The owners of the Chicago Cubs announced Thursday that they have declared an end to negotiations with the rooftop association and are moving ahead with their $500 million planned renovation of 100-year-old Wrigley Field.
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said he has decided to go back to his original renovation and expansion plan for Wrigley Field that could significantly affect rooftop sight lines -- a move that is expected to lead to legal action by the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association against the team.
In a video published early Thursday morning on the team's website, Ricketts told fans he needed to move forward. The video strongly connects the Cubs' lack of competitiveness in recent years with the inability to produce the revenue other teams achieve with advertising revenue such as outfield signage.
Ricketts said the Cubs would submit a revised expansion plan to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks that includes the team's original proposal to add several outfield signs and additional bleacher seats. Ricketts sent a letter and video to Cubs fans late Wednesday, saying they are going to "put the team and the fans first."
---The Los Angeles Dodgers released catcher Miguel Olivo on Thursday, two days after he allegedly bit off a portion of teammate Alex Guerrero's left ear in a dugout fight during a Triple-A game.
The team announced the move in a two-sentence statement that made no reference to the fight during a game Tuesday at Salt Lake City. The release of Olivo, a 10-year veteran, came one day after he was suspended from the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate Albuquerque.
In a 7-4 Albuquerque loss to Salt Lake City, Olivo had to be restrained from going after Guerrero on the mound during a pitching change, apparently angry that Guerrero failed to tag out a base stealer, according to MLB.com. he 35-year-old Olivo then reportedly punched Guerrero in the dugout the next inning and, while being restrained by teammates, launched at and bit off a piece of Guerrero's left ear. Guerrero, who is recovering from reconstructive surgery on his ear, will remain in a Salt Lake City hospital for a couple of days. He could be sidelined a month or longer.
---Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder will undergo neck disc fusion surgery on Tuesday and miss the remainder of the season.
"He saw Dr. (Drew) Dossett the first thing this morning," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Thursday. "He had another scan. Unfortunately, his symptoms had gotten worse. The recommendation at this point is (neck fusion) surgery. The typical recovery for that type of surgery is 3-4 months."
Fielder had not taken part in any baseball activities after feeling weakness in his left arm while taking cuts in the indoor batting cages last week.
---Arizona Diamondbacks minor-leaguer Jon Griffin, after hitting four home runs the night before, picked up where he left off on Thursday to extend his streak of five straight homers.
The streak came to an end as Griffin grounded out in the sixth inning after walking in his second plate appearance during the Mobile BayBears' game against the Tennessee Smokies.
Griffin matched the Southern League record with four home runs in the Mobile's 17-7 victory over the Smokies on Wednesday night.
The major league record is four straight at-bats with a home run, accomplished many times but last done by Carlos Gonzalez in 2012.
---Third baseman Mike Moustakas was optioned to Triple-A Omaha by the Kansas City Royals.
Moustakas was hitting .152 this season and the former No. 2 overall pick (2007) has a .236 career average.
To replace Moustakas on the 25-man roster, the Royals recalled Jimmy Paredes, who has played in the outfield and second and third base in his career. He has a .234 average in 397 career plate appearances with the Houston Astros and Royals.