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Volume 24 No. 156
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Franchise Notes

In Philadelphia, Maria Panaritis writes the Phillies' trade for RF Hunter Pence was a "Santa Claus moment, one of the many the Phils have delivered nearly nonstop since winning the World Series in the depths of the global financial crisis in 2008." If there were "any doubts, the Pence deal dispelled them: The Phillies have become the gift that keeps on giving, in an age when get has been hard to get." On the field and off, the team "has managed what few bosses, elected officials, and even handsomely paid financial wizards have." They have "made big things happen in an economy in which take, can't, and wait are the words favored by lesser leaders with bigger-sounding titles" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/3).

TIME TO SHAKE UP THE IVY? The Cubs enter Wednesday's game with a 45-65 record, the third worst record in MLB, and Comcast SportsNet's David Kaplan said, "I just see the need for major, major change throughout the organization." Chicago Tribune reporter Steve Rosenbloom said Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts "has not held anybody accountable, and fans are holding him accountable." Rosenbloom: "Fans stopped showing up because when Ricketts bought the team and he acted like -- he said he was a fan. ... They had higher expectations for him than the wonks in the Tribune Tower. And he's failed them worse because every fan can see that (Cubs GM Jim) Hendry, as good a guy as he is, has not done it. It's not working, it's not panned out and everybody who gets blamed is gone" ("Chicago Tribune Live," Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 8/2).

HOOP DREAMS: In Jacksonville, Mark Woods notes Mayor Alvin Brown keeps bringing up the possibility of an NBA team playing in the city. Brown: "Why not an NBA team one day? Can you imagine that? I can." Woods writes, "I have trouble imagining it. And not just because [Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena], in its current form, wouldn't be big enough for the NBA. This is football country. And it has been hard enough to sell tickets for games not involving Gators, Bulldogs and Seminoles" (, 8/3).

PACKING THE PARK: The Red Sox exceeded 3 million tickets sold for the '11 season Monday, surpassing the previous record of Aug. 5, 2009 as the earliest date in club history to reach that mark. The team as of yesterday had sold 3,000,174 tickets, marking the fourth time in history the Red Sox have reached 3 million tickets sold (Red Sox).