Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts on Wednesday threatened to move the team if plans for upgrades and renovations of Wrigley Field are not approved.
In an address at the City Club of Chicago, Ricketts said "we will consider moving out of Wrigley Field" if the installation of a 6,000-square foot video board behind the left-field bleachers and signs around the outfield are not allowed to proceed at the 99-year-old venue.
Nearby rooftop owners oppose the video board and signs, saying the view would be restricted, and have threatened legal action. They charge fans for access to watch Cubs games from their buildings and fear a loss of revenue. Studies have shown the proposed changes would have minimal effect on the rooftops.
The Cubs say they need to modernize the iconic venue to increase their revenues. If renovation plans are approved, construction would begin at the 99-year-old stadium after the completion of the current season. Among other enhancements planned are a party deck in the left-field corner, enhanced concession areas and restrooms, wider concourses, expanded sky boxes, restaurants and additional signage around the ballpark.
The players' clubhouse also is part of the proposal. The enlargement of the clubhouse includes weight traning and conditioning areas, medical facilities, two battling tunnels, a lounge and media center. The Cubs currently have the smallest clubhouse in the major leagues.
---Injured Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez plans to go straight from the disabled list to the Brewers' lineup without a minor-league rehab stint. Ramirez, 34, sprained his left knee on April 5 and hasn't played since. But he hopes to return Friday night after missing 22 games when he's eligible to come off the DL.
Despite being out for three weeks, Ramirez wants to exercise his rights under the collective bargaining agreement to bypass going to the minors for rehab. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke plans to work Ramirez gradually back into the lineup.
---The Cleveland Indians recalled right-hander Trevor Bauer from Triple-A Columbus and optioned left-hander Nick Hagadone to Columbus on Wednesday. Bauer was slated to make his second start for the Indians on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies. He lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in his first outing on April 6, giving up three runs, two hits and seven walks in five innings. In three starts for Columbus, Bauer was 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA.
Hagadone made eight relief appearances for the Indians and was 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA.
---The Oakland Athletics placed outfielder Coco Crisp and left-hander Brett Anderson on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday as a result of injuries suffered in an 19-inning game on Monday night.
To fill the roster spots, the A's recalled right-hander Dan Straily from Class AAA Sacramento and selected the contract of catcher Luke Montz.
Crisp suffered a strained left hamstring while running to first base in the 13th inning of the A's 10-8 win over the Angels. Anderson aggravated his right ankle trying to field a ball in the 18th after working 5 1/3 innings and giving up one run.