Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Ornaments - Chicago Cubs Christmas Decorative Ornaments

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Chicago Cubs merchandise - Must have for all Cubs fans

The Chicago Cubs are one of the most loved MLB teams. Even though the team has not won a World Series title in over 100 years, fans continue to remain loyal to the team. The fans do this by displaying the latest Chicago Cubs merchandise and Chicago Cubs accessories. Decked in all sorts of Chicago Cubs merchandise and Chicago Cubs accessories, fans watch the game with bated breath and their eyes glued to the action.

Dubbed as the ‘loveable losers’, Chicago Cubs merchandise always registers a high demand at online sports merchandise outlets such as diehardfans. Some of the most sought after Chicago Cubs merchandise includes Chicago Cubs jewelry and Chicago Cubs accessories. Other Chicago Cubs best sellers include headwear, jerseys, tailgating merchandise, auto accessories and home and office Chicago Cubs merchandise.

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Proudly displaying the official logo of the team, the Chicago Cubs jewelry is always one of the Chicago Cubs best sellers. At online sports merchandise shops you’ll find designer Chicago Cubs jewelry for both men and women. You may sport Chicago Cubs jewelry, Chicago Cubs merchandise and Chicago Cubs accessories during the game season to encourage your favorite team and to let everyone know which team you support. Some of the most popular Chicago Cubs jewelry items include Cubs logo embossed wrist watches, bracelets, chains and necklaces, stylish pins and pendants, awesome earrings, rings and toe rings. Why not give Chicago Cubs jewelry to that special someone in your life.

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Fans who wish to feel the terrific Cubs spirit all around them should go for Chicago Cubs accessories. At diehardfans you will find a host of Chicago Cubs best sellers such as the trendy Chicago Cubs accessories. Chicago Cubs best sellers include items such as belts, buckles, leather portfolios and bags and purses for ladies embellished with the designer Cubs logo. Some of the other popular Chicago Cubs accessories and Chicago Cubs merchandise that fans may consider shopping for includes Chicago Cubs best sellers like key rings, checkbook covers, luggage straps, sunglasses, lighters and neckties.

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Due to the popularity of the Chicago Cubs among baseball fans, all sorts of Chicago Cubs merchandise is lapped up by the fans. Jerseys and caps are of course a must have accessory and top Chicago Cubs best sellers list. Dynamic and passionate fans of the team are also interested in the auto accessories and various types of Chicago Cubs best sellers, tailgating Chicago Cubs accessories including mats, glasses, tumblers, bottle openers, barbeque accessories and outdoor furniture etc.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One stop resource for Chicago Cubs merchandise shopping

There is a whole host of online shops that offer top quality Chicago Cubs merchandise. Each of these sources come with a number of benefits. Some offer high-end products but are very pricey, whereas some offer cheap products but compromise on quality. Shopping on eBay is like shopping from a garage sale, as they don’t have any variety and mostly offer used accessories. MLB shop is too costly for words and sometimes their products are not in tune with fashion.

The best option is to look for a shop that is nowhere near extremities. DieHardFans.com is one such website that offers authentic and licensed products, has thousands of accessories for all the teams and the price is much lesser as compared to official MLB shop. There are over hundreds of personal accessories, home and office décor and stationary items and coolest apparel accessories for a true and trendy sports fan in Chicago.

Chicago Cubs merchandise at DieHardFans.com is not only cost-effective but also all the rage. All the sports merchandise here comes from top-notch manufacturers and some products such as photo mints and gold coins come with certificate of authenticity. Even the accessories such as money clips, Zippos, bottle openers are all officially licensed by the MLB. Buy MLB merchandise at our MLB Shop DieHardFans.com at competitive rates.

Shopping at this website is a privilege in itself because you get to see so many novelties all under one roof. No Cubs fan would ever not find anything he or she needs here. This shop covers everything under one roof. Some of the best selling accessories in the Chicago Cubs merchandise section are Cubs Hand Enameled 2nd Edition Buckle, Cubs Logo Tailgate Tote and Cubs Logo Game Day Pouch.

Whether you are looking for Chicago Cubs merchandise for game days or for merchandise that can be used in day-to-day life for off-season days, you will have plentiful options. Some of the personal and apparel accessories that you can use daily are Cubs Color Rubber Armed Sunglass, Cubs Tie, Cubs Sox Boxed Bi-fold Wallet and Cubs MLB silhouette black/grey 59fifty cap.

Many fans also buy stationary items Cubs Memo Pad Holder, Cubs Business Card Holder, Cubs Logo CD Holder and Cubs Perpetual Calendar. Find Chicago Cubs merchandise items such as everyday accessories, apparel accessories, stationary items and many more with the official team logo and in your favorite red and blue.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chicago Cubs Win Big Series, Improve Team via Trade

by Ben Calloway

It's all good for Cubs fans, at least for now. The Cubs beat the Astros 12-3 on Thursday to close up a big four-game series, where the Cubs won three of the games.

The Cubs' slamming of the Astros came after routing them 12-0 the day before. Everyone in the lineup is contributing, and you no longer hear anyone saying the word "slump."

Kosuke Fukudome went 3-for-3, and was only a home run away from the cycle. Soriano went 2-for-3 with two walks, while both Jake Fox and Milton Bradley belted home runs.

Pitcher Kevin Hart started off a little rough, but finished nicely and got the job done. Hart went six innings, giving up three runs on six hits.

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Chicago Cubs: Tale of Two Seasons

by Ricky Butts

It has been a frustrating first ninety eight games on the north side of the "Windy City."

They were pre-season favorites to win the National League Central Division and make a run at their first World Series appearance since 1945.

Up until now, it has been a tough go at it. At some points, they found themselves scuffling and making a run at the bottom dweller in the division they were supposed to run away from.

Some blame Jim Hendry for partially dismantling the team from one year ago. The trade of Derosa still has some reeling, but the point is, not even he could have saved the team in the first half.

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Chicago Cubs Trade Rumors: A Really, Really Dumb Idea


On Monday, as the trade winds began to fill more sails around Major League Baseball, one floated through Chicago that might be one of the worst ideas I have ever heard.

A number of media outlets, including ESPN's Bruce Levine, have reported that the Chicago Cubs have shown some level of interest in Oakland A's shortstop Orlando Cabrera. I do not know how this will effect my online betting.

Cabrera is in his first season in Oakland after spending last year on Chicago's South Side. While with the White Sox, Cabrera was depicted as a negative influence on the clubhouse and as having a bad attitude.

This winter, he moved on to Oakland as a free agent. He has been in the playoffs in three of the past four years, all for a different organization.

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Chicago Cubs: What Should Fans Believe?


I attended the Cubs' game on Sunday afternoon and left with an overwhelming sense of empty optimism.

"Empty optimism" probably isn't what you would think I was feeling after four hours of baking in the bleachers on a Sunday afternoon especially when the raising of the white "W" flag meant the Cubs were in first place.

Hung over maybe, but not questioning the validity of, the Cubs seat atop the National League Standings.

Yet there I was, walking past lines of Reds fans waiting for a bus back to Ohio, wondering if what I had just seen was legit.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Lilly's arm, Theriot's bat keeps Cubs in contention at midpoint of season

by Meghan Montemurro,

Somehow, despite injuries (including the fluke variety ... just the Cubbies' luck) and a terribly inconsistent offense which ranks 27th in total runs scored in the majors, the Chicago Cubs are only 3.5 games behind the Central Division-leading St. Louis Cardinals and 2.5 behind the Milwaukee Brewers.

Still, the Cubs sit only at .500 (43-43) at the break. While some franchises can consider this a success, Chicago features a big-name, big-money lineup - Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, Milton Bradley and Aramis Ramirez - that only looks good on paper.

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Chicago Cubs Targeting Lefty B.J. Ryan to Bolster Bullpen

by Michael Wagner

Various media outlets have confirmed that the Chicago Cubs are interested in Toronto Blue Jays left-hander and former closer B.J. Ryan. Last week Ryan was placed on waivers by the Blue Jays and the Cubs will wait for him to clear waivers to pursue him.

Ryan has had a solid major-league career, in which he has complied an ERA of 3.37 and has 117 career saves. The reason for Ryan's major decline could likely be attributed to him having Tommy John surgery in 2007 but was very good for the Jays in 2008 with 32 saves and an ERA of 2.95.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Harden gets back in the win column as Cubs down Pirates

Harden twirled seven innings of one-run ball to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 3-1 defeat of Pittsburgh in the first of three straight games between these NL Central-foes at PNC Park.

Rich Harden (5-4) stuck out nine and walked one while scattering nine hits. It was the right-hander's first win since May 12, having gone 0-3 over his previous four starts and 0-2 in three outings since coming off of the disabled list.

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Major League Baseball - Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox

Windy city series winds down as both teams try to stay in contention for a playoff spot.

The rubber match in a 3 game set between the two Chicago based teams in Major League Baseball will get underway today at 2:05pm ET. Heading to the mound for the Cubs is Carlos Zambrano, a 28 year old right handed pitcher who is 4-2 on the season with a 3.48 ERA.

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Rotisserie by the Numbers: Milton Bradley, Fantasy Baseball Nightmare

by Craig Rondinone

There are three things fantasy baseball owners can always count on: Milton Bradley going on the disabled list, Bradley getting suspended, and Bradley hitting reasonably well on those odd occasions when he is on the field.

It might be time to count on a fourth certainty from Bradley.

Baseball's hottest hothead, its baddest of the bad boys, its champion of temper tantrums, has done it again. No, he did not tear another ACL arguing with an umpire or chase after an announcer that badmouthed him.

He was taken out of a game and then told to go home by Chicago Cubs manager Lou Pinella after a tirade that even made Carlos Zambrano sweat.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Aaron Miles back with Chicago Cubs

After spending the last two weeks glued to the Cubs' bench, Jake Fox was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday to make room for Aaron Miles.

"He just needs to get some at-bats," manager Lou Piniella said. "If we sit him here, he'll lose some of his sharpness. I was pleased with what he's doing."

Chicago Cubs waste strong effort from Carlos Zambrano

A controversy-free day for Carlos Zambrano is as rare as a Chicago winter without potholes.

In the last two weeks, Zambrano has smashed a Gatorade dispenser, bumped an umpire, received a six-game suspension, missed the team charter and announced he would retire at the end of his contract.

Chicago Cubs search for ways to keep Milton Bradley healthy

Milton Bradley went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts in his return to the lineup Tuesday after being limited to a couple of pinch-hitting appearances since straining his right calf one week ago.

The frustrated Bradley slammed his bat on home plate after striking out in the fifth, breaking it in half. He has started only 34 of the Cubs' 55 games because of calf and groin injuries, after missing time in spring training with a quad injury. Last year Bradley started only 20 games in the outfield and another 97 as designated hitter.

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Chicago Cubs take Cal center fielder in first round

By Paul Sullivan

University of California center fielder Brett Jackson admitted he was "absolutely shocked" after the Cubs selected him with the 31st pick in the 2009 amateur draft.

"They were on our radar, but we had higher hopes than we thought they did," Jackson said. "I'm a big Cubs fan. It's a tremendous organization.

"Honestly, truly, I was hoping to be a Cub and couldn't believe it when my name was read."

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Was Milton Bradley the Worst Possible RF Solution for the Chicago Cubs?

by Jacob Nitzberg

There are no "do-overs" in baseball, as much as Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry would like one right now.

Less than a week after trading fan-favorite and possible right fielder Mark DeRosa to Cleveland this offseason, Hendry signed free agent OF Milton Bradley to a three-year, $30 million dollar contract.

Many Cubs fans weren't happy, not only to see DeRosa go, but to see a player brought in who had played over 120 games in a season just twice, and most of those at the designated hitter position. I'm not even going to get into the on and off the field antics he is so well known for either.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rich Harden Should Be The Cubs' Closer


Two years ago, the Chicago Cubs made a bold decision. The one-time face of the franchise, the future of the starting rotation, the hope of the city of Chicago, Kerry Wood, was going to move to the bullpen.

The decision was partially made to give Wood a career. He had a longer laundry list of injuries and surgeries than he did pitching successes. But he always busted his tail to get back on the bump for the Cubs, so, out of respect for that, the team moved him into a role that would use his arm and shoulder more conservatively.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chicago Cubs: Not Time to Hit the Panic Button

by Carl Stine

Hold on Cubs fans. Put the life jackets back and get on board the ship. It is not sinking yet.

After tonight's dominating performance from Big Z, the Cubs are only 3.5 games back in the NL Central, trailing only the Brewers and Cardinals and tied with the Reds. The win kept them from losing any ground.

At times, this season has looked bad, even abyssmal; however, Cubs fans can sit back, relax, and just breathe.

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Chicago Cubs Gifts

If you think about it, there’s no better time to start buying Chicago Cubs related gifts than now, when all the Cubs fans you know are high for all the run of recent success that they’ve had. If you need to give a gift to a friend or relative who is a fan of the Cubs, head on down to the Chicago Cubs Gifts section on diehardfans.com and you’ll find a wealth of items for you to choose from.

For students and even for white-collar fans of the club, you can get a Chicago Cubs Replica Mini Helmet display for inspiration while grinding for the exam or waiting for the clock to strike five. That mini display can also be used as a display on the TV or game room to give it a little extra team spirit feel. For the more discerning fan that you know, there’s the collector’s favorite, the MLB Chicago Cubs Team Force 24kt Gold Coin Photo Mint, which is a collection of photos and rare collectible mint coins.

For Chicago Cubs Gifts, visit our online

MLB Shop

Cubs' punching bag officially retired

The most beat up thing in the Chicago Cubs dugout is being removed for its own safety. It's not a player, coach or member of the Cubs' staff--it's the dugout's Gatorade machine.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the dispenser's last day was on Sunday. It has been replaced with a water dispenser, which the Cubs will be able to enjoy however they see fit when they return to Wrigley Field after a road trip on June 12.

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Jake Fox could get start for Chicago Cubs in right field

Manager Lou Piniella wants to see what he can do

Jake Fox may get his first start Saturday, playing in right field against rookie left-hander Matt Maloney.

"Our problem here is that in the areas he plays, we have more depth than anywhere else," manager Lou Piniella said. "There's a possibility I'll just put him out there in right field."

Fox has three hits in seven at-bats after tearing up Triple-A pitching. He probably will be the Cubs DH when they play road series against the White Sox and Detroit later this month

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Chicago Cubs Memorabilia

It isn’t surprising that with two winning seasons and back to back division championships to boot, Cubs fans would go gaga over team merchandise, both to show their support and appreciation for the team’s efforts as well.

Some of the popular picks come from the Chicago Cubs Memorabilia section, which include the Cubs 'Geovany Soto' 2008 N.L. Rookie of the Year 24KT Gold Coin Photo Mint and Geovany Soto Autographed Photo Mint, or the Carlos Zambrano 'No Hitter' Photo Mint (with 2 24KT Gold Coins included). These photo mints are popular because they are easy to appreciate and display. You get a limited photo of your favorite player as well as two limited edition gold commemorative coins all placed in a high quality photo frame ready to hang right from the box. Fans love this item because it is more than just a piece of merchandise, but a collectible that may be worth a pretty penny someday – sort of an investment, just like a painting by a talented artist.

Some other notables in this section include the Wrigley Field Infield Dirt Photo Mint, Alfonso Soriano 24kt Gold Coin Photo Mint, and Chicago Cubs 24kt Gold and Color Team Commemorative Coin.

For large collection of Chicago Cubs Memorabilia, visit our

MLB Shop

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cubs-Braves game rained out

A rainout forced the Atlanta Braves to wait a day for their first look at their new center fielder and No. 3 hitter.

The rainout forced the Chicago Cubs to wait another day for the return of Carlos Zambrano from a six-game suspension.

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Youth Learn and Play Baseball at Little Cubs Field

The Chicago Cubs joined the community of Humboldt Park neighborhood to celebrate the grand opening of Little Cubs Field at Humboldt Park on May 30. Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney and Cubs players Carlos Mármol and Ángel Guzmán joined Alderman Billy Ocasio and Chicago Park District General Superintendent Timothy Mitchell to officially open the park.

“Little Cubs Field at Humboldt Park is a world class ballpark built in and for a community whose passion for baseball is second to none,” Kenney said. “It is another example of the enduring partnership between the Cubs, the Chicago Park District and the city of Chicago and a lasting part of our legacy to Cubs fans.”

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Is Tom Glavine an Option For The Chicago Cubs?


On Wednesday afternoon, the Atlanta Braves released future Hall of Fame starting pitcher Tom Glavine.

Glavine, who had just made what appeared to be his final rehab start on Tuesday after offseason shoulder and elbow surgeries, is now looking for options to pitch in the majors again at 43 years old.

Would Glavine make sense in Chicago?

The Cubs have shown a few things over the last few seasons, with the same issues being magnified this year: the team lacks a calm, veteran, championship presence on the roster.

Full Story

Chicago Cubs Bullpen Blows Another Lead

by Joe Willett

The biggest difference between last season’s Cubs, which had one of the best records in the MLB, and this season’s team, has been the continually faulty play of the bullpen.

Without Kerry Wood, the bullpen has struggled mightily as Carlos Marmol has been much worse than last season.

The Cubs failed to back up another stellar start by Randy Wells, who took a no-hitter into the seventh and a shutout into the eight inning, but was pulled in the eight after 83 pitches.

Despite the strong performance by Wells, the Cubs still lost the game 6-5 in extra innings, thanks mostly to yet another bullpen collapse.

Read the rest of this entry at The Daily Cub.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chicago Cubs - Atlanta Braves: Series Preview

by gondeee

The Chicago Cubs open up the 10-game homestand for the Atlanta Braves against NL Central teams at Turner Field tonight. The Cubs come in just one game over .500 on the season, as the Braves open up June at .500. It's always a fun series when the Cubs are in town, and tonight will have the added bonus of two former Chunichi Dragons players, Kenshin Kawakami for the Braves and Kosuke Fukudome for the Cubs, facing each other for the first time.

To help give Atlanta fans an idea of how the Cubs season is going I've exchanged five questions with Chicago Cubs blogger Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue. Al is a terrific blogger and a nice fellow. We met last year at the Hall of Fame game in Cooperstown, NY, which ended up being rained out. Anyway, here are my questions to Al about the Cubs. I'll post a link later for his questions to me about the Braves, when they are posted to his site.

Q: Most people expected the Cubs to hold first place in the Central for the entire year, are you disappointed that the Cubs are only one game over .500 and in fourth place in the division?

A: Disappointed? Sure, but without Aramis Ramirez and with a bullpen that quickly sunk into mediocrity -- OK, at times awfulness -- one game over .500 and only 4.5 games out of first place on June 1 isn't that bad. Ramirez is the Cubs' best hitter, the guy every other team fears every time he comes to bat. The Cubs have a huge hole in the middle of their lineup and guys like Milton Bradley, Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto have not yet stepped up to fill it.

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Cubs-Dodgers: Cubs Split Four Game Series with MLB's Best Team

by Andy Miller

The Chicago Cubs look like they have started to take away some of the question marks surrounding this team.

How can a pitching staff that's so good on paper (maybe the best in the National league, when healthy) keep losing one run games? Ted Lilly got the win in a close 2-1 ballgame.

How can an offense that was so potent and productive last year not be scoring runs consistently? The Cubs, combined with a masterful performance from Ryan Dempster, shut out the Dodgers 7-0.

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Calendar turns with Cubs a question mark

North Siders enter June looking to regain frontrunner status

by Mike Bauman

With the Chicago Cubs, the question of whether the glass is half-full or half-empty is often a matter of fierce debate. You can be sure that the glass is neither completely full nor totally empty, but after that, the argument starts.

The pattern hasn't changed in the first two months of the 2009 season. You can look at the Cubs' 25-24 record as May ended on Sunday night and become somewhere between distressed and demoralized. This is no way to follow up on a 97-victory season.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Come To Think Of It: Cubs' Zambrano Gets Suspended; So Should The Umpire

by Bob Warja

Bud Selig's enforcer crew, led by MLB's "Czar of Discipline", Bob Watson, have suspended Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano for six games. Big deal, he won't even miss a start.

But what is a big deal is the fact that, while Big Z's punishment was deserved, the umpires need to be reigned in. Yet baseball does nothing to address this issue.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How Jake Fox Will Fit In with the Cubs

by Ryan Winn

The recent call-up of Cubs' power-hitting prospect Jake Fox has fueled plenty of speculation about how he will fit Chicago's mold. With Derek Lee and Micah Hoffpauir occupying his comfort zone at first base, it would appear that Fox is a square peg squeezing into a round hole.

However, there is one area Fox may cover perfectly while he enjoys his time in the majors—go-to pinch hitter.

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What Was Cubs Manager Lou Piniella Thinking Last Night?

by Mark Strotman

Last night, the Chicago Cubs fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field for their eighth straight loss. Ryan Dempster, Chicago’s starting pitcher, was roughed up for six runs in just four innings of work.
In the bottom half of the fourth inning, Bobby Scales pinch-hit for Dempster and flew out to right field.

That’s where things got interesting.

Relief pitcher Jose Ascanio came in to pitch the top of the fifth inning, where he was due up fourth in the next inning. Ascanio had a rough inning, giving up three straight one-out hits before getting out of the jam.

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Chicago Cubs' Reed Johnson tutors Milton Bradley


Milton Bradley credited Reed Johnson for a verbal kick in the butt that got him going Monday night.

Johnson said Tuesday that one of the things he told Bradley was to shrug off a bad call by the plate umpire.

"I told him, if you get behind in the count 0-1, you've got to believe in yourself that you're a good enough player to overcome one bad call in an at-bat," Johnson said. "If you fall behind because an umpire, you think, makes a bad call, that doesn't mean you have to shut down your at-bat and that at-bat is over."

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Forget the Hawks -- what's wrong with the Cubs?

Forget the Hawks -- what's wrong with the Cubs?

Rotisserie By the Numbers: Jake Peavy Peeves His Fantasy Owners

by Craig Rondinone

Jake Peavy has a lot of nerve.

Peavy would rather pitch in a ballpark spacious enough to host a Fielder family reunion than pitch at a place that sometimes turns simple fly balls into three-run homers.

He prefers to pitch against top-heavy lineups where light-hitting shortstops and lighter-hitting opposing pitchers make for easy outs. And he chooses to pitch against batters he is familiar with and knows how to get out instead of facing a league full of All-Star sluggers he knows nothing about.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chicago Cubs Winter of Lies: A Better Bullpen and More Balanced Offense


The sensation is like finding out your girlfriend cheated on you, the gut-wrenching agony when you know something had promise until the underlying reality collapses the house of cards.

That's how Cubs fans feel every time Lou Piniella goes to the bullpen.

The implosion has actually become the event at Wrigley Field these days. It is no longer how the bullpen will lose the game, but how and who will carry the responsibility.

It's only Memorial Day, but hope on Chicago's North Side is starting to carry the mention of Jay Cutler more than October baseball.

But only the naive or insanely committed fans didn't see this coming. The moves Cubs GM Jim Hendry made were ridiculous this past winter, and now the play on the field is reflecting his empty attempts to reinvent the wheel.

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Iowa Cubs Insider: Cats' Patterson keeps eye on Cub organization


Eric Patterson doesn't hold grudges - he still checks up on his buddies in the Chicago Cubs' organization.

"You cannot imagine how happy I am for Bobby Scales," said Patterson, formerly with the Iowa Cubs and now a member of the Sacramento River Cats. "His call-up was awesome, just awesome."

Patterson played in the Cubs' organization, including Iowa, four seasons before being traded with pitcher Sean Gallagher and Matt Murton to Oakland for Chad Gaudin and Rich Harden.

"It was my first trade, and it was an eye-opener," Patterson said of what happened last July 8. "I didn't expect it at all, but what's done is done.

"The Cubs saw it as an opportunity to improve their team."

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Chicago Rivalry Extends Down to Double-A

By Josh Dorsey

There is no wind; Sevierville’s 14,788 residents wouldn’t fill half of Wrigley Field or U.S. Cellular Field; and no one is confusing the Hampton Inn that overlooks Smokies Park with the historic Wrigleyville rooftops.

Nevertheless, the future of the Cubs-White Sox rivalry was on display on Saturday when the Smokies donned the colors of their big league affiliate during “All Things Chicago Night” at Smokies Park.

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Struggling Cubs forced to scratch Lee

Recently surging slugger falls ill before Sunday's finale

By Sandy Burgin

As if losing six games in a row wasn't bad enough, the Chicago Cubs lost their cleanup hitter on Sunday when Derrek Lee got sick and was scratched from the starting lineup just before first pitch.

Lee, who is sporting a seven-game hitting streak, during which he is batting .444 (12-for-27), was replaced at first base by Micah Hoffpauir. Milton Bradley, who was originally batting fifth, was moved to the cleanup spot and Reed Johnson, getting a start in center field, was moved from third in the batting order to fifth.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Cubs slugfest with Phillies was a great game

By Mike Cunniff

The game was played on a Thursday.

With the wind blowing out to left.

No ... BLOWING out to left.

A day in Wrigley Field when the hitters stride to the plate with a big smile on their faces.

And pitchers, if they were smart, would all of a sudden develop a severe case of Mark Prior disease.

Chicago Cubs starter Dennis Lamp did not get out of the first inning.

In fact, Lamp got only one out while giving up six runs that included a pair of three-run homers by Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt and catcher Bob Boone with one out. Cubs reliever Donnie Moore got another out before surrendering a solo homer to Philadelphia starter Randy Lerch.

Lerch walked out to the mound with a 7-0 lead before even throwing a pitch. And then promptly wishing he could keep the ball in his glove. Lerch suffered the same fate as Lamp, being shelled from the hill as the Cubs scored six times that included a three-run homer by Dave Kingman. Lerch gave up five of the tallies before Doug Bird came on.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chicago Cubs might be the most valuable team in baseball

by Kenneth Zenger

The Chicago Cubs deal still isn’t done while the season continues ticking along. The Cubs are obviously a valuable baseball franchise but that value seems to be difficult to calculate. While experts try to calculate the actual value of the team, the Cubs sale is locked in a state of limbo. The key points still in question regard the fair-market broadcast value of the team. The pending sale, which includes the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball franchise, storied Wrigley Field, and a percentage of regional cable network Comcast Sports, is currently estimated to be around $850 million.

However, the two sides, the Ricketts Family and the Tribune Company, can’t find common ground on the multi-year agreement to broadcast Cubs games on the Tribune Company’s WGN television network. This disagreement is understandable as the Tribune Company has held the team as an asset since they purchased the team from the Wrigley family in 1981 and they do not have experience with the valuation of these rights. The Tribune Company’s agreement between the Chicago Cubs and WGN basically allowed for the Tribune Company to set the price at whatever level best suited their books. After the sale, WGN will need to be paying fair-market value which undoubtedly is much higher than what they are used to.

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Runs are scarce for Chicago Cubs


At least one thing is constant about the Chicago Cubs. If they don't score at least four runs in a game, they don't win.

The Cubs have tallied three or fewer in a game this season 14 times and have lost all 14. The last two nights, they haven't even come close to three runs, let alone more.

The Cubs have totaled only nine hits in the first two games of a three-game series with the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. And one run in two games — that came in an aborted ninth-inning rally Wednesday — leaves manager Lou Piniella a very unhappy man.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chicago Cubs lose 2-1 to Cardinals

Milton Bradley frustrations mirror Cubs'

By Paul Sullivan

ST. LOUIS -- After the Cubs lost 2-1 to St. Louis on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium, Derrek Lee asked the media not to blow things "out of proportion."

But after three straight losses and a grand total of one run over their last 18 innings, Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he was close to making some changes, including sitting Lee and catcher Geovany Soto.

What can be done about the Cubs' offense?

"I don't know. I don't know," Piniella replied. "I've thought about it a lot. Believe me, while everybody is sleeping, I'm up. I've got to be as patient as I possibly can to give these people ample opportunities to shake out of it. But sooner or later ...

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Chicago Cubs get only 3 hits in 3-0 loss to St. Louis Cardinals

Winner Joel Pineiro throws only 92 pitches

By Paul Sullivan

ST. LOUIS -- Minutes after watching his team get shut out on three hits Tuesday night in a 3-0 loss to St. Louis, Cubs manager Lou Piniella was all dressed and ready to go.

It may have been a coincidence, but the whole team looked like it was ready to get out of the park, making Joel Pineiro throw only 92 pitches in a complete game.

"There were a lot of quick outs," Piniella said. "I don't think they had to make very many good plays. Made it look very easy."

So was it Pineiro, or was it the Cubs?

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Tom Ricketts Buys Chicago Cubs, Jake Peavy Next?

by Bullpen Brian

It’s taking three banks to help Tom Ricketts finance his purchase of the Cubs.

Think about that for a second. Not one, not two, but three banks. That’s some kind of coin.

The Cubs’ price tag is $900 million. Ricketts needs $450 million to close the deal—that’s where the three banks come in.

What can’t you buy for $450 million? Seriously.

Here’s a better question: What can the Cubs afford to buy at the trade deadline?

Word is, if the deal stays on schedule it will be completed in July. If all holds true, Ricketts becomes the Cubs’ new owner and top dog before the non-waiver trade deadline.

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The Five Best and Worst Things About the Chicago Cubs

By Aaron Schafer

The Cardinals are in full free-fall mode, having just been swept by the Milwaukee Brewers, and now they get to host the Chicago Cubs, defending division champs, as a reward. The longest streak without a championship continues into 2009 -- any drunk Cardinal fans can be heard squawking "1908!" during this series -- but is this the Cubs' year?

They've certainly not run away and hidden with the division so far the way many of the national analysts predicted; in fact, at the moment, they're not even leading the race. Of course, who is leading in May doesn't really mean all that much. So is Chicago still the team to beat?

Five Reasons Chicago Will Win the Central Division:

1. They're the Most Talented
The Cubs still have the best overall base of talent in the NL Central. Whereas the other contenders all have strong and weak points, the Cubbies are strong on both sides of the ball. They haven't shown it yet, but it's only a matter of time until that talent all starts clicking at once.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ricketts lines up backing to buy Cubs

Billionaire has agreements with three banks for $450M

CHICAGO -- Tom Ricketts apparently is close to lining up three banks to arrange the $450 million financing needed to finalize his family's purchase of the Chicago Cubs.

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Report: Cubs buyer set to finish deal

Tom Ricketts, who is buying the Chicago Cubs, has arranged $450 million in financing from three banks to finish the deal, according to the Sports Business Journal.

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Carpenter will start Wednesday for Cardinals against Cubs

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter(notes) will make his first start since leaving an April 14 outing in Arizona with a torn muscle in his left side. He suffered the injury hitting but insisted Sunday he is able to swing and plans to do so against the Chicago Cubs, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Chicago Cub Alfonso Soriano Gets Involved At WWE Judgment Day Pay Per View

Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano got involved at Sunday's WWE Judgment Day pay per view in the Windy City thanks to The Miz who made him the subject of his verbal tirades.

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Living the Dream: Long Journey Worth the Wait for Cubs' Rookies

by Pat De Marco

Last year at this time, Micah Hoffpauir and Randy Wells were beginning their sixth year of minor league baseball, while Bobby Scales was beginning his eighth year of minor league baseball.

Today, all three find themselves contributing to a championship contending baseball team.

With Aramis Ramirez out with a dislocated shoulder, 33-year old rookie Bobby Scales is hitting .381 with 1 HR and 5 RBI. On Saturday, Scales scored the game winning run after leading off the bottom of the ninth with a walk.

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Chicago Cubs Community Roundtable: April Cubs Analysis

by Bob Warja

At the end of April, I asked several of our top Cubs writers to give me their overall impressions of the team after about one month. I want to thank the following writers for producing this analysis: Tab Bamford, Pat De Marco, Ricky Butts, Ryan Winn, Kane Simmons, Paul Swaney, Brian Livingston, and Jacob Nitzberg.

I will list the questions asked of our community, first showing the overall results (where applicable) and then a break-down of some of the most intriguing comments received. Keep in mind that these comments were received between Apr. 30 and May 6, so some of the references may not reflect recent activity.

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Chicago Cubs beat Houston Astros after Kevin Gregg blows 4-run lead

Alfonso Soriano knocks in Bobby Scales in 9th inning for 5-4 victory

By Dave van Dyck

When he was returning to the Cubs' dugout after pulling Kevin Gregg in the frightful ninth inning Saturday, Lou Piniella stopped long enough to have an animated "chat" with a fan.

"He wasn't very happy I kept Gregg in the game for as long as I did," the manager said. "And I told him just to please enjoy the game and let me manage ... in a little stronger words than that."

But all's well that ends well -- even if your name is Randy Wells and Gregg denied you your first big-league victory -- because Alfonso Soriano saved 40,548 other fans from hurling their own insults with a game-winning hit.

Soriano singled home Bobby Scales in the bottom of the inning for a harder-than-necessary and odder-than-ordinary 5-4 victory that went to starter-turned-part-time-reliever Sean Marshall even though he faced only one batter.

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Carpenter could pitch Wednesday against Cubs


ST. LOUIS -- Chris Carpenter could throw a bullpen session Sunday that likely would be his final tuneup before he returns to the St. Louis Cardinals rotation.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Saturday that Carpenter is a candidate to pitch Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs, which would then put him on a schedule to face the Milwaukee Brewers in his next outing May 25.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Houston Astros at Chicago Cubs

Season series: Cubs lead 4-1.

Friday: 1:20 p.m., WGN-Ch. 9.

RH Brian Moehler (0-2, 8.44 ERA) vs. RH Randy Wells (0-0, 0.00).

Saturday: 12:05 p.m., CSN.

RH Roy Oswalt (1-2, 4.50) vs.

LH Sean Marshall (1-2, 4.06).

Sunday: 1:20 p.m., WGN-Ch. 9.

RH Felipe Paulino (1-3, 6.93) vs.

RH Rich Harden (4-1, 4.54).

Who's hot: Bobby Scales has hit safely in his six games as a Cub, batting .444 with five RBIs. Milton Bradley is hitting .320 with a .600 slugging percentage in his last seven games. Astros outfielder Michael Bourn was 17-for-49 in May (.347) entering Thursday.

Who's not: Derrek Lee is 0-for-7 since returning from his neck injury. Oswalt has a 6.00 ERA over his last three games.

Source: chicagotribune.com

Randy Wells not content just to be on Chicago Cubs

He wants to prove his worth further to manager Lou Piniella

Randy Wells knows no matter what happens Friday in his second start, he still will be on the team when Carlos Zambrano returns from the disabled list next week.

Manager Lou Piniella has said Wells either will remain in the rotation or move to the bullpen.

"It's comforting, but at the same time, I don't want to take any edge off," Wells said. "I'm not going to look at it as if I pitch badly Friday or don't have a good start that I'm still going to be here. I'm pitching every day like it's my last day and I'm fighting for a job.

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Chicago Cubs beat San Diego Padres in 11-3 rout

By Paul Sullivan

Milton Bradley unknowingly may have coined a new slogan for the 2009 Cubs after his two-game suspension was cut in half Thursday:

"It figures."

Bradley was referring to his belief Major League Baseball holds him more accountable than other players because of his reputation as a prime-time instigator.

But he may as well have been referring to the unpredictable Cubs, who completed a sweep of the Padres with an 11-3 victory at Wrigley Field.

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Bradley suspension reduced to 1 game

Milton Bradley's suspension was reduced from two games to one by Major League Baseball on Thursday, but that didn't make him any happier. The Chicago Cubs outfielder still feels he was a victim of his reputation as a hothead.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blog Offers Gear and Accessories to Enhance Your Experience When Watching MLB Games

MLB fans all over the country love their MLB teams so much that they virtually fund a whole sub-industry over and above supporting the game of MLB – that is of course the retail of MLB Shop, related merchandise. MLB memorabilia, gear, and accessories is a billion dollar a year industry – that’s a lot of money for a game to generate.

When fans watch MLB games, it’s obvious that people enjoy the experience quite a lot. What’s there not to like? There are hotdogs, soda, peanuts, candy, beer, pretzels, and a whole lot more treats to be had. Then of course there’s the MLB game itself, the players, the action, the adrenaline rush of watching your favourite team and cheering yourself hoarse to try and will them to victory. All those things are enough reason to love going to MLB games, but of course, there’s more out there that can enhance the experience for you as a fan. That is where MLB merchandise comes in.

MLB merchandise’s sole purpose is to enhance the fan’s feeling of connection with the game, most especially their favourite team. Good thing there’s a place online, like diehardfans.com that can provide you with accessories, gift items, and even jewelry, that is dedicated to MLB.

MLB Accessories

What makes MLB accessories fun for people? For one, it makes fans feel like part of a group, a community. It gives them a sense of camaraderie when they are together with fellow fans. And nothing makes a fan happier than displaying their team allegiances for everyone to see. Fortunately, you can get a whole range of MLB accessories from the site.

Here are a few samples:

You can add a dash of team spirit when you come to the office wearing a tie that features your favourite club. Why not drive down to the office wearing officially licensed team sunglasses with matching soft carry case? If you’re more on the techie side, there are even team color-coordinated iPod and mobile phone protectors available. And for the ladies, there are nice little velvet pouches with team logos where you can organize and carry all your girly stuff, and then safely tuck it into your bag.

To complete your ensemble, there are all sorts of cool MLB accessories such as belt buckles, key chains, lighters, and even stationery such as pads and penholders. Not only will you be getting quality accessories, you’ll be showing everyone just how much you love the game and your team.

MLB gifts

MLB related items are great as gifts too. For a Die Hard Fan, nothing beats getting MLB gifts, no matter what the occasion is. Imagine this, a team themed holiday tree, with MLB game related presents!

For the kids, there is back-to-school gifts such as lunch boxes with their favourite ball club or favourite player displayed up front. For the MLB fan with a flair for interior decorating, there are some nice decorative items available such as 3D tabletop ornaments of team logos, bobble-head dolls of your favourite players, and even some nice and sparkling fiber-optic laser ornaments. And of course, for the MLB fan who loves collecting memorabilia and collectibles, there are a host of choices that will make you salivate with glee. You can have everything you can possibly think of, from mini replica helmets to trinket boxes with logos. For more serious collectors who would like to invest in high value memorabilia, there’s a fine collection of minted items such as commemorative coins, championship coins, and photo mints of your favourite players. These last items come in limited editions that will surely be more valuable after a few years.

MLB jewelry

If all that is not enough, then maybe you’d like to take a gander at the available jewelry – yes there is a jewelry section on the site and it offers a rich assortment of items that can be used to accent most anything you can find in your wardrobe. You’ll be surprised to find our MLB jewelry encompasses toe rings, bracelets, necklaces, and even classy leather and silver watches for both men and women.

If you want to impress your girl, who you know is also an avid MLB fan, a pair of earrings that bears her favorite team’s logo is sure to impress. You can even tell her that in fact, the pair you gave is made from authentic jewelry grade silver (in some cases at least). Or better yet, get a complete set - everything from toe ring, bracelet, necklace, and watch to complete her team look when you go to that next game you have planned for the weekend. There’s also a great selection of watches for the guys, in almost all styles imaginable.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Who Are These Guys and What Have You Done with My Chicago Cubs?

by MGb Chicago

When evaluating the Cubs lineup this year, one has to start with this one inescapable fact—every move that Jim Hendry made from last October until this April was pretty much a complete disaster. From the lefty obsession to the dismantling of the bullpen, Jimmy did not do well.

As much as we’d like to believe that Milton Bradley is the answer it’s just not the case.

Yes he is a switch hitter, and yes he did lead the league in OBP and OPS and POU (Pissed Off Umpires) last year, and yes he’s a hot head, but not one single analyst in the offseason could get past all that to get to one simple fact—he played 20 games in right field last year. 20. Because he was injury prone.

The only reason he hasn’t been on the DL this season is presumably so that Jim Hendry does not have to acknowledge the extremely large mistake he made in signing a guy to play 70 games for 10,000,000 dollars.

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MLB: Chicago Cubs 4, Milwaukee 2

Alfonso Soriano's two-run third-inning homer Sunday keyed a 4-2 win by the Chicago Cubs over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The victory helped Chicago avert a three-game sweep at Milwaukee's Miller Field.

The Cubs scored all of their runs in the third, with Milton Bradley hitting an RBI single and one run scoring on Jason Kendall's two-out throwing error.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chicago Cubs Should Keep Milton Bradley On Short Leash

by Tyler Franz

The Chicago Cubs knew exactly what they were getting into when they signed OF Milton Bradley to a three-year deal: The arguments with umpires, countless injuries, and absolute quotable gems that Bradley gives out like food stamps to the media.

For the Cubs, Bradley's performance on the field was enough to cause them to overlook these less-than-favorable characteristics, but the time is coming (if it hasn't already) when Bradley will inevitably cross the line.

Thus far, Bradley has had two injury stints, an ejection, and has rapidly developed an extremely negative relationship with the Chicago media. Recently, there have been reports that Bradley is a negative influence in the clubhouse (shocker). In other news, he is also batting .042 with one RBI and .281 OBP.

As a Cubs fan, I was gung-ho about signing Bradley and truly wanted to believe that the old Bradley was gone and that he had changed. Even after his ejection, I was quick to praise Bradley for his competitive fire and genuine desire to win.

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Milton Bradley a hit in return to Chicago Cubs' lineup

By Paul Sullivan

The day before the season began in Houston, coming off a red hot spring, Milton Bradley said he was ready to show Cubs fans what he was all about.

"Hopefully they can realize the kind of player I am, and realize I'm worth every penny I'm making," he said.

Nearly one month later, Bradley now is hoping first impressions aren't lasting.

The $30 million outfielder returned again from his lingering groin injury Tuesday night at Chase Field, trying to prove his first month as a Cub was just a mirage.

Bradley had a promising return, going 2-for-4 in the Cubs 11-3 victory over Arizona.

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Chicago Cubs' Inconsistency Is Leading to a Dissapointing Season

by Joe Willett

The Chicago Cubs came into this season with the expectation of at least contending for a World Series title.

However, they have struggled mightily this season, and they have been unable to live up to the high expectations that accompanied a seemingly unstoppable pitching rotation and batting order.

As of late, the Cubs have been even worse, as they have gone 3-5 in the month of May. What the problem has been for the Cubs is an inability to be consistently strong.

When they have great offensive days, they have been accompanied with great pitching days, and bad offensive days have been accompanied with dismal pitching.

In the Cubs' three wins this month, they have scored seven, 10, and 11 runs in each game, but in their five losses, they scored zero, one, three, two, and two runs. Compare that to the two, three, and three runs allowed in the three wins, and the three, seven, four, eight, and seven runs in the losses.

The Cubs need to be able to put together more wins, and that starts with both sides of the ball being held responsible when both sides are dismal in the same game.

One of the main reasons for the Cubs' woes so far this season is the awful offensive production by players who were looked at as people who needed to contribute for the Cubs to be strong.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cubs give more than $1 million in grants

By Carrie Muskat

CHICAGO -- The Cubs and the McCormick Foundation on Tuesday announced $1.06 million in grants through Cubs Care, a fund of the McCormick Foundation, to non-profit organizations serving the Chicago area.

Since 1991, the team has distributed more than $14 million to Chicago non-profit organizations. Cubs pitcher Sean Marshall helped present the grants at Tuesday's luncheon to representatives of non-profit organizations which aid children with special needs, provide youth sports programs, assist victims of domestic violence and serve the Lake View community.

"We are so proud of these 41 agencies and the tremendous work they do to help those in need in our community," said Mike Lufrano, Cubs senior vice president of community affairs. "Today's grants highlight the Cubs' ongoing partnership with organizations making a difference in the lives of people throughout Chicago."

Lufrano noted that in its first year, Cubs Care donated $65,000 but has been able to distribute more than $1 million each of the past four years.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Obama disses Cubs

Gromer Jeffers

I realize that Barack Obama is a White Sox fan. It happens when you move to Chicago's South Side and start a political career.

But is it right for President Obama to use his office to promote the White Sox, Chicago's least favorite professional sports franchise, by allowing members of the team to visit the White House?

The trip is set for today, when the team should be preparing for an upcoming series with Baltimore.

I hope Obama remembers the challenge I made to him after an interview last year.

I asked him if he would invite the Cubs to the White House, when they won the World Series.

He responded that he would be long gone from the White House by the time the Cubs won it all.

We'll see, Sox fan.

Source: dallasnews.com

What we know about Chicago Cubs after 11 games

Bullpen starting to take shape; Lee, Fukudome making strides at the plate

By Dave van Dyck

After the first two weeks of the season—11 games for the Cubs—what do we know about the two-time defending Central Division champions as they prepare to play host to Dusty Baker's Cincinnati Reds?

"It's going to take us a little longer [to know]," manager Lou Piniella said. "I've got 40 percent turnover on this team. That's a lot."

Technically, Piniella is correct, but most of his core lineup and starting rotation is the same as last summer.

So to help Piniella, here's what we know so far:

The bullpen ... is not nearly as jumbled as many believe and is sorting itself out quickly, with Aaron Heilman the bridge to Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg.

But the future of David Patton is in doubt and the annual problem with left-handers is surfacing early.

Like Will Ohman two years ago and Scott Eyre a year ago—both gone at season's end—Neal Cotts is quickly working his way into the manager's doghouse.

Piniella does like lefty Sean Marshall, who is in the rotation—for now. But with Jeff Samardzija starting and doing well in Iowa, could he be promoted and Marshall returned to his bullpen role that Piniella favored last year?

Milton Bradley is ... well, what is he?

Is he a question mark because of the small sampling? Or just what was expected, given his tight lower body and history of leg problems?

Forget about the infamous temper, Bradley's physical status could become an on-going saga.

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Chicago Cubs have decisions to make regarding Jeff Samardzija, Milton Bradley and Jake Fox

By Paul Sullivan
Jeff Samardzija

Samardzija pitched six one-hit innings on Saturday, and appears to be back to the old Samardzija after a rough spring in Arizona. If Neal Cotts continues to struggle, the Cubs could bring up Samardzija as a starter and make Sean Marshall the left-hander in the bullpen, though nothing appears imminent.

"Jeff is stretching out fine and working on his other pitches," Hendry said. "That was really encouraging. You can always go from starting back to the pen. We’re just going to try and keep him really tuned up and get him a little better, and whenever we need him, in whichever role we need, we’ll get him up here."

Marshall has made only one start and hasn’t gotten a chance to prove himself as a starter. But the Cubs know Marshall will do whatever’s best for the team, even if it means going back to the bullpen for a while. It’s all up to Cotts at this point. He’s looked nervous on the mound ever since manager Lou Piniella sent Larry Rothschild out to yank him in Milwaukee, claiming he wanted to “change the karma.”

Milton Bradley

While Bradley awaits word from Major League Baseball on when he’ll get his hearing on his two-day suspension for making contact with umpire Larry Vanover, the Cubs are being extra cautious with his groin injury.

Recall that this originally was termed a "mild" strain that would force Bradley out for only 3-5 days. It’s already eight days, and counting, though Bradley may play on Tuesday night against Cincinnati.

"He’s a well built guy and has an extremely muscular lower half," Hendry said. "He’s susceptible to some tweaks and pulls. I think he’s OK. We’re being real cautious. I’m sure if it were late in the year he could’ve played this week. I’m certainly counting on him hitting in that four-hole most of the year."

Hendry also is unconcerned about Bradley’s slow start, and his infamous temper that was on display last Thursday.

"Nobody knows what people are like unless you actually play with him or work with him," he said. "And all those people involved are certainly glad he’s here."

Jake Fox

The converted catcher already is hitting .478 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs at Triple-A Iowa while playing first base and right field. The Cubs haven’t used fifth outfielder Joey Gathright much in the early going, but Gathright doesn’t seem to be in danger of being sent down to make better use of Fox’s hot bat.

Sooner or later though, Fox will get a chance with the Cubs if he continues to hit like this.

"Jake is swinging the bat well, which he could always do," Hendry said. "We knew all along we’re not going to win with the 25 (players) we have now. It’s going to take a collective effort.

"At least four or five other pitchers will be here during the year, and I’m sure it’ll be the same for (position) players. You just try to keep the guys as sharp as you can, and when we need somebody, we know who to get."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cubs/Cardinals Game Postponed

The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field has been postponed due to the forecast for inclement weather throughout the evening.

The game has been rescheduled for Sunday, July 12 at 12:05 p.m. as part of a day-night, separate admission doubleheader. The regularly scheduled game will follow at 7:05 p.m.

Fans are encouraged to retain their tickets from tonight’s game until further information is available regarding ticket policies for the make-up game.

Information regarding ticket policies for the make-up game will be posted on www.cubs.com as soon as it is available.

Source: vivaelbirdos.com

It's a great time to be a Chicago sports fan

by Dan McGrath

The Blackhawks and Bulls are back at it in the playoffs Monday night, the Hawks in Calgary, the Bulls in Boston.

The Cubs are off Monday, resting up for a Tuesday night reunion with Dusty Baker, after Sunday's series finale with St. Louis was washed out.

The White Sox, after flexing their muscles against Tampa Bay, are in Washington to visit the new home of an old friend.

The trip to the White House residence of First Sox Fan Barack Obama is unrelated to the small piece of history the team helped make Saturday. That history might be insignificant in the big picture, but it sure provided a feel-good moment for world-weary Chicago sports fans.

In order, the Bulls, Cubs, White Sox and Blackhawks won their Saturday games, the Bulls and Hawks in the playoffs, the Cubs and Sox over significant rivals, ancient and recent.

A lot of Chicago fans grow up believing they'll never see such a day in their lifetimes, even though it's not nearly as unusual as, say, a Chicagoan getting elected to the White House.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

14-pitch at-bat flustered Chicago Cubs' Rich Harden

Starter lost concentration after striking out first 4

Rich Harden started out like he was going to match Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game in 1998, fanning the first four Colorado batters.

But Harden struggled with his control in the second inning Wednesday, falling behind hitters and running up his pitch count.

Manager Lou Piniella didn't seem to blame Harden for the outing, which was his first loss in Wrigley Field.

"It was a cold, blustery day," Piniella said. "His stuff was good. The results weren't."

Harden had eight strikeouts in only three innings but wasn't sharp otherwise. A 14-pitch at-bat by Garrett Atkins in the second, when Atkins fouled off eight straight before striking out, was the start of the downfall.

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Cubs find a warm embrace in the Friendly Confines

On a cold, wet opening day at Wrigley, the faithful show up early to drink and will their team to succeed. 'This just might be the year' is said without a trace of humor

by Chris Erskine

There's a lot to like about this year's version of the Chicago Cubs, last spotted curdling like milk against the looser, more-confident Dodgers (last fall). To counter right-handed pitching, the Cubs have added the leftist Milton Bradley, a stabilizing influence to any organization.

Of course, here at Guthries Tavern in Chicago's Wrigleyville, they've got a pool going on who will throw the first dugout punch -- Carlos Zambrano or Bradley. The smart money is on Uncle Milty. Stay tuned. Footage at 11.

Meanwhile, they are having a certain amount of buyer's remorse over this 2016 Olympics, which they stole fair and square from L.A. two years ago. The conventional wisdom seems to be that only Mayor Daley and his cronies will benefit from acquiring the summer event from international rivals.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chicago Cubs relievers learning Lou Piniella life lessons

Basically, throw strikes or face his wrath

By Paul Sullivan

When the season began in Houston, Lou Piniella repeatedly said it will take some time to learn his bullpen and how he will use it this season.

Carlos Marmol is the only reliever who was with the team at this time last year. Neal Cotts became a mainstay by mid-summer, and Angel Guzman returned from the minors in September.

Kevin Gregg, Aaron Heilman, Luis Vizcaino and David Patton are all newcomers with diverse résumés, though all but Patton—a Rule 5 pickup—are veterans.

While Piniella is learning his relievers, his relievers are busy learning him.

Just seven games into the season, they already have learned he likes to walk backward to the mound, rants at his pitching coach in the dugout, drops more profanities than Eminem, believes in karma, doesn't always remember your name and doesn't shave every day.

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Jackson Ready for Challenge

By Steve Holley

Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Jay Jackson knows that pitching in Double-A will be a challenge. As if he needed proof, Jackson learned that lesson on Sunday when the Jacksonville Suns struck for six runs and seven hits in four innings in his first start for the Tennessee Smokies.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Memories all fond for Garciaparra

Nomar Garciaparra and Orlando Cabrera, forever linked in Red Sox history, finally met as teammates this winter. Both of them wearing Oakland A's uniforms in spring training, Garciaparra approached Cabrera. "It's about time we get to play together," he told him.

Garciaparra left Boston, of course, when the Red Sox landed Cabrera in the trade that sent Garciaparra to the Chicago Cubs and out of Boston for the first time in his career. It has been 4 1/2 years since Garciaparra played for the Sox. He played against them for the first time last night, batting fifth against the team that drafted him and with which he became one of baseball's best players.

Garciaparra went 1 for 4 with a solo home run to left off Jon Lester in the fifth inning, his first homer of the season. Jason Varitek reported that Garciaparra "said it was weird," to be facing the Red Sox.

Garciaparra signed a one-year contract with Oakland in early March, ending his three-season tenure with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He said if his career continues, he would welcome playing for Boston again.

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Completion of Cubs sale could drag on past May

By Ben Klayman

CHICAGO, April 13 (Reuters) - The sale of the Chicago Cubs baseball team could drag on past May as the Ricketts family arranges financing for its $900 million bid and works for Major League Baseball's approval.

Officials with Tribune Co, which is selling the team, its storied home park of Wrigley Field and a 25 percent stake in a local sports TV network, had originally hoped to have the deal done in May.

"They are being optimistic, frankly, despite good intentions all the way around," said a person with knowledge of the sale who was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney declined to speculate on when a sale might be completed. The Cubs were scheduled to play their first home game on Monday against the Colorado Rockies.

But others were more optimistic about the timetable.

"I still think we're going to get it done in May. I don't see why we're not," said a second source familiar with the sales process who asked not to be identified.

Tom Ricketts, the Chicago-based chief executive of Incapital LLC and the son of the founder of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp (AMTD.O: Quote, Profile, Research), is leading his family's bid for the Cubs.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Chicago Cubs look forward to ownership change

Cubs excited as new family ownership poised to take over

By Paul Sullivan

The Cubs begin a new era in 2009, reverting to being a family-owned ballclub for the first time since Tribune Co. purchased the team for $20.5 million in 1981.

The deal to sell to the Ricketts family is not expected to be finalized for a month or so, but players and management are already looking forward to the change.

"I'm excited, once it goes through," Ryan Dempster said. "I think it'll be pretty nice to shake someone's hand and know who your boss is."

The Cubs have yet to meet the new boss, but many of them are hoping he'll be the same as the old boss, at least when it comes to spending money.

"I'd like to see what kind of plans they have, but I'm pretty sure they'll be good," Aramis Ramirez said. "They're Cubs fans, and they know we've got a good team. Everything they do is going to be for the team."

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Chicago Cubs release pitcher Chad Gaudin

When the Cubs decided to tender Chad Gaudin a contract in December, they did so with the idea that he could easily be traded if he didn't make the roster.

But an ugly 10.26 ERA this spring ruined any chance of that, and general manager Jim Hendry bit the bullet Sunday and released the veteran in favor of keeping Rule 5 pick David Patton.

Angel Guzman also made the final cut. Jeff Samardzija and Chad Fox were optioned to Triple-A Iowa. All are right-handers.

Hendry ultimately decided that eating $1.6 million of Gaudin's $2 million contract was preferable to watching him drive manager Lou Piniella crazy with inconsistency.

"Truthfully, Gaudin didn't pitch well," Hendry said. "I think we did the right thing. The facts of the matter are the other guys just outpitched him."

Patton, 24, was low-key about the news, though he was bursting with pride inside. "This is what you devote all your time to and what I've wanted since I was a little kid," he said. "I'm excited about this, but this is just the beginning. I want to do something special."

Hendry credited the Cubs' scouts for noticing a prospect who had been overlooked in the Colorado organization.

"I applaud our scouts that stuck their necks out on a kid that was in A ball in the Cal League," Hendry said. "It was a long shot when he got here, and the kid deserves all the credit in the world for pitching himself [onto the roster]."

Zambrano backtracks: Carlos Zambrano denied saying he wished Chicago would build the Cubs a new ballpark, as he was quoted Saturday by the Associated Press. Many fans were livid over the comment, but Zambrano said they shouldn't be upset with him.

"Why? They don't have to be mad," he said. "I didn't say they have to build a new stadium. If the Cubs do, we will be much better and more comfortable as a player.

"It's my opinion, and sometimes when fans say something about a player, you have to respect it. But I didn't say we should move. I love Wrigley Field. Don't get me wrong. It's a nice ballpark, but if the Cubs think sometime, 10 or 20 years from now, if they think about [building] a new ballpark, it should be good."

The quote: Milton Bradley on his first Opening Day, with Montreal at Wrigley Field: "It was like 25 degrees and freezing, but guys had on no shirts and were talking about my mom. They were telling me I was going to be back at [Triple-A] Ottawa in a couple of weeks, and they weren't too far off. I let it get to me, but I know now it's going to be a different experience, being a Cub."

Extra innings: Samardzija will begin in Iowa's bullpen to stretch out and will go into the rotation after an outing or two. ... The Cubs are 73-58-2 all time on Opening Day.

Source: chicagotribune.com

Baseball enters 2009 with an eye on the economy

Phillies one of the few clubs to see a rise in season tickets

When the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies opened their title defence against the Atlanta Braves Sunday night, it marked the opening of a season fraught with uncertainty for the sport.

While the New York Yankees have been acting as though there is no economic downturn by spending $423.5 million US on free-agent signings while also opening a new $1-billion ballpark, the rest of baseball is simply hoping to get through the 2009 season relatively unscathed.

Teams have started to realize their financial situations need to be consistently monitored as the season progresses.

"The decisions that I would have made — or that we as an organization would have made — in October were different from the ones we would have made in November, and those were clearly different from the ones we would have made in January," Paul Beeston, the interim president of the Toronto Blue Jays, told the National Post on the weekend.

"It [the economy] just kept getting worse and worse. And not only didn't we hit the bottom, we didn't see the bottom," he said.

With the San Diego Padres leading the way by slashing about $40 million US from last year's payroll, 13 teams are coming into this year spending less, including Toronto.

Team Marketing Report — a leading on-line marketing service — released its annual survey of baseball on Thursday and listed the average price of a Yankees home ticket at a major league-high $72.97 US, a 76.3 per cent increase from last year's $41.40.

The major-league average is listed as $26.64, with Arizona possessing the league-low of $14.31.

Yankee Stadium not sold out

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