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It could be a crazy day today for the Cubs, who head to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals. Ryan Dempster is *scheduled* to start tonight …

  • The Cubs are now the best team in baseball since June 25, going 14 and 5. No, that doesn’t make them buyers, or even change the plan to be sellers, but it’s been nice to see some fight. A big part of that stretch has been yesterday’s winner, Paul Maholm, who’s now got a 0.89 ERA in his last five appearances (four starts), allowing just 29 base runners and posting a 5.00 K/BB ratio over those 30.1 innings. Seemingly the only pitcher in baseball who’s been better of his last four starts is Ryan Dempster.
  • Jeff Baker on the Cubs’ hot streak: “What are we in the Wild Card? Eleven, twelve [games out]? I’m not saying we’re going to win a wild card, but we’re playing better baseball. Obviously there are (trade) rumors and whatnot. We joke around in here we’re going to start adding pieces.” The Cubs are 12 back in the Wild Card, to the extent you started getting hopeful.
  • If you want a great write-up on Ron Santo, as we get ready to see him finally inducted into the Hall of Fame, Melissa Isaacson offers it. Here’s a rundown of the weekend activities, thanks to Carrie Muskat.
  • Chris Jaffe at the Hardball Times looks at some of Ron Santo’s career highlights.
  • Ozzie Guillen believes in what Theo Epstein is doing with the Cubs, and believes Epstein will be successful. You can exhale now.
  • A fluff piece on Jorge Soler and Albert Almora that is absolutely worth reading, even if only for the quotes. The duo are getting along well, and could work their way up the system on similar tracks.
  • The grounds crew has started tearing up Wrigley Field (literally, in some places – they just dug up the pitcher’s mound, for example) in preparation for Sunday’s international soccer friendly. Hopefully it goes well. Interesting side note in that article? The two Paul McCartney concerts at Wrigley last year generated more than $660,000 in amusement taxes for the local governments. That’s to say nothing of the travel-related economic impact.
  • BN’er Nick Kappel offers a great write-up on top prospect Javier Baez, who’s already looking forward to making it to Wrigley Field (wherever he has to play).
  • In case you missed the absurd flurry of news and rumors last evening, here’s a five second rundown with links: Casey Coleman was scratched from his Iowa start so he could be in St. Louis today in case Justin Germano, whom the Cubs acquired from the Red Sox for cash, can’t be in St. Louis by today (in case Ryan Dempster is traded). The Cubs signed 22-year-old Dominican pitcher Juan Carlos Paniagua for $1.5 million (a huge amount under the new CBA). And there were a whole mess of new rumors in the Lukewarm Stove, including stuff on Geovany Soto, Bryan LaHair, Matt Garza, Paul Maholm, and Alfonso Soriano (and more).
  • The MLBullets at BCB take a look at the Stephen Strasburg shut down plan.
  • Thoughts go out to the families out in Aurora. Sometimes we receive reminders that sports are just that, and we need to hug our loved ones a little more closely.

 

  • hansman1982

    “That’s to say nothing of the travel-related economic impact. ”

    Nope, Brett, these concerts only attracted people from Chicago or who were going to spend their money in Chicago anyway.

    Thoughts and prayers do go out to the folks in Colorado.

    • Cubbie Blues

      ::add-on snark pre-edited::

    • chrisMehica

      not true; I am going to Bruce in Sept. driving 400 miles and staying the weekend; all “new” money to the Cubs and the Chicago area.

      • Cubbie Blues

        He was using sarcasm.

      • hansman1982

        but if Bruce wasn’t coming to Wrigley you would have made a trip to Chicago anyway, or he would have played elsewhere in Chicago…Wrigley had 0 bearing on your trip.

        Plus, there are only 4 people that are doing that, the City will get all of $.13 from your trip and, anyway, noone goes to Wrigley because it’s Wrigley and certainly noone would go to Wrigley after it’s rennovated more than before.

        ::add-on snark was NOT pre-edited::

        • Cubbie Blues

          Your right, I know I never travel 4 hours one-way only to spend the weekend in Chicago to watch a Cubs play. Never mind the rest of my family (wife and 3 kids) that tag along (man I wish I could go just once without them). I definitely don’t do this every year and absolutely never more than once a year (because I didn’t go in the first place).

          • Cubbie Blues

            Really miss that edit button on typos. Brett are you going to get on that? :P

            • hansman1982

              Yes Brett, this is the most important thing facing the entirety of Cubdom these days!!!

        • DaveS

          The point is that Bruce picked Wrigley. He could have picked other venue in Chicago, but chose Wrigley.

          • Pat

            The promoters pick the venues, not the artist. Except in extremely rare circumstances.

        • Pat

          Are you saying he wouldn’t have played elsewhere in Chicago if not Wrigley? You do realize he’s played Chicago on every national tour right?

          In this particular case, Tommy and co. will make more money off this than any other single entity, including the city of Chicago. So maybe they can afford to pay their own remodeling bills.

          • Cubbie Blues

            “Tommy and co. will make more money off this than any other single entity, including the city of Chicago.” As well they should, but the City is also making it’s share as well.

            • Pat

              Every business in the city contributes. The rest of them don’t seem to think the city should pay for their remodeling expenses though.

              • hansman1982

                response edited to nothing – not worth a second round.

    • cubzforlife

      You are wrong on who spent on what as far as the Mccartney concert Hansman. I attended the concert and would not of spent that money in the city. My co workers from Lake Zurich NEVER come to the city and there were 18 that attended. Small sample but I would guess a third? live outside of Chicago and would not of spent a dime in Chicago if not for that concert.

  • Andy

    I work about 5 miles from the Auoroa movie theater. Definitely a crazy day with local TV and radio stations.

  • Cubbie Blues

    Thank goodness Ozzie is on board with Epstein. I have been waiting since November to hear his take on it. Now that we have that out of the way let’s start buying.

  • elephanthole

    I was at the Cubs game Thursday wearing my Tennessee Smokies shirt and a guy said “nice shirt”. Then he said he was the assistant GM of the Smokies. I thought that was so cool. He said Bob Brenly came down to watch his son play and also went fishing but before they got going the boat took in water and sank. Very funny.

  • AB

    Ian Stewart is twittering too much again.

    • DRock

      Seriously! I am about to unfollow him.

      • AB

        I like Stewart and I know he’s gotten a ton of undeserved crap from people, but I just thought if was kind of wierd/unprofessional for him to even reply to a question like that mid-season, when the Cubs will likely be rehabbing him through the rest of the year.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Reply to what? Inquisitive minds want to know.

          • AB

            he repled ‘probably not’ some lady asked him if he was going to come back next year because she was sick of Valueba .

        • The Man. The Legend. The RBI King: Hack Wilson

          undeserved crap? he sucks. well deserved. good luck next year on some other team ian. (how do you twitter with a surgically repaired wrist-no wonder the thing did not heal).

          • AB

            Ian Stewart: hitting
            The Man. The Legend. The RbI king: HackWilson: thoughts on baseball

  • http://www.dccoffeeproducts.com John

    Brenly and Kasper joked about the boat sinking- calling one of the guy Gilligan and the other Skipper- on the broadcast when Bob got back. Bob still sounded as if he was still getting the biggest kick out of their misfortune….

  • Steve

    I understand flights get delayed for an hour or so sometimes…but how long could it possibly take for Germano to get there? Hell, this was done last night. Is he is Australia ?

    • Cubbie Blues

      The deal also has to be approved by MLB.

      • hansman1982

        and it depends on where the AAA team is playing. If it is hole-in-the-wall enough you may have to take several connecting flights that may not end up in STL until late evening.

  • Steve

    Now i know how my 7 yar old twins feel when we’re on a road trip.

    Are we there yet?

    Are we there yet??

    Do we have a trade yet??

    Do we have a trade yet??

  • Curt

    def praying for the dead and the living in aurora very sad puts sports in perspective

  • Mick

    I say we call the Dodgers bluff on this trade proposal unless they up the offer to include Chris Reed. I keep reading that the Dodgers won’t trade top prospects for a “2-month rental.” Is that anyway to treat Demp, calling him a 2-month rental? Might as well call him a red-headed step-child. Ted Lilly (whose real name by the way is Theodore Roosevelt Lilly) was a 2-month rental for the Dodgers and look how that turned out.

    The Dodgers are 2 games behind the Pirates and Braves in the WC and 2.5 games behind the Giants in their own division. Dempster’s the best pitcher in the game right now and has at least 11 more starts during the regular season. Is Chris Reed worth the lost revenue that could come from a playoff or World Series run? What’s BS and favors the Dodgers is that the Cubs next 3 series are against St. Louis and Pittsburgh. From the Dodgers’ perspective, what’s the rush to trade for Demp when he’s going up against their WC competitors?

  • http://BeacherNation TobaccopouchinIvy

    Feeling the Dodgers or Cardinals will geterdone for Theo/Jed’s price. Pittsburgh might surprise.

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