The Rundown: Cubs Drop Ticket Prices, Alcantara Gets Surprising Props, Sub-Cubs Led Improved Post-Deadline Offense, Dodgers Claw Back With Big Win

There really isn’t anything new regarding the Cubs other than they are doing a sort of sleight-of-hand thing with reduced ticket prices, which we covered here, and I have no opinion one way or another. Going to Wrigley Field is always about a $200 endeavor minimally, and most of us have to buy tickets on the aftermarket sites anyway, so big whoop. It makes a nice headline, but nobody should be passing out cigars in the offices at Clark & Addison.

Friendly reminder: The team raised ticket prices by an average of 19.5% after winning the World Series in 2016 and even an advertised drop in some season tickets last year was offset by increases in others.

I honestly don’t mind shelling out a day’s pay to go see the Cubs a few times a year, but it’s getting harder and harder to justify it. I can walk up to Miller Park (let’s just go with that name, I know the Brewers sold the rights to an insurance company) on game day and buy a $15 ticket that is equivalent to one that would cost me $105-150 at Wrigley Field through a ticket reseller. I’ll never abandon my Cubs fandom, but for the love of Mike, the Cubs should be competing for a World Series every year if it costs a family of four what amounts to car and insurance payments to attend a game,

Baseball is a business first, entertainment second, and then somewhere down the list of descriptors it can be labeled a competitive sport. Owners make bank, players do too, and fans just pay. I realize there is a huge disparity in paychecks between guys like Frank Schwindel and Anthony Rizzo, but we can talk about that once we see the new CBA.

For now, I suppose a somewhat subdued golf clap is warranted for Tom Ricketts because he’s trying to do something nice. But if you go beyond the headlines, it amounts to little more than lip service and a self-congratulatory pat on the back.

Cubs News & Notes

  • Key winter dates have been announced, but with the CBA expiring on December 1, events like the Winter Meetings and the start of Cactus League games should be considered fluid.
  • The organization feels this year’s crop of prospects playing in the AFL is its strongest since 2014-15.
  • Speaking of prospects, the Cubs may have found a diamond in the rough with Alejandro Rivero, a late-bloomer who was playing with Boise in the Pioneer League.
  • If you’re itching to stock your farm team in fantasy baseball keeper leagues, Razzball unveiled their top 10 Cubs prospects, led unsurprisingly by Brennen Davis at No. 1 and [shocker alert] Kevin Alcantara at No. 2. DJ Herz did not make the list, which is somewhat odd and not the only surprise. The site believes Chicago’s farm system is trending very positively and they absolutely love Alcantara. It’s worth your time to read each player’s synopsis.
  • Schwindel leads the list of last year’s best Rule 5 picks who went undrafted (subscription to Baseball America required).

From the Front Office

“In a lot of ways, Brennen [Davis], he kind of shot past our expectations for this year. He sort of burst on the national stage with his Futures Game performance and kind of never looked back. He’s a really exciting part of our future.” – Jed Hoyer

Odds & Sods

The Cubs’ offense was actually better after trading Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier Báez at the end of July.

Championship Series News & Notes

The Dodgers climbed back into their series with the Braves thanks to an 11-2 victory at Chavez Ravine last night. Their 5-8 hitters were 12-for-18 with five home runs and 10 RBI.

Despite last night’s loss, the Braves still lead the series 3-2 and are in a great position to advance to the World Series with Game 6 being played in Atlanta tomorrow.

Right-handed reliever Joe Kelly strained his right biceps working as an opener in last night’s game and has been ruled out for the remainder of the postseason. David Price is likely to replace him on L.A.’s playoff roster.

The Astros are up 3-2 on the Red Sox and they’ll play Game 6 in Houston tonight.

The trade deadline acquisition of Kyle Schwarber has paid big dividends for Boston.

Red Sox sports radio personalities are floating the idea that the Astros are cheating again.

MLB umpires are having a rough postseason and should be held accountable for their more egregious mistakes.

Last Night’s MVPs

  1. Chris Taylor – “CT3” hit three homers last night, scored three times, and plated six runners in a career-best performance that paced Los Angeles in the win.
  2. A.J Pollock – If it weren’t for last night’s performance you’d almost forget he plays for the Dodgers, but like Taylor, Pollock was no match for Atlanta’s pitching. The left fielder was 3-for-5 with two taters of his own and knocked in four runs.

Friday Stove

It’s not yet official and it’s no surprise, but Nick Castellanos is reportedly planning to opt out of his contract with the Reds. By exercising his right to do so, he is leaving $34 million over two years on the table but should do much better in free agency.

Giants pitchers José Quintana and Jake Jewell have elected to become free agents.

Carlos Beltrán could be someone to keep an eye on with regards to the managerial opening in St. Louis.

Former Twins pitcher Bert Blyleven is another veteran who has a distaste for today’s game.

Five teams, including the Giants, are said to be interested in free-agent infielder Marcus Semien.

Mariners’ GM Jerry DiPoto plans on shopping for all of the big-name free agents this winter, with an eye on the prized shortstops that will be available.

The Rangers are also heavily connected to that shortstop group.

Extra Innings

It’s almost like Charles Schulz was thinking of the ’69 Cubs when he posted this Peanuts strip.

They Said It

  • “Maybe the three home runs today might have spiked [Taylor’s] adrenaline, but probably not. Most likely just the beer and watching surfing.” – Pollock

Friday Walk-Up Song

Look For the Silver Lining by Chet Baker – Let’s go mondo again for Vegas Jack and kudos to the sub-Cubs for an outstanding two months of big-league offense.

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