While the stadium issues in Oakland and Tampa Bay are viewed as the most crucial in baseball, commissioner Bud Selig quietly is trying to help the Chicago Cubs secure funding for a public-private partnership that would allow Wrigley Field to be updated along the lines of Boston’s Fenway Park.
The State of Illinois rebuffed the Cubs two years ago, and talks with the City of Chicago have appeared stalled. But Selig is dangling a carrot he hopes can bring the parties closer to a solution.
While Selig declined to comment on the Cubs’ situation, it was revealed during conversations after last week’s All-Star Game in Kansas City, Mo., that Major League Baseball is promising to bring the All-Star Game to Wrigley Field as soon as possible after the ballpark is improved.
MLB’s hope is that city officials will see that the economic impact of that event would partially offset the cost of helping the Ricketts family modernize Wrigley, which celebrates its 100th birthday in 2014.
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The round figure being thrown around for Wrigley updating is $500 million, with $300 million going to the ballpark itself and $200 million going to the long-proposed “triangle building” adjacent to the park. It has been reported that the team will construct the building itself but would like about $150 million in public funding to help pay for the ballpark improvements.
While local officials estimate that this year event in Kansas City carried an economic impact of about $60 million, the 2013 game at Citi Field in New York is estimated to generate $191.5 million for hotels, restaurants and other New York businesses.
“It used to be that nobody wanted to host it,” Selig said last week. “We would have to give somebody some kind of a sweetener to get them to take it. That has certainly changed.”
YANKS POWER UP
No one digs the long ball as much as the Yankees. They bombed Boston into submission before the All-Star break, and they have returned for the second-half hammering at the same furious pace against the Angels.
Mark Teixeira homered twice Friday night against Los Angeles, and the formula was similar on Saturday, with Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano each hitting a two-run homer, their 24th and 21st, respectively.
The Yankees lead the major leagues with 138 home runs in 87 games, including 37 in their past 20 games, and they top the majors with 29 comeback wins.
Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel will miss his next start because of a knee injury. He leads Baltimore in strikeouts (106) and has a 3.54 ERA in 18 starts. … Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz has rejoined the rotation after being sidelined by a stomach illness. … The Tigers placed rookie left-hander Drew Smyly on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his right side. In his last appearance, Smyly struck out a career-high 10 batters in a win over Kansas City. Detroit manager Jim Leyland says rookie right-hander Jacob Turner will be recalled from Triple-A Toledo to start for Smyly against the Angels. … The Reds got right-hander Todd Redmond from Atlanta for shortstop Paul Janish in a swap of minor leaguers. Redmond went 6-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 18 starts for Triple-A Gwinnett this season. Janish, 29, batted .237 in 49 games at Louisville. … The Diamondbacks activated Joe Saunders from the 15-day DL. Saunders, who last pitched June 16, had been shelved because of a strain in his left shoulder.