Results tagged ‘ Mesa ’

11/18 Spring Training invites

The Cubs added infielder Scott Moore to the list of players who have signed Minor League contracts and who will be in Spring Training as non-roster invitees. The list also includes pitcher Angel Guzman, outfielder Jim Adduci, infielder Bobby Scales and left-handed pitcher Scott Rice.

– Carrie Muskat

11/5 Mesa update

Now that the Cubs received Mesa voters support to build a new Spring Training facility there, they have a lot of work to do. The goal is to open in time for Spring Training 2013.

“It’s possible,” Mesa mayor Scott Smith told Arizona reporters. “Is it absolutely necessary? No. I think what the Cubs and the city have agreed to is that we’re going to shoot for that but we’re not going to be tied to a specific deadline to be there because we want to be sure that we don’t trade quality for timing.”

Construction would need to begin this summer to complete the project by February 2013. That gives the team and the city six to eight months to finalize the plans but the Cubs still need to finalize plans and hire a contractor.

“We would like to be in the stadium by Opening Day of spring 2013 but it’s most important that we do it right,” said Mike Lufrano, the Cubs’ general counsel.

Voters in Mesa Tuesday overwhelmingly approved Proposition 420, which authorized the city to commit $84 million for the facility and another $15 million on the infrastructure. The complex will be built at the 125-acre Riverview Park, replacing a golf course and park. The area is in west Mesa. Included in the plans is a 15,000-seat stadium, practice fields and year-round training headquarters. A Wrigleyville West commercial district, which would include hotels, restaurants and retail complexes, will be funded by the team’s owners, the Ricketts family.

Developers of a proposed water park, which also wanted to locate on the Riverview site, have told the city of Mesa they are focusing on 20 acres instead of the entire area. The water park developers have not relinquished their rights to the site yet; they have until July 2011.

– Carrie Muskat

11/3 Cubs to stay in Mesa

The Cubs will get their new Spring Training facility in Mesa. Voters Tuesday overwhelmingly passed Proposition 420 and approved the city of Mesa’s plan for an $84 million complex expected to open in 2013. With 99.3 percent of precincts reporting, 63 percent voted in favor of the measure.

Supporters of the measure watched election results at the Hilton Phoenix East Mesa Hotel, eating Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Several Cubs front office staff, in Mesa for the annual organizational meetings, were at polling places early Tuesday to answer questions.

Proposition 420 authorizes the city of Mesa to spend more than $1.5 million on a sporting facility. Voters also approved raising the city’s hotel tax from 3 percent to 5 percent. Mesa officials say they will not need to raise property or sales taxes for the project.

The Cubs’ complex will be built at the current Riverview Park site in west Mesa near the 202 Loop and include a privately funded “Wrigleyville West” development.

The city and the Cubs still have to finalize details for the land because of a water park developer that also wanted the Riverview site.

“Mesa has done its part,” Mesa mayor Scott Smith said Tuesday night. “Now we’re going to expect the Cubs to do their part with a World Series.”

– Carrie Muskat

11/2 Mesa vote

Tuesday may be the day the fate of the Cubs’ Spring Training site is decided. Voters in Mesa are being asked to approve Proposition 420, which would allow the city of Mesa to spend up to $99 million on a new Spring Training facility for the Cubs.

The money includes $84 million for a stadium, practice fields and training facilities and $15 million for infrastructure. The Cubs’ owners would fund a “Wrigleyville West” retail district around the complex, which would be built at the current Riverview Park site.

If Proposition 420 passes, the Cubs hope to be in their new facility in 2013. The Cubs feel they’ve outgrown the current Mesa sites at HoHoKam Park and Fitch Park and that they are outdated. A study has shown that the team brings in $138 million annually to the Phoenix area.

The city of Mesa will pay for the facility by tapping into a $60 million enterprise fund. Mesa officials say they will sell large land holdings in Pinal County to replenish the fund. Other sources for money include a hotel bed tax and taxes from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority.

– Carrie Muskat

10/26 Mr. Cub campaigns in Mesa

Mr. Cub Ernie Banks joined Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts in Mesa, Ariz., on Monday to campaign for Proposition 420. Banks said he recalled riding a train to the Cubs’ Spring Training facility in 1953 but missed his stop. The team’s traveling secretary, Bob Lewis, was waiting at the depot for Banks and when the train went by with the shortstop still on it, Lewis chased it down with his car.

“They stopped the train,” Banks told reporters in Mesa on Monday. “I didn’t know where I was. I thought, ‘Why am I here?’ Mesa was a very small community. It’s not anymore. It’s grown and changed.”

Next Tuesday is election day in Mesa and voters will decide on Proposition 420. The measure would let the city of Mesa spend up to $99 million on a new Spring Training facility for the Cubs, expected to be located at the Riverview Park site. The money includes $84 million for a stadium and $15 million for infrastructure.

– Carrie Muskat

10/13 Angel Guzman update

Cubs pitcher Angel Guzman, who has undergone two surgeries on his right shoulder and Tommy John procedure on his elbow, started playing catch this week in Mesa, Ariz. It’s the first time he’s been allowed to throw since having a procedure on his shoulder in March. When he began the workout, Guzman didn’t hesitate for fear of pain in his shoulder.

“I’m not scared of throwing,” Guzman said. “I’ve been throwing a baseball my entire life.”

The only problem may be holding him back. After his session Monday, Guzman said he felt as if he could have thrown harder and longer.

“That’s my 15 minutes of happiness,” he said as he came off the field from the light session at Fitch Park.

In early March, Guzman, 28, was diagnosed with a significant tear in a ligament in his right shoulder. He had not thrown off the mound all spring after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The right-hander was finally healthy in 2009, and appeared in a career high 55 games, compiling a 2.95 ERA. This season, he was projected to handle late inning relief for the Cubs. He remained optimistic.

“By [Spring Training], my goal is at least be throwing off the mound,” Guzman said.

– Carrie Muskat

10/12 Arizona Fall League

The Mesa Solar Sox opened the Arizona Fall League season on Tuesday against the Phoenix Desert Dogs. None of the Cubs’ prospects were in the Sox’s starting lineup but on Wednesday night at HoHoKam Park, expect to see pitchers Jake Muyco, Chris Carpenter, Kyle Smith and David Cales all get some innings. Third baseman Josh Vitters, who missed most of the season because of a broken hand, also was expected to be in the lineup. Former Cubs catcher Casey Kopitzke is the Solar Sox manager.

– Carrie Muskat

10/11 News from Mesa, AZ

There will be four new covered batting cages next to the existing cages at the Cubs’ facility at Fitch Park by Spring Training. I’m told they will be completed by Dec. 15. Crews were working on the site while the Cubs Instructional League is underway.

* Mike Parisi, whose season ended in early May because of a bone chip in his right elbow, was throwing off the mound on Monday at Fitch Park. The right-handed pitcher is hoping he can be back in the Cubs’ camp this spring to compete for a job.

* Bobby Dernier, who joined the Cubs as the first base coach when Mike Quade was named manager, was back at Fitch Park Monday to work with players on base running during the Instructional League.

– Carrie Muskat

10/10/10 Ron Santo Day in Mesa, AZ

About 300 people turned out Saturday at HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz., to honor former Cubs third baseman and current broadcaster Ron Santo. The event also was a chance for the city of Mesa to drum up support for its Keep the Cubs campaign and Proposition 420. Mesa voters will decide Nov. 2 on the general election ballot whether to allow the city to spend up to $99 million on a new Spring Training facility for the Cubs. The preferred site is Riverview Park, located west of the current site. The costs will cover $84 million for the stadium and facilities and another $15 million for the infrastructure.

Santo was presented a proclamation from Mesa Mayor Scott Smith celebrating Oct. 10, 2010, as Ron Santo Day in Mesa. Nice coincidence that Santo wore No. 10, a number the Cubs have retired. Oct. 10, 2010, also will be special for Santo. His son, Jeff, was getting married, and Ron will be the best man.

– Carrie Muskat

10/9 No-hitter in Mesa, AZ

It won’t get the headlines that Roy Halladay’s no-hitter did in the NLDS, but on Saturday at Fitch Park in Mesa, five Cubs Minor League pitchers combined for a no-no against the Angels in an Instructional League game. Aaron Kurcz, Dustin Fitzgerald, Casey Harman, Robinson Lopez and Kevin Rhoderick held the Angels hitless. Trouble is, the Cubs couldn’t muster much either and the game ended in a scoreless tie.

– Carrie Muskat

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