Cubs Projected Post-2009 Roster & 2010 Payroll

This is (of course) very much subject to change, but as things stand right now, here are the projected roster and payroll for the Cubs circa post-season 2009 into Spring Training 2010.

The Cubs already have $118.325M committed to ten players for 2010, and if they offer arbitration to all nine players who will be eligible post-2009, that should add about another $13M to the 2010 payroll.

With 10 players signed for 2010 plus nine more eligible for salary arbitration post-2009, six "auto-renewal" players would be needed to fill-out the Opening Day 25-man roster. These six players would make the MLB minimum salary ($400K) or a bit more, and so that's about another $2.5M added to the 2010 payroll. 

And then another $1M in payroll would be needed for players on the 40-man roster who are receiving a minor league split salary while on optional assignment to the minors, and that brings the projected 2010 Cubs payroll to a grand total of approximately $135M.    

That $135M does not include any payroll that might be allocated to re-signing any of the Cubs four post-2009 MLB Article XX free-agents (Chad Fox, Kevin Gregg, Rich Harden, or Reed Johnson), or payroll that might be allocated to signing free-agents from other clubs. 

It will be interesting to see if Ricketts will allow Hendry to increase payroll in 2010, or if Hendry is told to "hold the line" at $140M, or perhaps even to cut the payroll by maybe 5%, bringing it down to around $130M. (Because of the guaranteed contracts, it would be very difficult to cut more than 5%).

I think it's likely that the Cubs will non-tender two players eligible for salary arbitration (Neal Cotts and Jeff Baker) on 12-12-2009, but that would only save the Cubs about $2M in 2010 payroll, bringing the projected grand total down to about $131M. 

There are presently 38 players on the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), but the two open slots will probably be filled before the end of the regular season, even if the Cubs make no trades in the meantime. 

When MLB Active Lists expand from 25 to 40 players on September 1st, the Cubs will almost certainly add a third catcher to their Active List (they always do). As of right now, I would expect that catcher to be Chris Robinson, presently assigned to AAA Iowa. In fact, Robinson could get added to the 25-man roster (and 40-man roster) as early as tomorrow if the Cubs opt to place Geovany Soto on the 15-day DL with an oblique strain.  

I also would expect the Cubs to add at least one more lefty to the bullpen, possibly as soon as right after the All-Star break, or at least no later than September 1st. LHP Jason Waddell has been on the 15-day DL with some secret illness or medical condition (he was activated from the DL and sent to Iowa today, however), so as of right now, I would think the second lefty added to the roster will probably be veteran Casey Fossum, who was signed last week and assigned to AAA Iowa.         

The addition of a Chris Robinson or a Casey Fossum to the roster will change this a bit (for example, Fossum is eligible to be an Article XX MLB free-agent if he's on an MLB roster at the end of the 2009 season), but AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW, here is how the Cubs roster & payroll look post-2009 into Spring Training 2010...


Chad Fox, RHP
Kevin Gregg, RHP (likely Type "A" FA)
Reed Johnson, OF (likely Type "B" FA)
Rich Harden, RHP (likely Type "A" FA)

NOTE: MLB players eligible to be free-agents under Article XX of the CBA must file for free-agency during the “Free-Agency Filing Period” (first 15 days after conclusion of the World Series).

During the 15-day “Free-Agency Filing Period,” MLB clubs retain exclusive negotiating rights with their own free-agents, although the other 29 MLB clubs can talk to the player about everything except money (they can discuss the benefits of playing in a particular city, how the player will be used, where the player will bat in the lineup or whether a pitcher will start or relieve, length of contract, no-trade rights, etc). Clubs then must decide by December 1st whether to offer salary arbitration to their own free-agents, and if they do offer salary arbitration, the player has until December 7th to accept or decline the offer.

If the club does offer salary arbitration to the free-agent and if the player is rated as a Type “A” or Type “B” free-agent by the Elias Sports Bureau, the player’s former club would receive one or two compensation draft picks in the next June’s Rule 4 Draft if the player signs with another club (two picks if the player is rated Type “A” and one pick if the player is rated Type “B”).

If the player’s former club does not offer salary arbitration on 12/1, the club can continue to negotiate with the player, but the club would not receive a compensation draft pick (or picks) if the player signs with another club.


Austin Bibens-Dirkx, RHP
Robinson Chirinos, C-INF
Matt Craig, 1B-3B
Doug Deeds, OF-1B
Jason Dubois, OF
Casey Fossum, LHP
John-Ford Griffin, OF
Mark Johnson, C 
Vince Perkins, RHP
Jose Pina, RHP
Luis Rivas, INF
Joe Simokaitis, RHP
Brad Snyder, OF
Nate Spears, INF
So Taguchi, OF 

NOTE: Clubs retain exclusive negotiating rights with their own minor league free-agents until the end of the MLB Free-Agency Filing Period.

If a minor league player eligible to be a Rule 55 FA is added to his club’s 40-man roster no later than the fourth business day following the conclusion of the World Series, the player is not eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA . (Both Casey Fossum and Luis Rivas are also eligible to be MLB Article XX free-agents if they are on an MLB 40-man roster at the end of the 2009 season. so adding either to the 40-man roster would not preclude them from becoming free-agents post-2009).

Also, any minor league FA who signs (or re-signs) with the Cubs prior to 12-10-2009 would be eligible for selection in the 2009 Rule 5 Draft.    



+ Player can be Rule 55 minor league free-agent post-2010

Francisco Acosta, RHP
+ James Adduci, OF
+ Todd Blackford, RHP 
Alberto Cabrera, RHP
Matt Camp, IF-OF
+ Russ Canzler, 1B
Marco Carrillo, RHP
Julio Castillo, RHP
Welington Castillo, C
Steve Clevenger, C-1B
Tyler Colvin, OF
Rafael Dolis, RHP
Arturo Florentino, RHP
John Gaub, LHP
Robert Hernandez, RHP
Dylan Johnston, RHP (ex-OF)
Blake Lalli, C-1B
Josh Lansford, RHP (ex-3B)
Alessandro Maestri, RHP
+ J. R. Mathes, LHP
+ Mario Mercedes, C
Matt Matulia, INF
+ Jonathan Mota, IF-OF
Billy Muldowney, RHP
Jake Muyco, RHP
Dionis Nunez, RHP
Jeremy Papelbon, LHP
Blake Parker, RHP
Andres Quezada, RHP (ex-OF)
+ Mark Reed, C
Gregory Reinhard, RHP
Chris Robinson, C
Jayson Ruhlman, LHP
Tomas Sanchez, RHP
Miguel Sierra, RHP
Alvaro Sosa, C

NOTE: If a player on this list is added to an MLB 40-man roster by 11/20/09, the player is not eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft.



+ Player has NO TRADE rights

+ Alfonso Soriano - $18M
+ Carlos Zambrano - $17.875M
+ Aramis Ramirez - $15.75M
+ Kosuke Fukudome - $13M
+ Derrek Lee - $13M (FA post-2010)
+ Ted Lilly - $12M (FA post-2010)
+ Ryan Dempster - $12.5M
Milton Bradley - $11M (includes second $2M signing bonus payment)
Aaron Miles - $2.7M (FA post-2010)
+ Jeff Samardzija - $2.5M (no minor league “split”)
2010 TOTAL: $116.325M

Jeff Baker (auto qualifies for arbitration 8-15-09)
Mike Fontenot (will probably qualify for arbitration as a “Super Two”)
Neal Cotts
Angel Guzman
Aaron Heilman
Koyie Hill (auto qualifies for arbitration 9-17-09)
Carlos Marmol
Sean Marshall
Ryan Theriot


NOTE: 2010 MLB minimum salary will be $400K with a $65K minimum minor league “split salary” ($32.5K minimum “minor league split” for players with no MLB ST who are on 40-man roster for the first time). Also, a minor league split salary for an “auto-renewal” player must be at least 60% of what the player was actually paid in salary during the previous season.

Jose Ascanio
Mitch Atkins
Justin Berg
Andres Blanco
Mike Fontenot (will probably qualify for arbitration as a “Super Two”)
Jake Fox
Sam Fuld
Kevin Hart
Micah Hoffpauir
Marcos Mateo
David Patton
Bobby Scales
Geovany Soto
Jeff Stevens
Jason Waddell
Randy Wells
PROJECTED ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $3.5M (includes estimated $1M in minor league split salaries for players on Optional Assignment)




Players who have accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time can decline an Optional Assignment to the minors, even if they have options left. The following players will have accrued less than five years of MLB Service Time post-2009. And player who has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time or who hase been outrighted to the minors previously in his career can decline an outright assignment and opt for free-agency instead  

NOTE: Mike Fontenot, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, and Ryan Theriot would have to clear Optional Assignment Waivers before they can be optioned to the minors.

Jeff Baker (also can decline Outright Assignment)
Jose Ascanio
Andres Blanco (also can decline Outright Assignment)
Neal Cotts (also can decline Outright Assignment)
Jake Fox
Angel Guzman (also can decline Outright Assignment)
Koyie Hill (also can decline Outright Assignment)
Geovany Soto

Mike Fontenot (can decline Outright Assignment)
Sam Fuld
Kevin Hart
Sean Marshall (can decline Outright Assignment)
Carlos Marmol (can decline Outright Assignment)
Jeff Samardzija (see NOTE – also can decline Trade or Outright Assignment)
Randy Wells (can decline Outright Assignment)
NOTE: Jeff Samardzija will have one option left because he is eligible for a 4th minor league option, as long as it is used prior to completing five “full seasons.” 

Mitch Atkins
Justin Berg
Micah Hoffpauir
Bobby Scales
Marcos Mateo
Jeff Stevens
Ryan Theriot (can decline Outright Assignment)

Kosuke Fukudome (can decline Trade or Outright Assignment, and probably has the right to decline an Optional Assignment, too)
David Patton
Jason Waddell (or will have two minor league options left in 2010 if he is optioned to minors for at least 20 days in 2009)



* bats or throws left
# bats both

Jose Ascanio
Mitch Atkins
Justin Berg
* Neal Cotts (likely 12/12 non-tender)
Ryan Dempster
Angel Guzman
Kevin Hart
Aaron Heilman
* Ted Lilly
Carlos Marmol
* Sean Marshall
Marcos Mateo
David Patton
Jeff Samardzija
Jeff Stevens
* Jason Waddell (likely will get outrighted to minors post-2009)
Randy Wells
Carlos Zambrano

# Koyie Hill
Geovany Soto

Jeff Baker (likely 12/12 non-tender)
# Andres Blanco
* Mike Fontenot
* Micah Hoffpauir
Derrek Lee
# Aaron Miles
Aramis Ramirez
# Bobby Scales
Ryan Theriot

# Milton Bradley
Jake Fox

* Kosuke Fukudome
* Sam Fuld
Alfonso Soriano

Chad Fox, P
Kevin Gregg, P
Rich Harden, P
Reed Johnson, OF


NOTE: Probably no more than six will be added...  

Welington Castillo, C
* Steve Clevenger, C-1B
* Tyler Colvin, OF
* John Gaub, P
Blake Parker, P
* J. R. Mathes, P
Gregory Reinhard, P
Chris Robinson, C


RJ only possible re-sign of '09 FA's?

Phil - would the Cubs actually keep Bobby Scales on the 40-man roster? Or would they outright him with an understanding that he'd get a serious NRI to big-league camp? If they tried outrighting him, would they risk a waiver claim like they put on Brad Snyder last fall?

Non-tendering Baker and Cotts, outrighting Scales and Waddell, and letting Fox and either Gregg or Harden go in free agency would open up the six spots on the 40-man roster.

Also, of the three catchers (Clevinger, Castillo, and Robinson) - which is most likely to make the 40-man? And are any of them realistic choices to back up Soto next year instead of Koyie Hill? Is it likely that they would add two catchers and non-tender Hill instead?

so pretty much a guarantee that the Cubs will trade Fox and Ascanio before the start of next season...

it depends on the rest of the season of course, but considering what happened the past offseason, have to believe that Gregg and Harden won't even get offered arbitration for fear they'll accept.

Great post AZ, very helpful and detailed. You can't get this kind of stuff anywhere else.

AZ Phil:

Amazing depth of info as usual.

Do you think Hendry (assuming he's still around) will break with his usual routine and offer Harden arbitration with the expectation that he'll decline and sign elsewhere? I have to assume Harden will be looking for more than a one year deal, but then again with the way he's been pitching this year you never know.

Same question goes for Gregg. Does Hendry risk him accepting arbitration?

What kind of contracts do you think guys like Marmol and Theriot will get? Maybe $1-1.5M each?

Submitted by Invalid_User on Thu, 07/09/2009 - 4:37pm.
Phil - would the Cubs actually keep Bobby Scales on the 40-man roster? Or would they outright him with an understanding that he'd get a serious NRI to big-league camp? If they tried outrighting him, would they risk a waiver claim like they put on Brad Snyder last fall?

Non-tendering Baker and Cotts, outrighting Scales and Waddell, and letting Fox and either Gregg or Harden go in free agency would open up the six spots on the 40-man roster.

Also, of the three catchers (Clevinger, Castillo, and Robinson) - which is most likely to make the 40-man? And are any of them realistic choices to back up Soto next year instead of Koyie Hill? Is it likely that they would add two catchers and non-tender Hill instead?


INVALID USER: Besides Jason Waddell, I would say Bobby Scales is probably the player currently on the 40-man roster most-likely to get outrighted post-2009, but probably only if his slot is needed for a free-agent.

Even though the Cubs just acquired him in a trade, Jeff Baker is another possibility to get outrighted, but if he does, it would probably be sometime within the next month. Baker can't refuse an Outright Assignment as long as the Cubs outright him prior to August 15th (he will have accrued three years of MLB Service Time by that date, and so he can refuse an Outright Assignment and become a FA if he is outrighted after 8/15), and because he couldn't be a Rule 55 minor league FA (Six-Year Minor League FA) until after the 2011 season, the Cubs could keep him at Iowa for a couple more seasons (if he doesn't get claimed off waivers).

I think it's fairly likely that the Cubs will add all three catchers (Castillo, Clevenger, and Robinson) to the 40-man roster post-2009 (or actually Chris Robinson will probably be added before that). Castillo and Clevenger both need more time in the minors, but Robinson could conceivably beat-out Koyie Hill for the Cubs back-up job in Spring Training 2010.

BTW, the Cubs like to use the Arizona Fall League as a way to get a final look at players under consideration for the 40-man roster, so look for pitchers like J. R. Mathes, John Gaub, Blake Parker, Gregory Reinhard, Jeremy Papelbon, Jayson Ruhlman, and/or Alessandro Maestri to get assigned to the AFL, in addition to position players selected from among SS Darwin Barney (he also playted in the AFL last year), 3B Marquez Smith, 2B Tony Thomas, LF Ty Wright, and SS Nate Samson (none of whom need to be added to the 40 this time around). I also wouldn't be surprised to see Andrew Cashner, Jay Jackson, or Casey Coleman get a Cubs slot in the AFL, too (if there is room).

Submitted by Doug Dascenzo on Thu, 07/09/2009 - 4:50pm.
AZ Phil:

Do you think Hendry (assuming he's still around) will break with his usual routine and offer Harden arbitration with the expectation that he'll decline and sign elsewhere? I have to assume Harden will be looking for more than a one year deal, but then again with the way he's been pitching this year you never know.

Same question goes for Gregg. Does Hendry risk him accepting arbitration?

. What kind of contracts do you think guys like Marmol and Theriot will get? Maybe $1-1.5M each?


DOUG D: I doubt that Hendry will offer arbitration to any of the four free-agents, so the Cubs will get compensation only if the FA signs with a new club by December 1st (as happened with Juan Pierre post-2006 and Jason Kendall post-2007).

As for anticipated arbitration figures, I'm guessing about $2.5M for Heilman (this will be his last year of arbitration), $2M for Theriot, $1.75M for Marmol, $1.25M for Marshall, Guzman, and Fontenot, and $1M for Cotts, Baker, and K. Hill, but of course this is all just wild speculation on my part.

BTW, the Cubs like to use the Arizona Fall League as a way to get a final look at players under consideration for the 40-man roster...
actually, it's so that Arizona Phil can get a look at those players under consideration for the 40-man, giving us amazing insight into their farm system depth (and sometimes lack thereof).

Baseball America just updated their top 25 prospect list...obviously no Cubs, but Vitters is in the 26-50 group (which wasn't sequenced as they were listed alphabetically).

1. Jason Heyward, of BRAVES
A promotion to Double-A Mississippi made it possible that Heyward could jump to the majors in 2009, just two years after being drafted.
2. Mike Stanton, of MARLINS
No one hits 'em harder or farther than Stanton, who also will be a fine defender in right field to go with his top-shelf power.
3. Jesus Montero, c YANKEES
If Montero could defend behind the plate—he threw out just eight of 64 basestealers in the high Class A Florida State (12.5 percent)—he could rank first. He has impressive barrel awareness and offensive upside for his age and experience level.
4. Justin Smoak, 1b RANGERS
An oblique strain slowed Smoak a tad, but he jumped to high levels with no problems and fits the first-base profile perfectly.
5. Madison Bumgarner, lhp GIANTS
Bumgarner lives by the fastball and rarely dies with it. He needs to command his fringe-average secondary stuff better to thrive in the majors.
6. Buster Posey, c GIANTS
The 2008 College Player of the Year has an exceptionally polished offensive game, and his defense is getting him ready for the majors in 2010.
7. Carlos Santana, c INDIANS
Hard to believe the Dodgers gave up Santana—a switch-hitter with power and defensive ability—a year ago for Casey Blake.
8. Chris Tillman, rhp ORIOLES
No downside for the tall righty who has front-of-the-rotation stuff and surprising polish for a 21-year-old.
9. Brian Matusz, lhp ORIOLES
The top pitcher picked in 2008 has had no trouble moving to Double-A, giving up one run in the first 26 innings thanks to command of a four-pitch mix.
10. Logan Morrison, 1b MARLINS
A small wrist fracture set him back a bit, but he hasn't missed a beat with his fluid, smooth swing and excellent approach.
14. Alcides Escobar, ss BREWERS
The minors' top defender at a premium position has continued to improve his offensive performance, but his lack of power limits his ceiling.
21. Brett Wallace, 3b CARDINALS
Still considered a premium bat, Wallace finally met a challenge with his assignment to Triple-A Memphis. Shockingly, he adjusted (.299/.348/.435).
22. Matt LaPorta, 1b/of INDIANS
A future Pat Burrell, LaPorta got his first shot in the majors and figures to get back soon thanks to his power and patience.

"9. Brian Matusz, lhp ORIOLES"...


Phil, I'm not that detailed on this, but I'm inclined to think that Harden will be a Class B free agent. Ranking is based on the most recent two years, and volume is a large inclusion in the ranking.

He will be ranked relative to the starting pitchers.
His two-year ERA will be somewhere in the 3's.
He won't have reached 150 innings in either season. (Even if he stays uncharacteristically healthy the rest of this year.)

That's a good thing, I'd say. If he's a B, there is no cost to a team that signs him. So they don't have a motivation to necessarily wait for the Cubs to decline to arb him. As with Pierre and Kendall, with a B free agent you can sometimes get lucky and get the pick without needing to offer. (Although obviously that is the exception, and most free agents don't finish playing the market until after the decision deadline.)

So I think there's an outside chance we might salvage one draft pick out of him.

Given the futility with which he's pitched this year combined with the budget and the team pitching/hitting imbalance, it's almost inconceivable that Hendry would risk arbing him, or would prioritize whatever limited discretionary spending (of which their probably won't be any) on Harden. But things sometimes change. Perhaps the Cubs will go on a run and end up making some postseason money after all. Maybe Ricketts will unexpectedly increase the budget. Maybe Harden will put things together down the stretch and look more attractive, either as a resign or as a sure-to-get-signed-by-somebody guy. Or maybe the offense will kick in down the stretch, and the current perception (if we have any money, spend it on offense or relief) will somehow be revised by October.

But it certainly looks like he's a 99% sure goner, with comparable odds regarding arb offer.

I think in a nutshell you can make this prognostication about the 2010 Cubs: a lot of guys better get better.

I'd bet that Hendry offers Gregg arbitration. His performance has been at least among the top 1/3 of closers in the league, and Marmol's antics have to scare him at least a little bit. Being the reactionary GM that he is, I am curious to see what part of the team Hendry blows up this offseason.

The bullpen and middle infield are really the only spots he could blow up.

This really seems to be a case of "dance with who brung ya" for the Cubs for the rest of 2009 and 2010 (and 2011). Guys simply have to start performing closer to their career averages for this team to have any shot for the next couple of years.

The good news is, the team is 2nd to last in the NL in runs scored and still managed to put themselves in a position to contend. All things considered, it could be a lot worse (but should have been a lot better).

That's a lot of money tied up. If the Cubs are still floundering come July 28th, I think Hendry should seriously consider moving Lilly (to the highest bidder) and Lee (to the Giants).

Unless the economy really rebounds, the smarter GM's will not be offering arbitration to a lot of players, and just grab up the remaining FA's in early February to fill their spots. Hendry should make noises about offering his FA's, assuming they finish the year relatively well, to try to get some draft picks for them.

Jeff Baker
Mike Fontenot
Neal Cotts
Aaron Heilman
Koyie Hill
Sean Marshall

I don't think I'd offer any of those guys, unless circumstances change between now and the filing period.

I don't know what is more depressing, looking at this years shitty roster with payroll or looking at what we already have tied up for next year. Thanks Hendry!!

Recent comments

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  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.