Photos: Cubs vs. Rangers, Maddux brothers, Rick Harrison, Jake Pavelka

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Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau

Jake Pavelka at the Cubs vs. Rangers game at Cashman Field in Las Vegas on Sunday, March 18, 2012. The Cubs won, 3-2.

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 (11:58 p.m.)

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It was a gloomy, dark, windy and rainy Saturday -- perfect for Chicago! But not for Las Vegas, where the Chicago Cubs were starting spring training with a Cashman Field exhibition game against the Texas Rangers. If it had been a clear, sunny and warm spring day, maybe the Cubs would’ve done better.

Maybe if they weren’t playing the defending American League champions. Maybe if they weren’t up against brothers Greg and Mike Maddux of Las Vegas. Whatever the reasons, Chicago lost, 12-7, even with “Pawn Stars” star Rick Harrison throwing out the first pitch and rooting for the Cubs.

Maybe it was because MLB Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan owns the Texas team. Maybe it was because Mike Maddux is the pitching coach for Texas and his brother Greg has joined forces as a special assistant. As contributing photographer Tom Donoghue, who shot this amazing gallery, commented, “In terms of pitching and teaching departments, you just can’t do better.”

Las Vegas fans of baseball rooted for the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton, who was the main attraction of the day delighting fans in signing autographs and posing for photographs. It was the Cubs’ eight annual visit to Cashman.

In today’s second game of the double-header, the Cubs made it a split with a 3-2 win. Before the game, “The Bachelor” star Jake Pavelka, who is guest starring as host of Chippendales at the Rio, threw out the first pitch, and afterward, Josh autographed a ball for Jake. Thanks to Glenn Pinkerton of Las Vegas News Bureau for the photo gallery.

Meantime, the Las Vegas 51s, the AAA team of the Toronto Blue Jays, start their games at Cashman the first week of April. Spring has arrived. Play ball!

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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