Cubs

Cubs interested in playing exhibition game in Cuba

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Cubs interested in playing exhibition game in Cuba

BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Cubs are interested in playing an exhibition game in Cuba if Major League Baseball can clear all the diplomatic hurdles.

President of baseball operations Theo Epstein confirmed the Cubs would like the opportunity to face the Cuban national team toward the end of spring training in 2016.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred reaffirmed his hopes to stage that groundbreaking game during his media session at this week’s general manager meetings in South Florida.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

“If and when MLB approves that and the league moves forward, we would be one of many candidates to play in that game under certain circumstances,” Epstein said Wednesday at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.

“Clubs are allowed to say whether they would be interested or not interested. And we were interested under certain circumstances.”

The Cubs are an international brand that already features Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, a star manager in Joe Maddon and a marketable core of young players that just advanced to the National League Championship Series.

“It would be an enriching experience for the players and the staff (to go) down there,” Epstein said, “and get a feel for Cuban culture and play the national team and start to get an understanding of Cuban baseball in a way that few of us have.”      

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.