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9/26 Jeter’s farewell

Whether you’re a Derek Jeter fan or not, you have to admit the Yankees shortstop could not have scripted a better ending to his last home game on Thursday at Yankee Stadium. Hitting a walk-off RBI single in the ninth for the game-winner was perfect. Here are some reactions from Cubs players posted on Twitter after the game:

* Justin Ruggiano:

“Thank you #Jeter, for teaching all of us how to carry ourselves on, and off the field. #RESP2CT”

* Anthony Giansanti

“That’s about right. Congratulatins Cpt. Thats the only way to end your Yankee Stadium career. Thank you for everything #RE2PECT #TearyEyed”

* Kris Bryant

“Jeter with the walk off in the 9th?! #FingersCrossed #FarewellCaptain”

“Oh my Derek Jeter!! What a way to go out! An incredible ending to an incredible career! #FarewellCaptain”

* Justin Grimm

“Derek Jeter. #RE2PECT Absolutely awesome!!”

* Neil Ramirez

“Wow … wouldn’t have expected anything less #RE2PECT #FarewellCaptain”

* Shawon Dunston Jr

“Never was a huge Jeter fan since I’m from the west coast, but what a great career, and role model every athlete should want to be like”

9/25 The South Bend Cubs

The Class A South Bend team announced Thursday it is changing its name to the South Bend Cubs. Team owner Andrew Berlin made the announcement during a news conference in South Bend.

“We are now The South Bend Cubs,” Berlin said. “Affection for and loyalty to the Chicago Cubs goes back generations in this community. We’ve listened to fans throughout the region, and this is a name that we know they are thrilled about.”

Berlin also unveiled a new logo for the team that he described as the model that the team expects to use in the design of new uniforms, apparel and other South Bend Cubs branded items.

“We’re moving fast,” Berlin said. “Officials gave South Bend a special waiver so that we could show you this today, but something as important as a logo needs to be approved by the league and by the Chicago Cubs. So, I can’t call it official yet, but it is what you’re likely to see on all our uniforms, apparel, advertising and merchandise from now on.”

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein attended the news conference.

“We’re thrilled to begin this partnership with South Bend and we’re looking forward to working with everyone here,” Epstein said. “It is important to have first-class facilities not only at the big league level, but also throughout our farm system. South Bend provides exactly what we were looking for both as a community and as a farm club.”

Players will have a new 15,000-square foot facility in South Bend next year that will include batting cages. There also will be a new fitness center and clubhouse for the players.

The Cubs’ Class A team had been at Kane County the last two years, and won the Midwest League championship this season under manager Mark Johnson.

9/25 The Wright way

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On Wednesday, Cubs pitcher Wesley Wright stopped by the Pablo Casals School of Excellence to visit a third grade class. He read “A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis” to the class, and then spoke to the students about the importance of perseverance and working hard.

9/24 Cubs 3, Cardinals 1

In three starts this season, Jake Arrieta has taken a no-hitter into the seventh inning. In his last start of the year on Wednesday, the right-hander flirted briefly with a no-no and, more importantly, helped himself with his bat.

Arrieta smacked a two-run triple to spark the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Cardinals, and take the series against the National League Central leaders. St. Louis maintained a 1 1/2 game lead in the division over Pittsburgh, which also lost Wednesday.

Arrieta struck out 10 over seven innings, giving up one unearned run on two hits. He’s had the edge against the Cardinals, holding them to three earned runs over 22 1/3 innings for a 1.21 ERA.

Luis Valbuena doubled to lead off the Chicago fourth against John Lackey, and two outs later, Logan Watkins was intentionally walked. Arrieta then delivered, lining the ball into the gap in right center for the first triple by a Cubs pitcher since Chris Rusin did so, Aug. 21, 2012. It was Arrieta’s 10th career hit in 64 at-bats.

The Cardinals had runners at first and third with one out in the fifth, and tallied on a throwing error by catcher Welington Castillo.

A crowd of 33,292 attended the Cubs last home game of the season at Wrigley Field.

9/24 Renteria: “We’ll be better next year”

Wednesday was the Cubs last home game at Wrigley Field, and manager Rick Renteria was already looking ahead to next year.

“This was certainly a great experience for me in my first year,” Renteria said. “More than anything, it’s been awesome to see a lot of those young guys show up here in the big leagues and everybody gets to see them.

“Being with them the whole year has given me an advantage because we have a basis now to establish how we’re going to continue to move forward and things we need to work on to become a better ballclub. We’ve been thinking about that for two or three weeks already.”

The Cubs will finish with a sub .500 record and Renteria knows that won’t be acceptable in years to come.

“We all know what this is about — it’s about ultimately winning,” he said. “There’s nobody who takes this [job] who thinks otherwise. I just happened to be in a unique position this year where I had a lot of young players and new players for me, and got to know them and their personalities and tried to help them in any way we could through the coaching staff and communication we’ve had throughout the season to help them become better big league baseball players.”

Can the Cubs win?

“My expectation is that we can,” Renteria said. “I’m not going to shy away from that. Do I expect we’ll be better next year? Absolutely.”

– Carrie Muskat

9/24 Saying goodbye

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Firefighters from Engine 78 located on Waveland Avenue near Wrigley Field posed their fire truck near the left field bleachers on Wednesday prior to the Cubs last home game. That part of the bleachers will be torn down, with work scheduled to begin Thursday, as the renovation gets underway. The plan is to install a video scoreboard behind the left field bleachers in addition to six other signs.

9/24 Cubs lineup

It’s the last home game at Wrigley Field Wednesday, and Jake Arrieta makes his final start of the 2014 season. Here’s the lineup:

Coghlan LF
Baez SS
Rizzo 1B
Soler RF
Valbuena 3B
Castillo C
Lake CF
Watkins 2B
Arrieta P

If you’re coming to the game, you might want to arrive early. Players will be giving fans autographed baseballs during pre-game ceremonies.

9/24 Last Cubs home game

If you’re coming to Wednesday’s last Cubs home game, make sure you get there early. Players will give away autographed baseballs in the stands before the final home game.

Cubs Charities and Bank of America will host a group of military members and their families for a pregame batting practice experience, player meet-and-greet before the game as well. Fans can help salute these troops during a Military Take the Field pregame ceremony.

And, it’s my favorite seventh inning stretch as members of the Wrigley Field grounds crew lead the crowd in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” If you’re coming, bring your camera. Wrigley Field won’t look the same in 2015. The Cubs start renovation work this weekend.

* On this date in Cubs history:

1976: Bill Madlock suffers bruises and a slight concussion when he is mugged in New York City. The Cubs then get mugged by the Mets, 4-3.

1984: Rick Sutcliffe pitched a two-hitter in a 4-1 win over the Pirates to help the Cubs clinch the NL East title and secure the first postseason berth since 1945.

1985: Andre Dawson hit three home runs, including a pair of three-run blasts in a 12-run fifth inning, to lead the Expos to a 17-15 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

– Carrie Muskat

9/23 Cubs 4, Cardinals 3, 10 innings

Welington Castillo hit a two-run homer in the second inning and a walk-off RBI single with two outs in the 10th to lift the Cubs to a 4-3 victory over the Cardinals Tuesday night.

With the game tied at 3 and one out in the 10th, Anthony Rizzo doubled off Pat Neshek, lining the ball to the right-center gap. The ball bounced into the ivy. Rizzo moved up on Jorge Soler’s groundout and Luis Valbuena was intentionally walked to set up Castillo, who line the ball into right for the game-winner.

Castillo hit his 13th home run of the season in the second, and rookie Matt Szczur made it 3-0 with a leadoff home run in the fifth, his second big league blast and first at Wrigley Field.

Hendricks did not get a decision, and will make one more start Sunday at Miller Park against the Brewers. He posted a 1.99 ERA in seven starts at Wrigley Field this season.

The Cubs are 40-40 at Wrigley Field with one home game remaining on Wednesday.

– Carrie Muskat

9/23 Kerry Wood fundraiser on Oct. 22

Kerry Wood will team up with country music artist Chris Young to host Woody’s Western Roundup on Oct. 22 at Joe’s Bar, 940 W. Weed Street, in Chicago. There will be live music plus cocktails and food stations from some of Chicago’s top restaurants. Proceeds will benefit the Wood Family Foundation which has raised over $4 million for Chicago’s kids. Young’s last four singles have all hit No. 1 on the charts, including the smash hit “Gettin’ You Home,” which earned him his first-ever Grammy nomination.

The Wood Family Foundation and its volunteers completed a resource room and renovated the library at Lawndale Community Academy as well as preparing for “Pitch In,” the first after-school mentoring program.

Tickets for Woody’s Western Roundup are $125 per person for general admission (includes concert and open bar) and $250 per person for VIP (includes early entry, open bar and food stations) and can be purchased at TicketWeb.com. For additional information, please visit http://www.woodfamliyfoundation.org.

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