Fired Mets GM Porter suspended by MLB through 2022 season
Fired New York Mets general manager Jared Porter has been suspended by Major League Baseball through at least the end of the 2022 regular season following an investigation that began after a report that he sent sexually explicit text messages and images to a female reporter in 2016 while he was working for the Chicago Cubs.
Minor leagues experimenting with robo umps, larger bases
FILE - In this May 7, 2019, file photo, a new official Pacific Coast League baseball, left, is seen beside a baseball from the previous year in Papillion, Neb. Major League Baseball has reorganized its minor leagues in a 120-team regional alignment, MLB announced, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)NEW YORK – Major League Baseball will experiment with several rule changes in the minor leagues this season, including an automated strike zone, restrictions on defensive positioning and larger bases. In all Low-A leagues, pitchers will be limited to two step offs or pickoff attempts per plate appearance with at least one runner on base. The coronavirus pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor league season and is expected to delay the start of the 2021 schedule until around the first week of May.
Mets fire GM after he sent explicit texts to female reporter
This screen grab from a Zoom call shows New York Mets general manager Jared Porter Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. Mets general manager Jared Porter sent graphic, uninvited text messages and images to a female reporter in 2016 when he was working for the Chicago Cubs in their front office, ESPN reported Monday night, Jan. 18, 2021. “We have terminated Jared Porter this morning,” Cohen wrote Tuesday. ESPN said he was the Cubs’ director of professional scouting when he sent the messages to the woman. She said the Cubs employee told her Porter wanted to apologize in person, but she didn't want to see him.
Epstein hired as MLB consultant to evaluate rules changes
FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2019, file photo, Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein speaks at a media availability during the Major League Baseball general managers annual meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz. Former Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox executive Theo Epstein has been hired by Major League Baseball as a consultant for on-field matters and will evaluate possible rule changes. Epstein will work with baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, the owners competition committee and analytics experts, MLB said Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)NEW YORK – Former Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox executive Theo Epstein has been hired by Major League Baseball as a consultant for on-field matters and will evaluate possible rule changes. MLB is considering possible rules changes such as expanding the designated hitter to the National League. Epstein was the Red Sox general manager from 2003-11, putting together the team that won the 2004 World Series for the Boston’s first title since 1918, and then another championship team in 2007.
Hoyer insists Cubs plan to compete after dealing Darvish
Hoyer insisted the Chicago Cubs are taking a different approach this time. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)CHICAGO – Jed Hoyer insists this time won't be like 2011 for the Chicago Cubs. Along the way, Cubs fans endured a painful rebuild that included a 101-loss 2012 season. “We know that we're coming to the end of this group of players — a wildly successful, franchise-changing run with this group of players,” Hoyer said. "We haven't gotten extensions, and as a result, there are contractual realities to how long we control some of these players,” Hoyer said.
Padres acquire RHP Yu Darvish in blockbuster trade with Cubs
The San Diego Padres traded for another big arm on Tuesday night, Dec. 29, acquiring Darvish in a blockbuster deal with the Cubs. The Padres got Darvish, catcher Victor Caratini and cash from the Cubs for right-hander Zach Davies and four young minor leaguers. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)San Diego Padres general manager A.J. The aggressive Padres got Yu Darvish in a trade with the Chicago Cubs, adding another ace to their rotation after announcing a deal for Blake Snell earlier in the day. San Diego also completed a big trade with Tampa Bay for Snell.
Chicago finally gets snow
Ruben Torres shovels snow from in front of an office building along Golf Road on Dec. 30, 2020, in Schaumburg. Torres said it was his first time working out in the snow and that with the mix of snow and then rain, "My jacket is wet and the snow is very heavy." (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)chicagotribune.com
Beavers make their home on the Northwestern University campus
This year has been a lot — and Chicago Tribune photographers have been there to cover it all. The NBA All-Star Game at the United Center. Conference women's basketball titles for Northwestern and DePaul. Wrigley Field pivoting to a food pantry. The United Center was used as an Election Day polling site.chicagotribune.com
Mets' new GM excited by Cohen's title expectations
NEW YORK – Jared Porter knows his new boss with the Mets is counting on a championship. “Hearing comments like that motivates me,” Porter said Monday after being introduced as New York’s general manager. “It’s really important to create a situation where you’re a really hard team to play against. But the Mets still have several holes to fill in the rotation and lineup. “I don’t wear them out.”In Queens, Porter will report to the 72-year-old Alderson, a former Mets GM who was brought back by Cohen and has taken over baseball operations.
Cubs non-tender OFs Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr.
FILE - In this Friday, March 15, 2019 file photo, Chicago Cubs' Kyle Schwarber bats during a spring training baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Glendale, Ariz. Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora Jr. became free agents Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 when the Chicago Cubs declined to offer contracts to two key players from their historic 2016 World Series championship. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)CHICAGO – Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora Jr. became free agents Wednesday when the Chicago Cubs declined to offer contracts to two key players from their historic 2016 World Series championship. While Schwarber, Almora, slugger José Martínez and pitcher Ryan Tepera were non-tendered, the Cubs offered 2021 contracts to infielders Kris Bryant and Javier Báez, catchers Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini, and outfielder Ian Happ. He also played in the 2016 World Series after missing most of the season with a left knee injury. Almora then scored the go-ahead run on Ben Zobrist's double in the Cubs' 8-7 victory over the Indians.
Theo Epstein steps down after 9 seasons leading Cubs
CHICAGO – Listening in on fans' conversations during his walks home from Wrigley Field, Theo Epstein could sense their excitement as the Chicago Cubs set themselves up to capture that long-awaited World Series championship. “It became really clear that we'd be facing some significant long-term decisions this winter, decisions with long-term impacts,” Epstein said. Epstein, who won’t be paid for 2021 by the Cubs, said Ricketts did not bring up his salary when they discussed his future. The Cubs fell behind 3-1 to the Indians in the World Series before beating them in seven games, ending a title drought dating to 1908. In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Chicago won the NL Central but got swept by Miami in the first round of the playoffs.
Posey out for 2020 as MLB teams deal with churning rosters
Posey a six-time All-Star and 2012 NL MVP said his family finalized the adoption of identical twin girls this week. Holt has a young family and his wife is pregnant, but he decided to leave them at home while he went to Milwaukee for the next three months. First baseman and team leader Freddie Freeman, premier reliever Will Smith, right-hander Touki Toussaint and infielder Pete Kozma tested positive for coronavirus. Epstein said two coaches tested positive prior to the intake process. A front office member tested positive during the intake.
Cubs take local star Ed Howard with 1st-round draft pick
CHICAGO The Chicago Cubs selected hometown shortstop Ed Howard in the first round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft on Wednesday night. The 18-year-old Howard was a prep star at Mount Carmel High School on Chicago's South Side. He also started for the 2014 Jackie Robinson West Little League team that advanced to the finals of the Little League World Series. As far as what stands out to us on the field, he's got an electric skill set, said Dan Kantrovitz, vice president of scouting for the Cubs. He can impact a game in so many ways and we think he's got a chance to be a star.The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Howard went No.
Epstein says Cubs planning to create diversity committee
CHICAGO The Chicago Cubs are creating a diversity committee to help improve the organization's standards and practices. Owner Tom Ricketts and President of Business Operations Crane Kenney are leading the plans, according to President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein. The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have sparked protests across the country. The protests also have led sports organizations to take a closer look at their history and policies when it comes to diversity. "The majority of people that Ive hired, if Im being honest, have similar backgrounds as me and look a lot like me, Epstein said.
MLB owners, players revert to salary squabbles of old
NEW YORK Baseball owners and players have reverted to form -- the type displayed over the past half-century during eight work stoppages filled with salary squabbles. MLB claims an additional $640,000 would be lost with each extra regular-season game played. The union has said it doesnt believe those calculations and a sked MLB for more economic documents and data. MLB says they are if the plan is to use empty ballparks, which is the current intention. SERVICE TIME MANIPULATIONPlayers repeatedly accuse clubs of manipulating their service time to delay free agency and salary arbitration eligibility.