Cubs: Maddon plans to juggle rest and winning over final week


Cubs: Maddon plans to juggle rest and winning over final week

When you boil it down, the final seven games of the 2015 regular season don't mean a whole lot for the Cubs.

There is a very small possibility of catching the Pittsburgh Pirates for the homefield advantage in the wild-card game and the Pirates can, in fact, still win the division.

So now that the Cubs have a postseason spot locked up, they can get away with resting players and making sure everybody's fresh for that one-game playoff.

[RELATED - Jake Arrieta ready for do-or-die format of one-game playoff]

Only that's not what Joe Maddon wants to do. The Cubs manager wants to "win as many games as possible."

Maddon said he may find time to rest Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, who have played almost every game this season. Other than that, not much changes, he said.

"You don't want to take them out of a rhythm," Maddon said. "Everybody else has been rested. Everybody else has played on and off.

"Bullpen-wise, you want to be cognizant of not throwing somebody too much, but then gain, you want to keep them sharp because they're used to throwing a little bit more often.

"That's where the balance lies. The lineup's gonna play like it normally does. I haven't thought about changing anything with that. Starting pitchers, you may monitor number of pitches thrown by them a little bit, but not a whole lot."

Maddon was quick to point out that the schedule before the wild-card game is helpful, too.

The Cubs end the regular season next Sunday in Milwaukee and are then off Monday and Tuesday before the one-game playoff Wednesday night.

[SHOP: Get your official Cubs postseason gear]

So don't expect Rizzo to spend much time on the bench over the final week.

"Before you get to that game - our little Super Bowl going on - he's going to have plenty of rest," Maddon said. "I don't want him to get our of rhythm.

"A two-day buffer does help to give guys what they need. I'm not overly concerned about that right now."

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


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


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.