Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays

Wishing you all happy holidays, the New Year is upon us and that means spring training is right around the corner!

As I have mentioned before, Fitch Park is a great place to watch the Cubs before the games start at Hohokam Stadium. The report dates for the Cubs arrival at Fitch are:

Pitchers and Catchers, February 14 with their first workout the following day.

Position Players, February 19 with first full-squad workout the following day.

Some exciting changes are coming to Hohokam this spring, first and foremost better food! At least I expect it to be better, certainly there will be more choices available as Ovations a new concession company arrives this spring. Those of you who are spring training season ticket holders already know this as you were mailed the Hungry Fan Map to the ballpark. (See map below)

Ovations is part of Comcast Spectacor which is majority controlled by Comcast Corp which owns Comcast SportsNet which owns broadcast rights to the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks. Ok, did you get all that? Bottom Line is, this is one big company that also owns E! Entertainment Network, The Style Network, The Golf Channel, as well as the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers. Comcast as many of you know is headquartered out of Philadelphia PA, so that explains why there will be a Philly Grill cart at Hohokam this spring.

Other new developments you will see at Hohokam this spring are improved Cubs merchandise stores, 2 new auxiliary scoreboards installed over the 1st and 3rd base patio areas so you can see a scoreboard from any location in the stadium. And a brand new state of art main scoreboard said to cost over $500,000 which is more than the entire price tag of building old Hohokam Park in 1977. Thanks to David Dunne, Hohokam Stadium Manager for giving me the skinny on all the upgrades we'll see at the ballpark this year.

Have a safe holiday!


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cubs Get Their Man, Again

The money continues to flow as the Cubs spend $40 million big ones on pitcher Ted Lilly, is this the Cubs or the Yankees? This is serious money for a pitcher who has a career win-loss record of 59-58, but he is a lefty and should give the Cubs plenty of innings this coming season. Lilly is number 7 in the Cubs free agent signing binge joining Alfonso Soriano, Mark DeRosa, Aramis Ramirez, Kerry Wood, Wade Miller, and Henry Blanco. October 19th I wrote it would "take some doing to get Cubbie nation excited about the upcoming season". Well the Cubs have really stoked the fire of the Hot Stove, I'm not sure about Cubbie nation but I am starting to get jacked up about the Cubs chances in 2007!

GM Jim Hendry and Manager Lou Piniella have really worked hard to raise the talent level for this coming year. Piniella has been actively recruiting Cubs free agent prospects with phone calls and it's paying off as the team has thus far landed all the players it's targeted. Of course the bundles of cash Hendry is doling out don't hurt the cause. It's been nice to see some of the Cubs own free agents, namely Ramirez and Wood sign with the team for less money than they could have received elsewhere.

Here's wishing Jim Hendry a speedy recovery from the angioplasty procedure he had Wednesday night, word is he's already working the phones. I wouldn't be surprised if he signs another free agent from his hospital bed.