Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder will lead Game 5 seventh-inning stretch

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Bill Murray may hold the title of No. 1 Cubs fan, but he has some stiff competition in Eddie Vedder, who not only composed Cubs’ anthem “All the Way,” but was seen partying in the clubhouse with the team following their NLCS clinch against the Dodgers. Like Game 4 performer Vince Vaughn, he’s become a familiar face from the broadcast booth at Wrigley Field, and has graced the Cubs’ fanbase with at least five renditions of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” since 1998. On Sunday, he’ll make his sixth appearance at the mic and, though it goes without saying, his first in a World Series.

Former Cubs’ public address announcer Wayne Messmer will perform the national anthem and “God Bless America” during the Series’ last stop in Wrigley Field. Messmer was the voice of the Cubs from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s, and has built a reputation as a talented anthem singer around other Chicago sports venues — including the Cubs’ crosstown rival White Sox.

Ceremonial first pitch duties will go to Hall of Fame Cub Ryne Sandberg, who was immortalized in Chicago lore during “The Sandberg Game” of 1984, when the 24-year-old infielder stunned the Cardinals with two game-tying home runs in the ninth and tenth innings of the Cubs’ 11-inning win. He spent 15 of his 16 major league seasons in Chicago, earning a place in Cooperstown with 282 home runs, a .285 career average, 10 consecutive All-Star nominations, nine consecutive Gold Gloves, and a knockout MVP year in 1984. Fellow Hall of Famer Andre Dawson will deliver the game ball.

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster 11-year, $280 million contract, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.