tucson to Maricopa County, and when they do, they will want new state-of-the art facilities (or a combined facility), too.
So the Cubs have to make sure they get the best deal out there, and if they wait until 2016, it might be too late, and the Cubs will get the left-overs.
Gilbert's "Field of Dreams"--a retro softball park that features recreations of Wrigley Field, Ebbets Field, Fenway Park, etc--is on a large track of land near the old Williams AFB in close proximity to the new east-side 202 freeway and would be a definite possible site for a new facility, as would a location on the Salt River-Pima Indian Reservation, possibly near where the 202 & 101 freeways intersect near the Arizona Casino on McKellips Road east of Scottsdale and north of Mesa.
I have talked to several people connected with the Ho Ho Kam and the Cubs over the past year, and it is pretty clear that the Cubs are dissatisfied and want a new facility with a minor league complex that includes at least six full fields, and where the main Spring Training stadium & the minor league complex are on one site, and the Cubs would probably also like a larger Spring Training Park (perhaps 15,000 capacity) with some ultra-premium seating. That just won't work in downtown Mesa.
The one "wild card" is what the new Cubs owners (presumably the Ricketts people) will want to do. It's possible they might prefer a Florida Minor League Complex & Spring Training deal, probably somewhere in the middle of the state near Orlando. Nobody knows what they're going to want to do about that yet, but keep in mind that GM Jim Hendry, Scouting Director Tim Wilken, and Player Development Director Oneri Fleita are all Florida people (Hendry and Wilken were HS buddies in Dunedin, and Fleita is a Cuban-American from Miami), so if they are asked, they would probably much prefer to move the Cubs ST & Minor League operations from Arizona to Florida.
Moving to Florida would also put the Cubs Minor League complex & Player Development HQ in closer proximity to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela, where the Cubs have expanded their scouting & player development tentacles in the last few years (adding a second team in the DSL and a Dominican Instructional League team).
That's a hell of a first impression by Montgomery. Brian Cashman having a good laugh on that debut.
...and it's a 3 run homer.
hey, vogelbomb had a HR on his 1st game with SEA AAA, too!
montgomery comes on with men on 1st/2nd, 2 out, in the 8th.
"Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports reports Chris Sale was sent home from U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday after cutting up throwback jerseys that he did not want to wear.
I thought the same. It'd be great luck to face these non-contenders after the trade deadline.
...why isn't j.lucroy playing for TEX yet?
2r HR on a 12-pitch AB.
nathan to join the cubs tomorrow.
Wow in deed.
FOX Sports @MLBONFOX
Chris Sale was scratched from tonight's scheduled start due to a clubhouse incident before the game
he was sent home by the team, too. the wsox released a press statement and everything. they stated it was non-physical in nature.
He was scratched from his start today. No reason given.
At the start of the season the book was that he was trying to pitch to more contact so he could stay in the game longer and it seems to be working so far. Contact against is 77.5% this year and it was 70.2% the year before. He averaged 6.7 IP/game last year and so far it's 7 IP/game. His actual pitches per game are only down to 106.1/game from 107.2/game last year but if he's able to go a bit farther into games without throwing more pitches and without giving up more runs that is a good thing.
sale's skills and insane value makes it almost too hard to have a market for the guy...he's got 3/38m owed to him over 3 seasons (2 team options). he could easily pull in 30m/yr if he was on the market as a FA.
he's throwing a bit differently this season, especially with more sliders and less changeups like earlier in his career, but all his stuff still looks great even if the HRs are a little elevated and the Ks are down.
Torres, Happ, McKinney, Jimenez, and Candelario for Sale. Deal or no deal?
"The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports."
Unless he develops 30+ HR power and keeps his walk rate close to his K rate at the MLB level, he's not going to turn into Prince Fielder. And even if he does turn into Prince Fielder, he's gonna have a short prime. His very limited athleticism is likely to also detract some value from his ability to reach base--I don't buy making an out as being preferable to base clogging, but you'd certainly prefer just about any base runner other than Vogelbach, David Ortiz, etc.
seeing as arod has played a total of 27.1 innings of D at 1st/3rd and somehow managed a -0.5 dWAR with his 1 error at 1st and an overall positive total zone rating...he might end up even more in the shitter via the characteristics/flaws/whatever of how some sites determine various WAR values. dWAR doesn't directly lead to a WAR value, but the 2 main entities pushing the most popular variations of WAR sometimes lead to some interesting discrepancies in value.
I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.