Cubs

CSN to air an unprecedented two-part documentary, 'From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia'

CSN to air an unprecedented two-part documentary, 'From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia'

From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia

Part I to premiere Tue, November 13 at 7:00 PM; Part II to premiere on Wed, November 14 at 7:00 PM, Exclusively on Comcast SportsNet

Chicago, IL (November 1, 2012) Comcast SportsNet will provide viewers with a landmark, behind-the-scenes, two-part documentary entitled From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia, detailing the amazing story of how two Chicago sports industry veterans -- BullsBlackhawksBears team photographer Bill Smith and Bulls senior director of ticket operations Joe ONeil -- are changing the lives of hundreds of helpless children and their families each and every day in poverty-stricken Cambodia. Part I of this unprecedented story of heartache, hope, love and triumph premieres Tuesday, November 13 at 7:00 PM, with Part II debuting the following evening on Wednesday, November 14 at 7:00 PM, exclusively on Comcast SportsNet.

The board of directors of A New Day Cambodia is thrilled that Comcast SportsNet visited Cambodia to see our accomplishments, said ONeil. The CSN crew was present as we marked our five-year anniversary since opening our first center. One hundred children who previously scavenged garbage 10-12 hours a day now attend school full-time, speak English and have opportunities that never previously existed. We are excited that Comcast SportsNet will tell our story to help our visibility and awareness.

From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia is the follow-up documentary to Bill Smith: Lasting Impressions, Comcast SportsNets Emmy-nominated special from 2010 that introduced viewers to Chicago sports photographer Bill Smith and his wife Lauren. In 2002, Bill and Laurens life was forever transformed during their annual trip to Cambodia.

During their 2002 Cambodian visit, their guide on this particular trip suggested they visit the children. What they witnessed was beyond heart breaking. Families were actually living in the garbage dump; scavenging for items worth pennies, which often totaled to no more than ten dollars a month. Bill and his wife Lauren then, on-the-spot, sponsored some of the young children, got them out of the dump and organized a scenario to send them to school.

Once the Smiths friends and family heard about the horrible plight of these Cambodian children, they also did whatever they could to help donate money, but sadly, the children still lived in dilapidated shacks and breathed in the stench of the dump 247. The Smiths and two of their closest friends, Joe and Susan ONeil, partnered to hold fundraisers in the Chicago area to assist more families and children living in the dump with the goal of opening childrens centers where these unfortunate kids could live full time. Over the next several years, the Smiths dream became a reality as donations continued to pour in and they were able to form a foundation called A New Day Cambodia (www.anewdaycambodia.com) to provide shelter, food, and education to those in need. A New Day Cambodia also officially became a 501c3 non-profit organization and a verified NGO (Non-Government Organization) in Cambodia.

However, the story doesnt stop there. From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia chronicles the next chapter in Bill Smith & Joe ONeils incredible journey.

This past July, Comcast SportsNet anchorreporter Chuck Garfien, along with CSN photographer Matt Zickus & CSN associate producer Justin ONeil, traveled to Cambodia to witness the garbage dump firsthand and then visited Smith and ONeil in action at the unbelievable ray of light that is the A New Day Cambodia center. Garfien and his crew followed Smith and ONeil as they found four new children living in the dump and brought them to A New Day Cambodia to recover, regroup, and most importantly prepare for a new positive direction in their lives.

In addition, we get to meet many of the children (who are now well into their teen years) who have benefited from Smith & ONeils unrelenting fight over the past five years to save them from their dark world of despairto a new life filled with hope and unending possibilities. This moving, two-part documentary showcasing the triumph of the human spirit is simply not to be missed.

Please note the following quotes from Comcast SportsNets From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia debuting Tuesday, November 13 at 7:00 PM (Part I) and Wednesday, November 14 at 7:00 PM (Part II):

BILL SMITH on first witnessing the children living in the garbage dump and his first steps in making a difference: This is the bottom of the food chain, cant imagine worse conditions anywhere. Its hard for us to walk around here for two hoursimagine this is your whole life and you are going to live here for year after year after year. I was told the life expectancy out here is 42, 43 years old. Over half the parents have TB, and a great percentage have HIV. Its just the beginning of the rainy season. If we came up here in a few more weeks the water would be up to your knees, and you would be walking in slop, floating, and living in it for months.

"It was horrifying to my wife and I. It started out we couldnt help many kids, but we knew we could help one, so we just decided we would help one little girl, and thats what we didshe had a sister, so one became twothey had a friend, two became threepretty soon, we had 22 and they still lived (in the dump). It wasnt until we formed A New Day Cambodia that we were able to move them into the center.

JOE ONEIL on starting A New Day Cambodia: I grew up in a world where kids grew up playing baseball and soccer and going to school. I have been very lucky in my life, I have been very privileged to provide for my family, and the garbage dump is the worst type of existence I could ever imagine.

I'll never forget the day we went out and picked up these children, at these shacksthe girls were waiting there with the little suitcases, and literally the parents said goodbye to their children. And we drove them. We opened up the first center and I think we moved about 15 or 16 kids in the first trip. These kids had to learn how to use a toilet, they had never used showers before, and we had hired a staff here toowe were scared beyond belief.

BILL SMITH on the promise of hope in the eyes of the children: When you come back (to the center) three or six months later, the look and sparkle in their eyes is just the biggest differencetheir eyeshopelessness becomes hope for a future, and its not just that they are clean, they have a whole different persona. They hold their head higher, they have pride, they can take care of themselves and feel more human than they were before.

OUN SREYNA (on living at the dump and on being saved by A New Day Cambodia): Yes, I used to work here. I worked here very early in the morning, just collecting recycling, garbage, paper, plastic to sell for the buyers so I could get some money. Its like I am so glad that I got out of here, Im so glad that I have education too and I go to school and have friends (starts to get emotional) they gave me the opportunity that I could get out I dont know what to say, they really helped me. I think this is a dream and that I will wake up some day and be back here, but this is not a dreamand I wish the other kids would have the same opportunity as me. When I talk about this, it is all emotionalI cant explain whyits just too much (Bill hugs her at this moment).

TOUCH SREYLIN (another child benefactor of A New Day Cambodia and her new dreams for the future): I dont know if I can (become the first female prime minister of Cambodia). Most people say lady cannot do anything, cannot own a big shop, become a businesswoman, he said nothing women can do, just a little job that men can do. I want to show that women can do everything the men can do. Not all the leaders in each country are mensome are womenthats why I want to become one the female prime ministers like in Thailand, the prime minister is a woman, why cant Cambodia be like that?

CHUCK GARFIEN on his Cambodian experience: "Think of the worst poverty-stricken areas in the U.S., then multiply that by fifty. That's where these children came from. But now, kids who once had no hope in life, now have realistic dreams of becoming doctors, lawyers, artists, political leaders and teachers. We interviewed Chen Sokha who once lived on the side of the road with her brother for six months. Bill found her in the garbage dump about 5 years ago. She now goes to one of the best academies in Cambodia, was recently featured in Newsweek magazine and has met Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. Another girl wants to be the first female prime minister of Cambodia. It's easily one of the most profound, impactful stories I have ever covered or experienced."

Viewers are urged to visit a special multimedia video page on Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com: CSNChicago.comjourney_to_cambodia, which will include video footage from the television version of From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia and web-exclusive video excerpts not shown on TV. In addition, CSNChicago.com will provide the full documentary trailer, a photo gallery from CSNs July visit to Cambodia, an upcoming overviewbehind-the-scenes commentary write-up from Garfien, along with a link for viewers to make a donation to A New Day in Cambodia: ANewDayCambodia.com.

Produced and edited by Comcast SportsNets Sarah Lauch, From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia will re-air throughout NovemberDecember, including these following datestimes: November 18 (Part I at 7:00pm, Part II at 7:30pm), Thanksgiving DayNovember 22 (Part I at 7:00pm, Part II at 7:30pm), November 29 (Part I at 12:30pm), November 30 (Part II at 12:30pm), Christmas EveDecember 24 (Part I at 10:30pm) and Christmas DayDecember 25 (Part II at 10:30pm).

Ben Zobrist breaks down how Dodgers pitching has made Cubs offense disappear

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USA TODAY

Ben Zobrist breaks down how Dodgers pitching has made Cubs offense disappear

Ben Zobrist didn’t look for any deeper meaning in Kyle Schwarber’s first-inning homer off Yu Darvish on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, or hope that one swing could change the entire momentum of this National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Zobrist knows what it takes to win in October, the Cubs identifying him as the missing piece to their lineup after he helped transform the 2015 Kansas City Royals into a championship team, and then getting a World Series MVP return on their $56 million investment.

That “Schwarbomb” turned out to be fool’s gold, the only run the Cubs would score in front of a quiet, low-energy crowd of 41,871, the defending champs one more loss away from golfing/hunting/fishing/signing autographs at memorabilia shows.

“That was great to get a homer, but I’d rather see some hits strung together,” Zobrist said after a sloppy 6-1 loss, standing at his locker for almost 10 minutes, answering questions in the underground clubhouse. “I’d like to see a couple doubles together, a few singles, three or four hits in an inning. We just haven’t done that.

“That’s what makes rallies. They’ve stayed away from those kinds of innings. That’s why they’re ahead right now.”

Darvish – Jake Arrieta’s replacement in the 2018 rotation? – canceled out the two singles he allowed in the first inning by getting two of his seven strikeouts and answering some of the questions about how he would respond to all the pressure in October.

Darvish – a trade-deadline acquisition that had echoes of Theo Epstein’s “If not now, when?” explanation for last year’s Aroldis Chapman trade – walked one of the 25 batters he faced and pitched into the seventh inning before handing the game over to a lights-out bullpen.

“There’s nothing that we didn’t see beforehand on video,” Zobrist said. “It’s just a matter of we need him to make more mistakes, and we got to take advantage of those mistakes when he makes them.

“When he got to 3-2 counts, he wasn’t throwing a heater. He was throwing the cutter, and it’s a tough pitch to hit. You have to sit on it, and even then it’s got good movement to it. He kept us off-balance.”

Forward-thinking manager Dave Roberts is at the controls of a Los Angeles bullpen that can match up against right- and left-handed hitters, target locations, unleash upper-90s velocity, execute the elevated fastball that messes with eye levels and lean on All-Star closer Kenley Jansen for multiple innings.

The Dodger relievers essentially put together a no-hitter that lasted nine-plus innings across Games 1, 2 and 3. Together, they have pitched 10.2 scoreless innings, facing 36 batters and allowing two hits and a walk and hitting Anthony Rizzo with a pitch.

“They kept the ball on the edges and kept us off-balance,” Zobrist said. “They’re not throwing the pitch in the middle of the plate when we need them to. They’re keeping it on the edges and those are hard (to hit). When you got guys with good stuff on the mound, you need them to make some mistakes for you, or at least start walking some guys.

“When they’ve gotten in those situations with a three-ball count, they’re still making the pitch when they need to. They’re not walking many guys – and we are.

“That’s why they’re up 3-nothing.”

Zobrist (4-for-23 this postseason) is now more of a part-time player/defensive replacement, no longer the switch-hitting force who dropped the bunt at Dodger Stadium that helped end the 21-inning scoreless streak during last year’s NLCS.

Zobrist insisted the Cubs are still all there mentally, not checked out after a grueling first round against the Washington Nationals and a brutal walk-off loss in Game 2 at Dodger Stadium. He owns two World Series rings and one has the Cubs logo and this inscription: “We Never Quit.”

“We keep it loose all the time,” Zobrist said. “We know what’s at stake. And we don’t shy away from it. We look forward to the challenge ahead. It would be a great story for us to be able to come back in this series and win this series.

“We make adjustments, we take advantage of mistakes and we come out with a victory tomorrow. That’s what we have to do.”

Winter is coming for Cubs team that looks checked out of 2017

Winter is coming for Cubs team that looks checked out of 2017

Kyle Schwarber took a Babe Ruth swing on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, posed for a moment and dropped the bat out of his follow through, watching that Yu Darvish pitch soar 408 feet out toward the left-center field bleachers.

Those carefree Cubs relievers shown on the video board – wait, was that John Lackey bouncing around? – danced in the bullpen in the first inning. This is exactly what the Cubs wanted: Grab an early lead? Check. Get one of their big boys going? Check. Energize the crowd of 41,871? Check.

That sense of momentum lasted less than the time it takes to buy a beer or go to the bathroom at Wrigley Field, because the Los Angeles Dodgers look like the unstoppable force this October.

Now Wade Davis may never pitch in this National League Championship Series and Wednesday night could be Jake Arrieta’s final start in a Cubs uniform. Winter is coming after a 6-1 loss left the defending World Series champs looking mentally checked out of 2017.

The Cubs played AC/DC and Motley Crue in their underground clubhouse and answered questions about why they believe they can match the 2004 Boston Red Sox who took down the New York Yankee Evil Empire, becoming the only team to come back from an 0-3 deficit since the LCS expanded to a seven-game format in 1985.

But Kris Bryant’s glassy look and bloodshot eyes told a different story, the reigning NL MVP admitting how “draining” those five games felt against the Washington Nationals in Round 1.

“But you kind of expect that around this time when games mean a lot,” Bryant said. “It takes a lot of energy to get ready for these games, and at the end, you feel wiped out. It’s expected.”

But no one could have predicted this lack of buzz in Wrigleyville, which felt less than a lot of midweek games during the regular season. A silence fell over the old ballpark when Andre Ethier – who has three homers across the last two seasons combined – lined a Kyle Hendricks pitch off the video board in right field to lead off the second inning.

Hendricks – who has made 10 postseason starts across the last three years and kept the Dodgers completely off-balance last October on the night the Cubs clinched their first NL pennant in 71 years – watched in the third inning as Chris Taylor crushed another home-run ball that bounced off the roof of the batter’s eye in center field.

“I wouldn’t say we’re running out of gas,” shortstop Addison Russell said. “Every time we step on the field, I feel like we have a pretty good chance of winning. We’re going to come into the clubhouse tomorrow positive and just ready to strap it on.”

The Dodgers will be out for beer and champagne on Wednesday night and the chance to kick back and watch the Yankees and Houston Astros expend all their energy in the ALCS.

Dodger manager Dave Roberts – who pushed all the right bullpen buttons in Games 1 and 2 (eight no-hit/scoreless innings combined) – toyed with the Cubs by letting Darvish hit against struggling reliever Carl Edwards Jr. with a two-run lead and two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth inning.

Darvish showed bunt on all four pitches – and drew a four-pitch walk and slammed his bat to the ground in celebration. The fans booed after Edwards struck out Taylor on three pitches to end the inning.

“We were there just as much as any other game,” said Ben Zobrist, last year’s World Series MVP. “Mentally, there was no letdown. Physically, there was no letdown. It was just a matter of them capitalizing on some mistakes that we made. That’s part of the game. And they didn’t make a lot of mistakes.

“They played better baseball than us tonight. That’s why they got the W.”

The Cubs committed two errors in Game 3 and then had a National-style meltdown in the eighth inning, from Zobrist misjudging the flyball to right field that dropped in front of him, to Mike Montgomery throwing a wild pitch, to catcher Willson Contreras getting crossed up on a swinging strike three, his glove nowhere near Montgomery’s 92.7-mph fastball, which crashed into his right arm and ricocheted into the visiting dugout.

A three-run game became 6-1 – and head for the exits and then the offseason. There was Albert Almora Jr. in the ninth inning, driving a ball into the ivy in left field and sprinting right into lead runner Alex Avila at third base, bailed out only because Kike Hernandez waved his hand to signal a ground-rule double.

At least that made All-Star closer Kenley Jansen work the last three outs, accumulated stress that might benefit the Yankees or Astros more than the Cubs.

“They are done,” an NL scout wrote in a text message. “You can see it in their faces.”