Cubs

CSN to air 'Chicago Bulls Classics' telecasts featuring 15 of the greatest games in franchise history

CSN to air 'Chicago Bulls Classics' telecasts featuring 15 of the greatest games in franchise history

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO AIR CHICAGO BULLS CLASSICS TELECASTS FEATURING FIFTEEN OF THE GREATEST GAMES IN FRANCHISE HISTORY Chicago Bulls Classics, featuring BullsNBA Legend Michael Jordan in all 15 games, to debut Wednesday, November 2 at 7:30 PM; Comcast SportsNets Bulls announcers Neil Funk & Stacy King to host each telecast

Chicago, IL (October 19, 2011) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Bulls, will provide viewers with a special trip down memory lane beginning in November as the network has announced it will replay 15 Chicago Bulls Classics telecasts, which will include EVERY championship-clinching game from each of the teams six NBA titles.

Beginning Wednesday, November 2 at 7:30 PM, this extraordinary, 15-week telecast schedule (hosted in-studio by Comcast SportsNets always-entertaining Bulls announcing tandem of Neil Funk & Stacy King) will look back at some of the greatest games in Bulls history, with every game featuring numerous highlight reel moments from Bulls legendPro Basketball Hall of Famer MICHAEL JORDAN.

Comcast SportsNet will televise the first of its 15 Chicago Bulls Classics on Wednesday night, November 2 at 7:30 PM with a game from February of 1987 that featured a young Jordan setting a new team regular season scoring record with 58 points. Additional games on Comcast SportsNets Chicago Bulls Classics schedule include Jordans The Shot over Craig Ehlo in 89, his shrug 3-point barrage from Game 1 of the 92 Finals, The Shot II against Cleveland from 93, his double-nickel performance from MSG just days after his return to the NBA in 95 plus, the championship-clinching telecasts from each of the Bulls six NBA titles (91 vs. LA Lakers, 92 vs. Portland, 93 vs. Phoenix, 96 vs. Seattle, 97 vs. Utah & 98 vs. Utah). NOTE: These games will only be made available within Comcast SportsNet Chicagos regular viewing territory.

Fans are also encouraged to visit Comcast SportsNets newly-enhanced Bulls section on CSNChicago.com (CSNChicago.comBulls), for the latest NBA news 247 from Bulls Insider Aggrey Sam, along with the latest video and expert blog entries on the sites new Bulls Talk section (CSNChicago.comBullsTalk).

CHICAGO BULLS CLASSICS on Comcast SportsNet

Wednesday, November 2

7:30 PM February 26, 1987: New Jersey Nets at Chicago Bulls (Bulls win 128-113)

Michael Jordan sets a new all-time Bulls scoring record with 58 points; also sets new Bulls record of 2627 from the free throw line, including 19 straight; terrific post-game interview with the late Johnny Red Kerr asking MJ Whats next?the youthful Jordans response: an NBA Championship.

Wednesday, November 9

7:30 PM February 16, 1989: Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls (Bulls win 117-116)

Jordan scores 27 of his 50 points in 4th quarter, including a 20-footer with one second remaining on the clock.

Tuesday, November 15
7:30 PM May 7, 1989: Rd. 1, Gm. 5 - Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers (Bulls win 101-100)
The Shot: MJ hits game-winning shot at buzzer over Craig Ehlo giving the Bulls a huge first round upset against the Cavs.

Tuesday, November 22

7:30 PM June 12, 1991: NBA Finals, Gm. 5 - Chicago Bulls at LA Lakers (Bulls win 108-101)

Bulls celebrate first NBA Championship; Jordan scores 30 points, to go along with ten assists and five steals; coverage includes post-game locker room coverage of MJ clutching the Larry OBrien NBA Championship Trophy with his father James Jordan at his side.

Wednesday, November 30
7:30 PM June 3, 1992: NBA Finals, Gm. 1 - Portland Trailblazers at Chicago Bulls (Bulls win 122-89)

Jordans infamous shrug told the story as he was six of ten from three-point range w35 points in the first half.

Tuesday, December 6

7:30 PM June 14, 1992: NBA Finals, Gm. 6 - Portland Trailblazer at Chicago Bulls (Bulls win 97-93)

Bulls win back-to-back NBA titles and celebrate their first home court championship at Chicago Stadium.

Tuesday, December 13

7:30 PM May 17, 1993: Rd. 2, Gm. 4 - Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers (Bulls win 103-101)

Jordan hits game-ending, series-clinching Shot IIreminiscent of his playoff series-clincher at CLE four years earlier.

Tuesday, December 20

7:30 PM May 31, 1993: E. Conf. Finals, Gm. 4 - New York Knicks at Chicago Bulls (Bulls win 105-95)

On this Memorial Day telecast, MJ shines once again with a stellar 54-point performance that tied the series at 2-2.

Tuesday, December 27

7:30 PM June 16, 1993: NBA Finals, Gm. 4 - Phoenix Suns at Chicago Bulls (Bulls win 111-105)

The Bulls go up 3-1 in the Finals against Sir Charles & the Suns as Jordan dominates with 55 points.

Tuesday, January 3

7:30 PM June 20, 1993: NBA Finals, Gm. 6 - Chicago Bulls at Phoenix Suns (Bulls win 128-113)

John Paxson hits 3-point championship-winning shot with 3.9 seconds left, giving the Bulls their first three-peat.

Monday, January 9

7:30 PM March 28, 1995: Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks (Bulls win 113-111)

In just his fifth game back from retirement, 45 Jordan scores 55 points and sets up Bill Wennington for a game-winning slam dunk at the famed Madison Square Garden.

Monday, January 16
7:30 PM June 16, 1996: NBA Finals, Gm. 6 - Seattle Supersonics at Chicago Bulls (Bulls win 87-75)

Bulls cap off record-breaking 72-10 regular season by downing the Sonics at the United Center for their 4th NBA title.

Monday, January 23

7:30 PM June 11, 1997: NBA Finals, Gm. 5 - Chicago Bulls at Utah Jazz (Bulls win 90-88)

A flu-stricken, yet determined Michael Jordan scores a game-high 38 points, giving the Bulls a 3-2 Finals series edge.

Monday, January 30
7:30 PM June 13, 1997: NBA Finals, Gm. 6 - Utah Jazz at Chicago Bulls (Bulls win 90-86)

Steve Kerr scores a 17-footer with five seconds left in the 4th quarter, followed by Toni Kukoc cementing the deal with a slam dunk with 0.6 seconds left, as the Bulls send the UC crowd into delirium winning their 5th NBA title.

Monday, February 6

7:30 PM June 14, 1998: NBA Finals, Gm. 6 - Chicago Bulls at Utah Jazz (Bulls win 87-86)

Jordan hits historic game-winning shot as the Bulls clinch their sixth NBA Championship; MJ finishes with 45 points in his final appearance in a Bulls uniform; named NBA Finals MVP for the sixth time.
All times are Central TimeSchedule Subject to Change

In another huge playoff moment, Wade Davis stays cool while everything else around Cubs goes crazy

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USA TODAY

In another huge playoff moment, Wade Davis stays cool while everything else around Cubs goes crazy

This became a three-ring circus on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, Cubs manager Joe Maddon screaming at the umpires, the video board showing the replay of Curtis Granderson’s swing and the crowd of 42,195 booing and chanting “BULLS#$!!”

The Los Angeles Dodgers are still in command of this National League Championship Series, but the Cubs won’t go quietly into the offseason, unleashing All-Star closer Wade Davis for the final two innings of a 3-2 thriller that kept them alive for at least another night.

The Cubs can worry about the daunting task of winning three more elimination games in the morning. Once Davis forced Cody Bellinger into the double-play groundball that left Justin Turner stranded in the on-deck circle and this one ended at 11:16 p.m., he pulled at his right sleeve and buttoned the top of his jersey while waiting for the Cubs to start the high-five line. “Go Cubs Go” blasted from the stadium’s sound  system and fireworks erupted beyond the center-field scoreboard and Davis acted as if nothing had happened.

To put the idea of beating the Dodgers three times in a row in perspective, the Cubs blasted three homers and got a classic big-game performance out of Jake Arrieta and still needed Davis for a heart-stopping, high-wire act.

Maddon already ruled out Davis for Thursday night’s Game 5 after the closer fired 48 pitches – or four more than he did during last week’s seven-out save that eliminated the Washington Nationals. But at least the Cubs will have those decisions to make instead of cleaning out their lockers.

“I don’t know,” Davis said. “We’ll definitely come in tomorrow and get some treatment and go out and play catch and see how I feel.”

It looks like Davis doesn’t feel anything on the mound. Davis didn’t react to Turner chucking his bat and yelling into the visiting dugout after crushing a 94-mph fastball for a home run to begin the eighth inning. Davis didn’t seem bothered by Yasiel Puig flipping his bat after drawing a walk. And Davis never lost his composure while Maddon got ejected for the second time in four NLCS games.

Maddon flipped out at home plate umpire Jim Wolf – and really the entire crew – when what was initially called a swinging strike three on Granderson got overturned and ruled a foul tip.

“Wade doesn’t care about any of that,” first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “That’s the right guy to have on the mound. With the mentality he has, he’s going to strike the guy out on the next pitch. Obviously with the replay, it’s not easy to keep your composure. But he’s just different. He’s a different animal.”

While the fans at Wrigley Field got loud and turned angry, Davis chatted with catcher Willson Contreras: “I was just trying to think of the next pitch I was going to throw if he ended up staying in the box.”

Davis got Granderson (0-for-4, four strikeouts) swinging at strike four, walked Yasmani Grandal and then blew away Chase Utley with a 95.1-mph fastball, needing 34 pitches to finish the eighth inning. Davis wasn’t finished, using a Kris Bryant bat to hit against Dodger lefty Tony Cingrani, fouling off five pitches before striking out looking at a 94.9-mph fastball.

“Yeah, I gave up there after a little bit,” Davis said with a look that sort of resembled a smile. “He was bringing it pretty good, and I hadn’t seen a baseball in a while coming in like that.”

If the Cubs are going to match the 2004 Boston Red Sox – the only other team to come back from an 0-3 deficit since the LCS format expanded to seven games in 1985 – they are going to need the offense to generate more runs, a great start from Jose Quintana on Thursday night and someone else to run out of the bullpen. Not that Davis is ruling himself out for Game 5.

“Go get some sleep and then come in tomorrow and start getting ready,” Davis said.

Jake Arrieta stars at Wrigley Field and doesn’t believe this is The End for Cubs: ‘Hopefully, it’s not a goodbye’

Jake Arrieta stars at Wrigley Field and doesn’t believe this is The End for Cubs: ‘Hopefully, it’s not a goodbye’

It’s not Jake Arrieta getting greedy and the Cubs being cheap when he holds up another jersey in a different city this winter, smiling for the cameras while super-agent Scott Boras watches the press conference unfold, marketing an ace to a new audience.

Even Arrieta admits that if he had Theo Epstein’s job, he would do the exact same thing, letting it play out until a 30-something pitcher hits the free-agent market. And Epstein wouldn’t have left the Boston Red Sox and taken over baseball operations at Clark and Addison if he didn’t believe in the need for change, to get outside the comfort zone and test yourself.

It’s just business, but this still felt very personal on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, Arrieta probably making his last start in a Cubs uniform while the defending World Series champs survived an elimination game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Three straight trips to the National League Championship Series might have spoiled Cubs fans to the point where standing-room-only Game 4 tickets were selling for $60 on StubHub less than an hour before the 8:01 p.m. first pitch.

By 10:13 p.m., the crowd of 42,195 started booing when manager Joe Maddon popped out of the dugout in the seventh inning to take the ball from Arrieta after 111 pitches. It turned into a standing ovation as Arrieta walked off the mound and tipped his cap, his shaved head set against a mountain-man beard.

“Hopefully, it’s not a goodbye,” Arrieta said after a dramatic 3-2 win, surrounded by reporters at his locker. “It’s a thank you, obviously. I still intend to have another start in this ballpark.

“If that’s where it ends, I did my best and I left it all out there. But we’ve won four in a row plenty of times this year. And there’s no reason we can’t do it again.”

So many times, Arrieta has been worth the price of admission, must-see TV through two no-hitters and those two World Series games he won on the road last year against the Cleveland Indians. None of this would have been possible without the Cubs finding a winning lottery ticket in that Scott Feldman flip deal with the Baltimore Orioles on July 2, 2013.

“I took a little bit of extra time in between pitches,” Arrieta said, “just to look around, foul pole to foul pole, behind home plate, just to relish it and take it in. You got the fans on their feet, pulling on the same side of the rope. It breeds some added energy.

“I had that mindset of I’m going to do everything in my power to get it to tomorrow.”

Arrieta’s pitches dart and dive in directions that even he can’t always control, but he has guts, swing-and-miss stuff (nine strikeouts) and the ability to work through traffic. He gave up five walks, hit Chase Utley with a pitch and watched as Cody Bellinger hammered a ball off the video-board ribbon in right field for a third-inning homer.

But lefty reliever Brian Duensing backed Arrieta up with two outs and two runners on in the seventh inning, forcing Bellinger to lift a flyball into shallow left field, keeping it a 3-1 game and setting the stage for a two-inning Wade Davis save.

“Jake was amazing,” Davis said. “He was throwing Wiffle balls, it looked like. Guys were just swinging at balls that started in on the zone and finished a foot off the plate. He’s just got some amazing stuff.”

For perspective on how far this franchise has come, just look at the lineup from Arrieta’s first spot start as a Cub, the second game of a July 30, 2013 doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field:

David DeJesus, CF
Junior Lake, LF
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Dioner Navarro, C
Luis Valbuena, 2B
Starlin Castro, SS
Cody Ransom, 3B
Cole Gillespie, RF

The Cubs actually sent Arrieta back to Triple-A Iowa for two more starts that summer, part of a mental/mechanical reset and the service-time calculus that would delay his free-agency clock by a year.

By 2015, Arrieta’s raw talent and natural confidence converged with a young, inexperienced team that caught fire in the second half, his Cy Young Award campaign fueling 97 wins and the momentum for chairman Tom Ricketts to authorize a spending spree on free agents that almost totaled $290 million.

"That was pretty special,” Maddon said. “I've never witnessed on the field that kind of consistent performance from a pitcher. It was other-worldly, right down to the wild-card game.

“My God, you pretty much knew if you scored one or two runs, you're going to win that night somehow. I don't know how this is going to look moving forward. But I know one thing, man, that one year of watching him play was different. It was a throwback to the ‘60s kind of pitching (I watched) as a kid.

“He's special – his work ethic and who he is and how he goes about his business. He's a very special young man.”

But Arrieta really isn’t in the mood to wonder if this is the end scene to this chapter of his life.

“There’s a little thought of that, yeah, because you never know,” Arrieta said. “But at the same time, now that the game’s over, it’s out of sight, out of mind. The thought process for me now is to be ready if I’m needed.”