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Chicago Cubs do business as usual as Tribune files for bankruptcy protection

Wrigley Field in July. LAS VEGAS -- Chicago Cubs' General Manager Jim Hendry said the decision by the team's parent, Tribune Co., to seek bankruptcy protection won't impact anything the club plans to do at baseball's annual winter meetings here.

Tribune, which also owns the Los Angeles Times, sought Chapter 11 protection today to restructure its $13-billion debt.

But Hendry, whose team has already spent $52 million to sign right-hander Ryan Dempster to a four-year contract, will continue to pursue trades and free-agent signings in an effort to improve the team, which won a National League-best 97 games before being swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Dodgers.

"The Chicago Cubs are not included in Tribune's restructuring, and the business of baseball operations of the Cubs continues independent of Tribune's decision to restructure its debt," the team said in a statement. "It is business as usual at Wrigley Field as the Cubs continue to prepare for the 2009 season. We remain exclusively focused on our singular goal of securing a World Championship for our fans and the city of Chicago."

Hendry said the team recently gave raises to its scouts and that no layoffs are planned. He also said he believes the sale of the Cubs and their iconic ballpark should go through shortly -- a prediction made earlier by Sam Zell, the real estate mogul who owns Tribune.

-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Back in July, Chicago Cubs fans gather outside Wrigley Field. Credit: Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press

 
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