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CHICAGO -- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts had dinner with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein in Arizona around the start of spring training.If Epstein had any doubt about a contract extension, it ended right there. And on Wednesday, it became official.Chicago announced a five-year extension, rewarding Epstein for an overhaul that has the long-suffering franchise eyeing its first championship since 1908.He started it off by saying some really nice things about me that might have hurt his leverage a little bit, and then I returned the favor by telling him that even if we couldnt work out a contract it would get awkward because I would just keep showing up to work, Epstein said. As an employee, I will. I kept ruining my leverage.The deal comes with the Cubs wrapping up one of the greatest seasons in franchise history and their fans believing this just might be the team to end the 108-year World Series title drought.Chicago reached 100 wins for the first time since 1935 and was a major league-leading 101-56 heading into Wednesdays game at Pittsburgh. The Cubs clinched the best record in the majors with more than a week left in the regular season.In the five years under Theos leadership, he has brought in a strong executive team and acquired and developed some of the best players in the game, Ricketts said. Now, the results are on the field.Terms were not disclosed.It looks like Epstein isnt the only Cubs executive with a new deal. He said contract extensions for general manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod will probably be announced in the next day or two.Epstein, who was in the final season of a five-year deal when he left Boston in October 2011, had repeatedly said a new contract was a formality, that there were more immediate priorities. Ricketts had echoed that and indicated in the spring that he was prepared to make him one of the highest-paid executives in baseball.There was never any real drama throughout the summer, said Ricketts, adding the agreement was finalized a few days ago.What took so long?We sat down at spring training, had a nice dinner, talked about getting an extension done, Ricketts said. Basically, I told him I thought he was the best in the game at what he did. He told me no matter what I paid him he wasnt going to leave Chicago, so we were off to a good start. We checked back in on it a couple times during the summer. There was no real time pressure.The new deal is a reward for a striking transformation that began with the arrivals of Epstein along with Hoyer and McLeod -- his friends from Boston -- following the 2011 season.The Cubs tested some fans patience by taking the long approach rather than going for a quick fix, but they have seen the benefits the past two years. Chicago is eyeing even bigger things after breaking out with 97 wins and reaching the NL Championship Series last season.When you have great leadership at the top, it usually filters through the rest of the group, manager Joe Maddon said. A successful organization has that. We have that. I was very happy to hear the news. Im very happy for Theo and his family and of course, us. It is great. Its a feel-good story. He deserves it. Hes earned it. Im very happy for him.High draft picks such as 2015 NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant made big impacts, as did a number of trade acquisitions, including last seasons NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo and potential Gold Glove shortstop Addison Russell.The hiring of NL Manager of the Year Joe Maddon and signing of starter Jon Lester before the 2015 season showed just how serious the Cubs were about jumping into contention. And the additions of three-time Gold Glove outfielder Jason Heyward, pitcher John Lackey and veteran infielder Ben Zobrist along with the re-signing of outfielder Dexter Fowler this past offseason added to an already deep roster.Throw in the emergence of Kyle Hendricks as a Cy Young candidate, and the Cubs are widely considered a postseason favorite.There were missteps along the way, but the Cubs are in a far different and far better place than they were five years ago. And if they win it all under Epstein, it wont be the first time he helped end a long championship drought.Before he took aim at the Billy goat curse, he took down the Bambino.Epstein oversaw two World Series winners in nine seasons as Bostons general manager.In Chicago, Epstein parted with high-priced veterans and loaded up the minor league system while expanding the teams scouting and analytics operation as part of an overhaul that saw the organization get stripped to its studs.The Ricketts family also invested heavily in infrastructure in recent years, including new training facilities in the baseball-rich Dominican Republic and the spring training home in Arizona. They are also overhauling Wrigley Field and the surrounding neighborhood.There really wasnt anything important to me besides finding common ground, making sure that we could stay and see this thing through, Epstein said. Our mission has not been accomplished yet. Discount Air Max 270 . But the quarterback hopes to stay involved in football after officially calling it quits Tuesday. "Id love to look at those opportunities as they arise," Pierce said in an interview from his Winnipeg eatery. Cheap Air Max 270 Free Shipping . President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest was fired Friday after 12 years with the Marlins. The move came as the team neared the end of its third consecutive last-place season in the NL East. http://www.discountairmax270.com/ . The 15th-ranked Canadian men lost the opening two games of their European tour: 19-15 to No. 17 Georgia and 21-20 to No. Wholesale Air Max 270 . Bjorn, who had a 36-hole total of 8-under 134, made a testing six-foot putt to save par on the 16th and a birdie on the 17th before bogeying the final hole after a misjudged approach shot. American Kevin Streelman was in second place after shooting a 69. Cheap Air Max 270 China ., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask., took sixth spot on Saturday in pairs at the NHK Trophy ISU Grand Prix figure skating competition. COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri wide receiver Keyon Dilosa has been suspended indefinitely after he was arrested before dawn Wednesday and accused by a witness of punching a woman in the face.A Boone County jailer said Dilosa was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor third-degree domestic assault.A police report said the witness reported that Dilosa argued with the woman outside a bar before hitting her. Dilosa, 21, was later released after posting $1,000 bond. No charges were immediately filed.Associate athletic director Chad Moller says the school is aware of the situation and addressing it internally.Dilosa doesntt have a listed phone number and didnt immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press.dddddddddddd The sophomore from Round Rock, Texas, played in three games this season, catching two passes for 7 yards.Dilosa is the fourth Missouri football player to be arrested this season. Standout running back Damarea Crockett was booked for possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana on Nov. 20, costing him a one-game suspension. He missed the Tigers season finale against Arkansas. Wholesale Hoodies NFL Shirts Outlet Jerseys NFL Wholesale Cheap NFL Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale Jerseys Cheap Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '

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