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Chicago Cubs’ Addison Russell spins a ball on his finger during the team’s photo day Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Cubs, White Sox Friday spring training report

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This is a trend we should expect to see throughout the 2017 season, but Cubs ticket prices in the post-World Series haze will be outrageous.

FoxBusiness.com reported this morning that the average asking price for a ticket to the Cubs’ home opener on April 10 against the Dodgers is $443 on TicketIQ, a secondary-market ticket aggregator. That’s a 147 percent increase over the average price for a ticket to the 2016 opener. The cheapest seats found on TicketIQ for April 10 is $116.

Those prices are only expected to rise as we inch close to Opening Day and the excitement grows — especially after a season-opening series in St. Louis.

Fox Business reports that the rise in prices can be traced to fans who missed out on the World Series last fall and want to soak up some of that winning atmosphere at Wrigley.

“For Cubs fans who couldn’t pay thousands of dollars to see their team in the World Series, Opening Day is a more affordable way to be a part of history,” TicketIQ founder Jesse Lawrence told FOX Business.

Meanwhile, Opening Day tickets in St. Louis for April 2 are averaging$374.

POWER RANGER

With Rizzo and Kris Bryant in the Cubs’ lineup, it’s easy to overlook the power potential of shortstop Addison Russell. But if we learned anything last postseason, Russell has plenty of pop — and he has no problem flexing his muscles in clutch situations.

Our Steve Greenberg had a terrific column in today’s paper discussing Russell’s power potential.

Manager Joe Maddon stressed that we haven’t seen the full potential of Russell’s power

“As he gains more at-bats, more experience and understands counts and pitches better,” Maddon said, “the frequency of that power is going to show up more often.”

After struggling in the first round of the playoffs against the Giants, going 1-for-15 with a single, Russell hit three home runs and knocked in 13 runs in the next two rounds of the postseason, including nine RBI in the World Series.

Oh, and he just turned 23 on Jan. 23. At that ripe age, Russell has 76 at-bats in the postseason.

“He’s still 23,” Bryant told Greenberg. “He’s still getting those man muscles, kind of like me.”

Check out Steve’s story.

BACK … BACK … BACK

Rizzo was out of the Cubs’ lineup today for a second consecutive day because of lingering lower-back problems. Rizzo was originallyexpected to return this weekend, but the Cubs see no reason to push the issue with Opening Day 30 days out.

HE’S A LACKEY GUY

John Lackey is 38 and entering the final seasonof his two-year contract with the Cubs. The veteran right-hander with three World Series rings isn’t tipping his hand about his future, but manager Joe Maddon believes there is a lot of baseball left in that aging arm.

Check out Gordon Wittenmyer’sstory to find out how Lackey plans to go out when it finally is time to call it quits.

SOUTH SIDE SHOCKER

Brett Lawrie signed a $3.5 million contract with the White Sox in the offseason and was reportedly progressing well in his comeback from a series of injuries. Then the Sox announced this afternoon that the 27-year-old Lawrie – once traded for Josh Donaldson — was being released.

Check our site for updates on this strange development.

THAT’S STRIKE TWO

There’s no question the White Sox will have an uphill battle this season, but hitting coach Todd Steverson is trying to level that playing field a bit by improving his team’s hitting with two strikes.

“It’s making a little adjustment and saying, ‘If I have one pitch in the strike zone, I want to put it in play, put it in play hard,’ ’’ Steverson said.

As our Daryl Van Schouwen points out, the Sox were 13th in the AL in homers last season, and outfielder Adam Eaton, who hit 14, is gone. He was the Sox’ third-leading home-run hitter.

ABREU ON THE STAND

Slugger Jose Abreu is expected back in White Sox camp today after spending the previous two days testifying in Miami during a federal trial for a trainer and sports agent charged with smuggling Cuban ballplayers off the island.

Abreu, who isn’t accused of any wrongdoing, acknowledged giving trainer Julio Estrada $25,000 a month last summer — $10,000 more than he requested — after Estrada’s assets were frozen by the government in the wake of his indictment in the smuggling case. He did so, Abreu testified, ‘‘because of the high esteem I have for him.’’

Check out Daryl’s full report on the trial.

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