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Category Archives: Chicago White Sox

Let’s Make a Deal!

Well, it’s summer! It’s time for beer, picnics, beaches, saying good-bye to the recently-traded athletes, and saying hello to the newcomers to the world of Chicago sports. Yes, it’s that magical time of year when professional athletes are being traded like Pogs.

Pictured: Your age

Pictured: Your age

Yes, change is coming to the world of Windy City sports! This square dance of players and teams is a lot to keep up with, so let’s start with the best news of all, shall we?

Chicago Baseball

Thus far, the best news to come out of the wheeling and dealing of the trade game is that Carlos Marmol is almost the new problem of the Dodgers. The terrible relief pitcher and constant annoyance to Cubs’ fans is likely to be traded to Los Angeles unless he plays all of his six team rejections; if he does this he can become a free agent at the end of the season. However, it looks like the era of Marmol blowing it in the ninth inning is coming to an end. The darkness is over. The sun will come out tomorrow.

The truest thing ever put on Wikipedia ever.

The truest thing ever put on Wikipedia ever.

The Cubs also traded Scott Feldman and pitcher Steve Clevenger to the Baltimore Orioles for pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. The White Sox, desperate to shake up their roster and get back to winning, signed outfielder Micker Adolfo Zapata, a sixteen-year-old from the Dominican Republic.

Chicago Bulls

 

Oh my God, you guys! I'm staying with the Bulls!

Oh my God, you guys! I’m staying with the Bulls!

Nazr Mohammed tweeted today that, essentially, he has gotten a verbal agreement with the Chicago Bulls and that he will be re-signed to Chicago. The fates of Luol Deng and Nate Robinson are still uncertain. However, it looks as though Deng will stay in Chicago while Robinson will be forced to find a home elsewhere in the NBA.

"Come 'ere, buddy. We're all gonna miss you."

“Come ‘ere, buddy. We’re all gonna miss you.”

The trade doesn’t quiet the rumors of friction in the power structure of the Bulls, however. The Bulls did not re-sign Ron Adams, Tom Thibodeau’s top assistant, when his contract expired. The rumor buzzing through the Internet is that there was friction between superstar coach Thibodeau and his assistant; meanwhile, General Manager Gar Forman assures there is no friction between Thibodeau and himself. Though friction between the higher-ups can create great success, just as the tension between Phil Jackson and General Manager Jerry Krause birthed the success of the Bulls in the nineties. Time will tell how this wheeling-and-dealing within the Bulls power structure will affect the Bulls.

Also, Derrick Rose is scheduled to play this season. So. we’ll see how that plays out.

Chicago Blackhawks

This fun is over, Bolly.

This fun is over, Bolly.

Well, with Bolland and Frolik hitting the happy trail to Canada, it’s clear that General Manager Stan Bowman is jumping quickly to preserve the Blackhawks’ impeccable roster of knock-down, drag-out talent. With a spectacular 2013 season, we are all hoping that Bryan Bickell will live up to the high expectations of fans and to the hard-earned contract extension. The NHL draft allowed for Bowman to give up Bolland and Frolik and fourth and fifth round picks for a pick in the second through fifth rounds. This also allowed the Blackhawks a fourth and fifth round pick in 2014 and four more years of Bickell. The fresh faces on the Blackhawks roster are looking spectacular and show that the Blackhawks are determined to tighten up their defensive line, a problem that brought them serious losses in the regular season and the playoffs. None of this guarantees a 2014 Stanley Cup victory, but Bowman is building one hell of a team to debut in October.

Let's hear it for the boy!

Let’s hear it for the boy!

With two of Chicago’s favorites leaving the team, let’s celebrate the superstar who was a big reason as to why the Stanley Cup is out and about partying with Patrick Kane: Bryan Bickell. Snag this Bryan Bickell player tee from our website (http://tinyurl.com/qjeq32m) and show your joy for the rough and tough left wing returning to the Blackhawks for another four years. It’s tough to see our favorites leave, but it’s better when the best stay because sports is good!

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Where Do We Go From Here?

HEY, REMEMBER WHEN THE BLACKHAWKS WON THE STANLEY CUP?

IT LOOKED LIKE THIS AND IT WAS AMAZING!

IT LOOKED LIKE THIS AND IT WAS AMAZING!

Right now, life is all parties, parades, and passing out. Chicago has the parade coming up on Friday which is already drawing a large out-of-town crowd. This week promises to be a sea of red shirts and jerseys passing through the streets making Chicago’s infrastructure look like arteries crammed with red blood cells. However, after the remnants of the parade have been swept away and July brings patriotic parties and barbecues, we must make sure we are not still clinging desperately to the Blackhawks win. Next week many of us will find ourselves in a food-stained Shaw jersey, surrounded by empty beer cans, watching Dave Bolland’s game-winning goal on repeat on YouTube, and looking to see if anyone else still has any energy to party for the Blackhawks.

Where do we go from here? In a week or so, your boss will not accept that faded Toews shirt as acceptable work clothing and your fatigue as the norm (this window of time is even shorter for those of you living outside of Chicago). At some point in the near future, after the parades and parties, we have to figure out how to get back into normal life. We’ve spent two months in playoff hockey rooting against the Wild, chanting “Detroit Sucks!”, dethroning the Kings, and taking down the Bruins that our brains are programmed for drinking and adrenaline at seven o’clock at night. Without Shaw beating up the opposing team, how are we supposed to figure out how to exist? Is there life beyond playoff hockey?

1. Hey, Did You Know Baseball Is Happening?

No Jumbotron!

No Jumbotron!

 

Hey, did you guys know that baseball is still a sport? Did you know that it’s been happening since, like, April? Now, we know that suggesting switching over to baseball from playoff hockey is like telling you that drinking sips of Sprite will get you just as drunk as slamming shots of tequila.

"No, Sprite's gonna get you tore up. Look at how faced this lamb is!"

“No, Sprite’s gonna get you tore up! Look at how faced this lamb is!”

 

So, more has been happening at Wrigleyville than an argument about a ridiculous jumbotron. It turns out that this team known as the Chicago Cubs has been playing a game known as baseball there for, like, three months. Their 31-43 season is hardly surprising because these numbers reflect the Cubs playing baseball. As usual, the Cubbies have some outstanding winners and some abysmal-looking losers. Nate Schierholtz is killing it this year with a line of .296/.347/.558 and has ten homeruns under his belt with 29 RBI. However, Carlos Marmol is killing the Cubs by allowing 26 hits, reeling in 21 walks, and letting six home runs get pitched right out of the park. Statistics like this reflect why he’s the perfect closing pitcher; he’s the best bet the Cubs have for screwing up a lead and losing it all in the ninth which is pretty much their baseball superpower.

Replace flying and super strength with errors and losing in the final moments and this is what the Cubs look like.

Replace flying and super strength with errors and losing in the final moments and this is what the Cubs look like.

 

The Cubs are expected to trade major assets Nate Schierholtz, Matt Garza, Scott Feldman, and Kevin Gregg. This is perfect because the Cubs’ offense is terrible, so trading their best offensive players seems like a really good idea.

Surprisingly, down at Comiskey (or, if you’re new, US Cellular Field), things are fairing a little better but not by much. Their 29-41 season is a smidge more successful than the Cubs, thus far. After being swept by the Cubs in the Crosstown Classic, the White Sox haven’t fared better than their North Side rivals and will not be getting to the playoffs this year. At 10.5 games behind the Tigers and looking a losing hot player, Jesse Crain, the White Sox need to focus on playing with new ways to spice up their game for next season or admit that they’ve just stopped believin’.

Hmmm…perhaps baseball isn’t the best thing to follow a successful hockey season with. Whereas it is a good excuse to drink, it may just be a good way to pass the time until August.

2. Bears Football Is Only 74 Days Away!

But who's counting?

But who’s counting?

On August 9th, the Chicago Bears pre-season games begin in Florida against the Panthers!

This season promises to be interesting as a lot has been shuffled. First, Lovie Smith has been replaced by new head coach, Marc Trestman. He has yet to have to prove himself, but he has had a successful track record of focusing quarterbacks. Quarterbacks need to be focused, and they need someone they can connect with who can run the ball. New to the roster this season is former New York Giant, Martellus Bennett. This tight-end had fifty-five receptions and five touchdowns with the Giants next year; hopefully, he will take pressure off of Brandon Marshall. This will also be the Bears’ first season without Brian Urlacher leading the defensive line. We have seventy-four days until we see how this new line-up performs on the field; once that starts up, it’s only a short time until hockey begins again.

3. Just Wait for More Hockey

We just need a short break!

We just need a short break!

 

With no lock-out looming like storm clouds in the distance, we won’t have to wait as long for hockey season! Give the boys a break, they’ve had a long short season of kicking ass and taking names.

4. Look Good For Lord Stanley’s Cup

Peep This Champ Shiz!

Peep This Champ Shiz!

 

Okay, you don’t have to stop the party for the Blackhawks. The Stanley Cup is exciting, and there will probably be a lot of babies born in Chicago nine months from now. However, though your ratty Kane shirt has brought the Blackhawks a lot of luck, it’s time to freshen up your look with some new Blackhawks threads because the Stanley Cup is in Chicago and it demands some fine threads and accessories. Luckily Clark Street Sports has a lot of Stanley Cup Championship gear to choose from, so you can add to your already extensive Blackhawks-themed wardrobe. Whether you’re going to the parade or just keeping the summer going strong with endless Stanley Cup parties, you’re going to need to show your love for the hard work the Blackhawks did this season. So visit http://www.clarkstreetsports.com for all of your sports attire.

We’re going to get through this time without hockey together because there are so many other teams to scream yourself hoarse over because sports is good!

 

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Sports Is Hurt Sometimes

What. A. Weekend.

On Friday we all were amped up for some sports! We had the Blackhawks facing the Bruins at the United Center, the Cubs taking on the Mets in New York, the White Sox against the Astros in Houston, and another adrenaline-rush game between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs.

SPORTS IS GOOD!

SPORTS IS GOOD!

 

Then, everything pretty much went south.

SPORTS IS OUCH!

SPORTS IS OUCH!

 

This weekend can certainly be broken into three categories: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

Shoot the ball through my hand, Your Majesty! Do it!

Shoot the ball through my hand, Your Majesty! Do it!

Well, Bulls fans (and most all of basketball fans in general), it looks as though King James is going to be denied his precious ring. The Gollum of the National Basketball Association and his friends are finding themselves in an uphill battle against the fast and furious San Antonio Spurs. Tony Parker, Danny Green, and Manu Ginobili’s season-high 24 point game are keeping the Heat from catching fire on the court, and everyone is loving it! The Miami Heat needs to win two consecutive games in order to cinch the championship, and that is something they haven’t won back-to-back games since Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals. Will LeBron and his boys recover? Let’s admit it: We’re hoping the answer is no.

The Bad

Ooof!

Ooof!

 

Well, ouch. The city of Chicago got an mighty kick to the gut on Saturday night as the Blackhawks fell to the Bruins at the United Center. Game Two seemed to be going well for the Blackhawks when The Perfect 10, Patrick Sharp, scored in the first period.

 

Just handsome that puck past Rask, Sharpie!

Just handsome that puck past Rask, Sharpie!

 

Boston tied up the score in the second, and the Blackhawks did both a great job of fending off the Bruins in the third and giving their all to take the lead. The final period saw the Blackhawks secret weapon, Andrew Shaw, attempting to do what he does best and finish up the game. However, as good as the Blackhawks were, the Bruins were on top of their game as well. Overtime found the Bruins getting that needed goal past Corey Crawford and winning Game Two, tying up the series as hockey moves to Boston for Games Three and Four. Though these teams are evenly-matched, it is clear that the Blackhawks need to focus on taking advantage of the power play. It’s been a short season, but hopefully in these final games the Blackhawks will finally grasp the concept of having a numbers advantage on the ice. We may also see the return of Viktor Stalberg in Game Three as Coach Quenneville has hinted he could lace up for the game tonight after his presence in the morning skate. With these two Original Six greats getting ready for Game Three, only one thing is certain: We are in for some intense hockey!

 

The Ugly

Then, of course, to put the final touches on this insane sports cake, we have the Chicago Cubs, who blew a 3-0 lead over the Mets in the ninth inning. Naturally, they got the lead because the Mets playing as if they were on Ambien, but in the ninth inning the Cubs remembered they were the Cubs. Upon seeing the lead against the Mets, Carlos Marmol got to the mound and Marmoled in a walk and then pitched a three-run homer to Kirk Nieuwenhuis and allowed the Mets to win 4-3.

"Don't worry, guys! I'll take care of that lead!"

“Don’t worry, guys! I’ll take care of that lead!”

 

Maybe this time, the Cubs managers will hear the cries of Chicago and get rid of Marmol.

So, tonight brings us Game Three of the Blackhawks and the Bruins. Hopefully, this will not be the typical “Ugly Game” that has been the third game of every series from the Minnesota Wild to the Los Angeles Kings. The Stanley Cup needs to live here in Chicago. It’s visited us, it has seen our deep dish pizza, it has tattooed Chicago’s skyline in its heart. The series might be tied, but if there is one thing that should never be dismissed it is the perseverance and drive of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Then I Shaw Her Standing There

Then I Shaw Her Standing There

 

We’ve got a long series ahead of us as the Blackhawks find themselves fighting the Boston Strong Bruins. Show your love for the Blackhawks with the jersey of your favorite player available at one of our stores or online at http://www.clarkstreetsports.com. From Andrew Shaw to Patrick Sharp, we’ve got your favorite Blackhawk’s jersey ready for you to wear to your next viewing of the Stanley Cup Finals.

 

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Wednesday’s Wild World of Sports

With baseball season in full swing, playoff hockey causing us to chew off our fingernails, a big announcement from Brian Urlacher, and the Bulls still grabbing headlines, this has, indeed, been a heck of a week for Chicago sports!

Dave Bolland does his best Joker impression to intimidate the Red Wings.

Dave Bolland does his best Joker impression to intimidate the Red Wings.

With the Blackhawks down in the playoffs against the much-hated Detroit Red Wings, the team is still optimistic about game four. Perhaps the Blackhawks were too confident against the team they swept in the regular season (a team they beat by a touchdown on Easter Sunday) and dismissed the fact that in order to play the Blackhawks, the Red Wings beat the second seed, the Anaheim Ducks (a team the Blackhawks could not beat in regular season). Game three saw an intense, ugly game that kept every fan, Chicago and Detroit, on the edge of their seats. The denial of what could have been the Blackhawks’ second goal certainly lowered the Blackhawks spirits as much as it raised the Red Wings’. However, in game four, it is clear that they cannot allow lowered spirits to turn into violent outbursts. Hockey may be a notoriously violent sport, but you can’t score goals from the penalty box. Though Brian Bickell and Andrew Shaw clearly will not let the Blackhawks go down without a knock down, drag out, good old fashioned hockey fight, in order to play effectively the Hawks need to keep their anger in check and focus that energy on getting to the net, keeping the puck in control, and playing angry while playing smart.

Save it for when we're ahead, Shawzer.

Save it for when we’re ahead, Shawzer.

The Chicago Bulls may be out of the playoffs, but the team with the most heart in the NBA may be losing the biggest heart of the team, Nate Robinson.

But we can't split up this dynamic duo! We can't!

But we can’t split up this dynamic duo! We can’t!

The news of Robinson’s likely departure has Chicago in an uproar. The little powerhouse that was a valuable asset to the Bulls in the playoffs has won the hearts of Bulls fans (and his on court relationship with the giant Joakim Noah might be one of the most endearing things in all of the NBA). The threat of Robinson’s leaving the Bulls has gotten Bulls fans in such an uproar that there is an online petition to convince the Bulls to keep Nate Robinson on the roster. Is this the best way to keep the running heart of the Bulls on the roster? Only time and a growing collection of signatures will tell.

So long, Brian

So long, Brian

Breaking news this morning is the retirement of Brian Urlacher, the Bears’ amazing linebacker. After toying with the idea of signing with the Vikings, Urlacher decided to retire from football altogether. Whereas we will miss seeing him destroying the competition every Sunday afternoon, we can selfishly admit seeing him go is better than seeing him in a purple helmet with viking horns on it. Retiring from football as a Chicago Bear was important to Urlacher, and we at Clark Street Sports wish the revered #54 the best of luck in retirement after thirteen years tearing up Soldier Field in navy and orange.

Baseball is serious business!

Baseball is serious business!

Memorial Day weekend means three day weekend and a lot of Chicago baseball. Whether your allegiance is to the North Side or the South Side, this weekend is a great time to take advantage of some fantastic Chicago baseball against the Marlins and the Reds before the Crosstown Classic kicks off on Memorial Day!

If you’re not dedicated enough to sport a full back Sox vs. Cubs tattoo this weekend, don’t worry! Clark Street Sports has all the gear you need for this year’s annual baseball blow out and for all your other Chicago sports needs! Until next time, sports fans, let us know what you think of what’s happening in the wild world of sports and keep rooting for the Windy City!

 

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Chicago Opening Day 2013

The Cubs @ Pirates at 12:35 and Royals @ White Sox on the South Side at 3:10

Baseball fans, Opening Day 2013 is here as both the Cubs and White Sox will look to start their season on on the right foot against their central division rivals.

The Cubs will open up their season in Pittsburgh against the Pirates as Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castrol, Darwin Barney, Alfonso Soriano, and Opening Day starter Jeff Samardzija will look to start the season with a Win.

As for the White Sox, they will open up their season today on the South Side against the Kansas City Royals as Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, Tyler Flowers, Dayan Viciedo, Alex Rios, and Gordon Beckham will look to light up the skies with Fireworks.

Chicago sports fans, remember to pickup all your favorite Cubs and White Sox merchandise at one of Clark Street Sports Chicagoland Locations or Online.

 

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MLB Offseason

The Winter Meetings have now come to an end and were just about half way through the MLB Offseason. With that in mind, I feel now’s a good opportunity for me to examine what has occurred the past few weeks and see who has/has not improved their roster this offseason.

Winners:

Boston Red Sox: The previous two seasons has seen the Red Sox lose a 9 Game September lead, change General Managershire a Manager that had  numerous problems with his players, trade 3 of the teams highest paid players, and then fire Bobby Valentine. With all those problems the past 2 seasons, the Red Sox decided to start over and go back to the old Red Sox formula which helped them win 2 World Series Titles in a 4 years span. The start of the offseason saw the Red Sox bring a familiar face back in former Red Sox pitching coach (and 2009-2011 Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays) John Farrell. With Farrell on board, the Red Sox decided to sign a number of quality “Clubhouse Players” and instead of spending 20 million per year on one player they signed 3 quality players for the same price in David Ross, Mike Napoli, and Shane Victorino. A number of people might criticize the Red Sox for some of the contracts they handed out but they needed to change their Locker Room and one of these players in particular (Mike Napoli) will put up great stats next season. Napoli has fantastic career stats at Fenway Park (.306 Average, 7 HR, and 17 RBI in 19 games) and with him not being an everyday catcher anyone (Boston already features David Ross, Ryan Lavarnway, and Jarred Saltalamacchia), I feel Napoli will get back to his 2011 Season.

The Red Sox still have two questions they have to address this offseason:

1.  With three catchers already under contract, when will Boston trade Jarred Saltalamacchia?

2. Will the Red Sox trade Jacoby Ellsbury?

Texas Rangers: The Rangers haven’t made any significant moves during the 2012 offseason, so why are they listed under the winners for the offseason? I decided to list Texas under the winners category because they’ve been mentioned in all the key players (Trade and Free Agency) this offseason. The biggest question surrounding the Rangers this offseason has been with 2010 MVP Josh Hamilton whose a Free Agent for the first time in his career. At 31, Hamilton is still an elite hitter but has had to deal with a number of injuries which have forced him to miss a number of game in his career (Hamilton has only played in 135 games only twice in his MLB career). So why have they done such a good job with handling the Hamilton situation? Because Texas allowed for other teams to set the market for him and see what his value was in Free Agency. As that was going on, the Rangers decided to look at Free Agents Zack Greinke and Michael Bourn along with DBacks Outfielder Justin Upton and Rays Pitcher James Shields. With Greinke signing with the Dodgers (and hurting their biggest rival) and Shields being traded to Kansas City, look for the Rangers to now turn their attention to Upton, Anibal Sanchez, R.A. Dickey, and of course Josh Hamilton.

With the Rangers linked to all these teams, this shows that the team that holds all the cards are the Texas Rangers. The Rangers can resign Hamilton or trade one of their young prospects for a veteran hitter/pitcher. With the money the Rangers will save from the Michael Young trade, look for them to make a significant signing or trade this offseason.

San Francisco Giants: Following San Francisco’s first World Series since the Franchise moved to the Bay Area, the Giants decided to bring back a number of players from their former roster that won the World Series. Unfortunately for the Giants, 2010 Rookie of the Year Buster Posey went down with a season ending injury but had Posey not gone down with the injury in April 2011, the Giants might have found themselves back in the playoffs the next season. With that said, the Giants didn’t make the 2011 Playoffs, brought in a number of new faces via trades and free agency (Angel Pagan, Melky Cabrera Hunter Pence and Marco Scutaro) which helped the Giants return to the top of the baseball world in 2012. Following their Championship Parade, the Giants decided to resign all of their key free agents (Jeremy Affeldt, Pagan, and  Scutaro) and go with almost the exact same roster that helped them win the 2012 World Series. With that said, a number of people have been surprised the Giants decided to go in another direction with Brian Wilson as they decided to Non-Tender his contract making him a Free Agent.

I feel this was the correct decision for two reasons:

1. With the Money they saved from not having Wilson on their roster anymore, there now able to sign their key Free Agents this offseason.

2. Romo has the potential of becoming one of the best closers in baseball.

Clark Street Sports: Where Real Fans Shop

Clark Street Sports: Where Real Fans Shop

Losers:

Los Angeles Angels: The winners of last years offseason might be the losers to this years offseason. The Angels decided to revamp their team by letting Torii Hunter, Dan Haren, and Zack Greinke leave via free agency in addition to trading Ervin Santana away to the Royals.

So what have the Angels done so far to account for all these departures:

1. The Angels traded 2010 All-Star Jordan Walden to the Atlanta Braves for Tommy Hanson who had an up and down career in Atlanta that ended with him going 12-5 with a 4.29 ERA during the 2012 season.

2. Following that, the Angels signed Joe Blanton (for the backend of their rotation) and Sean Burnett (to add the lefty reliever they needed) each to a 2 year deal.

These three moves showed that the Angels were preparing to move on from Greinke and go in another direction. With Greinke, Haren, and Santana out of their rotation, I feel the Angels took a step back this offseason and still need another quality pitcher if they want to compete with the A’s and Rangers in the American League West. If this is the Angels 2012 pitching staff (both starting and relief), then I feel the Rangers are the clear cut favorites in the AL West.

Seattle Mariners: The Mariners have a solid pitching rotation highlighted by Felix Hernandez and also includes Jason Vargas, Hisashi Iwakuma, Erasmo Ramirez, in addition to top pitching prospects Taijuan Walker and Danny Hultzen. This shows that the Mariners have a number of quality pitchers, however, if they want to be a contender they need to address their lineup. Currently, the best players in the Mariners lineup are Jesus Montero, Dustin Ackley, and Kyle Seager which shows that their’s not much power in their lineup. With that in mind, I feel the Mariners should look to add two names: Josh Hamilton and Billy Butler. If the Mariners are able to add these two bats to their lineup, then the Mariners would become a legitimate contender in the American League West.

New York Mets:Mets fans were dreaming of a Wil Myers for R.A. Dickey trade but instead the Royals decided to trade their top prospect to Tampa for James Shields. With Greinke and Shields off the board, the Mets now need to look to trade with the Angels, Rangers, or Tigers and see what they would give up for 2012 CY-Young Award Winner. The Mets already have a solid rotation filled with a combination of veterans (Johan Santana and Jon Niese) and youngsters (Dillion Gee, Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler) and because of that the Mets are fortunate enough to have the space to trade Dickey so they can add power bat to their lineup. A few of the prospects the Mets should look to trade for include Mike Olt, Elvis Andrus, C.J. Cron, or another power hitting/middle of the infield player to their roster. If the Mets are able to do this, then the Mets would show a solid core of talent in both their lineup and rotation.

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Happy Holidays from Clark Street Sports

Chicago Sports Fans, Remember to Stop by one of our Clark Street Sports Locations or look online for all your favorite Holiday Merchandise. Happy Holidays from Clark Street Sports.

 

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