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updated: 7/21/2011 2:04 AM

Statement by Ricketts denies Gillick rumors

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Trade rumors aren't the only things running rampant around major league baseball as the July 31 nonwaiver deadline nears.

A report made the rounds Wednesday that Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has been talking to former baseball executive Pat Gillick about a front-office job, presumably a high-ranking job.

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Reporters did not see Ricketts at Wrigley Field, but he issued a statement through his media-relations firm.

"While Tom respects Pat Gillick's Hall of Fame career, reports of a conversation are unfounded," the statement read.

Gillick, who is highly respected, is entering the Hall of Fame this weekend. He gained most of his acclaim by taking the Toronto Blue Jays from a late-1970s expansion team to back-to-back World Series titles in 1992-93.

There has been media pressure on Ricketts to hire a "baseball man" as president to advise general manager Jim Hendry, who is under severe fire for the Cubs' 39-60 record. The Cubs will miss the postseason for the third straight season.

Just weeks ago, Ricketts dismissed that idea, saying he didn't want a baseball man to watch his baseball man who is watching his baseball people.

Man, it was hot:

The game-time temperature at Wrigley Field was 97 degrees with the heat index reaching well into the triple digits.

The Phillies scored 9 runs on 12 hits while the Cubs managed just 1 run on 4 hits while making 2 errors.

"It's only tough between pitches," said second baseman Darwin Barney. "Running on and off the field is tough. When you're in the (batter's) box, you don't feel it. When the pitcher starts his windup and you zero in, it doesn't bother you.

"There's no excuses. We both played in it. We didn't set the tone early. ... You know how it is when you're down by however. It gets hotter. When you're up, sometimes you can manage it a little better."

Rotation roulette:

After Thursday's off-day, the Cubs play the last-place Houston Astros at Wrigley Field. Manager Mike Quade said he'd go with a pitching rotation of Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells and Matt Garza.

Even though Rodrigo Lopez has outpitched Wells, Lopez will go to the bullpen for now, with off-days coming up Thursday and next Monday.

"We'll take a close look at Randy and try to get him straightened out and give him that second game against Houston," Quade said. "Lopez has pitched really well. It's a commitment to me from to Wellsie right now to say, 'Look, you've been a big part of this thing. Keep working, but progress is important.' So we'll do this for the Houston series."

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