Let the building process begin.
The Chicago Cubs locked up first baseman Anthony Rizzo to a seven-year, $41 million contract extension over the weekend. Rizzo will be under the team’s control through the 2021 season.
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has now laid the foundation for his franchise reconstruction project.
The Rizzo extension is the second budding star the franchise has extended since Epstein’s arrival. Last August Chicago signed shortstop Starlin Castro to a seven-year, $60 million extension. We have to believe that the next piece for Epstein is a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher, though it remains to be seen if current ace Jeff Samardzija or anyone else within the Cubs organization fits that mold.
On to other headlines.
The Cleveland Indians are offering fans a rare opportunity in today’s money-powered era of sports: the chance to watch a double-header with single admission. The opportunity is the result of April weather cancelations, the team’s current schedule and the absence of fans in the stands for ordinary ballgames.
Mickey Mantle’s family has come forward to deny that the Yankee legend corked his bat. Controversy arose when an alleged X-ray of one of the Mick’s bats showed cork inside.
MLB.com writer Alyson Footer reflects on how calling an ongoing no-hitter presents a quandary for the broadcast team.
Yankee relievers Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera have apparently cleared the air after a recent spat that occurred in public when Rivera asked Chamberlain to be a little more quiet so he could finish an interview.
Both L.A. clubs have spent big and flopped even bigger so far in 2013. Fox Sports measures the temperature of their respective manager’s seats, and tries to pinpoint what exactly has gone wrong.
Oh, and in case you missed it, Major League Baseball levied punishment on the umpiring crew who botched the pitching change rule in last week’s Angels-Astros game. They tried to bury it in the Friday afternoon news cycle, but it didn’t slip our attention.