Franklin Morales stepped in for the injured Josh Beckett and allowed just two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts to lift the Boston Red Sox to win 7-4 over the Chicago Cubs yesterday at Wrigley Field. Outfielder Ryan Kalish also delivered for Boston, driving in the go-ahead run with a single to center to spark a three-run seventh inning. The 24-year old was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket before the game after Ryan Sweeney went on the disabled list. (more)
Boston’s Theo Epstein era has officially come to an end. Four months to the day a trade was announced for Red Sox’s GM to become the Chicago Cubs’ president of baseball operations, a resolution has been made. (more)
Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer just recently announced Dale Sveum as the organization’s next manager. The official introduction will take place Friday morning at Wrigley Field. Sveum, the former Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach, will receive a three-year deal from the Cubs. (more)
2x All-Star first baseman Derrek Lee is set to join the Atlanta Braves lineup after the Chicago Cubs struck a deal to land three minor league pitchers with hopes to build for the future. The young talent consists of right-handers Robinson Lopez, 19, and Tyrelle Harris, 23, and lefty Jeffrey Lorick, 22. The Cubs are currently five games out of the AL Central behind the Minnesota Twins.
Lee, a 13-year veteran will look to contribute immediately in Atlanta to help the organization remain atop the NL East Division with post-season play just around the corner. Dealing for the 34-year old allows Troy Glaus to re-locate to third base as Chipper Jones remains sidelined with a torn ACL.
“It doesn’t get any better,” said Jones when asked about Lee joining the club. “Outstanding character guy. Outstanding player. Defensively at first base, he’s top-notch. And he gives us another right-handed presence in the middle of our lineup.” Lee has earned a .251 batting average with 16 home runs and 56 RBI’s so far this season. His travels will be easier than expected as the Cubs are next set to host the Braves at Wrigley for three games starting Friday, August 20th.
For the first time in their twenty years of touring, Dave Matthews Band has announced that they will take a year off from touring in 2011. The band is known for their annual summer-long tours across the US and Europe, featuring lengthy improvisational renditions of their songs. 1991 was the last year that the band was not on tour. Needless to say, there has never been a better time to see Dave Matthews Band than before their year-long hiatus.
Dave Matthews Band has been on tour promoting their latest platinum album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King (2009). With only thirty dates left of their 2010 summer tour and four of the shows already sold out, the band decided to close their summer tour with a grand finale: two concerts at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Dave Matthews Band will perform back-to-back concerts on Friday September 17 and Saturday the 18 at the historical ballpark that the Chicago Cubs have called home for 95 years. Jason Mraz will perform in support of both Chicago shows.
About this summer’s tour, Matthews has said, “”I’m really excited about playing this year and not having a real plan other than trying to make the most of it and hopefully bring the best we can to the stage.” As for the decision to take 2011 off the road, Matthews said he’s pondered the idea throughout the past 20 years, but it never seemed like the right time. “Right now,” he said, “I think the band, in our relationships with each other and with the music, we’re in the best place I can remember us being. For that reason I thought I’d take a year off to sort of recharge my creative juices.” (more)
Chicago Cubs fans were able to cheer this afternoon in light of Andre Dawson finally earning his way into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. 77 percent of the Baseball Writers of America voted him on, leading him past the minimum qualifications by just two percent. “It was well worth the wait. I can’t really describe the elation,” said Dawson. “If you’re a Hall of Famer, eventually you’re going to get in, no matter how long it takes.”
Dawson will join former manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey in this year’s ceremonies. Pitcher Bert Blyleven and Robbie Alomar missed by a few votes each. The Hall of Fame will later decide whether Dawson’s plaque should have him represent the Cubs or Expos.
In other MLB news, Randy Johnson officially announced his retirement after 22 thrilling and memorable years of baseball. The future Hall of Famer will certainly go down as one of the greatest left-handed pitchers to ever play the game. Over the course of his career he racked up a total of 4,875 strikeouts, ranking him second all-time behind Nolan Ryan. The Big Unit will be eligible for the Hall in 2015.
The final day before the trading deadline was an eventful one. Though no top-level players changed hands, a good deal of players will be donning new uniforms the next time they take the field. The Los Angeles Dodgers traded Josh Bell and Steve Johnson for Baltimore closer George Sherrill. The Pirates traded John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny to the Cubs for Kevin Hart, Josh Harrison, and Jose Ascanio. The Royals only needed to send cash considerations to the Tigers to obtain Josh Anderson.
Deals to look out for tomorrow: Roy Halladay talks are “dead” according to J.P. Ricciardi, though the team is open to discussing deals tomorrow. The Rangers, Angels, and Red Sox are still in the hunt. Padres closer Heath Bell may be on the move as well. The Marlins are reportedly interested, but are unwilling to part with the players San Diego wants. Bell’s teammate Adrian Gonzalez is also said to be the subject of heated talks between the Padres and Sox, but no deal is iminent.
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Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano will remain in the leadoff spot this season. Arriving in camp in better shape than usual, Soriano will be the anchor of virutally the same lineup as last year. The question mark forLou Piniella’s offense is who will be backing up the infield. “There are going to be times when he’s not in the lineup, so basically we have to figure out who is going to be that guy, and how you do it is play around with it in Spring Training” Piniella told MLB.com after Friday’s workout. Micah Hoffpauir could be one left-handed option off of the bench.
Carlos Zambrano will not be representing Venezuale in the World Baseball Classic this Spring. After suffering through intermittent shoulder problems in 2008, Big Z has decided against taking a chance playing earlier than usual.
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