With opening day on the horizon and the Wrigley Field bleachers resembling an erector set, some denizens of the most famous seats in sports are wondering if life will ever be the same.
The bleacher season ticket holders are temporarily without a home, and some blame the Cubs for catering to a younger crowd that drinks more and pays more attention to its smartphones than the game.
"It's all about the party," veteran bleacherite Linda Eisenberg said.
The Wrigley bleachers have been gutted this offseason to add lucrative patio sections, two jumbo-sized video boards and advertising signage as part of the Ricketts family's $575 million renovation plan.
Team management misjudged the effects of a harsh Chicago winter on the construction time line, ensuring the bleachers would not be ready for the start of the season April 5 against the Cardinals.
The Cubs insist the left-field bleachers will be ready by May 11, with the right-field bleachers slated to open sometime in June. Bleacher season-ticket holders were offered refunds, down payments on next year's tickets or relocation to seats in the "bowl" area.
"The seats that were available weren't that good - either upper deck or back of terrace," bleacher season-ticket holder Donna Wakefield said.
Wakefield took the money. Tim Shockley, another bleacher season-ticket holder, said most of the bleacherites he knows also opted for refunds, figuring the early games are played in miserable weather anyway.
Miami Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart, 24, said Major League Baseball is reviewing his deleted Twitter account as part of an investigation into gambling-related tweets posted there and he is cooperating with the investigation.
"Obviously, I was caught off guard by the whole situation," Cosart said Thursday. "All I'm really saying to everyone is I'm following the MLB protocol and just talking with MLB security, and they are taking care of the rest."
The 24-year-old Cosart deleted his Twitter account Tuesday after screen shots of comments he purportedly made appeared on the website of Miami New Times.
MLB rules prohibit players and other employees from betting on baseball games. A player who bets on a game not involving his team faces a one-year suspension and a player who bets on or against his own team faces a lifetime ban. The commissioner, at his discretion, can discipline a player for placing other types of bets with an illegal bookmaker.
Cincinnati acquired first baseman Dan Johnson from the Astros for a player to be named or cash.