Two years ago today tragedy struck the Drozdz family. 18-year-old Gabby Drozdz was walking with friends to Alpine Fest along Church Road in Lake Zurich. If you live around the area like I do, you know that this area is dangerous, it doesn’t have sidewalks, there is no lighting despite it being in a school zone. However, it is a heavily traveled road especially by foot given it’s location to downtown Lake Zurich. It sounds like there are improvements that are being fought for so that is good to hear, now on to remembering Gabby, and helping.
This is a story that means a lot to me, I didn’t know Gabby personally, but turns out I know the ones closest to her. I saw the story when it happened, you couldn’t miss it if you lived in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. As soon as I saw the story I was disturbed by it, how can a person drive their vehicle into other human beings and just keep going? That’s exactly what happened, Gabby and two of her friends were run down by a faceless driver. Gabby’s friends made it through okay, however Gabby did not, and her promising life was ripped away. Then I saw more of the articles coming out in the paper and news stories with comments from her family, that’s when my heart sank. Scott Grzelak is Gabby’s brother, he also helped me out by installing a few doors in my house, and is married to my good friend Kristin who I went to High School with and have known since a young age, I was sick to my stomach. Since this day I have done my absolute best to remember Gabby (picture is of me wearing Gabby’s shirt) and help support the cause to find her killer.
I don’t ask a lot, and I don’t usually use this space for personal posts, but I felt it was necessary today on the two-year anniversary of a day many people I know will never forget to remember Gabby, and given the fact that I can reach a lot of people with said post it’s the least I can do to try and help. If you feel the urge to help please donate at the link listed below, and visit the site remembering Gabby so you to can understand what a special person she was. RIP Gabby, I really wish I could have met you.
A $10,000 reward for information leading the arrest of the driver responsible for Drozdz’s death is still available.
If you have any information about this accident, call Lake County CrimeStoppers at 847-662-2222. All tips can remain confidential.
For more information, and to donate to the reward fund, visit www.gabbydrozdz.com. Also, you can support Scott’s local small business Rustic Elements, they feature handmade tables and furniture with a rustic flare.
The Cubs have launched a new website titled “Restore Wrigley Field” if you are a Cubs fan you should really check it out. The website does a fantastic job detailing the plans that the Ricketts family and the Cubs have for Wrigley Field. There are video’s on the site that detail what could be in store for the aging ballpark and surrounding neighborhood. The website goes into detail about how this project can not only help the Cubs, but help the community and create jobs. Here is a link to the website, I really suggest you check it out.
Here is the mission statement from the website..
“Restoring Wrigley Field and enhancing the surrounding area around the ballpark benefits our city, our neighborhood, our fans and our team. It will boost the economy, create approximately 2,100 new jobs, and generate significant revenue for the City, County and State. More importantly, it will allow your Chicago Cubs to play in the Friendly Confines for generations to come. If you want to help the team turn this vision into reality, your support is needed – lend your voice by signing the petition to save Wrigley Field!”
The message is fairly straight forward, if you want the Cubs to stay at Wrigley, and compete while playing at Wrigley then you should be on board with this project. As you can see in the final sentence of the statement, there is a petition for you to sign on the website, the Cubs want to hear from you and want your support to build their case as to why this needs to be done. If you feel so inclined, head on over to the website and take a look around, and sign the petition, like I said, there is a wealth of information there…the more you know.
This is awesome news. Per Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs have agreed to a long term extension with Anthony Rizzo to the tune of 7 years $41 million. STEAL! The Cubs now control Rizzo, Starlin Castro, and Jorge Soler for the better part of the next decade. Much more shortly..
(UPDATE) A few sources confirm that this deal has two club options that could result in this deal going for nine years, and $68 million. This is such huge news for the Cubs, they are paying Castro and Rizzo to be here for the next 7 years together for $101 million, that’s remarkable. That should give the Cubs financial flexibility when they need to get get a free agent when they are contending, good news all around tonight.
Well, glad that is over, well almost over, as with any deal approvals are still needed from multiple sources. But here’s the facts, the Cubs, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Alderman Tom Tunney have come to terms on a 5 year $500 million plan to make Wrigley Field a better place play and watch a game at. The money will be used to rehab the ballpark and develop the area surrounding Wrigley. Danny Ecker of Crains does a nice job of laying out the details, you can read his article here. I will outline the details he includes in his blog so I get all the facts straight.
The first part of the deal is the signage going up around Wrigley, including a massive video board, from the article..
“BALLPARK SIGNAGE The city and Mr. Tunney have agreed to allow the Cubs to erect a video screen in left field, as well as a right field advertising sign “in the style” of the existing Toyota sign that currently sits in left field. The Cubs will work with the city on placement of both signs “to minimize impact on nearby rooftops to the extent consistent with the needs of the team,” according to a statement from the Cubs. In addition, the Cubs will be able to install more signage inside the park, including areas around the seating bowl that will not block rooftop views.”
This was a major sticking point for a long time during these negotiations, as rooftop owners were furious that their views might be blocked by video boards or advertising. It sounds as though everyone involved will do their best not to obstruct anything, but there’s only so much you can do, Wrigley and the Cubs need this, not only to catch up to everyone else in Major League Baseball, but generate revenue from advertising.
Here are the details on how the renovation deal will affect game times from Ecker’s article..
“NIGHT GAMES AND GAME TIMES The Cubs will be allowed to hold 40 night games per season — up from the current maximum of 30, capped by a 2004 neighborhood protection plan — under a new special City Council ordinance that will allow for additional night games when required by Major League Baseball’s national TV contract. The 40 night games do not include playoffs or other games that are not counted under the current ordinance. The Cubs will also be allowed to start six games at 3:05 p.m. on Fridays (unlike the usual 1:20 p.m. starts).”
This is news that affects all us fans as well, the Cubs will have more night games, and later starting Friday afternoon games. This was a move long coming, I love day baseball, it’s part of the Cubs history, but it’s clear that in order for the Cubs to compete will other clubs in regards to bringing in players or keeping their own players happy they will need to back up game times. This new ordinance will allow that, getting home from a Friday afternoon will be much easier when it starts at 3:05 instead of 1:20, well, slightly easier, it’s still Chicago on a Friday afternoon/evening.
Here are a few more things that fans might be interested in..
“PARKING The Cubs will develop a new parking plan calling for 1,000 free parking spots off site with a shuttle to Wrigley Field. They’ll also put together an awareness campaign with Mr. Tunney’s office and the Chicago Department of Transportation to better educate fans about remote parking options and other alternative ways of getting to the park, like bikes and the CTA. (Improving awareness of existing options was something neighborhood groups and the Alderman have pushed recently). The Cubs will also be allowed to reconstruct the “Brown Lot” on Eddy Street, pending community approval.
TRAFFIC There will be new Clark Street traffic lights to control game-day congestion, and the Cubs will work with the city and community on a new public safety plan that will provide 30 additional safety personnel outside the park after games. In exchange for the potential increase in traffic, the Cubs will contribute to the School Street Play Lot funding effort and make annual contributions for the next 10 years for public projects benefiting the area, as agreed upon by Mr. Tunney and the team.”
I would say that two things that keep fans away from Wrigley are traffic and parking, it’s impossible to park by Wrigley, it’s somewhat easier to get to the game from the suburbs via pace bus, but it’s a challenge to say the least. In this deal there seems to be some effort to make the trip a little easier. I like the fact that they will be educating the fans about parking, it’s a mess, and the more information available, especially to people that don’t get to go to Wrigley that often is so important. More street lights are always a good thing, leaving Wrigley after a game can be a dangerous adventure, even if you are just walking across the street to one of the bars, people are in a hurry, and not always paying attention, so it’s nice to see the safety is being addressed.
Here are quotes from all the major players in the deal from the Crain’s article, I suggest you check it out for full details on the deal. They have information on the triangle building, a new hotel that will also be going up, extended beer sales, all sorts of good stuff.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts: “We are excited about moving forward with the approval process. Under the leadership of Mayor Emanuel and Alderman Tunney, we believe the Cubs proposal will help us invest in Wrigley Field and the Lakeview community. We are anxious to work with our community as we seek the approvals required to move the project forward.”
Mayor Emanuel: “This framework allows the Cubs to restore the Friendly Confines and pursue their economic goals, while respecting the rights and quality of life of its neighbors. I want to thank the Ricketts family for their commitment to Chicago and commend all parties involved for making this agreement without the use of any taxpayer money. It will have a long-lasting positive effect on Chicago.”
Ald. Tunney: “There are thousands of residents and hundreds of businesses who all contribute to the unique character of our neighborhood. Each of them benefits from the Cubs, and there is no doubt our neighborhood is better and more vibrant with the Cubs at Clark and Addison. I’m proud they’ve recommitted to Wrigley Field.”
There are going to be many more details released in the coming days, but this is a big win for the Cubs, they can finally move forward with something that is long overdue.
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Yes, that’s right. Before the Soler story broke, the story of someone sending a goat head to Tom Ricketts was the news of the day… PERFECT night for a rain out! ESPN Chicago was reporting that the Chicago Police were investigating this as an “intimidating package”
“We got a call at 2:30 p.m., responding to 1060 West Addison, Wrigley Field,” a Chicago Police Department spokesman said. “We’re investigating it as an intimidating package.” The package was found at Gate K near the field, the team spokesman told the Chicago Tribune.
There was no note, I think the head was subtle enough, and it was indeed addressed to Tom Ricketts. The negotiations between the Cubs, the City of Chicago, and the surrounding rooftop owners has been growing in intensity and in some spots hatred, maybe this is an extension of that hate. Or maybe people are just completely bonkers, I don’t know, either way it’s disturbing.
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No game tonight, conditions are awful. This one will be made up at 1:20 PM as part of a day-night double header on July 30th.
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Katie is a 21-year-old student from Gratiot, WI….don’t panic, she isn’t a Brewers fan, in fact she is a die-hard Cubs fan, so die-hard that she has just made the cut. The cut for what? I’ll tell you! Katie is one of the 30 finalists for the MLB Fan Cave, quite the accomplishment considering this is a contest opened up to just about anyone that likes baseball and has access to a recording device to make a video entry. Katie cracked the top 52 and had to be voted into the top 30, and thanks to social media and Cubs fans help, she made it. So congrats to Katie, I will keep you posted on her journey, which just got a lot cooler, per the MLB Fan Cave website..
“The MLB Fan Cave 2013 contest has been narrowed down to 30 finalists. These talented contestants have been invited to Arizona for Spring Training next week to audition to be the 2013 MLB Fan Cave Dwellers. Follow @MLBFanCave and #FanCave30 on Twitter for real-time updates from Arizona.”
Here is Katie with Tony Campana at Wrigley, try not to give her crap about Tony Campana, I think she is still getting over his departure.
You can follow Katie on Twitter, I do, you should too, she can talk baseball and specifically Cubs with the best of them, @Katiecernek. Give her a follow to get a first hand look at her Fan Cave journey as it hits a new level at Spring Training in Arizona. Go Cubs Go, and Go Katie Go! Born on Third is wishing you the best of luck and congratulating you on making it this far!
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Per a report, Carlos Marmol has been accused of domestic violence, no charges as of yet. These stories are tricky as I’m sure multi-million dollar athletes are the target of blackmail and extortion all the time, so obviously we should wait to hear some details before claiming Carlos Marmol is a woman beater. Remember last year during the off-season when Starlin Castro was also accused of assault, details were sketchy at the time of that event as well and turned out to be nothing. Domestic violence is not a joke, and should not be joked about so I really hope this is just a story of someone trying to get rich quick instead of Marmol being despicable. The report is coming out of the Dominican Republic and names a 24-year-old defendant in the claim. Here is the full story, in Spanish if you would like to read it over, I can’t, at least not all of it. There has not been a statement from Marmol or the Cubs about this story but I’m sure that once it starts making the rounds, like it is currently doing, the team will be forced to address it.
With all of that said, players do share responsibility to put themselves in better situations, like Castro last year. It’s an assumed risk of being a ballplayer, like I said, hopefully there is no weight to this claim and it will be non news once again, as soon as details emerge I’ll pass them along.
Thanks for reading,