There are just four teams remaining in baseball's postseason, but regardless of who moves on in the respective championship series it's been a fruitful endeavor for all.
As Rick Horrow points out in today's Sports Business Minute, teams making the postseason helps the bottom line for both the organization and the city they play in.
"Baseball (is) very good for business this time around. Obviously generating substantial econominc impact," he said. "$30-40 million in the Division Championship Series, each city. And $50-60 million for the League Championship Series is usually the guide. But also television ratings, awareness, off the charts."
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See what else Horrow had to say about how teams are using their successes on the field to help with construction and renovating their own ballparks in the video above. And make sure to follow @RickHorrow on Twitter for all your #SportsBiz news and updates.
The Cubs entered play Sunday 1.5 games behind the Cardinals in the National League Central with exactly five weeks of action to play.
So now would be an awful time for the Cubs to lose one of their best players and a key to their offense for an extended period of time.
But the organization wasn't overly concerned about Anthony Rizzo's back prior to Sunday's series finale with the Nationals at Wrigley Field, a game in which he was not in the lineup (Ian Happ started at first base instead).
Rizzo was forced out of Saturday's game in the fifth inning with mid-back tightness and this is far from the first time the All-Star first baseman has dealt with back issues. He missed four games in mid-May with a back problem and needed a trip to the injured list in April of last season for the same reason.
But this instance isn't necessarily related to the others.
"A little bit different spot, he said, so we're not as concerned," Joe Maddon relayed Sunday morning. "It's normally in just a little bit of a different spot. When I talked to him [Saturday], Anthony was pretty optimistic. I'll just wait and see what [trainers] say."
Maddon also said Rizzo was still pretty sore/stiff Sunday morning before receiving treatment from the Cubs medical staff. Barring a "miracle cure," the manager didn't see any way he would insert Rizzo into Sunday's game, even as a pinch-hitter.
The Cubs only had three position players on the bench for the last week as they rolled nine deep in the bullpen. That left them in a bit of a pickle for Saturday's game when Rizzo exited early, but to make up for it Sunday, they called David Bote back up to the big leagues and put reliever Derek Holland on the 10-day IL with a left wrist contusion.
Rizzo and the Cubs have the benefit of an off-day Monday to help aid his recovery. But this inconsistent lineup could really use his bat every day, especially over the next week with three games against the Mets in New York (against Marcus Stroman, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard) before the Brewers come into Wrigley for a four-game set.
David Bote's minor league stint didn't last long.
After demoting the 26-year-old to Triple-A Iowa on Monday, the Cubs recalled Bote on Sunday. In a corresponding move, the team placed Derek Holland (left wrist contusion) on the 10-day injured list.
Bote's return comes on the heels of Anthony Rizzo exiting Saturday's game due to mid-back tightness. Rizzo has dealt with back issues at various points in his career, missing four games in May this season with a similar ailment.
The Cubs activated Steve Cishek off the injured list Tuesday, with the reliever filling Bote's vacancy on the 25-man roster. Thus, the Cubs had been playing with 14 pitchers and 11 position players for much of this week. Had they not recalled Bote, they Cubs would've had to play Sunday's game with just Victor Caratini and Tony Kemp available off the bench.
A similar situation occurred Saturday, as Rizzo exited the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. To save the Cubs from running out of position players, reliever Kyle Ryan took his at-bat in the sixth inning. Although he drew a walk, Ryan was thrown out attempting to take third base on a pitch that got away from Nationals catcher Yan Gomes.
Holland was hit by a comebacker in Tuesday's game against the Giants. Him landing on the injured list leaves Ryan as the lone lefty in the Cubs bullpen. The former holds a 5.74 ERA this season in 43 overall games between the Cubs and Giants, though that number is a more respectable 4.66 in 12 appearances with the Cubs.
Bote is hitting .257/.352/.429 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs in 106 games (268 at-bats) this season.
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