October 30th, 2009

10/30 AFL & winter ball update

John Gaub blew a save, serving up two runs on two hits in one inning of relief as the Mesa Solar Sox lost 3-2 to the Peoria Javelinas on Thursday in Arizona Fall League action. Gaub entered the game with a 2-1 lead. Starlin Castro started at second base, and went 1-for-3, and third baseman Josh Vitters was 1-for-4. The Solar Sox play at Scottsdale Friday night.

In Mexico, Brad Snyder had two hits, including a two-run homer and a double, and drove in three runs to power Mexicali to a 6-4 win over Culiacan. Brian Schlitter picked up his fourth save.

– Carrie Muskat

10/30 News & notes from Ricketts session

Tom Ricketts and his family were formally introduced Friday in a news conference at Wrigley Field that was spoiled only by the rain. The Ricketts family paid $845 million to purchase the Cubs, Wrigley Field and a 25 percent share in Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

Some highlights of the news conference:

* Tom Ricketts will be chairman of the board with his sister Laura and brothers Pete and Todd on the board of directors. Crane Kenney, who was Cubs chairman, now is team president.

* Tom Ricketts said there could be a “slight” increase in team payroll, and suggested there may be “slight” increase in ticket prices.

* Fans can expect changes to the concourse, restrooms and concessions to improve the experience at Wrigley Field. There has been no talk about PSLs (personal seat licenses) or selling the naming rights of the ballpark.

* They are exploring options for Spring Training, and emphasized that they want to have “world class facilities” for the Cubs. The cities of Mesa, Ariz., and Naples, Fla., are competing for the team. “We’re going to get the best facilities,” Tom Ricketts said.

* They want Lou Piniella to remain as Cubs manager. “I haven’t spent a lot of time with Lou personally,” Ricketts said. “We strongly believe he’s one of the best managers in baseball and he’s the right guy to take us to the next level in 2010.”

* They will explore developing the Triangle building on Clark Street, just west of the ballpark, with the hope of upgrading the facilities.

* The Ricketts family’s goal is to win a World Series.

“I’ll be honest, I think we have a team that can do it next year,” Tom Ricketts said. “I’m not going to promise anything; I don’t think that does us any good. The fact is, we have the talent and this team next season can go all the way to finish line. The key is, every season, to be able to stand up in complete honesty and say, ‘We believe we have enough talent to get it done.’ To do that, and be sincere about it and consistent with it, you’re going to get it done.”

– Carrie Muskat

 

10/30 Welcome Ricketts family

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 The marquee at Wrigley Field says, “Welcome” to the Ricketts family, who were introduced at a news conference Friday. The only thing that ruined the day was the rain, and that didn’t dampen their enthusiasm.

– Carrie Muskat

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