Cubs Convention kicks off tonight

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Cubs Convention kicks off tonight

Last year's Cubs Convention had a definite buzz around it, being the first in the tenure of Theo Epstein and the rebuilt front office.
And then, of course, there was the Kerry Wood announcement at the Opening Ceremonies.
While this year certainly isn't a repeat of 2012, there is still plenty to be excited about for the 2013 Convention.
First and foremost, there's the new location -- Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. And with that comes more space for the droves of Cubs fans to flock through.
And there will be more than 75 people affiliated with the Cubs -- from prospects to current and former players to front office staff to broadcasters -- just itching to get things kicked off.
"It's really cool," outfielder Tony Campana, who enjoyed his first Cubs Convention last year, said Thursday on the Cubs Caravan. "I didn't really know what to expect last year, so there's a couple times where I went through the lobby of the hotel, and you're strolling along to the elevator and then you wind up signing autographs for 20 minutes.
"It's cool how much the fans show up and show their support. It makes it a good time. It's almost like the Convention is new again, because we're at a different place, so I don't really know how different it's gonna be."
Several newcomers will join the festivities this weekend, including TV analyst Jim Deshaies, top prospect Javier Baez and big free agent acquisition Edwin Jackson.
Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com will air the Opening Ceremonies tonight, beginning at 5 p.m. You can check the stream out here.
Make CubsTalk your destination for news and notes from the 2013 Cubs Convention, and be sure to check out SportsNet Central every night this weekend, beginning at 6:30 p.m. for one-on-one interviews and updates from the Sheraton. And follow @CubsTalkCSN as well as Insider Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) for more insight.
For a complete listing of the schedule of events, check out Cubs.com.

Bob Arum slams Conor McGregor for wanting to fight Floyd Mayweather: 'It's a joke'

Bob Arum slams Conor McGregor for wanting to fight Floyd Mayweather: 'It's a joke'

Conor McGregor has no chance to beat Floyd Mayweather in the ring, according to Top Rank founder and CEO Bob Arum: “The truth is, the sad truth is, I could take any four-round fighter in my gym and put him in with Conor McGregor and McGregor wouldn’t beat him.”

The legendary boxing promoter was in the CSN Chicago studios on Wednesday taping a segment for “In The Loop” to promote Friday’s fight at the UIC Pavilion with Irish Olympic boxer Michael Conlan.

Arum didn’t hold back when reacting to McGregor’s challenge to Mayweather.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a joke," he said. "You don’t put someone who’s never had a boxing match into a ring with a world-class fighter like Floyd Mayweather and expect a contest.”

Arum conceded that there is a huge market for a potential fight between the two stars.

“If people want to see it, and they will, they’ll make a lot of money," he said. "God bless them.”

Watch the full interview in the video above. “In the Loop” airs nightly on CSNChicago and csnchicago.com/watchlive at 6:30, 10, and 10:30 p.m.

Joe Maddon ‘Anchorman’ vision for Cubs road trip: ‘We got the Sex Panther in today’

Joe Maddon ‘Anchorman’ vision for Cubs road trip: ‘We got the Sex Panther in today’

A homestand that has already featured Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price grumbling “Hail to the Cubs” after a game ended on an overturned replay review – and Milwaukee Brewers officials complaining about a premature rainout – will end with Joe Maddon’s team walking out of Wrigley Field dressed as “Anchorman” characters. 

The Cubs are hovering around .500 as a baseball product, but the defending World Series champs are already back in terms of getting under people’s skin and going viral on social media. That will happen again on Thursday, when the Cubs start posting photos of their 1970s outfits to Twitter and Instagram before boarding their flight to Southern California.

“We got the Sex Panther in today,” Maddon said during Wednesday’s pregame media session, sounding nothing like San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

Q: You got the what?

“Sex Panther,” Maddon said, “60 percent of the time, it works every time, you’re not aware of that?”

Q: Does it growl when you open it?

“It does,” Maddon said. “It growls.”

The official theme for the road trip through Los Angeles and (Stay Classy) San Diego would be…

“It’s the Ron Burgundy/Brick Tamland – and I also wanted to include Tommy La Stella – Tribute Road Trip, where 60 percent of the time, it works every time, sponsored by Sex Panther cologne,” Maddon said.

La Stella is the enigmatic pinch-hitter/backup infielder now playing at Triple-A Iowa. Steve Carell played Tamland – the weatherman for the Channel 4 news team – in the movie. 

“I just see him like Brick Tamland,” Maddon said. “I just see him kind of like Brick. It’s almost like two interchangeable guys. I see Brick, I see Tommy, I see Tommy, I see Brick. Put some glasses on Tommy like that, dress him up, some sideburns and have him scream a little bit, I got Brick.”     

And when the Cubs return home next week, it will be interesting to see if the St. Louis Cardinals notice the celebration shots on the big video board and find any amusement in the dancing relievers.

“Oh my God, absolutely, I love it,” Maddon said. “I think it’s very entertaining. I would have to believe two things: I believe the fans will really appreciate it, and I don’t think it’s disrespectful to the other side. 

“I just think it’s funny. I really believe if we’re on the road and the other bullpen did that, I would laugh. So whoever’s thought it was in the beginning, I commend them. I think it’s pretty funny.

“It really makes you look forward to the next home run, to see what these guys are going to do, so I’m all for it.”