U.S. Cellular Field may get a name change next year

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It may not happen for the 2013 season because the deal is not yet done, but the park formerly known as New Comiskey may be Sprint Field or something like it in time for 2014. Why? Because U.S. Cellular is selling some of its business units to Sprint/Nextel, and exiting the Chicago market:

There has been no word yet from U.S. Cellular or Sprint/Nextel on the future of the name of the stadium, but sources in the telecom industry told me this morning that they expect to see some or all of the U.S. Cellular phone stores gone from the market and a major push to further establish the Sprint/Nextel name in the Chicago area.

Also in the article, talk about why the Cubs don’t sell the naming rights for Wrigley Field. Which, though it would risk pissing off basically everyone with taste and good sense, would probably give the Ricketts family $15 million a year. Which is an INSANE amount of money compared to other naming rights deals, so take it with a grain of salt.

Red Sox beat Yankees 11-6 to clinch AL East for third consecutive season

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The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.

AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.

With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.