Cubs

Huntley claims Jacobs tournament crown

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Huntley claims Jacobs tournament crown

By Gene Chamberlain
Yourseason.com

It was a case of holi-deja vu for Huntleys Amanze Egekeze.

The 6-foot-6 sophomore forward did exactly the same thing against Crystal Lake Central Friday in the finals of the Jacobs Christmas Tournament that he did a month earlier to Dundee-Crown in the finals of Sycamores Strombom Thanksgiving tournament. Egekeze took control with his team struggling, got them the lead, and then the Red Raiders did the rest behind Bryce Only, Troy Miller, and Justin Frederick for a 55-49 victory.

The loss was the first of the season for Central.

Its always nice to have that type of talent on your team, Huntley coach Marty Manning said. He kind of got us back in the game.

Huntley (10-1) trailed by as much as eight in the first quarter, but Egekeze started working inside after the Red Raiders fell behind 19-13 early in the second quarter. He hit six second-quarter field goals in seven attempts to score 12 of his game-high 21 points then, and Huntley took a 28-25 halftime lead.

Once (Centrals) Kyle Fleck got two fouls, and we knew Amanze had a definite height advantage, we wanted to get the ball into him as much as possible and he took advantage of it, Manning said.

In the second half, Only and Frederick hit buckets right away to expand the lead to seven and it never got below four again.

I thought Troy and Bryce and Justin got our lead up for us in the second half, but without Amanze doing what he did in the second quarter, we probably would have been down eight at the half.

Miller had 13 points, Only nine and Frederick eight points and six boards. Only hit four straight points afer Central cut the deficit to 49-43 and then the Red Raiders were shooting free throws the rest of the way.

They were much more fundamental than we were tonight, Central coach Rich Czezlawski said. That and we didnt have an answer for Amanze.

Central (11-1) got got 17 points from Nick Marchetti and 11 points from Corbin Murphy.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 37th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 37th homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 37th homer of the 1998 season was a big one, an opposite field blast off the front row of fans in right field and into the basket at Wrigley Field.

The eighth-inning 3-run shot gave the Cubs some insurance in a game they ultimately won 9-5 and the Wrigley faithful responded by throwing a bunch of trash on the field.

Earlier in the contest, Sosa tied the game with an RBI single in the fifth inning. He finished with 4 RBI, giving him 93 on the season with more than 2 months left to play.

Fun fact: Vladimir Guerrero was the Expos' No. 3 hitter for this game an dhe also hit a homer (his 20th). Now, Guerrero's son is nearing his MLB debut as a top prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays system.

Fun fact No. 2: Mark Grudzielanek - who later played for the Cubs in 2003-04 - was Montreal's No. 5 hitter for the game at Wrigley. He was traded 10 days later from the Expos to the Los Angeles Dodgers for another fellow Cub - Ted Lilly.

Cubs are reported to be 'deeply involved' in trade talks for Zach Britton

Cubs are reported to be 'deeply involved' in trade talks for Zach Britton

The Cubs and Orioles reliever Zach Britton are once again being linked to each other, according to Patrick Mooney of the Athletic

Despite the front office denying any big moves coming before the July 31st deadline, but the Cubs' interest in Britton from last year makes this one with the Orioles stick a bit more. And when taking a look at Britton's fit on the club, a deal involving the lefty-reliever makes too much sense not to be true. 

And according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the Orioles are trying to wrap up the trade in the next few days. 

The Cubs did add reliever Jesse Chavez earlier this week, but Chavez profiles more as a swingman and less of the late-inning arm Britton has been over his eight-year career. Due to injuries, Zach Britton isn't the guy who teams saw dominant in '15 &'16 when he saved a combined 134 games for the Orioles. 

However, his 2018 numbers are encouraging for a guy coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon with a 3.68 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 14.2 IP. And when you factor in the pedigree the Cubs would be adding to the back end of the bullpen on top of his expiring deal at the end of 2018, it would make the Cubs bullpen lethal in the postseason. 

There will be other suitors for Britton who could likely offer more in terms of prospects in return, but if the Cubs are serious about adding someone like Britton, they could always dip into their MLB roster and part with a Victor Caratini-type player. Infielder David Bote has also impressed with his surprise season, showing he can contribute in multiple roles. 

But the Cubs would be solving essentially two issues with one guy in Britton, with his ability to close and experience in late-inning situations while also replacing Mike Montgomery in the bullpen, who may be staying in the rotation longer than expected. He's also an upgrade over Brian Duensing, who has been ineffective this season, and Randy Rosario who seems more like smoke and mirrors and has never pitched in the postseason. 

Jed Hoyer did say earlier this week the Cubs will be adding depth before the trade deadline, but the asking price for arguably the best available reliever remaining on the market could end up being too rich for the Cubs to stomach. But it clearly won't stop them from at least weighing all options.