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with Strong and Perrin to Tulsa, Oklahoma, last
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CHICAGO -- While a bunch of teams are fighting for playoff spots all over baseball, the Chicago Cubs are feeling their way through rare territory. Wholesale Diamondbacks Jerseys .The Cubs clinched the NL Central title a full three weeks before their first playoff game, giving the organization plenty of time to rest players and analyze possible postseason opponents, but also making for a tricky stretch when it comes to staying sharp when there isnt as much at stake.After the Cubs dropped three of four against the Brewers last weekend, manager Joe Maddon met with his hitters before Monday nights game against Cincinnati and talked to them about making the most of the final part of the season.Its unusual being in this position like we are right now, Maddon said after the meeting. So youve got two weeks of baseball, major league baseball, left in September, so lets work on some stuff. Lets work on things that we need to work on individually or as a group. Like I said, not unlike a spring training situation, while within the context were just going out there playing the same game, were trying to win this game.The Cubs began the day with a six-game lead over Washington for the best record in the National League and home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. The Mets, Cardinals and Giants are fighting for the two wild cards, making one of them the likely division series opponent for Maddon & Co.I probably will watch Washington more than anything right now, Maddon said. Thats the one that were shooting for, is to have the best record.While the wild cards likely will go down to the final few days of the season, the Cubs will have organizational meetings Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss possible playoff matchups and how they might line up for each series. They have scouts watching each potential postseason opponent.Each team presents its own set of challenges and might have roster implications one way or another, too, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said.The Cubs also are planning for their four-day break between the end of the regular season and their playoff opener on Oct. 7, which Maddon also covered in his meeting with the hitters.Thats a long time, so we have to really get our minds right over the next couple, three weeks to really be prepared properly for that first game, Maddon said, and I wanted it to start today.Epstein said the Cubs are considering having a simulated game during the four-day break before Game 1 of the Division Series, providing a chance for the starters and relievers to get some work in and for the hitters to see live pitching.The 42-year-old Epstein has never been in a situation like this before, with the team clinching so early, but said he likes it compared to the alternative.I think its what you make of it, he said. To me, its a lot better than having to push your guys extra hard and put more innings on guys arms and not giving them enough rest and then maybe waking up and being worn down.Chicago had to wait until Sept. 25 to clinch its 2015 wild card, and then made it all the way to the NL Championship Series before it was swept by New York.The early clinch also allows the Cubs to go as slow as they want with any players with health issues. Maddon said outfielder Jorge Soler, who left Fridays 5-4 victory over the Brewers with tightness on his right side, could be available to pinch hit on Tuesday. Key reliever Pedro Strop, who is coming back from knee and groin injuries, is on track to pitch in a simulated game soon.---Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap Cheap Diamondbacks Jerseys China . The Redskins announced Monday that the quarterback who led the team to the Super Bowl championship in the 1987 season will serve as a personnel executive. Cheap MLB Jerseys . The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling "puts an end to my dreams of being a top player," the 27-year-old Troicki said in a statement. "I worked my entire life for it, and it has been taken away from me in one afternoon by a doctor I didnt know," said Troicki, whose ranking peaked at No. http://www.cheapdiamondbacksjerseys.com/ . "Hes going to have hip surgery on Jan. 7, and hell be expected to rehabilitate for four to six months beyond that," Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said Friday in an interview. AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas president offered support Wednesday for beleaguered football coach Charlie Strong ahead of the Longhorns rivalry game against Oklahoma.Had a great call w/ Coach Strong. Were behind our student-athletes and coaches as they prepare for OU and rest of the season, President Greg Fenves tweeted .Strong is 13-16 in three seasons and under mounting pressure to turn things around. Strong demoted defensive coordinator Vance Bedford this week after the Longhorns gave up 50 and 49 points in consecutive losses.After last weeks loss at Oklahoma State, athletic director Mike Perrin told a reporter he needed to evaluate what happened. A school spokesman said the comments were about the coaching staff needing to evaluate the game.Fenves statement is notable in that it only addrresses this season. Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic. Strong has two more years left on a guaranteed contract that pays him more than $5 million per season. A Fenves spokesman said the president would have no further comment.Fenves didnt hire Strong but is personally invested in his success. Fenves surprised many when he flew with Strong and Perrin to Tulsa, Oklahoma, last December to woo offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert to the Longhorns after consecutive losing seasons.Texas started the 2016 with a rousing overtime win over then-No. 10 Notre Dame. But after a 2-0 start, the Longhorns rank among the worst defensive teams in the country and a loss Saturday would drop them to 0-2 in the Big 12. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '


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