Cubs

Rizzo's redemption: Umpire admits he got call wrong

Rizzo's redemption: Umpire admits he got call wrong

Anthony Rizzo has his answer.

After taking a tough Strike 3 call to end Sunday's game at Wrigley Field, Rizzo had a measured — but bold — statement to make on umpire Angel Hernandez.

"That call is unacceptable," Rizzo said as part of his rant. "He told me to look at it, I looked at it and he was wrong. And I would like for him to confirm that. That can't happen. That can't happen in the major leagues at Wrigley Field or any field."

Hernandez has confirmed the call was wrong, speaking with Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan Monday evening at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Hernandez agreed the pitch was way off the plate and should've been Ball 4. 

"Rizzo was right...I'm not perfect," Hernandez told Sullivan.

Rizzo rarely argues or goes off on umpires and believes he has a quality working relationship with almost every guy around the league.

He has a particularly special relationship with Hernandez, dating back to the 2016 NLCS when Rizzo apologized for showing up Hernandez earlier in Game 4:

Hernandez's comment Monday is a nice resolution to the matter, but Rizzo's strikeout is still etched in stone.

Ken Rosenthal says there's ‘not a chance’ Cubs re-sign Nicholas Castellanos

Ken Rosenthal says there's ‘not a chance’ Cubs re-sign Nicholas Castellanos

With MLB’s Winter Meetings kicking off Monday, the chances of the Cubs re-signing free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos aren’t looking great.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (subscription required), there’s “not a chance, at least for the moment,” the two sides reunite this offseason. Rosenthal cited how the Cubs are telling representatives of even low-budget free agents the organization needs to clear payroll space before entering serious negotiations.

The Cubs’ 2020 luxury tax payroll is projected to be $214 million (per Roster Resource), over MLB’s $208 million threshold. Should their payroll exceed $208 million, the Cubs will be penalized for their overages for a second straight season. Thus, the organization is looking to get under the threshold this offseason. Signing Castellanos would complicate that.

Rosenthal’s report brings back memories of last offseason; the Cubs were handcuffed by a self-imposed budget due to their payroll being right around the luxury tax threshold. They were economic in their spending, adding low-cost free agents Daniel Descalso, Tony Barnette, Brad Brach, Xavier Cedeno and Kendall Graveman. Whether it be due to injury, ineffectiveness or some combination of the two, those players had minimal-to-no impacts on the 2019 Cubs.

Castellanos, on the other hand, was an integral piece of the Cubs last season after they acquired him from the Tigers at the trade deadline. The 27-year-old slashed .321/.356/.646, hitting 16 home runs and 21 doubles in 51 games. That performance improved Castellanos' value entering free agency, and multiple teams are reportedly pursuing him — including the Cubs.

Could the Cubs shed enough salary to open space for Castellanos on the payroll? Sure, but they’re looking to upgrade their second base, center field and high-leverage relief production. As great as Castellanos was with the Cubs, they ultimately may not have the payroll space to bring him back.

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Kyle Schwarber tops off big 2019 by marrying longtime girlfriend Paige Hartman

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USA TODAY

Kyle Schwarber tops off big 2019 by marrying longtime girlfriend Paige Hartman

2019 has been a momentous year for Kyle Schwarber.

On the diamond, Schwarber had a career season, posting personal bests in home runs (38) and RBIs (92). Something clicked for him offensively post-All-Star break, as he slashed .280/.366/.631 while hitting 20 homers.

Schwarber topped that off in a big way Saturday, marrying longtime girlfriend and highschool sweetheart Paige Hartman. Take a look at some visuals from the event:

Here's to a lifetime of happiness for the couple!

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