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CHICAGO -- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts had dinner with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein in Arizona around the start of spring training. Wholesale Patriots Jerseys .If Epstein had any doubt about a contract extension, it ended right there. And on Wednesday, it became official.Chicago announced a five-year extension, rewarding Epstein for an overhaul that has the long-suffering franchise eyeing its first championship since 1908.He started it off by saying some really nice things about me that might have hurt his leverage a little bit, and then I returned the favor by telling him that even if we couldnt work out a contract it would get awkward because I would just keep showing up to work, Epstein said. As an employee, I will. I kept ruining my leverage.The deal comes with the Cubs wrapping up one of the greatest seasons in franchise history and their fans believing this just might be the team to end the 108-year World Series title drought.Chicago reached 100 wins for the first time since 1935 and was a major league-leading 101-56 heading into Wednesdays game at Pittsburgh. The Cubs clinched the best record in the majors with more than a week left in the regular season.In the five years under Theos leadership, he has brought in a strong executive team and acquired and developed some of the best players in the game, Ricketts said. Now, the results are on the field.Terms were not disclosed.It looks like Epstein isnt the only Cubs executive with a new deal. He said contract extensions for general manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod will probably be announced in the next day or two.Epstein, who was in the final season of a five-year deal when he left Boston in October 2011, had repeatedly said a new contract was a formality, that there were more immediate priorities. Ricketts had echoed that and indicated in the spring that he was prepared to make him one of the highest-paid executives in baseball.There was never any real drama throughout the summer, said Ricketts, adding the agreement was finalized a few days ago.What took so long?We sat down at spring training, had a nice dinner, talked about getting an extension done, Ricketts said. Basically, I told him I thought he was the best in the game at what he did. He told me no matter what I paid him he wasnt going to leave Chicago, so we were off to a good start. We checked back in on it a couple times during the summer. There was no real time pressure.The new deal is a reward for a striking transformation that began with the arrivals of Epstein along with Hoyer and McLeod -- his friends from Boston -- following the 2011 season.The Cubs tested some fans patience by taking the long approach rather than going for a quick fix, but they have seen the benefits the past two years. Chicago is eyeing even bigger things after breaking out with 97 wins and reaching the NL Championship Series last season.When you have great leadership at the top, it usually filters through the rest of the group, manager Joe Maddon said. A successful organization has that. We have that. I was very happy to hear the news. Im very happy for Theo and his family and of course, us. It is great. Its a feel-good story. He deserves it. Hes earned it. Im very happy for him.High draft picks such as 2015 NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant made big impacts, as did a number of trade acquisitions, including last seasons NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo and potential Gold Glove shortstop Addison Russell.The hiring of NL Manager of the Year Joe Maddon and signing of starter Jon Lester before the 2015 season showed just how serious the Cubs were about jumping into contention. And the additions of three-time Gold Glove outfielder Jason Heyward, pitcher John Lackey and veteran infielder Ben Zobrist along with the re-signing of outfielder Dexter Fowler this past offseason added to an already deep roster.Throw in the emergence of Kyle Hendricks as a Cy Young candidate, and the Cubs are widely considered a postseason favorite.There were missteps along the way, but the Cubs are in a far different and far better place than they were five years ago. And if they win it all under Epstein, it wont be the first time he helped end a long championship drought.Before he took aim at the Billy goat curse, he took down the Bambino.Epstein oversaw two World Series winners in nine seasons as Bostons general manager.In Chicago, Epstein parted with high-priced veterans and loaded up the minor league system while expanding the teams scouting and analytics operation as part of an overhaul that saw the organization get stripped to its studs.The Ricketts family also invested heavily in infrastructure in recent years, including new training facilities in the baseball-rich Dominican Republic and the spring training home in Arizona. They are also overhauling Wrigley Field and the surrounding neighborhood.There really wasnt anything important to me besides finding common ground, making sure that we could stay and see this thing through, Epstein said. Our mission has not been accomplished yet. Cheap Patriots Jerseys . Despite dominating possession, Schalke needed an own goal from Nicolas Hoefler for the breakthrough a minute before the interval. The Freiburg midfielder misjudged Jefferson Farfans corner and bundled the ball into his own net. Buy Cheap Patriots Jerseys . Durant finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, Jackson matched his career high with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting and Lamb scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, lifting the Thunder to a 94-88 win over San Antonio and snapping the Spurs 11-game winning streak. . LeBron James and Chris Bosh didnt need any more. Williams scored 11 points in 10 minutes, Alan Anderson scored 17 points, and the Brooklyn Nets finished the exhibition season with a 108-87 win over the Miami Heat on Friday night. SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sporting his traditional look of cornrowed hair and movie star smile that made him one of the sports most popular figures, Urijah Faber proved he can still get it done in the octagon.The California Kid also showed he has a pretty good chin, too.Faber survived being knocked down in the third round and beat Brad Pickett by unanimous decision to win in the final fight of his career at UFC Fight Night on Saturday night.Sac-town, I love you guys, Faber said as the crowd at GoldenOne Center gave him a rousing standing ovation.The 37-year-old Faber, who announced his retirement earlier this year, repeatedly took Pickett to the mat throughout the fight and scored with crisp, hard head shots that opened a gaping cut on the Englishmans left eye before Pickett landed a sharp straight left that put Faber down with 1:22 left in the third.Faber (34-10) quickly got to his feet and smiled before chasing Pickett (26-13) down and trying for a final submission attempt as a raucous, near-sellout crowd at GoldenOne Center roared.This guy was coming for my head and I knew that, Faber said. Its a great way to go out. I could very well compete for another 10 years ... but Im choosing to wrap it up and head into whatevers next.Pickett, nicknamed One-Punch Pickett, never could mount much of an offense. He spent the early rounds trying to fend off Fabers takedowns and didnt score significantly until late in the final round.By then, Faber had built too big of a lead.All three judges scored the fight 30-26.Michelle Waterson (14-4) won with a rear-naked choke over Paige VanZant in the first round of their scheduled five-round fight in the main event.Waterson, No. 11 in the strawweight division, took VanZant down midway through the round and quickly got both of her arms locked around VanZants neck.VanZant (7-3) tried to work free and at one point had one of Watersons arms away before Waterson got it locked in again to win at 3:21 after VanZents hands went limp and she fell unconscious.I think that me switching to southpaw really threw her off guard, Waterson said. Youth Patriots Jerseys. . That was our game plan from the beginning, to just stop her momentum, and going southpaw did exactly that. Shes a fighter. She wasnt going to tap out.In the co-main event Mickey Gall (4-0) submitted up-and-coming Sage Northcutt in the second round of their welterweight bout to stay unbeaten.Northcutt (8-2) controlled the first round and was still in charge in the second when he got caught from behind by Gall, who scored the takedown and got Northcutt to tap out by a rear-naked choke at 1:40 left.Faber had lost his previous two fights including a five-round unanimous decision loss to UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz in the third of their three classic bouts this past June.This one went to a decision as well, though the outcome was clear -- at least among the pro-Faber crowd that repeatedly chanted his name throughout the night.Getting through the fight actually was easier for Faber than it was making his way to the ring. A video tribute including footage of some of his previous bouts were shown before the fight with Pickett, and Faber admitted he had to turn away because it made him emotional.I had to stay focused, he said. I kept it together and Im proud of that.Faber staggered Pickett with a sharp left hand midway through the first round and immediately went for the takedown. With the crowd chanting his name, Faber got Picketts back and twice went for a submission before landing 15 consecutive right hands on Picketts head during one stretch.Im ready to go forward, Faber said. I love this sport, I love my team coming up. Theres nothing like (fighting) but Im ready to move forward and do some big things.That includes continuing to mentor some of the younger fighters on his Team Alpha Male. Faber also has a clothing line, a supplement business as well as a family construction business. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys ChinaCheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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    th a sharp left hand midway thr
    CHICAGO -- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts had dinner with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein in Arizona around the start of spring training.&nb...
    Dez 7 '17
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