NEWCASTLE UNITED

IT ONLY TOOK 159 GAMES TO GET EXCITING

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First things first:  Daisuke Matsuzaka won his 15th game last night as the <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap;_ylt=AhgAc.J5UWaB4rXt6qGPslURvLYF?gid=270928102&prov=ap" title="Yahoo" target="_blank">Boston Red Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins</a> to clinch the AL East, their first division title since 1995.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

CUBS ARE BEST OF THE WORST, FOR NOW

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The Chicago Cubs moved a half-game up on the Milwaukee Brewers to take the NL Central Division lead with a <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=270913118" title="Yahoo Sports" target="_blank">6-2 win over the Houston Astros last night</a>.

#the rock

SCOTT BAKER PITCHES WELL

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The <a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7176608" title="FOX Sports" target="_blank">Minnesota Twins' Scott Baker</a> almost threw a perfect game last night:[W]ith a Metrodome crowd of 24,986 cheering, he went to a 3-0 count leading off on John Buck.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

WRIGLEY FIELD IS FUN

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One of my many regrets in college (see also: not studying enough, studying too hard, not partying enough, partying too much) is not skipping more spring classes to go to day games at Wrigley.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

WILL SCOTT PODSEDNIK BE A CUB?

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The <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AvtAn0VoB9sNScCdVRtgcco5nYcB?slug=ap-whitesox-podsednik&prov=ap&type=lgns" title="Yahoo Sports" target="_blank">Chicago Cubs claimed oft-injured Scott Podsednik on waivers</a>, and now the Chicago White Sox have 2 days to broker a trade with their crosstown rivals.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

WHOSE CAR COULD THIS BE?

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With Leather reader Nik took a break from entertaining a crowd of women the other weekend in Chicago when he saw Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano drive up.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

WHO CAN STOP THE CUBS JUGGERNAUT?

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Don't look now, but the mighty Chicago Cubs are only 3.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

DICE-K THE GIANT KILLER

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Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka and San Francisco's Matt Cain squared off in <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/news/boxscore.jsp?gid=2007_06_16_sfnmlb_bosmlb_1" title="MLB" target="_blank">a good old-fashioned pitcher's duel yesterday at Fenway Park</a>.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

CUBS WIN THANKS TO DELICIOUS PIE

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Rookie Felix Pie hit a three-run homer and Carlos Zambrano pitched well in his first start since his dugout scuffle with catcher Michael Barrett, and the Cubs <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=270606108" target="_blank">notched a a 6-2 win</a> over the Brewers at Miller Park.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

LOU PINIELLA < HOWARD COSELL

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In the middle of the fifth inning of the <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/411199,CST-SPT-cub02.article" title="Chicago Sun-Times" target="_blank">Cubs and Braves game yesterday</a>, Carlos Zambrano politely questioned Michael Barrett's concentration after Barret let a pitch get by him and then made a throwing error allowing a run to score in the top of the inning.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

THE CUBS ARE NOT SO GOOD AT BASEBALL

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The Cubs went into the ninth inning at Shea with a 5-1 lead yesterday, only to give up five runs and <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=270517121" target="_blank">lose the game 6-5</a> when Carlos Delgado completed the rally with a two-run single.

RYAN DEMPSTER

CUBS’ RYAN DEMPSTER IS A FUNNY NINJA

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<a href="http://sportsbybrooks.com/cubs-ryan-dempster-offseason-includes-training-to-be-ninja-and-harry-caray-impersonator-12450.php" target="_blank">Sports by Brooks</a> found this offbeat story: Cubs closer Ryan Dempster has spent his offseason <a href="http://www.azstarnet.com/sports/174627.php" target="_blank">training to be a ninja</a>.

SEATTLE MARINERS

NOT AGAIN

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I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't point out to my Chicago-area readers that With Leather icon and occasional <a href="../post.phtml?pk=2192">volunteer correspondent</a> Sarah Spain is in the Windy City for St.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

LEE ELIA LIKED THE F WORD

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Listening to Lee Elia's 1983 meltdown is one of my spring training rituals.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

KERRY WOOD IS DELICATE

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I swear to God, Cubs pitchers must be made out of papier mache and cobwebs.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

SUDDENLY, I UNDERSTAND GERMAN

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Everybody's seen this: it's the German kid who flips out and tears up his keyboard while shrieking incoherently.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

Lou Piniella Is Full of Crazy Talk

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The Cubs hired Lou Piniella, what.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

Lou Piniella Will Manage the Cubs

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The Cubs have mysteriously passed on Northwestern grad, Chicago native, former Cub, and well-muscled badass Joe Girardi in order hire <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2628162" target="_blank">Lou Piniella as their new manager</a>.




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