Backlash Against Marquee Network Story of 2020 Cubs Convention

During his session today at 2020 Cubs Convention, club President of Business Operations Crane Kenney said he feared no boos; not for Marquee Network, nor anything else. Kenney told the assembled crowd he’s been booed before, for several things, including the jumbotron and the team mascot Clark.

The latter reference is poignant as the pants-less but friendly and inviting cartoonish bear was pretty much the headline story of Cubs Convention 2014. Why? Because he was a new addition to the club in a winter when the team made no real new additions to the player roster. The team was coming off a bad season (66-96) and moving towards the next one in which they were projected to be bad (they were, 73-89) again.

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Theo Epstein Says He Wants to Improve the Cubs Roster, but ‘Obstacles’ in Way

Chicago Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts may not be aware of how disgruntled the fan base currently is, but President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein sure is. He understands how malcontent (and deservedly so) Cubs supporters are right now and he’s hoping to get something done between now and opening day that will make the fans feel better about what kind of team they’ll have in 2020.

Epstein, along with his long time business partner, Cubs Vice President and General Manager Jed Hoyer appeared at the first panel on the second day of Cubs Convention. During the session, two fans basically asked the same question, but in different wording, and it’s one of only two Q&As that actually matter right now. Why hasn’t the team done anything at all to improve the roster this offseason?

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Jurgen Klopp Finds Manchester United’s Counter-Attacking Style Strange

jurgen klopp

Both sides have no issues with motivation and inspiration when Manchester United and Liverpool get together. The most heated of rivalries, emotions always run high, and tomorrow it could be even more ramped up, given what happened in the last meeting.

United were the first, and so far only, team to take any point from a Premier League meeting with Liverpool this season. The Reds will no doubt be looking to get one back on the Red Devils for ruining their unblemished season. And if United needs some more added motivation, LFC manager Jurgen Klopp just gave them some bulletin board material. While saying that he’s not throwing shade, he essentially threw shade at his rivals’ playing style.

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Tom Ricketts Doesn’t See How Disconnected He Really is from Cubs Fanbase

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Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, along with his sister Laura, were the first guests to come on stage for Ryan Dempster’s session at the 35th annual Cubs Convention Friday night, an endeavor that appears in the form of a late night talk show.

Ricketts’ intro and exit music was, wait for it, “Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People.” You know this classic 1970s soul tune by its very familiar refrain: “Iiiiiiiiiiiiii am every-day people!” Yes, billionaires! So like us! We can relate to having a family business……..which Charles Schwab buys for $26 billion!

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Manchester City Starting XI Prediction, Team News vs Crystal Palace

pep guardiola

You know what Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants for his birthday tomorrow? A victory over Crystal Palace, which would put his side a minimum of 15 points clear of fifth place. Not that anyone doubts the chances of City finishing in the top four, but with the league title possibility have waived goodbye a long time ago, you got to focus on locking down all the other priorities of the campaign.

City brings a now pretty fit squad to the table for this one. Aymeric Laporte is progressing, and while this match is too soon for him to feature, it won’t be long until he’s back in action.

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Arsenal FC Starting XI Team News vs Sheffield United: Aubameyang, Torreira

pierre-emerick aubameyang

The Mikel Arteta rebuild at Arsenal is starting to show signs of progress, subtle and slowly, but it’s getting there. Up next is a home clash against Sheffield United that poses a major challenge, especially up top. The Gunners will be without one of the their primary weapons, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is suspended for the next three matches.

They will also be without their quarter of long term injury absentees: Sead Kolasinac, Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney and Callum Chambers. Additionally, midfielder Lucas Torreira is a doubt, as he might not be match fit in time. Tenth place Arsenal is a team with some holes, and sixth place Sheffield is a side that can expose those weaknesses.

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Harry Maguire Named New Man United Capt. as Ashley Young Exits

Manchester United have confirmed the departure of Ashley Young, and named the player who will take up his post as team Captain. With Young finalizing a move (reported to be just £1.5 million) to Inter Milan today, it is another defender, Harry Maguire, who will be wearing the captain’s arm band for the rest of the season.

“Harry has come in and been wearing the captain’s armband and he will keep wearing it,” said manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær at his weekly Friday news conference. “He has been a leader in the group and I have been not surprised but impressed with his leadership skills.” [Read more…]

Liverpool FC Starting XI Prediction vs Manchester United

In Manchester United, Liverpool FC will be looking, on Sunday, to avenge the only team that took points from a meeting with them this season. Not that they would actually need any more motivation for a match against their bitterest of rivals, but hey, it’s the main story line in this the headliner fixture of the Premier League weekend.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp will have three more key players, who had been long term injury absentees, now back in the rotation for this match, but we didn’t pick any of them in our first team prediction. The Reds have enough depth that they can ease them back into action at any rate they choose to.

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Manchester United Starting XI Prediction at Liverpool FC

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he made a rash decision on Wednesday night and it backfired. The Manchester United manager played the team’s leading scorer, Marcus Rashford, in the FA Cup replay against Wolves, a match where perhaps the Mancunian might have been best served with a night off.

He got hurt and unless he’s absolutely positively 100% full fitness, then he should likely sit out United’s trip to Liverpool on Sunday. So what does OGS do now- Mason Greenwood?

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Man United at Liverpool Team News: Rashford, Fabinho, Gomez, Lovren

Liverpool have already broken several records this campaign, not just club or league, but European records. They certainly look unstoppable right now, but United did battle them to a draw in October, and now the very highly anticipated reverse fixture awaits.

In that match, the only blemish on the Reds’ resume so far this Premier League season, it was Marcus Rashford who scored the only United goal. He may not be fit to play this time around. Rash left the Red Devils FA Cup replay win over Wolverhampton on Wednesday night, after just 16 minutes due to a back injury.

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Manchester United Transfer Talk: Bruno Fernandes, Boubakary Soumare

It is Manchester United vs Liverpool week, but now is the time for some transfer talk, as it appears Old Trafford is closing in on their first signing of the January transfer window.

Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes was potentially set to move to United in the summer, but for whatever reason, MUFC just didn’t make it happen. Here we are in the winter window, it now seems the Fernandes move will actually come to fruition.

According to ESPN, United are closing in on a deal, reporting that the club and player have agreed to personal terms.

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Chelsea FC Starting XI Prediction at Newcastle United

n'golo kante

In looking at what first team Chelsea manager Frank Lampard might select on Saturday when his side travels to Newcastle United, one must start by looking at the fitness of N’Golo Kante. The French midfielder had to sit out against Burnley last weekend due to a hamstring injury.

Arguably the side’s best and most important player, especially after the departure of Eden Hazard, he’s unfortunately had an injury-riddled 2019-20 campaign. He was expected to start last weekend, but was left out entirely after suffering a hamstring problem in training last Friday.

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