Cubs

Butler, Teague highlight Bulls' summer league roster

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Butler, Teague highlight Bulls' summer league roster

Guided by Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin, the Bulls summer-league team will be headlined by swingman Jimmy Butler and first-round draft pick Marquis Teague.
Former NBA player Jermaine Taylor, a shooting guard who played in the D-League last season after stints with Sacramento and Houston in the past, as well as ex-Celtics power forward Leon Powe -- who crossed paths with Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau in Boston -- will also be on the roster for the NBA's summer league in Las Vegas.
A familiar name in Chicago, former St. Joseph High School and University of Illinois standout point guard Demetri McCamey, will also play for the Bulls, as will two players who had a cup of coffee in the NBA last season: swing man Edwin Ubiles, who played for the Wizards, and power forward Malcolm Thomas, who played for the Spurs.
Practicing with the team at the Berto Center this week, but not joining them in Vegas, according to a source, will be two point guards with NBA experience: Jonny Flynn, a well-traveled, albeit young, free agent who finished last season in Portland, and Marcus Banks, who played in the D-League last season after several years as a journeyman in the league; Northern Illinois product and Chicago native Jake Anderson, and Kashif Watson, the younger brother of now-former Bulls backup point guard C.J. Watson, will also participate in the mini-camp, as well as former BYU swing man Charles Abouo.
The complete roster, CSNChicago.com has learned, is as follows: Jimmy Butler, 6-foot-6 small forward; Oley Czyz, 6-foot-7 power forward; Justin Johnson, 6-foot-2 point guard; Demetri McCamey, 6-foot-3 point guard; Ramone Moore, 6-foot-5 shooting guard; Leon Powe, 6-foot-8 power forward; Chase Simon, 6-foot-5 shooting guard; Henry Sims, 6-foot-10 power forward; Jamie Skeen, 6-foot-8 power forward; Jermaine Taylor, 6-foot-4 shooting guard; Marquis Teague, 6-foot-2 point guard; Malcolm Thomas, 6-foot-9 power forward; Henry Sims, 6-foot-10 power forward; Edwin Ubiles, 6-foot-6 small forward.
The Bulls' first game in Las Vegas will be next Tuesday, July 17, at 9 PM Central time, on UNLV's campus.

When Kyle Schwarber met new Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis: 'I don't suck'

When Kyle Schwarber met new Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis: 'I don't suck'

MESA, Ariz. — The first thing Kyle Schwarber told his new hitting coach?

"His first statement to me is, 'I don't suck.'"

The Cubs hired Chili Davis as the team's new hitting coach for myriad reasons. He's got a great track record from years working with the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, and that .274/.360/.451 slash line during an illustrious 19-year big league career certainly helps.

But Davis' main immediate task in his new gig will be to help several of the Cubs' key hitters prove Schwarber's assessment correct.

Schwarber had a much-publicized tough go of things in 2017. After he set the world on fire with his rookie campaign in 2015 and returned from what was supposed to be a season-ending knee injury in time to be one of the Cubs' World Series heroes in 2016, he hit just .211 last season, getting sent down to Triple-A Iowa for a stint in the middle of the season. Schwarber still hit 30 home runs, but his 2017 campaign was seen as a failure by a lot of people.

Enter Davis, who now counts Schwarber as one of his most important pupils.

"He's a worker," Davis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "Schwarbs, he knows he's a good player. His first statement to me is, 'I don't suck.' He said last year was just a fluke year. He said, 'I've never failed in my life.' And he said, 'I'm going to get back to the player that I was.'

"I think he may have — and this is my thought, he didn't say this to me — I think it may have been, he had a big World Series, hit some homers, and I think he tried to focus on being more of a home run type guy as opposed to being a good hitter.

"His focus has changed. I had nothing to do with that, he came in here with that focus that he wants to be a good hitter first and let whatever happens happen. And he's worked on that. The main thing with Kyle is going to be is just maintaining focus."

The physically transformed Schwarber mentioned last week that he's established a good relationship with Davis, in no small part because Schwarber can relate to what Davis went through when he was a player. And to hear Davis tell it, it sounds like he's describing Schwarber's first three years as a big leaguer to a T.

"Telling him my story was important because it was similar," Davis said. "I was a catcher, got to big league camp, and I was thrown in the outfield. And I hated the outfield. ... But I took on the challenge. I made the adjustment, I had a nice first year, then my second year I started spiraling. I started spiraling down, and I remember one of my coaches saying, 'I'm going to have to throw you a parachute just so you can land softly.' I got sent down to Triple-A at the All-Star break for 15 days.

"When I got sent down, I was disappointed, but I was also really happy. I needed to get away from the big league pressure and kind of find myself again. I went home and refocused myself and thought to myself, 'I'm going to come back as Chili.' Because I tried to change, something changed about me the second year.

"And when I did that, I came back the next year and someone tried to change me and I said, 'Pump the breaks a little bit, let me fail my way, and then I'll come to you if I'm failing.' And they understood that, and I had a nice year, a big year and my career took off.

"I'm telling him, 'Hey, let last year go. It happened, it's in the past. Keep working hard, maintain your focus, and you'll be fine.'"

Getting Schwarber right isn't Davis' only task, of course. Despite the Cubs being one of the highest-scoring teams in baseball last season, they had plenty of guys go through subpar seasons. Jason Heyward still has yet to find his offensive game since coming to Chicago as a high-priced free agent. Ben Zobrist was bothered by a wrist injury last season and put up the worst numbers of his career. Addison Russell had trouble staying healthy, as well, and saw his numbers dip from what they were during the World Series season in 2016.

So Davis has plenty of charges to work with. But he likes what he's seen so far.

"They work," Davis said. "They come here to work. I had a group of guys in Boston that were the same last year, and it makes my job easier. They want to get better, they come out every day, they show up, they want to work. They're excited, and I'm excited to be around them.

And what have the Cubs found out about Davis? Just about everyone answers that question the same way: He likes to talk.

"I'm not going to stop talking," he said. "If I stop talking, something's wrong."

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: