“He just kept saying: ‘They’re going to burn this city down again when we win the World Series'”

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Cubs president Theo Epstein recalled his courting of starting pitcher Jon Lester in an interview this week with Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com

“He just kept saying: ‘They’re going to burn this city down again when we win the World Series,'” Epstein said.

It’s a reference to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed over three square miles of the city and left around 100,000 residents without a home.

Lester signed a six-year, $155 million deal with the Cubs in December and should be their Opening Night starter on Sunday, April 5 against the visiting Cardinals.

Bovada has pegged the Cubs’ over-under win total for 2015 at 82 1/2 wins, but it’s a team with a very young and very talented core. There should be good times ahead on Chicago’s north side.

Let’s just hope the revelry — if it ever does happen — doesn’t result in a historical disaster.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”