Friday, November 30, 2012

Cubs and Wrigley Field are officially decked out for the holiday season; Cubs roster changes; Spring Training schedule released

The Cubs were busy kicking off the holiday season today at Wrigley Field.  The day started early as Cubs outfielder David DeJesus and his wife Kim were at the Friendly Confines for a live broadcast on WGN-TV's morning show to support the Toy Drive.  The toys collected at Wrigley Field will be donated to Jennifer Hudson’s Julian D. King Gift Foundation.

The Tree Lighting ceremony took place at 5pm under the Wrigley Field marquee and had a good turnout, as I was there to join in the festivities.  David and Kim DeJesus helped light the tree, which was designed by Christy Webber Landscapes.  The funny thing is that Webber mentioned that she's actually a Sox fan (which Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts later joked that she "could have left out that piece of information").  Webber said the good part about her rooting for the Southsiders is that she won't be asking Ricketts for any Cubs tickets.  Haha.

Also present at the Tree Lighting was Cubs Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins, Todd Ricketts (Cubs Board of Directors), Crane Kenney (President of Business Operations) and lots of Cubs personnel.  There was also complimentary hot chocolate and cookies for attendees, which was a nice touch!

After the tree lighting, the Cubs offered free skating at the Rink at Wrigley, as well as free popcorn and hot chocolate and coffee.  The rink is located in the Cubs’ parking lot at the corner of Clark and Waveland.  For skating fees and hours, visit

Below are some photos I took at the Tree Lighting ceremony:

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts addresses the crowd at the Tree Lighting ceremony (photo by Karen Burchell)

The DeJesus family at the Tree Lighting ceremony at Wrigley Field (photo by Karen Burchell)

The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Wrigley Field kicked off the holiday season (photo by Karen Burchell)

Before and after the Christmas tree lighting at Wrigley Field on Friday night (photo by Karen Burchell)
In other Cubs news, the team decided to non-tender third baseman Ian Stewart, who is now a free agent.  Stewart's 2012 season was cut short after only playing 55 games due to a wrist injury, which he ended up having surgery for.  There's still a chance the Cubs will still negotiate a new contract with Stewart, especially since there isn't an abundance of available third basemen both in and out of the Cubs organization.

The Cubs decided to non-tender third baseman Ian Stewart before Friday's deadline (Chicago Tribune photo)
Right-handed pitcher Casey Coleman cleared waivers after being designated for assignment earlier this week in order to make room on the 40-man roster for recently acquired right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman, who came to the Cubs from the Texas Rangers and signed a one-year, $6 million deal and is expected to be a part of the 2013 starting rotation.  Coleman was assigned outright to Triple-A Iowa today.

The Cubs signed a one-year contract with right handed pitcher Scott Feldman (AP photo)
The Cubs also signed right-handed pitcher Scott Baker to a one-year, $5.5 million contract on November 13th.  Feldman and Baker will join Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza and Travis Wood in the Cubs' rotation, even though GM Jed Hoyer says the team may not be finished shopping for starting pitchers yet.

The Cubs signed a one-year contract with right-handed pitcher Scott Baker
The Cubs hired 25-year old Scott Harris as their new Director of Baseball Operations on Thursday.  Harris spent the last two years with Major League Baseball as the league’s Coordinator of Major League Operations.  Harris also interned for the Cincinnati Reds in 2010 and the Washington Nationals in 2008. 

The Cubs released their spring training schedule earlier today, which includes 17 home dates at HoHoKam Park, 16 Cactus League road games and two games in Las Vegas against the Texas Rangers.  The Cubs will open their schedule on February 23 against the Los Angeles Angels in Tempe, AZ and end it on March 28 against the Seattle Mariners.

Individual tickets for home games at HoHoKam Park can be purchased starting January 4th at or by calling 1-800-905-3315.  Below is the 2013 spring training schedule, with all games beginning at 1:05 p.m. Arizona time unless otherwise noted:

 Date  Opponent  Location
 Feb. 23  Los Angeles (AL)  Tempe
 Feb. 24  San Francisco  Mesa
 Feb. 25  Los Angeles (NL)  Glendale
 Feb. 26  Colorado  Mesa
 Feb. 27  Los Angeles (NL)  Mesa
 Feb. 28  Oakland  Mesa
 March 1  Arizona  Mesa
 March 2  San Francisco  Scottsdale
 March 3  Milwaukee (ss)  Mesa
 March 3  Los Angeles (AL/ss)  Tempe
 March 4  Cleveland  Mesa
 March 5  Colorado  Scottsdale (1:10 p.m.)
 March 6  Texas  Surprise
 March 7  White Sox  Mesa
 March 8  Cincinnati  Goodyear (7:05 p.m.)
 March 9  Cleveland  Mesa
 March 10  San Diego  Mesa
 March 11  Arizona  Scottsdale
 March 12  OFF DAY  
 March 13  Colorado  Mesa
 March 14  Los Angeles (NL)  Glendale
 March 15  White Sox  Glendale (12:05 p.m.)
 March 16  Kansas City (ss)  Mesa
 March 16  Texas (ss)  Las Vegas (game time TBD)
 March 17  Oakland (ss)  Phoenix
 March 17  Texas (ss)  Las Vegas (game time TBD)
 March 18  San Diego  Peoria
 March 19  Texas  Mesa
 March 20  OFF DAY  
 March 21  Seattle  Peoria
 March 22  Milwaukee  Maryvale
 March 23  Los Angeles (AL)  Mesa
 March 24  Cleveland  Goodyear
 March 25  San Francisco  Mesa
 March 26  Cincinnati  Mesa (7:05 p.m.)
 March 27  Kansas City  Surprise (6:05 p.m.)
 March 28  Seattle  Mesa (12:05 p.m.)

Hope everyone enjoys the unseasonable 'warmer' weather in Chicago this weekend, as there's sure to be more Cubs news next week!  And for those of you not in Chicago, hope you have a great weekend as well!

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