Cubs

Cardinals not ready to announce Game 4 starter

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Cardinals not ready to announce Game 4 starter

Mike Matheny didn’t divulge any trade secrets about his Game 4 starter before Monday evening’s contest.

With the best-of-five National League Divisional Series tied at 1, the St. Louis Cardinals manager won’t announce Tuesday’s starter until after Game 3 against the Cubs. Matheny wouldn’t even reveal his candidates -- the tops ones likely are believed to be John Lackey or Lance Lynn -- but noted all hands are on deck for the critical third game. Michael Wacha faces Jake Arrieta in Game 3 at 5:07 p.m. CST as the series resumes in Chicago.

“We'll just see how things play out today, see how things go tonight with who we use and how long we need to use them,” Matheny said. “And we'll go into tonight's game (with) about just about everything we have, so we'll look and see how things play out as far as the result goes, and then make a decision afterwards.

“Just about everybody is ready.”

[MORE: Mark Reynolds smashed a Wrigleyville window with BP homer]

Whereas teams normally send out the next day’s pitcher at the pregame press conference, St. Louis presented second baseman Kolten Wong. For his part, Lynn told reporters he’s planning on starting Game 4 unless he’s informed otherwise. It’s believed the Cardinals would opt to use Lackey if they lose Monday and face elimination on Tuesday.

“When we get to this point of the season, a lot of our own ideas of how it should play out for us individually are kind of thrown in the backseat to what's best for our club,” Matheny said. “That's the kind of team that we've had. We've been very fortunate to see an amazing amount of selflessness to where guys are putting the club in front of their own individual -- sometimes own individual goals. That's hard to do, especially in the world that we're in that's so individually statistic driven, but overall a guy like Lance Lynn knows that we're going to do what's best for our team and he's going to come out and do everything that he can to help.”

Bold predictions for the Cubs' 2019-20 offseason

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USA TODAY

Bold predictions for the Cubs' 2019-20 offseason

The Cubs are just a couple of weeks away from a pivotal offseason that could see a lot of change coming to Chicago's North Side.

Then again, we thought the same thing a year ago and it turned out Theo Epstein's biggest move last winter was signing Daniel Descalso to a two-year deal.

But after missing the playoffs in 2019, the Cubs are now at a crossroads as an organization. 

The NBC Sports Chicago crew previewed the offseason on the latest CubsTalk Podcast with some bold predictions for the winter.

Listen here and check out the fearless calls below:

(Note: Rationale and more context on each bold prediction in the podcast.)

David Kaplan

1. Cubs are going to take a page out of the Yankees' book and retool on the fly rather than go all-in to contend in 2020.
2. Jose Quintana has thrown his last pitch as a Cub.
3. This will be the second-to-last offseason for Theo Epstein as the Cubs president of baseball operations.

Kelly Crull 

1. Cubs re-sign Nick Castellanos and trade away Kyle Schwarber.
2. Tyler Chatwood will be in the 2020 rotation.
3. John Lackey will be named quality assurance coach on David Ross's coaching staff. (Kidding, but only kind of...)

Tony Andracki

1. Before the Cubs play a Spring Training game, Javy Baez will sign an extension that will keep him in Chicago through at least 2023.
2. Willson Contreras will be traded this winter and the Cubs will get some much-needed pitching help in return.
3. Cubs sign Howie Kendrick this winter as the professional bat and lefty-masher they craved in 2019.
4. Ben Zobrist will return on a one-year deal and finish his playing career in a Cubs uniform.
5. David Bote, Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell will all be traded or non-tendered this winter as the Cubs remake their bench/depth.

Jeff Nelson

1. Willson Contreras will sign a contract extension.
2. Ben Zobrist will return as a player/coach.
3. Jose Quintana will be traded for minor league depth.
4. Terrance Gore will be signed to be the 26th man on the roster under the new rules.

Theo Epstein’s dog damages Arizona rental property with excessive urine

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USA Today

Theo Epstein’s dog damages Arizona rental property with excessive urine

In the midst of an intensive hiring process for the new Cubs manager, Theo Epstein is being sued by an Arizona couple claiming Epstein’s dog, Winston, damaged their house. The cause of damage? Peeing excessively inside the property Epstein rented for spring training in 2015.

Yes, you read that right, Epstein’s dog peed so much he’s being sued.

The lawsuit was filed this Tuesday in Maricopa County, according to the Phoenix New Times, citing Epstein’s dog left “a terrible odor and urine-stained carpeting” in the Paradise Valley, Ariz., home where he and his family stayed.

Winston is a rescue mutt, weighing in at around ten pounds. He can’t pee that much, right?

The lawsuit states the dog "peed prolifically in the $1 million house, staining tile and stone flooring, wood door jams, cabinets, and furniture."

John and Mary Valentino referenced a 2017 quote by Epstein as proof that Winston had a peeing problem. When asked about being named the world’s greatest leader by Fortune magazine after the Cubs 2016 World Series win, Epstein said: “I can’t even get my dog to stop peeing in the house.”

Epstein left the rental property two weeks early due to a scorpion infestation later was shown a repair estimate of $51,405, according to the report.

Julian Green, the Cubs vice president of communications, told the New Times the lawsuit was “baseless.” He also said that an exterminator discovered 45 scorpions on the property that “put (Epstein’s) family at risk every time they put their children to sleep.” The Epsteins moved into a different house for the last two weeks of spring training.

The owners kept the $5,000 security deposit, and according to a source the Epsteins did not hear from them again for more than four years until the suit was filed Tuesday.

When asked about the lawsuit, Epstein replied, “As I said, we have no untouchables. Winston is definitely available in the right trade.”

We’ll be keeping tabs on this story as it unfolds. In the meantime, it’s good to see Epstein still has a sense of humor, even with a dog urine lawsuit and a Cubs managerial search on the line.

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