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10/19 AFL update – Saturday’s game

Bijan Rademacher had two hits, including a RBI single in the second inning, while Addison Russell and Dan Vogelbach scored two runs each in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 8-4 win Saturday over Salt River Rafters. There are no games Sunday. Arizona Fall League play resumes Monday with the Solar Sox facing the Scottsdale Scorpions at Scottsdale Stadium. You can follow the AFL on their website.

10/18 Littlefield to Tigers

Dave Littlefield, who has been with the Cubs since 2007, most recently as a Major League scout, was expected to join the Tigers, according to sources. Littlefield, the former Pirates general manager, was hired by former Cubs GM Jim Hendry in 2007 to be a scout.

– Carrie Muskat

10/18 AFL update – Friday’s game

Dan Vogelbach walked and scored a run in Mesa Solar Sox’s 5-3 loss to Surprise Saguaros on Friday in Arizona Fall League play. Jacob Hannemann was 0-for-4 for Mesa. Gerardo Concepcion walked one in one inning of relief. On Saturday, the Solar Sox play host to the Salt River Rafters at Cubs Park in Mesa. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. MT. Sunday is a day off. Check the Arizona Fall League website for more information.

10/17 More from Wrigley Field


10/17 Wrigley Field update


If you walk by Wrigley Field, you’ll notice a large gap in the left field wall. And soon there will be one in right field as well. Crews are taking down the left and right field bleachers as part of the four-year, $575 million Wrigley Field renovation project.

The first phase of the privately funded project, to be completed this offseason, is infrastructure work. The ballpark’s structural steel and foundation will be strengthened and much of the concrete in the bleachers will be replaced. The first phase also includes the expansion and improvement of the left- and right field bleachers, which were updated after the 2005 season. The usable bricks from the outfield walls will be stored until construction of the new outer wall begins.

The changes are needed to support the new 3,990-square-foot video board in left field and the 2,225-square-foot video board in right field, which are to be ready by Opening Day 2015.

Crews also are digging in the parking lot west of Wrigley Field, which will be part of the new home clubhouse. That will not be ready until the 2016 season.

Fans who purchased commemorative brick pavers that were installed outside the Clark and Addison street entrance should note that those pavers will be preserved.

The Cubs have established a website,, for fans to follow the renovation work, called the 1060 Project. That number, for those who don’t know, is Wrigley Field’s address.

– Carrie Muskat

10/17 25th anniversary

I was in the second row of the football press box at Candlestick Park on Oct. 17, 1989, and had just set a cup of coffee down next to my computer when the floor started to rise and fall. My coffee cup bounced off the table top. Then the rolling motion stopped. A Chicago sportswriter, Dave van Dyke, who was in the front row, yelled, “Earthquake.” A magnitude 6.9 quake had struck minutes before the start of Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between the Giants and Athletics.

We packed up our gear, and connected with other Chicago writers, who were stationed in the auxiliary box in the stands. They saw the front glass of the football press box bending in and out. Someone found a live phone line in another aux box and we took turns dictating updates from under a table. We shared a ride with a Boston writer, the late Larry Whiteside, to downtown San Francisco. It was eerie. All of the clocks had stopped at 5:04 p.m., the time the quake hit.

We found a pay phone that worked in the lobby of a hotel, and dictated copy, then made our way to our hotel on Fisherman’s Wharf. The hotel offered flashlights and candles, and had a strange array of food available, most of them desserts. With the electricity out, they didn’t want to waste anything.

The next day, we toured the Marina area and saw the devastation. At first, I took pictures. Then I stopped. It was too sad. But all the people we met seemed to be handling their losses well. They were alive, and that’s what mattered.

On my home office wall, I have a photo that was taken a couple hours before the quake hit. It’s of me and my husband-to-be on the field at Candlestick, and the video board behind us says, “Welcome to Game 3 of the 1989 World Series.” Baseball eventually resumed. But every time I return to San Francisco and pass Candlestick, I’m reminded of that day. It was 25 years ago today that the earthquake hit, and in November, we’ll celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. If we could survive a quake, we could survive anything.

– Carrie Muskat

10/17 Giants vs. Royals

After two thrilling Championship Series, the field for the World Series is set. The Giants, who beat the Cardinals 6-3 on a walk-off home run by Travis Ishikawa on Thursday, will represent the NL; the red-hot Royals, who haven’t lost a game this postseason, won the AL pennant.

Game 1 of the best of seven series is Tuesday in Kansas City. Who do you like and why?

10/17 AFL update – Thursday’s game

Dan Vogelbach went 2-for-4 with one RBI and Addison Russell had a hit and scored two runs in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 6-2 win over the Peoria Javelinas Thursday in Arizona Fall League play. Vogelbach doubled in the fourth, driving in Russell, for the Solar Sox’s first run.

Vogelbach admitted he was pressing at the start of the AFL season.

“Early on, I was trying to do too much and not swinging at good pitches,” he said. “A combination of that and pitchers here being as good as they are, it’s not going to work.”

Vogelbach and Russell know each other well, having played on a travel team while in high school in Florida.

“He’s fun to watch and it’s even better when you’re on his team,” Vogelbach said of Russell. “He has the ‘it’ factor that they talk about. He takes good at-bats all the time. When he hits the ball, it’s loud. I’m not a pitcher, but I think I speak for them that he’s a guy you want at shortstop or second base.”

Ivan Pineyro, who pitched for Double-A Tennessee this past season, started and threw three scoreless innings, giving up four hits and striking out three. Zach Cates threw two scoreless innings in relief. On Friday, the Solar Sox play host to the Surprise Saguaros at Cubs Park in Mesa.

10/16 AFL update – Wednesday’s game

Addison Russell hit a RBI double and C.J. Edwards threw three scoreless innings in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 5-2 win over Peoria Javelinas in Arizona Fall League play Wednesday. Bijan Rademacher had two hits for Mesa. Edwards gave up one hit, walked one and struck out three in his second AFL start.

“It was pretty good,” Edwards said of his outing. “I went in today just focused on throwing strikes, trying to get ahead and stay ahead.”

The Solar Sox play host to the Javelinas on Thursday at Cubs Park in Mesa. First pitch was scheduled for 6:35 p.m. MT.

10/15 AFL update – Tuesday’s game

Addison Russell scored two runs but it wasn’t enough as the Scottsdale Scorpions beat the Mesa Solar Sox, 10-7, in Arizona Fall League play Tuesday. Gerardo Concepcion gave up three runs on one hit — a home run — and two walks over 1 2/3 innings. The Solar Sox travel to Surprise Stadium Wednesday to face the Peoria Javelinas. C.J. Edwards is scheduled to make his second AFL start for Mesa.


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