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Cubs Fans Buy Souvenirs As Series Continues

 

According to Dave Kaplan, we can expect the sale of the Cubs to be completed this week.

The long awaited sale of the Chicago Cubs should finally be signed this week between the Tribune Company and the Ricketts family. The process has been ongoing since April of 2007 but now it is finally about to be completed. 

Excellent sources have assured me that there are no more hurdles to clear and the paperwork will be signed by Friday. It will then move on to an MLB ownership committee then a stop in front of the bankruptcy judge and finally it will need approval of the other owners in Major League Baseball. All of this should be wrapped up by the World Series or shortly thereafter and it should pave the way for Tom Ricketts and his family to finally have the keys to the Cubs kingdom.

Since I'm pretty sure Dave said the same thing about 8 weeks ago, I'm not overly-optimistic about this gettting down. However, this gives us the chance to have some fun here in the Dog Days of August with our favorite team, currently FIVE (GAH!) games out of 1st.

You are Tom Ricketts. Tomorrow morning, Trib Co hands you the keys to Wrigley and the Cubs credit card. What are the first three things you do to turn this club around?

And remember, we have to have something to talk about until 9:00 pm tonight, so make your answers either really good or really provocative.

Go. 

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97 Comments

flyball said:

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first thing, cap all future salaries and contracts
second, rip down the precast concrete panels on Addison

JulieDiCaro said:

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how did i know those precast panels would come up with you?

flyball said:

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I heart concrete

I detest those things

JulieDiCaro said:

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Caribou is crazy busy for mid-day on a Monday. What's up with that?

Doc said:

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I wish I had some smart-ass thing to say about that...

but I don't.

I suck.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I feel like the first thing I would do is try to get someone to take Soriano's contract while he still has ANY value at all. God, there are few things in life I hate more than that contract.

Then I'd try to get a decent second baseman.

Then I'd start looking into renovating Wrigley.

flyball said:

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remove the "looking into" part and I'm on board with everything you said

JulieDiCaro said:

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I guess this brings up the biggest issue: are we going to have any money?

it's one thing to have a giant corporation that can spend $140 million on payroll every year, but what is our payroll going to be after Ricketts takes over?

that's why i said "start looking into" renovating wrigley. i have no idea if that will even be feasible in the future.

now THAT, i would buy a brick for.

Doc said:

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If you burn down wrigley field...

He would have a lot of insurance money that he could spend on new players.

Then just get the city to build a new ballpark.

flyball said:

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the city wouldn't, because new Wrigley would be in Rolling Meadows

Doc said:

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Fine...let Rolling Meadows pay for the new stadium...I was thinking more along the area of Arlington Heights/Palatine by the race track...but it's all the same area. All works for me.

flyball said:

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The Chicago Cubs of Somewhere Off 53

Doc said:

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no...

The Somewhere Off 53 Cubs. We are not pulling any of the crap like the Angels' name.

It has a nice ring to it. Just keep them out of Schaumburg.

flyball said:

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shoulda moved there years ago, I would have taken the late lunch period added a study hall and gone to the games in high school

Doc said:

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In '83 or '84 they were seriously considering moving out to where the WGN transmitter is off of 290. Not sure if I would have liked that, but it probably would be better than Wrigley. It was actually quite amazing they didn't build a new stadium at that time considering how undersized Wrigley was compared to most other ballparks and how run down the Lakeview neighborhood was. And now look, every new ballpark (except Yankee Stadium) trying to emulate many features of Wrigley Field...including its capacity.

flyball said:

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since my mind automatically starts redesigning all things built I want to move directly onto design and construction

flyball said:

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and my guess is the payroll goes down a lot, which I would be cool with, but with all these end heavy contracts its going to mean having 5 overpaid players and 20 guys who should be in Iowa

Doc said:

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I really wish they would release the "renovation plan" that supposedly was done by HOK (or Populous as they are now known)...

I'm a little frightened at what they might actually do to the place. They are better off just starting over with a new ballpark.

flyball said:

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yes to the first part, because I'm curious, HOK does some stuff I really like, and some stuff I don't, I want to know who the lead designers were

false to the last statement

Doc said:

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Seriously, though, I think a really nice job could be done for this renovation, but, especially over the 7 or 8 years, a lot of the projects HOK has worked on have been rather boring or repeats of previous work they have done. I guess that wouldn't be bad...but I'd rather have something either unique or restored.

And I definitely hope we don't get something along the lines of either the renovated Old Yankee Stadium or Soldier Field.

I know my dream for a whole new ballpark will never come true. But I personally hope they do a good job with this renovation. (and it better result in having more leg room in my seats.)

flyball said:

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HOK now has the place as the stadium people, like Renzo Piano with museums, or Gehry with the weird building in every city, there are some really talented firms that would do a kick ass job (I can think of at least 2 midwest based that would probably rock a renovation)

and regardless there will be no more leg room in your seats

Doc said:

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damn. that sucks. I'll just sell all my tickets for 200% of face value to stupid saps that like the cramped into those seat then. Hell, most of the other season ticket holders do that anyway. Even in down years, you can sell most of the tickets for a profit. It's amazing.

flyball said:

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I direct you to the people willing to spend $100 or more to sit in 14" wooden seats with no leg room facing in the wrong direction just to say they went to Fenway

Doc said:

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Ah, another fan of Fenway...

I went to a game there about (oh my...has it been that long) 13 years ago...I wasn't impressed.

Doc said:

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Financial concerns should be very high on the list when Ricketts takes over...

There are rumors that he is likely going to look at hiking ticket prices substantially to gain some extra revenue. Remember, unlike many other large market teams, the Cubs broadcasting rights revenues from WGN and Comcast a rather small which was a sticking point in the negations with Zell.

With $450 million in debt from this deal, and a pay roll of $140 million...is there going to be any money available to start a $250 million (at least) renovation of the ballpark? Something is going to have to give here. Is Ricketts even going to be able to get $250 million to finance the renovation? I doubt it.

I'd like to by a brick for the renovation too, but I'm figuring, if it is going to happen, I'll be paying for a PSL. And that I will not be happy about.

I blame Zell for all these problems.

Doc said:

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Damn...this is easy...

1. Fire Jim Hendry
2. Get a lot of gasoline. Pour it all over Wrigley Field. Light a match. Drop the match on the ballpark.
3. Give Doc a job as GM.

millertime said:

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1. Fire Doc Blume.
2. Rebuild the ballpark.
3. Hire Jim Hendry.
4. Steal Underpants.
5.
6. Profit.

millertime said:

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Also, I build a time machine and sign 2003 Mark Prior. 5 Times. So we have 5 of him.

Doc said:

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Then the following year we have 5 pitchers that all suck.

Doc said:

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Time to go to work, work all day
Search for underpants today
We won't stop until we have underpants
Yum yum yummy yum yay

gravedigger said:

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If I were Ricketts, what would I do? I'd conduct a massive fire-sale, ala the 1997 Florida Marlins. Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, Zambrano -- shit, anyone making over $500K.

Why? Because people are going to show up at the ball park no matter what. So, if I'm Ricketts, I get rid of all that payroll, then hire a little old lady to sew together a blanket made of thousand dollar bills I'll be getting from the sucker Cubs fans that won't fucking give up.

millertime said:

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Then you can move the team to Miami once the attendence falls below a certain level in the contract, where the only way to save the team is to form a rag tag bunch of scrappy veterans and unheard of young guys that learn how to play the game the right way and win the world series, saving the team and the world at the same time from the evil decepticon bots who have hidden giant weapons that will destroy the earth in Egypt in the pyramids?

millertime said:

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Other things I do:

Sign Matt Kemp and his MLB leading .871 OPS, wayyyyyy better than Fukudome and his .856 OPS.

Bring in Mark Reynolds and Pablo Sandoval (Kung-Fu Panda) to play 3B in case Aramis goes down with an injury. Gotta be prepared for your best hitter to miss 50 games, no excuses Jim.

Trade for Hanley Ramirez. No wait, he might be a clubhouse cancer. Troy Tulowitzki, he's a gamer.

Trade for Chase Utley, so we finally have the all important good hitting 2B. #1 rule of baseball: good hitting 2B/super utility players win championships.


Get Kerry Wood back, move him to closer, and win every game ever.

Dump MB and his stupid .392 OBP. Can't have his kind in the lineup.

Send Soriano packing. Who wants a guy who routinely OPSes over .900? Sam Fuld to the rescue!

gravedigger said:

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What?

Soriano is OPSing 731 this year. He hasn't had an OPS over 900 since 2006. Which was the only time he did that.

gravedigger said:

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"And remember, we have to have something to talk about until 9:00 pm tonight, so make your answers either really good or really provocative."

Bwahaha -- you know who the readers are here, right?

;)

Doc said:

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Hey, you know what Ricketts should do?

Bring back the ballgirls that used to sit next the the visitor's dugout. Especially ones that pose in Playboy.

millertime said:

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Step 7. Rehire Doc Blume and make him in charge of everything. Forever.

Doc said:

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That's more like it. See? I'd be a good GM!

millertime said:

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So, we should fire Jim Hendry, because even though he's made great deals and gotten talented players like Lee, Ramirez, Soto, Bradley, Fukudome, Soriano, Zambrano, Wells, Dempster, Lilly, Harden, and Marmol onto the team, put together a team that won back to back division titles including 97! games last season, and had a team that many considered the class of the NL central if not the NL, because this season our pitchers have been hurt, half our team is having downer years, and we're not in first place?

Was there something Jim Hendry was supposed to do this past off-season to keep Soriano from slumping, Bradley from slumping, Ramirez and our entire pitching staff from being hurt? Otherwise why didn't we fire him 2 years ago after he mistakenly signed the best free agent in the game?

flyball said:

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I don't mind signing them, but the amounts and contract lengths are kind of ridiculous

gravedigger said:

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Yeah aren't most of them backloaded? Isnt the payroll going to be like 900 million in 2 years? Or, some other ridiculous number I am entirely too lazy to look up?

flyball said:

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yep

but I too am too lazy to look it up

Doc said:

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no...don't be ridiculous. the payroll will only be about $450 million in 2011.

millertime said:

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If the Cubs wouldn't have offered that contract, they wouldn't have signed Soriano. Which would have been ok, I guess. We could have had Matt Murton play left, or bring in some veteran like Cliff Floyd.

flyball said:

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and used the other money to renovate Wrigley

Doc said:

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or to hire ballgirls.

gravedigger said:

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Hee, I love the sarcasm here.

waxpaperbeercup said:

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julie, be careful questioning kap or his sources. he gets a little sensitive sometimes.

gravedigger said:

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I'm still annoyed with his Zambrano nonsense from last week.

waxpaperbeercup said:

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he stands by it...lmao.

gravedigger said:

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But, how? Boatloads of irrefutable evidence were presented to him showing that he had his head up his ass.

waxpaperbeercup said:

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he had some snarky i told you so post yesterday. here's what he said:

Now onto Zambrano who so many readers of this blog have found it necessary to defend since my last column about him. Today he spoke to the media for the first time since he went on the DL with a back injury and admitted that he is lazy. Wow, there is shocking news. Tell us something Carlos that those of us who are around the team regularly didn't already know.

The sad thing about his comments are that his laziness is affecting the rest of the team, the front office who paid him to be a #1 starter, and he has been unfair to the fans that pour their heart, soul, and money into following this club. When I wrote about Zambrano and his failure to be a leader, to pitch like an ace, and to work as hard as he can to succeed many of you thought I was being unfair.

JulieDiCaro said:

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if it's one thing i've learned this past year, it's that if you put yourself out there, you've waived the right to be sensitive.

millertime said:

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I know what will keep us occupied until game time.

I'm thinking of a number 1-10. Any guesses?

gravedigger said:

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I've been Wiki-surfing. From Bob Dole to athiesm to Carolignian Dynasty, with a few stops between each.

flyball said:

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yellow

millertime said:

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damn you're good. I thought this would take much longer before someone realized I was lying and wasn't thinking of a number at all. Huh. There goes that game. I'm out, anybody have anything else to do?

Doc said:

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This is going to be a long, long week.

Doc said:

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I give up.

millertime said:

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Why aren't people demanding Ray Lewis, Marvin Harrison, and Leonard Little be kicked out of the league?

Why is operating a dog fighting ring worse than cocaine deals, shooting someone, or killing someone in a drunk driving accident?

Doc said:

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simple...

people are a lower form of life.

gravedigger said:

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Never agreed with a post more.

Although, I'm about to go overboard by saying that I don't think any of those guys (including Vick) should be out of the league.

These guys aren't paid to be decent humans. They are paid to play football (or whatever they play)

millertime said:

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Don't get me wrong, I think it was pretty crappy what Vick did. Cruelty to animals sucks balls. But why are we treating Vick like he sets babies on fire for fun? They were dogs. Not people.

As far as their profession, there is no excuse for how they act. These people are paid to be entertainers, and I feel that as public figures they should be held to a higher standard then us "normal" people. It comes with the territory.

JulieDiCaro said:

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If the ASPCA is okay with Vick, I'm okay with him. Jeez, Ray Lewis tried to obstruct a murder investigation, for cryin' out loud, and people just forgot about that.

millertime said:

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I guess I feel like it's another situation where people already don't like Vick before the dog fighting, and now that the dog fighting came out, they have a way to vindicate their hate. Same thing with steroids. People want a reason to hate some players, and steroids or illegal activities are a great way to let that hate out.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I think it's funny that people get all up in arms about someome hurting animals, but don't care much about the countless athletes and performers who have violently attacked human beings.

JulieDiCaro said:

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in those cases, people always try to find some reason why the victim "deserved it."

JulieDiCaro said:

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But you have to admit, Vick was already a pretty disgusting character. The Ron Mexico thing alone was enough to put people off.

gravedigger said:

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That was one of the funniest things ever.

Doc said:

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ok...since I brought it up earlier...

who should Ricketts hire for the new Cubs ballgirl?

Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson?

millertime said:

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Scarlett Johansson. She seems much classier. She was in The Man Who Wasn't There.

Doc said:

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I'm with you.

So, as GM, I'll trade Soriano to Baltimore (they'll take that contract, right?) and then use that money to get Scarlett Johansson to be our ballgirl.

I can think of no better way to improve this team.

gravedigger said:

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replace Scarlett Johansson with Ryan Gosling, and you got it.

Doc said:

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Sorry...but Scarlett Johansson can hit a curve ball, which is more than Ryan Gosling or Alfonso Soriano can say.

Scarlett stays.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Ryan Gosling could too hit a curveball!

Doc said:

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Not as well as Scarlett Johansson.

millertime said:

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You can't argue with acquisitions like that.

millertime said:

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Could you maybe trade Milton Bradley for Maggie Gyllenhaal?

Doc said:

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Let's see, Bradley has had a hard time catching up with fastballs this year...so I'd do the only if she could hit hit a 95 mph fastball...

And count to 3 outs.

See...you have to scout out this stuff before making a trade or acquisition.

flyball said:

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I read my calendar wrong and don't get to watch tonight's game

boo

gravedigger said:

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Is tonight's game on national TV or one of the red-headed stepchild channels that I want to beat mercilessly?

thisyearcub said:

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Redheaded channel. We'll say it in unison, GD, F WCIU!

Tomorrow is on WGN

JulieDiCaro said:

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um. . . excuse me. . . . WHAT kind of channels?????

gravedigger said:

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I meant Chicago-only channels. I don't know where the rest of that came from.

Devil children.

Doc said:

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you need to lay off the drugs a bit.

gravedigger said:

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Why does everyone keep saying that?

millertime said:

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Don't listen to them. What you want, bionic, the bomb, the puff, the blow, the black, the herb, the sensie, the cronic, the sweet Mary Jane, the shit, Ganja, split, reefa, the bad, the buddha, the home grown, the ill, the maui-maui, the method, pot, lethal turbo, tie, shake, skunk, stress, whacky, weed, glaze, the boot, dimebag, Scooby Doo, bob, bogey, back yard boogie?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I am sitting next to the two DUMBEST humans to have ever existed. They are both trying to talk (very loudly) into one's cellphone, while arguing with a client about how to get to their house for a business call, which seems to entail delivering those huge wooden storks after people have a baby. And they both look like Cha-Ka from Land of the Lost.

secdelahc said:

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They must be White Sox fans.

JulieDiCaro said:

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There are 3 spots left in LOHO's fantasy football league. Get 'em while they're hot!

gravedigger said:

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I don't want to participate. Thanks, though

Doc said:

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I'd participate, but it would take time away from my complaining about the Cubs offseason moves...and we don't want that.

secdelahc said:

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Okay, here's a topic to discuss: What is the maximum amount of pages that a course syllabus should be? 10? 20? 3? I just got my first one, and it's 72 pages long. Seriously.

Karen said:

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oooh, I see Reply buttons, I am sooo excited!!!

millertime said:

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Pirates might be beating the Brewers 6-4 behind Kevin Hart.

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