White Sox

Bears draft 'core' could allow trading down, other options

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Bears draft 'core' could allow trading down, other options

Depending on the fine-tuning of their prospects list in the final days before Thursdays start of the 2012 draft, the Bears could well be positioned for a trade down from No. 19 and still landing an impact player to come in and start as a rookie.The key is in the number of players deemed both worthy of the pick involved, in this case one in the difficult mid range of the draft, and who might be available at a later point in the first round in particular.I would say right now, were working on a core of about seven players, said Bearsgeneral managerPhil Emery on Monday.That core will have players ranked according to the Bears standards of measure,including players who will be gone by No. 19 and could alsoshrink as the day approaches.Emery agreed that 2012 is good for wide receivers, defensive ends and tackles, in addition to tackles who could be moved into guard in the NFL.Since defensive end has been established as a priority, this points to a desirable situation in which a target area also happens to be one deep in quality players.That also shapes up as a scenario in which the Bears could deal down, depending upon how many of their core targets are still available when their turn comes at No. 19.Witha tiny handful of core players, the pressure could increase for trading up to get one.If the Bears consider a core of seven players to be of sufficient quality for No. 19, those become even better bargains if they could deal back a couple of picks and get one of their core.But that requires precise measuring.When you move back, you have to have a list of players that you feel good enough about, and a number of players, that the worst case, Emery said.The doomsday thing is you move back four spots. OK. If you were in that slot and you move back you get the fourth or fifth player in that sequence; you better feel good about that player.Because all those guys can be taken; every one of them. And I have been in a trade situation that the third one out of three that we had -- the first guy got taken where we moved out of, the second went and then we got the third one. You have to feel really good about that third player on that list because that could be the one you end up with.With a core of seven, the Bears are in a potentially very good position to feel good when they are on the clock Thursday.

Potential first-ballot guy and Blackout Game hero Jim Thome headlines group of former White Sox on this year's Hall of Fame ballot

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AP

Potential first-ballot guy and Blackout Game hero Jim Thome headlines group of former White Sox on this year's Hall of Fame ballot

White Sox fans have seen a couple of their team's all-time greats go into the Hall of Fame in recent years, with Frank Thomas inducted in 2014 and Tim Raines inducted earlier this year.

Seven former White Sox are on this year's Hall of Fame ballot, even if only a couple of them made a big impact on the South Side.

Jim Thome is on the ballot for the first time. While more famously a member of those great Cleveland Indians teams of the 1990s, Thome spent four seasons in a White Sox uniform, playing in 529 games and belting 134 of his 612 career home runs with the South Siders.

A Peoria native currently working as a member of the organization, Thome was a beloved part of four White Sox teams, including the last one to reach the postseason in 2008. He smacked a solo homer to drive in the lone run in the legendary Blackout Game, a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Twins that gave the White Sox the American League Central crown in the 163rd game of the 2008 regular season.

Thome ranks second in White Sox history in slugging percentage and OPS, trailing only Thomas in both categories. He's No. 7 on the franchise leaderboard in on-base percentage and No. 13 on the home run list.

Given that he ranks eighth on baseball's all-time home run list, Thome could very well be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Also on this year's ballot is Carlos Lee, a power-hitting outfielder who spent the first six seasons of his major league career with the White Sox. El Caballo hit 152 homers and drove in 552 runs in 880 games with the White Sox, finishing 18th in AL MVP voting in 2003 after he slashed .291/.331/.499 with 31 homers. His numbers were even better in 2004, his final season with the White Sox.

Lee ranks ninth on the team's all-time home run list and 11th on the franchise leaderboard in slugging percentage.

Lee did an awful lot of damage in six seasons with the Houston Astros, as well, and earned three All-Star nods in his post-Sox career.

Five others to play for the White Sox are on this year's ballot. Sammy Sosa, more noteworthy for what he did with the Cubs, spent parts of three seasons on the South Side. Omar Vizquel, another Indians great like Thome, played for the White Sox in 2010 and 2011. Andruw Jones, better known for his defensive highlights with the Atlanta Braves, played 107 games with the White Sox in 2010. Orlando Hudson played in 51 games for the White Sox in 2012. And Manny Ramirez, the legendary Indians and Red Sox slugger, played 24 games with the White Sox in 2010.

In order to qualify for election into the Hall of Fame, a player must appear on 75 of ballots submitted by voters.

After critical missed field goal, Bears waive Connor Barth and sign former Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos

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USA TODAY

After critical missed field goal, Bears waive Connor Barth and sign former Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos

After Connor Barth's critical missed field-goal try in Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions, the Bears moved on to a new option at kicker.

The team announced Monday afternoon that it waived Barth and signed former Kansas City Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos.

Santos, a Tulane product who the Bears met with just last week, spent parts of the past four seasons with the Chiefs, including three games earlier this season. Santos has made 89 of his 105 field-goal attempts in his career and 125 of his 130 extra-point tries.

Santos was waived by the Chiefs earlier this season after being placed on injured reserve with a groin injury. He was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goals and a perfect 6-for-6 on extra points in the three games he played with the Chiefs earlier this season.

Barth's accuracy was a problem throughout his season and a half with the Bears, but perhaps no miss was bigger than what happened Sunday. After Mitch Trubisky drove the Bears into position for a game-tying field goal, Barth's 46-yard attempt with eight seconds left was far right, and the Bears lost the game 27-24.

In two seasons with the Bears, Barth missed 10 field-goal tries in 26 games. He was 11-for-16 so far in 2017 after going 18-for-23 in 2016.