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cx888 Dec 25 '19
CHICAGO -- The T-shirt in the window of a shop on Damen Avenue elicited plenty of nervous laughs from Cubs fans before Game 4. Roger Brown Jersey .It read: If We Lose, Its Rigged.While its unlikely that line from GOP candidate Donald Trumps stump speech will catch on in a deep-blue, Democratic stronghold like Chicago, Clevelands 7-2 win Saturday night left more than a few of those fans were grasping at straws.How could a team that had five starters picked and seven players total at the All-Star game find itself on the brink of elimination? How could a team that won a major league-leading 103 times in the regular season turn around and hit .204 -- 50 points lower -- in the biggest games?Heres how: Third baseman Kris Bryant, last seasons Rookie of the Year and the front-runner for the NLs Most Valuable Player Award this season, is batting just .071. Shortstop Addison Russell, who collected 21 home runs and 95 RBI in the regular season, has two total bases in the four games. Javier Baez, who tore through the Giants and Dodgers pitching staffs in both the division and championship series, is at .118.Small wonder the Indians have won as many World Series games in two nights at Wrigley as the Cubs have in total since the ballpark opened more than a century ago.Its just been abnormal in some ways, Chicago manager Joe Maddon said afterward. But theyve been pitching great. ...We just need that offensive epiphany somehow to get us pushing in the right direction. And if we do that, he added a moment later, based on what they have left pitching-wise, I kind of like our chances.Try telling that to fans whove waited 71 years just to see a World Series game in their hometown, never mind the 108 years since their beloved Cubbies actually won it all. Then again, plenty of them believe they saw it coming.Behind the old ballpark on Waveland Avenue, the limousines and town cars were lined up and idling in the bottom of the eighth. It didnt help that Cub fans were again done in by one of their own. Just an inning earlier, Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, who grew up in suburban Northbrook -- and went to the same high school as Steve Bartman -- put the game out of reach with a three-run home run, then pointed to his family in the stands.I did, I knew where they were sitting and I saw the red towel, Kipnis said, nearly blushing, so I knew where to look.Vendors, meanwhile, were fast changing their pitch. One selling Cubs-themed floppy hats had already begin hawking them as warm-weather gear instead of historic souvenirs. Stay warm, look cool, wear them for Halloween, he yelled.If you want to scare Cubs fans, sure.Anne Riecken, 92, was being wheeled out of the park by her daughter trying to beat the rush. She stopped long enough to register her displeasure.I dont know why I though this year was going to be different, she said. But I guess its enough we finally made it back.She thought about it, then added quickly, Last night I was so mad about the way they were hitting I would have kicked some of them in the shins.Considering the lack of success most of the moves Maddon has made have registered in that department, it might have been as good a suggestion as any. As she headed for a waiting gold cart to shuttle her back to the familys car, Riecken was asked whether shed lost faith in the teams unofficial motto, Wait `Til Next Year.I dont think Im going to be around next year, she replied with smile and a rueful laugh.But John Hurley, with his 5-year-old son in tow, vowed to return if the Cubs made it back. Both wore Cubs caps and matching oversized, black-rimmed glasses, a style made popular around town by the late Harry Caray, the teams legendary announcer. John Hurley grew up here, but lives in California now.Just another year of being a Cub fan, I guess, Hurley said. But dont call me `disappointed. This is progress and its historic. And if they get back, and this team is more than good enough to do it, well definitely come back.Of course, he starts kindergarten next year so Im not sure well be able to do this for a whole week again. Or maybe well just pull him out of school, he laughed. I guess well cross that bridge when we get there.Right now, he said, brightening, were just concentrating on tomorrow night.Theyre not alone.---Jim Litke is a sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at) and . JaKarr Sampson Jersey . "Theyve both been real good," said Babcock. "Havent changed our minds." A decision has seemingly been made - Sundays Group B-deciding tilt against Finland ahead - but it could not have been an easy one. Price opened the tournament with a sturdy 19-save performance against the Norwegians, yielding just one goal. Glenn Robinson III Jersey . "Trying to breathe," he said with a grin. Bernier stopped 42 of 43 shots on Monday night, including all 22 in a hectic middle frame, his heroic performance propelling the Leafs toward an undue point in their final game before the Christmas break. . After the whistle, Thornton skated the length of the ice, pulled Orpik to the ice from behind and punched him in the face several times. RENTON, Wash. -- Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls carried a football Tuesday for the first time since a broken ankle ended his rookie season last December.Rawls was limited to individual work in his first practice with Seattle since being activated from the physically unable to perform list on Sunday, but to Rawls it was a big step toward getting back to where he wants to be.I think it fit real good in the timeline. Just taking it day by day and getting better, Rawls said after practice. Just visualizing and getting my feet wet a little bit out there and Im so excited and glad to be out there with the fellas.Though he passed his physical and was eligible to practice Sunday, the rest of the team was having a mock game scrimmage which made it unfeasible for Rawls to begin his first work of camp then.Rawls suffered a broken ankle and ligament damage in a game against the Baltimore Ravens in December. After gaining 44 yards on six carries on Seattles opening possession, Rawls was engulfed by Brandon Williams and Chris Canty, who fell on him with his ankle caught underneath.The injury ended a stellar rookie campaign that made Rawls the clear choice to replace a retiring Marshawn Lynch. He rushed for 830 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games with seven starts in place of an injured Lynch. His 209-yard effort against the San Francisco 49ers was the second-most rushing yards in a game in franchise history, trailing only Shaun Alexanders 266 yards in 2001.In the last couple days weve seen him really take off in burst and hes worked so hard. Hes reeady to be out there, head coach Pete Carroll said. Reggie Miller Jersey. We still just have to work him into it and wean him, but its really exciting to have him back.Carroll and general manager John Schneider have repeatedly said Rawls and tight end Jimmy Graham are expected to be ready for the Sept. 11 season opener against the Miami Dolphins. Carroll said Tuesday that Graham (knee) is close to being activated from the PUP list as well.Give us a couple of weeks. Theres plenty of time here. Well figure it out. Im sure (Rawls) is going to be chomping at the bit come by the last preseason game, at least, if not sooner, Carroll said.Rawls and three other running backs were unable to participate in Sundays mock game. Christine Michael sat out due to illness. Third-round pick C.J. Prosise and seventh-round pick Zac Brooks were sidelined with hamstring injuries.Michael returned to practice Tuesday, and Prosise and Brooks are both expected back within the next week.Despite his strong rookie campaign, Rawls isnt taking his early success for granted. He feels he has to win the job all over again.Were going to compete, Rawls said. I dont feel established. Im going to always be a hard worker. Ill always be a leader and Im going to always congratulate guys whenever guys go out there and do some of the amazing things that they do.---Online: AP NFL website: and AP NFL Twitter feed: ' ' '

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