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Check out that headline...thanks to the hard work of Cubnut, we've struck a sponsorship deal with Motorola. As far as we know, it's the first of its kind. We actually need to still cross a few T's and dot a few I's on the final deal, but we felt the off-day was the perfect time to make the announcement. We realize the whole thing is a little unorthodox and some folks will call us sellouts. That's fine, we'll accept the criticism knowing that this will be better for the site in the long run.

The deal is pretty simple, in exchange to referring to ourselves as "The Cub Reporter Presented by Motorola®" or "TCR Presented by Motorola®", Motorola backs up the Brink truck and gives us a bunch of cash to run the site. And of course, like any sponsorship deal, Motorola gets their name and logo plastered on the site.

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....counting down to Vegas (I'm going next week, Cubs arrive at the end of the month).

- Feel free to use this as today's game thread, Cubs stay home in Mesa and battle the Angels; Ryan Dempster vs. Ervin Santana. 

- The big news of the week was another Lou lineup change, this one involving our highest paid player though. I immediately expressed my displeasure over the experiment, but I'll save my final judgement when it's actual put to use in a game that counts. Lou still has a few weeks to change his mind. I have no problems with moving Soriano to the 2-spot or the 5-spot or the 4-spot or even the 3-spot. I have all kinds of problems with giving Ryan Theriot even more plate appearances, even if it's just a handful more.

On the other hand...

There's just something about the Lou tenure so far that makes me give him the benefit of the doubt. It's not that I think he's infallible or anything. It's just that if he does go down this road with Theriot at the top of the order, I feel just as confident that he'll abandon it if it's not working. This is the complete opposite of how I felt about Dusty, who was stubbornly stupid.

Just wanted to give everyone a head's up about one of our new pages: the Cubs 40-Man Roster. We think it's an improvement over the one at cubs.com. The two neatest features are that you can sort by column and you've got each players' option year info at your fingertips, which was mined from Arizona Phil's wonderful work.  


You can access it either by the "TCR Junk Drawer" menu link up top or the sidebar link under "Quick Links".


Let us know if there's any other info you think should be added. Ideally it would be nice to put service time up there for each player, but that's a bit difficult to keep track of on a consistent basis. Possibly we could use Opening Day and then various other benchmarks within the season to update it.

The Cubs travel to beautiful Peoria (Arizona) to take on the not-as-good-as-they-think Seattle Mariners. Jon Lieber and Sean Marshall will see the mound for the Cubs. Jarrod Washburn (I've been told we bear a resemblance minus his goofy facial hair) will start, but definitely not finish, for the Mariners. Some site info after the jump....

- A couple of quick site modifications with more soon to come. I added a "module" as Drupal calls them, that will automatically fill in the subject line for users when they comment. When you first hit the comment button, it will add "Re: {Title of Post}. If you hit reply to a comment, it will fill-in the subject line with the subject of the comment you are replying to. You can go in and edit them if you wish. If you are replying to someone's comment though, we do ask that you just leave the default because it makes life a lot easier for those viewing comments in the "flat" modes.

- The next tweak is the signature module. It has a few options - the most important is that it will stylize the signature automatically (no more broken tag troubles hopefully). Currently it's set-up to have a small line break and italicize it:

__________________________

Welcome to The New Cub Reporter!

Since the system is doing all the formatting now, I do ask that if you did add a signature, to go in and remove any tags or linebreaks (directly the opposite of what I asked yesterday). I simply typed in: Welcome to the New Cub Reporter! in my signature box without any formatting and what you see above is what is pumped out.

Also, if you change your signature or add one, it will change the signature on all your old comments as well.

Next, your signature will no longer show up in the comment box and you won't have to type around it. If you added a signature to your account, it will automatically attach it to the end of your posts now.

The last note is that after I installed the module, it did take everyone who had a signature yesterday and duplicated them in your comments. An unfortunate side-effect, but everything should be working normally from here on.

On July 21st, 2001, Christian started this site somewhere on the World Wide Web with a post simply titled, "Welcome to the Cub Reporter." About six and a half years later, the NEW Cub Reporter is born. Yes, the rumors are true, we've moved to a new site and to our own domain name (finally). If anything, we'll be easier to find now at www.thecubreporter.com. I suppose the first question will be: Why the move?

While we appreciated the opportunities afforded to us at MVN.com and all the fine people working over there, we're just not the conforming types. Plus, we were very anxious to take on the headache of maintaining our own website. Mostly though, we just wanted to do our own thing and be able to swear whenever we wanted.

The second question you might be asking is: What's the ultimate answer to life, the Universe and Everything? Answer: 42 (it's even in our FAQ).

Third question(damn, what's with all the nagging): What's new about the site?

Plenty my friends...plenty.

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Our apologies for the inconvenience, the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority will be here soon to fix the problem. In the meantime, please return to our home page and consider donating a few bucks so that it doesn't happen again.

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Unfortunately that page is inaccessible at the moment. Please return to our home page and have an Old Style on us.

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The folks over at Cubscast are doing something they've deemed "The Strodes". A little off-season diversion to recognize some of the best Cubs websites out there. Here are the categories:

Best Cubs Blog – Individual Author
Best Cubs Blog – Multiple Author
Best Cubs Site - Overall - Non-Blog
Best Cubs Rumor Site
Best Cubs Player Site
Best Cubs Humor Site
Best Cubs Merchandise/Memorabilia/Clothing Site
Excellence in Diction – Best Original Cubs-Related Word or Phrase
Lifetime Achievement Award

I mentioned it in the comments yesterday and we've already gotten some readers to nominate us for Best Cubs Site - Multiple Authors, Excellence in Diction (Cubbery) and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Arizona Phil.

While Chad's "Cubbery" sure seems like a runaway winner for Excellence in Diction, I do want to also mention Transmission's "womacked", as in "He really womacked the hell out of that ball". There's probably a few more out there like the Ryan Dempster Experience and so forth, but I'll let you guys do the pimping. "The Joe" nominated Carrie Muskat's mailbag column for Best Humor Site, which I thought was a nice touch.

Also, if you feel that we should be nominated for another category, we'd certainly appreciate it. And of course, if you feel other sites on the world wide web deserve a nomination, drop it in the comments over there.

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Also want to menton that Chicago Magazine put us in their top 171 Chicago websites. There were only about 7 other sports-themed sites mentioned and us and GoatRiders of the Apocalypse were the only two that feature mostly Cubs content. Here's the blurb on us:

"Curse, banter, and sound off about how this might be the year at The Cub Reporter, MVN.COM/MLB-CUBS, featuring Cubs-related news, rumors, updates and commentary from bloggers like "Arizona Phil", "Transmission," and "Cubnut."

First, I find it amusing that they must have stumbled onto us during this escapade. Second, apparently me and the good doctor are chopped liver, or, more likely we need more amusing pseudonyms. I'm either going with "Ryn-O-mite!" or "Rob G-Funk" (as suggested by Transmission).
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In Cubs news, Roch over at the Baltimore Sun says that talks with the Cubs and Orioles are still "active". And we have a random radio rumor that the Cubs and Red Sox have chatted about Coco Crisp.

Otherwise, I vote for Haiku Wednesday in the comments..

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Parachat. Somehow we got 72 votes although there's no way in hell we've had 72 different people go through the chat room. Fraud!!! The good news is that we were able to embed the chat into our web design which makes us happy. What also makes us happy is if you go to the chat page, you'll notice right below the "Connect" button a link that says "Free User Name Registration". If you guys wouldn't mind taking a moment and registering your nicknames it would help. Basically go through their registration process and then everytime you enter Parachat, enter with whatever nickname you registered and it'll ask you for a password once the page loads up. Sweet and simple! If you prefer the floaty window version of Parachat, that's still available. Once you enter the site, there's a button at the bottom that has four arrows pointing to each corner of the box. Click that and you get the popup window version. The only problem I've encountered so far is that once I enter Parachat, it won't let me minimize Firefox. Can't have everything I suppose. TCR donate The final order of business is the annoying ads. We certainly don't want to take your money, but if we could get about fifteen to twenty of you to donate $5 a piece (we need $75 total), once Paypal skims off the top, we'll have enough for the advanced room which eliminates the ads and gives some administration features. You can of course donate just to show your appreciation for the site and all amounts are welcome. Donations of $100 or more get you a date with Transmission. $500 or more you get a happy ending.
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The Cub Reporter has been nominated for Best Sports Blog of 2005. Go on over the Red Reporter and vote. Don't let the Batlings steal the election!
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