Chairman Ricketts referred to Joe Ricketts emails as unacceptable, stressed that his father has no direct role or economic interest in the team and praised him for his charity work in Islamic East Africa.When asked why the team spent so little money this winter, Ricketts replied, Thats a pretty easy question to answer we dont have any more.,He said the impending launch of a regional sports network with Sinclair Broadcast Group would not compel the team to jump into the pool of high-priced free agents.As much as I would love to have a great, new, exciting player every year, Ricketts said, it just cant happen every year.The Cubs made only minimal upgrades to a team that won 95 games in 2018 but lost the division title in Game 163 to the Milwaukee Brewers.,The owner outlined three points to the players, he said: respect the Cubs by acting well on and off the field, respect the fans and contact the team if interested in doing charity work.Then he spoke about his fathers emails.On Feb. 4, the website Splinter News published emails sent by and forwarded to Joe Ricketts, founder and former CEO of TD Ameritrade, whose children purchased the Cubs in 2009.,Ricketts mentioned the raises accrued by Bryant and infielder Javier Baez in arbitration, plus the teams decision to pick up a $20-million option on pitcher Cole Hamels.Those contracts put us well above what weve ever spent before, Ricketts said.The Cubs have shown little interest in either outfielder Bryce Harper or infielder Manny Machado, the two unsigned stars on the market.,To get this behind him, and become a better person.During his remarks to the media, Ricketts bundled the issues swirling around the team his fathers emails, Russells suspension, the lack of spending into the category of distractions.

But unlike HBO and “Game of Thrones,” WGN and the Cubs aren’t hyping their final season together after 72 years.,In my first year as Cubs beat writer in 1997, WGN televised 144 games.,The following January, the Cubs owners — Tribune Co. — decided to reduce the WGN schedule to 92 games, placing 62 games on CLTV, the company’s local cable news channel.,Fans gradually grew accustomed to watching more games on cable, and in 2003 the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks began their own sports channel, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, which is now NBC Sports Chicago.,WGN will televise the Cubs' season opener — likely for the last time »

'I have more confidence than last year': A healthy Yu Darvish eyes his return to dominance with the Cubs » read more

Billionaire media mogul John Malone is cobbling together a team to bid for the Fox-owned regional sports networks being sold by Disney — and his roster will be going head-to-head against Major League Baseball, The Post has learned.,Malone’s Liberty Media, which in addition to big stakes in cable giant Charter and Sirius XM owns the Atlanta Braves — is matching the Braves with owners of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons and the Minnesota Twins, sources said.,The Liberty mogul’s strategy, according to sources, includes a promise to team owners that he will continue to sell games to local broadcasters, where cable television is chiefly how fans follow their favorite teams.,“It’s almost like [Malone is] enlisting owners of certain teams whose games are televised by Fox RSNs,” a close follower of the auction said.,Liberty’s 23 percent stake in Charter — the country’s second-largest cable operator — could make Malone’s bid synergistic as well.

There's a good chance that this stalemate is the result of two high-powered agents waiting for the other to make the first move, in an everlasting game of brinkmanship.,Now it can be told: the 30 reasons why every major-league team isn't signing Harper or Machado.,Baltimore Orioles: The whole reason Harper and Machado are such attractive free agents is that they're young enough to remain stars for years to come.,New York Mets: Sure, Robinson Cano is 10 years older, not as good as Harper or Machado, and costs a ton in his own right.,San Francisco Giants: Garlic fries are a staple at AT&T Park, and Giants owners swear Harper and Machado are vampires.

Illinois State Police documents show that the agency frequently assigns troopers to escort sports teams, musicians and even filmmakers across the congested roadways of greater Chicago.,Illinois State Police wouldn’t comment on the trip, so the Tribune made a public records request for all police escort contracts in 2018.,Though critics have called police escorts for sports teams a frivolous and potentially dangerous use of public resources, state police defend them as a way to provide “safety and security for all those involved in the motorcade as well as for the motoring public.”,The contracts show that visiting NFL teams routinely receive police escorts to and from the airport, hotels and Soldier Field.,College football teams are also major customers: Northwestern University had a standing order for police escorts between its team hotel and Ryan Field on game days, and the University of Illinois paid for the service when it played at Soldier Field in September.

Lacking sufficient students willing and able to pay for costly basketball tickets to fill the new Pauley Pavilion, why should UCLA cough up millions any top-market basketball coach would feel himself to be worth?,How much did it cost UCLA to serve as an uncompensated NBA training camp?My vision of UCLA basketball is somewhat different from Plaschkes: Ticket prices reduced precisely because the coach is not being paid the stellar wage commensurate with a rock star status, and students cheering for actual student-athletes who might go into fields other than pro.,The simple fact is that UCLA does not have someone who knows what he is doing and therein lies UCLAs problem over the past 16 years of Dan Guerreros tenure.Success at the highest level in the two major sports, football and basketball, requires not onlya top-flight coach, but also a top-flight athletic director.,Trump U., for example.Michael JenningVan Nuys::Bill Plaschke, just what was the purpose of your hatchet job description of the UCLA basketball program in your column on New Years Day?,Of course, I was watching the Lady Bruins and their coach, Cori Close.Now that the mens program is looking for someone to take over for coach Alford, perhaps UCLA look no further than its own campus.Mike FeixChino HIlls::For front page news on New Years Day we are offered Bill Plaschkes lament on the failure of basketball at UCLA.

CT 50, Turkeyfoot 26 DAVIDSVILLE — Conemaugh Township dropped Turkeyfoot, 50-26, Thursday in girls junior high basketball.,Conemaugh Township (4-0) hosts North Star today at 9 a.m. Meyersdale 39, BV 13 MEYERSDALE — Amelia Kretchman dropped in 16 points Thursday in Meyersdale’s 39-13 win over Blacklick Valley in girls junior high basketball.,Shade 31, CV 18 EAST TAYLOR TOWNSHIP — Shade downed Conemaugh Valley, 31-18 in girls junior high basketball, Thursday.,Senior indoor golf REELS CORNER — The Thursday Senior Indoor Golf League scramble at The Alley this week was won by the team of George Ross, Bob Zubek, Kevin Stahl and Dave O’Brien with a score of 14-under.,Scholastic sports schedule Today’s events Boys Basketball Shade at Conemaugh Valley, 7:15 p.m. Meyersdale at Blacklick Valley, 7:15 p.m. Salisbury at North Star, 7:15 p.m. Somerset at Central Cambria, 7:15 p.m. Turkeyfoot at Conemaugh Township, 7:15 p.m. Berlin at Ferndale, 7:15 p.m. Shanksville at Windber, 7:15 p.m. Girls Basketball McConnellsburg at Shade, 6 p.m. Central Cambria at Somerset, 7:15 p.m. Wrestling WestPAC Tournament 10:30 a.m. at Meyersdale Murphy, Rockies agree to deal DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Rockies have brought in Daniel Murphy to boost an offense big on pop but lackluster in batting average.

The Los Angeles Rams and their players are "heartbroken" over a mass shooting at a bar that killed 12 people Wednesday night in Thousand Oaks, California.,The shooting took place just miles from the Rams' practice facility at California Lutheran University and the team's offices in Agoura Hills.,"The Los Angeles Rams organization is heartbroken by the horrific shooting that took place last night in our community of Thousand Oaks," said a statement issued by the team Thursday.,Demoff said the team was already discussing how to honor the victims "in the right way" prior to Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.,Other sports teams and figures from the Los Angeles area, including Lakers star LeBron James, took to social media to grieve for the victims of the shooting.

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb apologized Sunday for racist, homophobic and sexist tweets he sent as a teenager, calling them “some stupid stuff.”, We are aware of this serious issue, Billy Bean will meet with Mr. Newcomb this week, and we will identify an appropriate course of diversity training for him in the Atlanta community,” MLB said in a statement., “We are aware of the tweets that surfaced after today’s game and have spoken to Sean, who is incredibly remorseful,” the Braves said in a statement posted on Twitter., Newcomb said he had forgotten about the tweets until he picked up his phone postgame and saw mentions of the posts., Newcomb said he doesn’t think the tweets will cause fallout among current teammates.

History is replete with athletes who voiced opinions about wars and peace, endorsed candidates or run for office themselves, but President Donald Trump's election and his vociferous criticism of the Colin Kaepernick-led national anthem protests have intensified political discourse among some professional players and sparked a new level of activism on and off the fields and courts., "It's not even something that I talk about that much with my teammates -- the guys that I'm around every day," said Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle at the All-Star Game's media session Monday., Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLB Players Association and a former All-Star first basemen himself, explained that the locker room could, at times, be a place where players held debates and hashed out broader issues, given the trust that players built among themselves in such close quarters., Last September, Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first, and thus far only, MLB player to kneel during a pre-game performance of the national anthem., A popular theory raised as to why the MLB has lagged behind other leagues in public displays of activism has been the racial makeup of its players.