Cubs

Anthony Rizzo's got jokes: 'I'm statistically the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time'

Anthony Rizzo's got jokes: 'I'm statistically the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time'

Anthony Rizzo has kind of nailed this whole leadoff thing.

The Cubs' slugging first baseman has thrived in his first two games as the team's unorthodox leadoff man, smacking leadoff homers in each of the last two games to go along with other offensive highlights.

As he yelled in the dugout after hitting Leadoff Homer No. 2 on Wednesday night, "Anthony loves batting leadoff!"

And, in the face of indisputable evidence, Rizzo has already crowned himself the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time.

"I'm statistically the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time," Rizzo said after Wednesday's game. "I'd like to retire there and just talk smack to everyone that tries to do it."

[CUBS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Forget Rickey Henderson. Forget Tim Raines. Forget Craig Biggio and Lou Brock and Ichiro Suzuki. Rizzo's your guy, Hall of Fame.

Of course Rizzo is joking around, but Joe Maddon's unconventional move has paid off for the Cubs. Rizzo was excellent in Tuesday night's 14-3 blowout win. Wednesday he kickstarted another game with a leadoff homer before the Cubs blew a 4-1 lead en route to a 9-4 defeat.

The team's performance as a whole will most likely determine where Rizzo spends most of his time in the batting order this season, but the leadoff thing sure is going well for now.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Covering the MLB All-Star Game from the media’s perspective

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Covering the MLB All-Star Game from the media’s perspective

NBC Sports Chicago’s own Kelly Crull and videographer Scott Changnon recalled what All-Star week in the nations capitol was like from their point of view.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

 

Cubs, Bears, Bulls among the top 25 wealthiest sports teams in the world

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USA TODAY

Cubs, Bears, Bulls among the top 25 wealthiest sports teams in the world

What Chicago sports team is worth the most money in 2018?

As reported by Kurt Badenhausen in a Forbes article about the 50 richest teams around the globe, the Cubs are the most valuable organization in the Windy City.

Chicago’s North Side baseball team ranks as the 16th wealthiest team in the world, valued at $2.9 billion, an 8 percent increase from 2017. The Cubs are the third-most affluent franchise in Major League Baseball, behind the New York Yankees ($4 billion) and the Los Angeles Dodgers ($3 billion).

This year, the baseball club owned by the Ricketts family surpassed the wealth of the Boston Red Sox ($2.8 billion), who the Cubs were ranked behind last season at $2.68 billion. In the span of a year, the North Siders gained two spots in the top 50 from 18 to 16 on the list.

What could be the reason for this increase?

Could it be that the Cubs are in first place in the NL Central? Or could it be the incredible performances from players like Jon Lester and Javy Baez?

Whatever the reason is for the Cubs’ prosperity, the team is doing something right.

The club also surpassed the Bears on the list this year. In 2017 the Bears (worth $2.7 billion last year) were tied with the Red Sox as the 16th most valuable sports team on Earth. The McCaskey-owned football team has fallen to a tie at 17 with the San Francisco Giants, both valued at $2.85 billion in 2018. The Bears even increased by 6 percent in the last year, making the Cubs’ jump seem greater.

The Bulls, owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, are the last team from Chicago to make the cut. They stand at 23 in the top 50, tied with the Denver Broncos. Both franchises are worth $2.6 billion. Chicago’s NBA team even fell a spot from 2017, but they still increased their value by 4 percent (worth $2.5 billion last year).

The Bears are the seventh richest team in the NFL, while the Bulls are fourth wealthiest in the NBA.