Don’t go around saying that Theo hasn’t done anything at the Winter Meetings, you guys, because yesterday he TOTALLY DID SOMETHING. Specifically, he banished Brian Bogusevic to the Marlins. What did Brian Bogusevic ever do to you, Theo?
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Chicago Cubs made a trade on the final day of the winter meetings, acquiring outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Miami Marlins on Thursday in exchange for outfielder Brian Bogusevic.
Ruggiano, 31, is a right-handed hitter who hits left-handers well and would be a good fit in a rotation with left-handed-hitting Ryan Sweeney and Nate Schierholtz, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said.
“We had a lot of trade conversation,” Hoyer said of the winter meetings. “We were glad to get that done. We like Bogusevic a lot, but we think it’s a better fit for our roster. We get a guy who really hits left-handed pitching well. He can platoon with one of several guys we have and play all three outfield positions. Sometimes it is about fit. Brian did a good job for us, but Ruggiano fits our roster better and we were excited to work out a deal for him.’’
After spending the first three seasons of his big league career with Tampa Bay, Ruggiano batted .313 (90-for-288) with 23 doubles, 13 home runs and a .909 OPS in 91 games with Miami in 2012. He followed up that year with a career-high 18 home runs and 50 RBI in 128 games with the Marlins last season.
The other bit of Cubs news yesterday had to do with renovations. The city council approved the most recent renovation plan, and Rahm wants to know why nothing is getting done at Wrigley:
The Chicago City Council had barely finished giving the Cubs additional freedom to expand Wrigley Field and schedule night games Wednesday when Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered a message to the Ricketts family: It’s time to break out the jackhammers already.
“They need to get started, and I was clear and unambiguous with the ownership about that even prior to today’s City Council actions,” the mayor said.
Emanuel added a high-profile voice to what many at City Hall and more than a few Cubs fans who suffered through brutal back-to-back seasons have wondered since the team won broad city approval in July for a $300 million face-lift for the aging, historic ballpark. Cubs brass has indicated that improvements on the baseball side are tied to additional money coming in from the stadium project — but, well into the offseason, the work hasn’t started.
The holdup is Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts’ insistence that the owners of nearby rooftop clubs with lucrative views into the ballpark agree not to sue the team over sightlines that might be blocked by the digital billboard or a “see-through” advertising sign planned for right field. Team officials also note that they haven’t received approval for a liquor license in a plaza that’s part of a planned $200 million revitalization outside the stadium.
You know what you do when a case is stalled in the legal system? You set it for trial. Nothing gets both parties to move off a stalemate like a cranky judge staring you in the face and telling both sides to call their first witness.
In this case, the equivalent of setting a case for trial is starting construction. Yes, the rooftop owners will run to court and try to get an injunction. They may even get it, temporarily. But at least then there will be a legal proceeding in place and a judge to help resolve the issue. Having the issue move through the criminal courts is far preferable to everyone just sitting around seeing who is going to blink first. Call the rooftops’ bluff. Start construction. Let the legal system (which, I might add, is going to be very much in favor of doing whatever Rahm wants done because this is Chicago) deal with the case. Yes, it’s going to cost money. It’s going to cost money either way. It was always going to cost money. That’s blood on the hands of whoever made this terrible deal with the rooftop owners.
In the midst of all this, Scott Boras decided to start whining about his paycheck again:
“Their baseball (operations) people and their ownership have to sit down and decide when the time is,” said Boras, who compared the Cubs’ long-term plan to licking a lollipop all day until it dissolves. “It’s disappointing that a market like that doesn’t retool in a very radical way. I’m not there every day. I don’t know.
“The baseball ops people — I’ve known them for a long time — want to win today. But they also work for people, and all of us who work for people understand what we’re told to do, and I’m sure that’s what they have to do.”
Epstein, whom Boras said he respects, doesn’t appreciate him expressing his opinions.
“It’s not the first time that an agent has used the media to try to compel a team into spending huge amounts of money without knowledge of that club’s financial situation,” Epstein said. “We’re not going to get into a war of words with Scott, other to say that the folks who work at the Cubs have a better understanding of our situation.”
I submit that there are few people in the world as distasteful as Scott Boras. It’s the holiday season. People are losing their jobs. The cost of people’s health care is tripling. We’re in year 137 of tough economic times, and he can’t stop whining about the fact that not enough teams are bidding on his clients so that his 10% cut of their contracts can be bigger than ever. And what’s worse, he’s doing it under the guise of “winning” for the fans. What a poor excuse for a human being.
Hey, don’t forget the Cubs Con Mid-Winter meetup on January 17. No need to attend Cubs Con to come hang out with us.
For those who are interested, I’ll be on CNN tomorrow morning and Al-Jazeera tomorrow night talking about the rape piece I wrote here and adapted for Deadspin. More details to come on my Twitter feed and LOHO’s Facebook page.