Preps Talk

5 Questions with...670 The Score's Jason Goff

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5 Questions with...670 The Score's Jason Goff

CSN Chicago Senior Director of Communications
CSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the city's most popular personalities on the spot with everyone's favorite local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

On Wednesdays, exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guest ... one of the rising stars in Chicago sports talk radio who has done a standout job as both a producer/on-air host at 670 The Score over the past 12 years ... his passion and deep knowledge for all things Chicago sports, not to mention, sports and entertainment from a global perspective are simply off-the-charts ... bottom line, this guy just keeps on getting better and better ... enough with the intros, lets get to it ... it's 5 Questions with ... JASON GOFF!

BIO: Jason Goff hails from Evanston, attending Evanston Township High School and later, Southern Illinois University. Jason has been employed by The Score since February 2000 and has tackled many tasks including producing for Dan Jiggetts and Doug Buffone, Dan McNeil and Jiggetts, Jonathan Hood (J Hood) and presently The Boers and Bernstein Show. Jason has been producing The Boers and Bernstein Show for the past four years. Jason has extensively the Bulls among other Chicago teams and is a regular substitute host on the Danny Mac show. Jason has also hosted at the station since 2003, as well as covered events such as the Final Four and Championship Boxing. Jason currently resides in the West Loop.

1) CSNChicago.com: Jason, there's no hiding the fact that your status is rising as you continue to become an even bigger on-air presence at The Score. In fact, in a previous 5 Questions with interview with Matt Spiegel a couple years ago, Spiegs said that you were the most underrated on-air talent at the station, praising your fearlessness and edge and that when he does four hours with you on-air, it feels like it lasts 10 minutes. As solid of a producing job you currently are doing for Boers & Bernstein, when can your fans expect you to move on from that role to a more permanent on-air spot at the station?

Goff: Basically, whenever the people in charge feel it is my time. I've let go of thinking if it was going to happen and more when it will happen. So, once the "if" is removed, you can concentrate on getting better. I would doubt myself and wonder if people really understood or got what I was doing. As soon as I let go of that and just was who I was off the air while in front of a microphone, I was pleased with the results and feedback. I'd rather be great at this job than famous. Hopefully, one day I can be great whether it be here or elsewhere. I feel it's our duty to stay relevant. People spend 15 minutes to four hours of their day with you. The least you can do is watch what they watch and make them smile a few times along the way. If you can do that while staying true to what you believe in, you've got a jump on the competition.

2) CSNChicago.com: Growing up, who were the on-air role models that made you want to get into the radio biz and why?

Goff: I listened to Mac & Boers almost every day as a kid. I loved the way Mac controlled a show with his emotion and precise radio mechanics. Terry had (and has) as good a sports mind as I've ever been around, but doesn't waste time trying to be smarter than the room (even though he might be most times). Also, I listened to The Monsters on half days of school or when I got out early. The chemistry of Mike and Dan was evident and made you feel like you just dropped in on two guys talking sports. North's style was fun, and there was something that I respected as a man about the way Jiggs carried himself. I grew up with five uncles, so when I got a chance to work with Jiggs, he imparted some of the wisdom that I had only gotten from the men in my family, along with various other formats I grew up with and admired: Dan Bernstein, Don Wade & Roma, Kathryn Johns, Jay Marvin, etc.

3) CSNChicago.com: Not to play favorites or anything, but who would you say is the most knowledgeable Score personality when it comes to Xs and Os for ALL sports -- and, a follow-up question -- who makes you laugh harder than anyone else at the station?

Goff: Me. On both accounts. Seriously though, Bernsy is as knowledgeable a guy as I've been around. Sometimes, he over-thinks things and then we have spirited debates. The funniest guys at The Score are usually the producers (and most knowledgeable). I'm not just saying that because I'm one of them either. Hosts do a lot of double-talking when they haven't watched or read something and it's up to a producer to have that item ready for them.

Funniest guys at the station to me are behind-the-scenes guys like Brendan McCaffrey, Herb Lawrence, Nick Shepkowski, Ben Finfer, Jay Zawaski, etc. Hosts steal our information and jokes anyway. I'll try not to do the same if I ever get a show (don't hold me to that though).

4) CSNChicago.com: The White Sox have been tearing it up of late as you well know. In particular, the MVP-style of play from Paul Konerko, the stellar comeback of Adam Dunn, along with some real good pitching across the board, especially from AL Pitcher of the Month Chris Sale, and a more relaxed approach to the game under new manager Robin Ventura, has catapulted this team front and center in the eyes of the Chicago sports media. In your opinion, are there any reasons why this team cant win a very winnable AL Central title?

Goff: The Tigers haven't hit their stride yet for whatever reason and this is the White Sox team that everyone was excited about going into last year. I see no reason why they can't win the AL Central. I am worried about Chris Sale and Jake Peavy. Their health is paramount to winning a division. John Danks and Gavin Floyd haven't been reliable as of late due to injury and poor performance. Baseball is a beautifully frustrating game that way. Seasons are just long enough for anything to happen. Whatever it is, I know there will be 29,000 Sox fans at The Cell cheering them on the entire way.

5) CSNChicago.com: As a native Chicagoan like so many of us, there's no doubt you'd agree that we live in THE best summer city in the country. Tell us something that you plan on doing in the city this summer that you've never done before (keep it clean Jason, this is a G-rated interview column!).

Goff: This may be boring, but I'm going to read as much as I can this summer. Tired of reading sports stuff. Want to start reading leisurely. I may purchase a bike and ride the lake shore and become more proficient at grilling. It's hard to get out because there's always something to watch on the weekends. I'll try to enjoy myself as much as I possibly can. Never know when things may change.

BONUS QUESTION! CSNChicago.com: Anything you'd like to promote Jason? Tell us ... CSNChicago.com readers want to hear about it.

Goff: I'm involved with the great people over at onestepcamp.org, plus the Jackie Robinson West Little League can always use a plug. I'm also trying to get sports equipment for a community center back in my old neighborhood: Fleetwood Jourdain Community Center in Evanston. Anyone's help and support out there would be truly appreciated.

Goff LINKS:

670 The Score official website

Jason Goff on Facebook

Jason Goff on Twitter

Public League champion Simeon remains clear No. 1 in latest Preps Power Rankings

Public League champion Simeon remains clear No. 1 in latest Preps Power Rankings

The Class 1A and 2A regionals begin this week and the regular season is finishing up for every other team in the state. We're getting that much closer to state titles being decided in Peoria. Simeon remains the clear No. 1 in the latest Power Rankings after beating No. 4 Whitney Young and No. 2 Orr by double digits on the way to earning a third straight Public League Playoff title, while a couple of familiar faces are back in the tail end of the rankings.

1. Simeon (25-3, 9-0) (1) -- Simeon stays at No. 1 after winning the Public League Playoffs for the third consecutive year. The Wolverines have now defeated teams No. 2 through No. 6 in the Preps Power Rankings for a 6-0 record on the season in which the average margin of victory has been 14.5 points per game. The clear No. 1 in the state of Illinois, Simeon has the week off before the Class 4A playoffs.

2. Orr (22-4, 9-0) (2) -- Orr put up a good fight but they ultimately fell short to No. 1 Simeon in the Public League Playoff title game. The Spartans did gain revenge on No. 3 Curie, however, with a big semifinal win on Friday. Orr has to forget the title loss ahead of the Class 2A Playoffs that begin this week as the Spartans try to repeat as champions.

3. Curie (23-4, 8-1) (3) -- The Condors have only lost to No. 1 and No. 2 when it comes to in-state losses as they remain one of the most complete and balanced teams in the state. Curie has the week off before the IHSA Playoffs.

4. Whitney Young (22-7, 7-2) (4) -- Whitney Young earned a huge quarterfinal win over Morgan Park before falling to Simeon in the Public League Playoff semifinals. The Dolphins also have the week off before they attempt to repeat as Class 4A champions. 

5. Morgan Park (18-9, 7-2) (5) Disappointing result for the Mustangs as they lost on a buzzer-beater in the Public League Playoffs to Whitney Young. Defending champions in Class 3A, the Mustangs will rest this week before the playoffs begin.

6. Fenwick (18-7, 8-0) (8) -- The Friars earned two wins during the week as they beat Marmion while also getting a huge conference road win at Loyola. Fenwick will battle Taft during the week.

7. New Trier (22-3, 8-1) (9) -- New Trier had one of the best weeks of any team in the area as they picked up wins over Maine South and Evanston. Now the leaders in the rugged CSL South, the Trevians have some more tough games against Niles North and Glenbrook North this week. 

8. Evanston (20-5, 8-2) (6) -- Evanston's red-hot recent play was finally slowed down as they fell to rival New Trier. The Wildkits will try to bounce back when they play Vernon Hills in a Central Suburban crossover this week.

9. Oak Park-River Forest (21-5, 12-0) (11) -- The Huskies finished the West Suburban Silver season unbeaten following wins over York and Proviso West. OPRF gets a great test right before the playoffs when they face Hinsdale South in the West Suburban championship game.

10. Benet (21-4) (6-1) (12) -- Two wins for the Redwings this week when they beat Joliet Catholic and Stevenson. Things aren't easy for Benet this week as they head to Marian Catholic before hosting Carmel in two tough ESCC games. 

11. West Aurora (19-4, 8-0) (13) -- The winning streak is now 11 for the Blackhawks after beating South Elgin. West Aurora will play Bartlett and crosstown rival East Aurora this week as they try to keep the momentum going into the playoffs. 

12. Marist (23-4, 6-2) (15) -- Marist picked up a double-digit win over St. Patrick during the week as they prepare for the Class 4A draw. The RedHawks will have an ESCC game against Marian Central this week. 

13. Niles North (22-4, 5-4) (8) -- The Vikings fell to CSL South rival Maine South and followed that up with an overtime win over a tough Wisconsin team in St. Catherine's. The Vikings get a crack at conference leader New Trier this week before playing Maine West in a tough Central Suburban crossover. 

14. Marian Catholic (20-4, 5-3) (16) -- Three wins for the Spartans during the week as they knocked off Nazareth, Rich Central and Marian Central. Marian Catholic gets a tough test this week when they host Benet in its final ESCC game.

15. Naperville North (23-2, 14-1) (17) -- The Huskies have won eight straight games as they clinched at least a share of the DuPage Valley Conference with a win over Waubonsie Valley this week. Naperville North hosts Wheaton-Warrenville South this week to decide the DVC title.

16. DePaul Prep (20-6, 5-3) (19) -- Picking up a convincing double-digit win over Mount Carmel, the Rams got back on track after the loss to Brother Rice. DePaul Prep will host Montini during the week as they prepare for Class 3A. 

17. Loyola (21-6, 5-3) (10) -- Tough recent stretch for the Ramblers as they fell to St. Joseph and Fenwick to fall out of the Catholic League Blue race. Loyola hosts Steinmetz for a tune-up this week. 

18. Hillcrest (21-5, 13-0) (21) -- Hillcrest survived a tight win over T.F. North before winning convincingly against Oak Forest. The Hawks have the week off as they prep for Class 3A. 

19. Leo (19-5, 8-0) (22) -- Finishing the regular season with a big win over Marmion, the Lions will be one of the area teams to watch in the Class 2A playoffs as they are in the Marshall Regional. 

20. Homewood-Flossmoor (16-6, 7-1) (23) -- Another huge win for Homewood-Flossmoor as the Vikings took down Bolingbrook to keep a lead in the SouthWest Suburban Blue. Homewood-Flossmoor goes on the road this week to battle Sandburg and Lockport. 

21. Hinsdale South (20-5, 10-2) (24) -- The Hornets stayed hot with wins over Addison Trail and Proviso East as they clinched the West Suburban Gold. Hinsdale South has a tough battle against Oak Park-River Forest in the West Suburban championship game this week. 

22. St. Viator (22-5, 8-0) (25) -- The Lions picked up some wins against Carmel and Bartlett. St. Viator will try to close out the ESCC with an undefeated record when they play Nazareth this week. 

23. Bolingbrook (17-6, 5-3) (18) -- Bolingbrook fell out of the SouthWest Suburban Blue conference race when they lost to Homewood-Flossmoor. The Raiders still have some tough games to close out the regular season when they play Lincoln-Way East and Stagg.

24. Maine South (20-7, 6-4) (NR) -- Huge win for Maine South as they knocked off Niles North after losing to New Trier in overtime earlier in the week. The Hawks close out the regular season with a Central Suburban Crossover against Highland Park.

25. Willowbrook (22-5, 9-3) (NR) -- Willowbrook is back in the rankings by earning three double-digit wins over Morton, Leyden and Downers South. The Warriors have only lost to ranked teams like West Aurora and Hinsdale South lately as they've been playing well. 

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Sunday marked the first surprise of White Sox spring training, courtesy of first baseman Jose Abreu.

“This year, I’m going to try to steal more bases,” Abreu said through a translator.

This might have sounded like a joke, but Abreu was completely serious.

On paper, he’s not exactly Rickey Henderson. In 614 career games, Abreu has only six stolen bases. However, the slimmed-down first baseman does have some sneaky speed. His six triples last season ranked third in the American League. So there are some wheels to work with.

“I like the challenge. I think that’s a good challenge for me. I’m ready for it,” Abreu said.

How many steals are we talking about? A reporter asked sarcastically if a 30-30 season is in the offing? Abreu didn’t exactly shoot down the possibility.

“Who knows? When you fill your mind with positive things, maybe you can accomplish them,” Abreu said. “The mind of a human being works in a lot of different ways. If you fill your mind with good things, good things are going to happen.”

The morning began with Abreu walking to the hitting cages with his Cuban compadres Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, who the White Sox signed last summer. He held his first workout on Sunday. At the White Sox hitters camp last month, Moncada took Robert under his wing, showing him the ropes, even telling Ricky Renteria, “I got him.”

But Sunday, Abreu was in charge, holding court with the three of them in the cage. Abreu watched closely as Robert hit off a tee, giving him pointers about his swing.

“I just like to help people,” Abreu said. “When I started to play at 16 in Cuba, I had a lot people who hounded me to get better. At the same point, I want to give back things that I’ve learned and pass that along to other people. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not expecting anything else. I’m just glad to help them and get them better.”

What kind of advice has he passed along to Robert?

“Since I came to this country, I learned quickly three keys to be a success: Be disciplined, work hard and always be on time. If you apply those three keys, I think you’re going to be good. Those are the three keys I’m trying to teach the new kids, the young guys,” Abreu said.

Abreu lost about 10 pounds during the offseason. He said he hopes to learn more English in 2018. He also arrived at spring training sporting a scruffy beard which he grew while he was in Cuba so he “could be incongnito.”

Abreu likes his new look. Moncada thinks he should shave it off.

“If the organization doesn’t say anything, I’m just going to keep it,” Abreu said.

Well, so much for that.

Moments after Abreu spoke with the media, Renteria told reporters that Abreu will have to “clean it up a bit.”

The two will find a compromise. Come to think of it, maybe Abreu and the White Sox should do the same about a contract extension in the near future.

Yes, he’ll be 33 when his contract expires in two years, but there have been no signs of a decline with his performance. Instead, Abreu is only getting better both offensively and defensively.

Heck, now he wants to steal bases, too.

After Renteria, Abreu is the leader of this team. He commands ultimate respect inside the clubhouse. He’s become another coach to Moncada, Robert and others. He’s a huge brick in the present and too big of an influence and cornerstone to not have around in the future.

“I hope to play my entire career in the majors with the White Sox,” Abreu said Sunday. “But I can’t control that.”

At some point, a decision will have to be made whether to keep Abreu or trade him. In the meantime, ask yourself this question: What will bring more value to the White Sox, getting a high-end prospect or two in return not knowing if they’ll ever succeed in the majors? Or keeping your best player, the heart and soul of your team, allowing him to show your future stars the way while they’re developing in the major leagues?

Seems like an easy decision to me.