Cubs

CSN Chicago's Blackhawks Championship Parade/Rally coverage

CSN Chicago's Blackhawks Championship Parade/Rally coverage

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO SHOWCASE OVER EIGHT-STRAIGHT HOURS OF CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP CELEBRATORY COVERAGE BEGINNING TOMORROW MORNING AT 7:00 AM CT!

 7:00 AM – Replay of Comcast SportsNet’s “Blackhawks Postgame Live” Stanley Cup Championship celebratory coverage from Monday night!

 9:00 AM – LIVE COVERAGE of the Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally – featuring co-host, Chicago native/lifelong Blackhawks fan/pro wrestling superstar, CM Punk!

 12:30 PM (time approx.) – Replay of Monday night’s Game 6 Stanley Cup championship-clinching win over Tampa Bay, which will also feature the post-game Stanley Cup presentation and much more!

 Live Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally coverage to be streamed on CSNChicago.com and also available via the NBC Sports Live Extra app

 Viewers can get interactive throughout the celebration by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BlackhawksRally

 

Chicago, IL (June 17, 2015)Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the 2015 STANLEY CUP CHAMPION CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS, will be celebrating the team’s third title in just six years with the entire city of Chicago tomorrow (Thu, June 18), as it will present OVER EIGHT-STRAIGHT HOURS of Blackhawks championship-related programming, highlighted by the network’s extensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally LIVE from the streets of Chicago and Soldier Field!  Please note Comcast SportsNet’s coverage line-up below:

THURSDAY, JUNE 18 on COMCAST SPORTSNET – 2015 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP CELEBRATION COVERAGE!

7:00 AM – Blackhawks Postgame Live presented Hawk Ford – Encore edition of CSN’s extensive, acclaimed post-game show that followed Monday night’s Game 6 clincher (hosted by Pat Boyle, Steve Konroyd, and Jamal Mayers). Highlights include numerous celebratory United Center on-ice interviews with Blackhawks players, coaches, and front office executives.   

9:00 AM (LIVE) – CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP PARADE & RALLY presented by ChevyDrivesChicago.com and Your Chevy Dealers – Comcast SportsNet’s 2015 Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally coverage will be hosted by Pat Boyle (@CSNBoyle), David Kaplan (@thekapman) and -- Chicago native/pro wrestling superstar/lifelong Blackhawks fan, CM Punk (@CMPunk) -- live from the rally’s central location at Soldier Field.  In addition, Steve Konroyd, Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), Luke Stuckmeyer (@LukeStuckmeyer), Jen Lada (@JenLada), and Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) will be providing viewers with live reports from parade’s origination at the United Center, along the parade route, and at Soldier Field for the centerpiece celebration.  CSN’s coverage will also include aerial shots throughout the event, along with lighthearted interviews with many of the rabid fans that will be attending the day’s festivities.  IMPORTANT NOTES: Comcast SportsNet’s Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally coverage will also be streamed live on CSNChicago.com and will be made available for viewing via the NBC Sports Live Extra app…Comcast SportsNet will replay its parade/rally coverage at 11:00 PM.

12:30 PM (time approx.) – Stanley Cup Final, Game 6: Tampa Bay at Blackhawks – Replay of Monday night’s Stanley Cup Final Game 6 “NHL on NBC” Stanley Cup championship-clinching win featuring Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire with the game call.  Coverage to also include the presentation of the Stanley Cup and Duncan Keith’s reception of the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

CSNChicago.com’s Blackhawks “Insider” Tracey Myers (@TraMyersCSN) will also provide numerous parade/rally reports throughout the day and CSNChicago.com’s digital production team will have even more coverage on this special day in Chicago sports history with numerous photos and first-hand anecdotes via @CSNBlackhawks. Fans can also get interactive with CSN’s Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade/rally coverage throughout the morning and afternoon by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BlackhawksRally.

In addition to live streaming the entire Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally, CSNChicago.com’s “BlackhawksTalk” section (csnchicago.com/blackhawks) will be a one-stop destination for all Stanley Cup parade/rally-related activities featuring highlight videos, articles, and photo galleries from the big event.  This special digital section already includes numerous Stanley Cup game highlights and exclusive interviews, along with a look back at the team’s amazing playoff journey, round-by-round, with game recaps provided by Myers.

Ben Zobrist knows reality of Cubs' crowded lineup: 'There are going to be good players that have to sit on the bench'

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USA TODAY

Ben Zobrist knows reality of Cubs' crowded lineup: 'There are going to be good players that have to sit on the bench'

MESA, Ariz. — Ben Zobrist has long been known for his versatility on the field. But it might take a new kind of versatility to get through what’s facing him for the 2018 season, being versatile when it comes to simply being on the field.

Zobrist was among several notable Cubs hitters who had a rough go of things at the plate in the follow-up campaign to 2016’s World Series run. He dealt with injuries, including a particularly bothersome one to his wrist, and finished with a career-worst .232/.318/.375 slash line.

And so, with younger guys like Javy Baez, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. forcing their way into Joe Maddon’s lineup, it’s a perfectly valid question to ask: Has the 36-year-old Zobrist — just 15 months removed from being named the World Series MVP — been relegated to part-time status for this championship-contending club?

Obviously that remains to be seen. Joe Maddon has a way of mixing and matching players so often that it makes it seem like this team has at least 12 different “starting” position players. But Zobrist, ever the picture of versatility, seems ready for whatever is coming his way.

“I’m prepared for that, if that’s what it comes to. I told him, whatever they need me to do,” Zobrist said Sunday, asked if he’d be OK with being in a platoon situation. “You’ll see me at some different positions. As far as at-bats, though, I’ve got to be healthy. That was the biggest thing last year that kept me from getting at-bats and being productive. So if I can be healthy, I think I can play the way that I’m capable of, and the discussion then at that point will be, ‘How much can you play before we push you too far?’

“We’ve got a lot of great players, and there are going to be good players that have to sit on the bench on our team at times. But no one ever rusts because you know how Joe uses everybody. You’re still going to play. Even if you don’t start, you’re probably going to play later in the game. It’s just part of the National League and the way Joe Maddon manages.”

It’s no secret, of course, that when Zobrist is on, he’s the kind of player you want in the lineup as much as possible. It was just two seasons ago that he posted a .386 on-base percentage, banged out 31 doubles, smacked 18 home runs and was a starter for the team that won the World Series.

But he also admitted that last year’s injury fights were extremely tough: “Last year was one of the most difficult seasons I’ve ever had as a player.” Zobrist said that while he’s feeling good and ready to go in 2018, with his recent physical ailments and his advancing age, he’s in a different stage in his career.

“At this point in my career, I’m not going to play 158 games or whatever. I’m going to have to manage and figure out how to play great for 130,” he said. “And I think that would be a good thing to shoot for, if I was healthy, is playing 130 games of nine innings would be great. And then you’re talking about postseason, too, when you add the games on top of that, and well, you need to play for the team in the postseason, you’ve got to be ready for that, too.

“From my standpoint, from their standpoint, it’s about managing, managing my performance and my physical body and making sure I can do all that at the highest level, keep it at the highest level I can.”

Maddon’s managerial style means that Zobrist, even if he’s not technically a part of the everyday starting eight, will still get the opportunity to hit on a regular basis, get a chance to play on a regular basis. Baez figures to be locked in as the team’s No. 1 second baseman, but he’ll need days off. Maddon mentioned Sunday that Zobrist, along with Happ, have been practicing at first base in an effort to be able to spell Anthony Rizzo. It’s the crowded outfield where Zobrist could potentially see the most time. He’ll be a piece of that tricky daily puzzle along with Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward and the aforementioned Almora and Happ.

Unsurprisingly, in the end that versatility, combined with how Zobrist has recovered physically and whether he can get back to how he’s produced in the past, will determine how much he will play, according to the guy writing out the lineups.

“I think he’s going to dictate that to us based on how he feels,” Maddon said. “Listen, you’re always better off when Ben Zobrist is in your lineup. He’s a little bit older than he had been, obviously, like we all are. I’ve got to be mindful of that, but he’s in great shape. Let’s just see what it looks like. Go out there and play, and we’ll try to figure it out as the season begins to unwind because who knows, he might have an epiphany and turn back the clock a little bit, he looks that good. I want to keep an open mind.

“I want to make sure that he understands we’re going to need him to play a variety of different positions. He’s ready to do it, he’s eager, he’s really ready. He was not pleased with his year last year, took time to reflect upon it and now he’s really been refreshed. So I think you’re going to see the best form of Ben Zobrist right now.”

Two years ago, Zobrist played a big enough role to go to the All-Star Game and get named the MVP of the World Series. In the present, that role might be much, much smaller. But Zobrist said he’s OK with anything, admitting it’s about the number of rings on the fingers and not the number of days in the starting lineup.

“I’m 36 as a player, so I’m just trying to win championships at this point. It’s not really about what I’m trying to accomplish as an individual,” Zobrist said. “Everybody wants to have great seasons, but I’ve told (Maddon), ‘Wherever you need me, I’m ready.’ Just going to prepare to fill the spots that need to be filled and be a great complement to what’s going on.”

Jose Abreu has already begun mentoring Luis Robert

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu has already begun mentoring Luis Robert

As the White Sox have added young Cuban stars in the making in Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, Jose Abreu's long-term role on the team has shifted.

The 31-year-old first baseman has been looked at as something of a mentor for the two young Cubans. He seems to be delivering on that so far.

Abreu picked up Moncada from the airport when he first was called up to the White Sox last July. Now he's helping Robert in the batting cage.

The Cuban trio is expected to play a big part of the White Sox future in the coming years. 

Robert has already stated his goal of making it to the majors this year to join Abreu and Moncada, but that may be an overly ambitious goal. Either way, plenty of eyes will be on him throughout 2018 as he marches towards the White Sox roster and his Cuban teammates.