Cubs pushing to host 2020 All-Star Game at Wrigley Field

Cubs pushing to host 2020 All-Star Game at Wrigley Field

The Cubs are lobbying Major League Baseball to host the All-Star Game, targeting 2020 as the ideal time to showcase a fully renovated Wrigley Field.
If that All-Star question seems to come up at Cubs Convention on an almost annual basis, there are reasons to think it's becoming less of a hypothetical: The pace of construction and progress with the $600 million Wrigleyville development combined with Commissioner Rob Manfred's leadership style and sense of urgency to grow the game.  
Still buzzing from their champagne-fueled celebrations, the Cubs have been working with City Hall on their sales pitch to a commissioner's office that no longer believes in simply alternating the marquee event between the American and National leagues each year, hoping to make it more like the bidding for a Super Bowl.   
"I'm optimistic," business operations president Crane Kenney said Saturday at the downtown Sheraton Grand hotel. "No question, Chicago would be an incredible venue. We saw it during the World Series and the playoffs. We saw it with the TV ratings that were generated.
"We think an All-Star Game here would be hugely popular and do great things for our city and great television ratings for the league."
The Cubs need Mayor Rahm Emanuel – who delivered the NFL draft the last two years after a long run at New York's Radio City Music Hall – to help with an economic message and an increased security plan around an urban neighborhood ballpark that hasn't hosted the Midsummer Classic since 1990.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]
"We should get the All-Star Game," Kenney said. "In 2020, our building's complete, and what (better) way to celebrate the completion of our building than host the All-Star Game?
"If you think about the economic impact of the World Series, the All-Star Game is another World Series, right? So the city wants it. We want it. But we got to convince Manfred that we've earned it. It's a little bit of politics. He has a very open mind to Wrigley getting the All-Star Game at some point.
"We're working closely with the city. We've got a great partnership with Mayor Emanuel, and he understands the value of this team in this market. He would like to see nothing more than an All-Star Game."
One potential roadblock: After striking out on other proposals, the Ricketts family used private mechanisms to bankroll the Wrigleyville project at a time when All-Star Games have been used as bargaining chips in public negotiations in cities like Miami and Washington. Marlins Park (2017) and Nationals Park (2018) will make it four straight All-Star Games for NL stadiums.  
"We still think we're deserving," Kenney said. "There's a reality to the All-Star Game, though. The All-Star Game gets held based on the commissioner's discretion and typically awarded to cities that have supported the clubs through public financing. 
"So if you just look at the slate of cities that are going to get it – from the last couple years going forward – they are generally cities that have new ballparks that were financed with some city support. That obviously didn't happen here. 
"It is a little bit of a hurdle for the league to suggest you should reward the city of Chicago – and us with an All-Star Game – when we didn't get the kind of support the other cities got."

Cubs reportedly interested in Troy Tulowitzki


Cubs reportedly interested in Troy Tulowitzki

According to MLB Insider Jon Heyman, the Cubs are one of the teams interested in free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The 5-time All-Star will be holding a workout soon, with Chicago being one of the six teams reported to have a scout present at his workout.

Heyman did mention that while the Cubs aren’t necessarily the favorites right now, we will know how good of a chance they will have soon. Tulowitzki and his team are reported to be narrowing down their list to (at least) 6 teams.

Last season Tulowitzki played 66 games for the Blue Jays, batting .249 with 7 home runs and 26 RBI. For his career he is a .290 hitter and is looking for a bounce-back season after dealing with complications from bone spur injuries in both heels over the years.

Toronto has to pay the $38 million left on Tulowitzki's contract, freeing up other teams to sign the veteran to a more reasonable deal. Since the Blue Jays went the route of cutting him, teams can offer Tulowitzki a league minimum salary.

For the Cubs, he represents-however small-a chance to extract great value from a veteran player, which would be a big bonus considering how the Yu Darvish signing backfired in year one.

Tulowitzki is likely to be searching for playing time on a legit title contender, so if he can provide any solid offensive production going forward, he and the Cubs could be a solid match.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Winter Meetings recap


Cubs Talk Podcast: Winter Meetings recap

When nothing happens in Vegas, it stays in Vegas. Luke, Kap and Tony talk about the Cubs lack of moves during the Winter Meetings.

In this episode of the Cubs Talk Podcast with Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan and Tony Andracki:

00:10 - What happen in Vegas stays in Vegas and this year that means nothing. Luke, Kap & Tony talk Cubs lack of moves at Winter Meetings.

00:50 - Where the heck is all the money? This was supposed to be a wide-open window - we step on the accelerator.

01:25 - Cubs keep throwing money at the problem (Chatwood, Darvish) and it has become a cautionary tale.

02:50 - Are the Cubs playing at the shallow end of the kiddie pool?

03:50 - Tony talks about the volatility of the relief market.

05:15 - Where is the bullpen market? Brewers are making moves, but it's still "crickets" for the Cubs.

06:20 - Tony: Other than bullpen - Cubs have to address backup middle infielder most of all.

06:57 - Daniel Descalso rumors. Kap describes him as a grinder who fits the leadership mold.

07:47 - Luke is a little worried about Steve Cishek. He threw a career-high 70 innings last season.

09:34 - The guys talk about the possibility of a "second deadline" for the Winter Meetings to force clubs to make more moves.

11:06 - Luke: "I wanted to see Machado and Harper walking down the strip and making it rain!"

12:45 - Cubs still have so much to address. Some Cubs fans are starting to get a little itchy. Teams in the division are making moves. What about us?

14:45 - Question: Is Anthony Rizzo the third-best 1st baseman in the Central Division?

15:50 - Prediction time: What's biggest move the Cubs will make before opening day? Kap believes that Ian Happ will not be a Cub before the regular season starts.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Cubs Talk Podcast