The Cubs appear well on their way to getting their $500 million renovation of Wrigley Field and the surrounding area around the ballpark.
Last week’s approval by the Chicago’s Landmarks Commission for signage and a video board virtually assured the project going forward, even though there are still steps left, including approval by the full City Council.
But getting a video board installed by Opening Day 2014 is no sure thing.
“By the time you get through that, obviously, it puts us late in the year,” said Julian Green, the Cubs’ vice president for communications/community affairs. “When you look at everything that has to happen, there are about 22 to 23 weeks between the day baseball ends and Opening Day. It’s a pretty aggressive timeline. It’s pretty tough to get a video board installed.”
Green said the Cubs still must go through all the specs of what a board would look like and choose a company. He also said it takes a large production staff to run a board’s content, and he said the Cubs are sensitive to what fans want.
“We know we got to get it right,” Green said. “Twenty-two weeks is not something you’re going to play around with because it’s going to live with us the next 100 years. Our promise to the fans is that it will be baseball related, baseball focused. We’re not going to try to do kiss cams or something that takes the focus off baseball.”
Cubs claim outfielder:
The Cubs on Saturday claimed outfielder Cole Gillespie off waivers from the Giants, who designated him for assignment July 9.
Gillespie is expected to join the Cubs on Sunday, when they’ll likely sent out a pitcher to make room. The Cubs currently are carrying 13 pitchers.
The 29-year-old Gillespie played in three major-league games with the Giants this year.
At Class AAA Fresno, Gillespie had a line of .277/.361/.455 with 9 homers, 31 RBI, 32 walks and 52 strikeouts.
“He’s a really sound, fundamental baseball guy,” said manager Dale Sveum. “He runs well, plays all the outfield positions. He can hit the ball out of the ballpark, gives you a good at-bat. He’s a real professional player.”
Brett Jackson rehabs:
The Cubs say center-field prospect Brett Jackson will head out to Arizona this week to begin rehabbing a calf injury. Jackson was playing at Class AAA Iowa, but he has not been seen with the club since late last month, when he went on the disabled list.
That fueled speculation Jackson was upset about a possible demotion to Class AA Tennessee. The Cubs said Jackson’s rehab is going well. They made no comment about his next stop after Arizona, but Tennessee is a real possibility.
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