World Series: Cubs' Lester seeks more Series dominance
Next year? It can wait. The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians play Game 1 of the World Series, each with hopes of ending a long championship drought. Chicago hasn't been to the Series since 1945 and hasn't won since 1908, and Cleveland earned its most recent title in 1948.
How long has it been for Chicago? Dexter Fowler will become the first black player to suit up for the Cubs in a World Series when he likely bats leadoff at Progressive Field.
Jon Lester gets the ball for Chicago, and at 32 years old, he's already one of the best World Series pitchers ever. He's won all three of his starts and has a 0.43 ERA, third-best among pitchers with at least 20 World Series innings, behind Madison Bumgarner and Jack Billingham. Lester is matched up against 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, a contender for the prize again this season.
The Indians hope to have Jason Kipnis in the lineup after the second baseman sprained his left ankle celebrating the final out of the ALCS.
HELP ON THE WAY?
The Cubs might get back young slugger Kyle Schwarber, out since tearing knee ligaments on April 8. A person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Monday that Schwarber was traveling to Cleveland, but the person did not know yet if the slugger would be on the roster. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the roster won't be announced until Tuesday. Schwarber has played two games in the Arizona Fall League, going 1 for 6 with a double and two walks. He hit five homers in nine postseason games as a rookie last year.
THOUSANDS FOR TICKETS
Want to get into Wrigley Field for Game 3? It will cost you a couple thousand dollars at least, and at that price point, don't expect a seat. Standing room tickets are going for more than $2,200, and fans have called ticket brokers willing to pay as much as $12,000 for a seat. Meanwhile, Cleveland figures to have some Wrigleyville vibes for Games 1 and 2 -- ticket-selling site StubHub reported a quarter of all tickets purchased for Game 1 are being paid for with credit cards associated with Illinois ZIP codes.
Umpire Larry Vanover will work his first World Series game and do it from behind home plate. John Hirshbeck will be the crew chief, joined by Series veterans Joe West and Sam Holbrook and first-timers Vanover, Chris Guccione, Marvin Hudson and Tony Randazzo. Holbrook, working his second Series, will be the replay official for the first two games, then will switch places with Vanover. This will be the sixth World Series for West and fifth for Hirschbeck.
Less than a decade after its opening, Yankee Stadium is being renovated. New York is adding seven new social gathering spaces, a move that will cut capacity by about 2,100 seats. The Yankees are adding a children's zone in the right-field upper deck and replacing obstructed view bleacher seats with outdoor party decks.