White Sox

CSN Chicago promotes Phil Bedella to Vice PresidentGeneral Manager

CSN Chicago promotes Phil Bedella to Vice PresidentGeneral Manager

COMCAST SPORTSNET CHICAGO PROMOTES PHIL BEDELLA TO VICE PRESIDENTGENERAL MANAGER

Veteran Chicago Sports Media executive to continue to report to Comcast SportsNet Chicago President JIM CORNO

Chicago, IL (September 26, 2011) Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, has announced the promotion of 23-year Chicago sports media executive Phil Bedella to Vice PresidentGeneral Manager, effective October 1, 2011. The announcement was made by James J. Corno, President of Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

Holding the previous title of Asst. GMVP of Advertising at Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Bedella will continue to report to network President Jim Corno and continue to assist Corno on major network initiatives, but he will now be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the network, which includes overseeing all departments with the exception of finance and human resources.

As our assistant general manager, Phil has demonstrated expert leadership in numerous facets of our business over the years, so it is without question in my mind that we elevate Phil to the next level, said Corno. His vast management experience in the regional sports business, constant creative-thinking and contagious energy will not only continue to benefit me, but will also benefit our network for many years to come.

Bedella was one of Cornos first hires at Comcast SportsNet Chicago, as he joined the regional sports network several months prior to its debut in October 2004 as Vice PresidentGeneral Sales Manager. At that time, Bedella helped launch the networks sales department and has lead his sales team to account for consistent, annual revenue growth, placing Comcast SportsNet Chicago as one of the nations best-performing sales departments for a regional sports television network. In addition, Bedella also oversaw the development and launch of Comcast SportsNet Chicagos digital operation and its flagship website, CSNChicago.com, which has delivered consistent website traffic growth and significant ad sales success.

In 2008, Bedella was promoted to Assistant General Manager at Comcast SportsNet Chicago, as he worked closely with Corno to assist with the overall management of the station and the continued goal of seeking out new business opportunities and revenue streams.

Prior to joining Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Bedella was hired as the Local Sales Manager at Fox Sports Net Chicago in 1999. Three years later in 2002, he was named Vice PresidentGeneral Sales Manager of the station.

Bedella began his career in the local sports business in 1989 as a sales associate for the Chicago Cubs. Under the tutelage of current Chicago Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough, Bedella spent seven years with the Cubs, holding a variety of key positions including Manager of Broadcasting & Special Events and Manager of Luxury Suites. He also played a major role in managing the annually-sold out Cubs Convention from 1994-96 and oversaw the development and launch of the Wrigley Field Tours.

Following his tenure with the Cubs, Bedella was hired as Senior Account Executive at CBS Sports Marketing in 1996, which was part of a sales group that launched Chicago Bears radio sales for CBS Sports Radio. He was promoted to Manager of Sports Sales of that division in 1997.

A native of Chicago, IL, Bedella graduated from Illinois State University in 1988 with a degree in mass communications. He is an active member of the Illinois State University Alumni Advisory Board, the Media Advertising Club and the Chicago Latino Network. Bedella and his wife Arti, along with their two children Zara and Braden, reside in Wilmette, IL.

Meet the Prospects: Zack Collins

Meet the Prospects: Zack Collins

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Zack Collins

Collins, the 22-year-old catcher, has been projected as the White Sox catcher of the future since he was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 draft.

A Florida native and University of Miami product, Collins initially was celebrated for his batting prowess and faced questions about his defensive abilities, only to improve with the glove in 2017 while he watched some offensive numbers slip a bit.

After joining the White Sox organization in 2016, Collins slashed .258/.418/.467 with six homers and 18 RBIs in 36 games at Class A Winston-Salem. In 2017, he played 101 more games at Winston-Salem, slashing .223/.365/.443 with 17 homers and 48 RBIs. He also played a dozen games at Double-A Birmingham, where he added a couple more homers and five more RBIs.

This offseason's signing of Welington Castillo installs a veteran backstop for two or three seasons at the big league level, meaning there's no rush for Collins to get to the majors.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Collins rated as the No. 7 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Collins in the video above.

Albert Almora Jr. is hungry for more

Albert Almora Jr. is hungry for more

While most of the Cubs were focusing on rest and relaxtion this winter, Albert Almora Jr. sees no need for chillin'.

Kris Bryant admitted he was worn down by the end of the Cubs' playoff run last October and most other regulars would say the same thing.

But some Cubs saw the winter not as an "offseason" but as the first opportunity to prove something.

Kyle Schwarber has shed weight and looks to be in great shape, but Almora is in the same boat.

The 23-year-old outfielder is chomping at the bit, anxious for the season to start. So anxious, in fact, that he spent just a couple weeks at home in Florida before heading to Arizona to start training for 2018. 

Yes, that's right. He's been in Arizona since November — training, eating right, mentally preparing himself for the grind ahead, taking swings. 

That's nothing new for the first draft pick under Theo Epstein's front office who's constantly trying to validate the sixth overall selection in the 2012 Draft.

"I'm always going out there trying to prove them right, trying to make them happy," Almora said.

This is a kid who earned a World Series ring before his 23rd birthday and has five gold medals from playing for Team USA as a teenager. 

Almora's no stranger to the big stage and he's already accomplished so much at such a young age, but he's never experienced anything quite like the 2017 season.

He's always been a starter and everyday player. From age 8, when he was playing up with 14-year-olds, Almora has been among the youngest guys on any team he's been on. 

That was the case with the 2017 Cubs once again, but this time, he wasn't a key contributor. He played nearly every day — notching 132 games — but only started 65 times throughout the course of the year. He had to learn a lot about waiting for his moment and making the most of his one at-bat or one inning in the field.

"[Playing time is] not in my control and I'm gonna do whatever I can when my name is called to help the team win games and have a lot of fun with it," Almora said. "That's the only way to stay sane and not worry too much.

"At the end of the day, all I can control is what I do on the ballfield and that's it."

Almora admitted he's let that external stuff creep into his mind in the past, though that was mostly in the minor leagues when he was wondering when he'd get called up to the next level.

In the majors, it's all about winning and Almora believes he can help the big-league team get back to the Promised Land.

Even Epstein admitted Almora is primed for a larger role in 2018, as the young outfielder proved down the stretch last year he could contribute against right-handed pitching as well as southpaws.

What does he make of his progression the last couple years?

"I can answer that by just saying I'm confident," Almora said. "The more opportunity I get, the more experienced under my belt. You're not intimidated, you're having a lot of fun out there and your confident in your game.