Cubs

CSN celebrates Black History Month

CSN celebrates Black History Month

COMCAST SPORTSNET CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Chicago, IL (January 29, 2013) Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, celebrates Black History Month in February with four special feature stories highlighting prominent African-American athletes, coaches and significant sports moments that will air every Sunday night in February on GMC SportsNet Central at 10:30 PM. Comcast SportsNet celebrates Black History Month is presented by the U.S. Marines.

Beginning Sunday, February 3 and airing every Sunday night in February at 10:30 PM on GMC SportsNet Central, Comcast SportsNet celebrates Black History Month will present a new feature story highlighting the tremendous impact African-Americans had on the sporting world from a local perspective. CSNChicago.com will also make each feature story video available for online viewing immediately after they air on Comcast SportsNet. Note the following Black History Month feature stories and air dates:

ISIAH THOMAS (Sunday, February 3 at 10:30 PM): A Basketball Hall of Famer whose career ran the full gamut. From a college success with Bob Knights Indiana Hoosiers, to the chief Bad Boy of the 80s Detroit Pistons championship teams, to a team executive, and a head coach on the pro and college levels, Thomas has done it all. A basketball journey began as a Charger with St. Joseph High School in Westchester, under legendary coach Gene Pingatore, Thomas is now back home in Chicago and has been working to solve the problems of violence in Chicago communities.

DOROTHY GATERS (Sunday, February 10 at 10:30 PM): The most successful coach in the history of high school basketball in Illinois. She has more than 970 career victories in nearly 40 years of coaching the Marshall High School girls basketball team, and also serves as the schools athletic director. Gaters reflects on her magical life of basketball...a career that shows no signs of slowing down.

FRITZ POLLARD (Sunday, February 17 at 10:30 PM): Born in Chicago in the late 1800s, Pollard became pro footballs first African-American head coach, while also playing with the Akron Pros 1921. In high school, he attended Lane Tech and was a star of multiple sports there before moving onto play college football as an Ivy Leaguer at Brown University. Pollard was 92 when he passed away in 1986, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. Pollards grandson, Dr. Stephen Towns, delivered the speech on the day of his induction into the Hall. For this profile, we travel to Towns home in Indianapolis as he chronicles the life and times of Pollard as a pioneer and as a man.

ERNIE BANKSTHE MANAGER (Sunday, February 24 at 10:30 PM): Cubs enthusiasts know all about Ernie Banks, the 14-time All-Star, and slugger of 512 career home runsbut there is also the milestone of his career that isnt told often. On May 8th, 1973, Cubs manager Whitey Lockman was ejected from a game in extra innings. Banks was an assistant coach who slid into the managers seat to replace Lockman for the remainder of the game. With that move, Banks unofficially became the first African-American to manage a Major League team, pre-dating Frank Robinson by two years, when he officially took over as the full-time manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1975. Ernie and a couple of Cubs teammates share their thoughts about Mr. Cub and his one-day encounter as skipper.

Addison Russell hospitalized Sunday due to allergic reaction

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USA TODAY

Addison Russell hospitalized Sunday due to allergic reaction

Addison Russell was briefly hospitalized Sunday night after suffering an allergic reaction, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Russell, 24, suffered an allergic reaction to something he ate in the Cubs' clubhouse after the team's 9-7 win over the Rockies. He stayed in a Denver overnight and spent a couple of hours in a hospital for observation.

Despite the situation, Russell said he felt much better by the time he got back to the team hotel. He flew to Cleveland Monday and said that he felt normal, according to Wittenmyer.

Russell entered Sunday's game as a pinch hitter and finished the day 0-for-2 at the plate. He is hitting .219 for the season.

The Cubs open a two-game series against the Indians Tuesday. Russell said Monday that he thought he would be good to play Tuesday, but only time will tell if that is the case.

Javier Báez sets a screen on DJ LeMahieu in Sunday's win over Rockies

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USA TODAY

Javier Báez sets a screen on DJ LeMahieu in Sunday's win over Rockies

It's no secret that Javier Báez is a wizard defensively. While he has yet to win a Gold Glove, Báez is a human-highlight reel, consistently making ridiculous plays on defense for the Cubs.

Báez took his defense to the next-level in Sunday's win over the Rockies. With Nolan Arenado at the plate, Báez started standing in front of LeMahieu, blocking the latter's vision of Victor Caratini's signs for pitcher José Quintana.

Báez would return to a more "natural" shortstop position before each pitch, eventually returning to block the 6-foot-4 LeMahieu's vision. The two players got into a semi-heated discussion over Báez's tactic, with second-base umpire Vic Carapazza stepping in to intervene. 

After the game, Báez explained the situation to reporters. The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and cubs.com each had a version of the story.

"I don't know if it was the pitch or the location, but they were doing something," Baez said. "I'm 100 percent sure. 

"We got to protect our team, our pitchers. This game is hard enough. If they're going to do it, don't do it to our face, because we're going to do something about it."

While LeMahieu denied stealing the Cubs' signs Sunday night, Báez said LeMahieu told him to  at one point.

"Right after the strikeout, I said to the outfield, 'You see the difference when they don't know the signs?'" Baez said. "And then [LeMahieu] said something. … We won the game, and the series."

While it is almost impossible to tell if LeMahieu was actually stealing signs, Báez's team surely appreciates his action.

"That was old-school right there,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “They’re trying to give the location or signs, and Javy’s blocking. I loved it. I’ve never seen that before."