Sports Digest: Cubs to leave WGN radio after 90 years

2014-06-04T21:30:00Z 2014-09-09T23:09:16Z Sports Digest: Cubs to leave WGN radio after 90 years nwitimes.com

Pro baseball

CUBS TO LEAVE WGN RADIO AFTER 90 YEARS: The Cubs are leaving the station that's been their radio home for 90 years.

WGN Radio president Jimmy de Castro confirmed on the air Wednesday media reports that the Cubs are leaving the station after this season.

The Cubs say they'll hold a news conference on Thursday at Wrigley Field to announce a long-term broadcast deal with CBS-owned WBBM-AM 780.

De Castro says the parting ways was a difficult decision for the station, which has been synonymous with the Cubs for close to century.

But he says the decision was made after the station determined that the business deal the Cubs insisted on did not make economic sense for the station.

LONGTIME BASEBALL FIXTURE ZIMMER DIES AT 83: Don Zimmer, a popular fixture in professional baseball for 66 years as a manager, player, coach and executive, has died. He was 83.

Zimmer was still working for the Tampa Bay Rays as a senior adviser. The team confirmed Wednesday night that he had died.

Zimmer had been in a rehabilitation center in Florida since having heart surgery in mid-April.

After starting as a minor league infielder in 1949, Zimmer went on to have one of the longest-lasting careers in baseball history.

Zimmer played for the only Brooklyn Dodgers team to win the World Series and the original New York Mets, nearly managed the Boston Red Sox to a championship in the 1970s and was Joe Torre's right-hand man with the New York Yankees' most recent dynasty. Zimmer managed the Cubs from 1988 to 1991.

Pro basketball

NOAH JOINS NBA ELITE: The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant, the NBA Most Valuable Player and winner of four scoring titles in five seasons, highlights the 2013-14 All-NBA First Team. Durant was the lone unanimous selection, appearing on all 125 ballots as a First-Team pick while LeBron James of the Miami Heat garnered 124 First-Team votes.

Joining Durant and James on the First Team are Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Joakim Noah of the Bulls. Harden and Noah captured First Team honors for the first time in their careers.

Noah, who appeared in 80 of Chicago’s 82 games, ranked sixth in the NBA in rebounding (11.3), 12th in blocks (1.51) and added 1.24 steals. He was one of just three players (Detroit’s Andre Drummond and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis) to average at least 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals.

Behind Noah, the Bulls held opponents to a .430 field goal percentage, second-stingiest in the league.

Horse racing

CALIFORNIA CHROME FAVORED IN LAST TRIPLE CROWN LEG: California Chrome became the early 3-5 favorite on Wednesday to win the Belmont Stakes and become horse racing's 12th Triple Crown champion and first in 36 years.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner will face 10 rivals old and new on Saturday at Belmont Park. Since Affirmed became the last Triple Crown winner in 1978, three Belmont fields with the same history on the line also drew 11 horses in 1981, 1988 and 2002.

California Chrome will break from the No. 2 post under Victor Espinoza, putting nine horses to his outside and giving Espinoza a good look at the early speed. Eleven Belmont winners have come out of that spot in the starting gate, the last being Tabasco Cat in 1994.

Racing fans looking for an omen will see California Chrome listed No. 2 in the betting program, the same number as 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

Pro tennis

NADAL IN FRENCH OPEN SEMIS FOR NINTH TIME: Rafael Nadal rallied to advance to the French Open semifinals for the ninth time, beating David Ferrer 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 Wednesday.

The eight-time champion at Roland Garros dropped a set at this year's tournament for the first time, but then seemed to race through the next three to ensure he had today off.

Nadal will next face Andy Murray in the semifinals on Friday. Murray, who missed last year's tournament because of a back injury, held on to beat Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0.

Around the horn

The Colts on Wednesday signed free agent cornerback Johnny Adams and undrafted free agent center F.N. Lutz. ... The Super Bowl will scrap the Roman numerals for a year. The 50th edition of the game will be played in February 2016 in Santa Clara, Calif. The NFL said Wednesday it will be called "Super Bowl 50" instead of "Super Bowl L."

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