Cubs

Despite ulcers, Rose will play tonight vs. Magic

374193.jpg

Despite ulcers, Rose will play tonight vs. Magic

Friday, Jan. 28, 2011
1:08 p.m.
By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com
A day after revealing he suffers from stomach ulcers, newly-named All-Star Game starter Derrick Rose will try to play in Friday nights Bulls home game against fellow Eastern Conference contender Orlando.

Ill have to see when I get down there to the United Center. More than likely, I am going to play, said Rose after Fridays shootaround at the Berto Center. This is the game that I love. I should be able to play. Im going to try my hardest, but well have to see.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau indicated whether or not Rose plays would be a game-time decision.

Well see how he is tonight, Thibodeau explained. I want him to go through his normal routine tonight and then, when he goes through it, if he feels like he has the energy to play, then he plays. If he doesnt, then he sits and backup point guard C.J. Watson starts.

If his energy is good, then he goes. But if its not good, then he wont go, continued Thibodeau, who added Rose got through the whole shootaround and that the abbreviated game-day practice had a good pace.

Rose elaborated on his current state of health since his diagnosis.

I can eat portions of things, but I havent had a whole meal in three or four days, explained Rose, who is taking medication for his health issues. The only thing Ive been drinking is probably shakes and smoothies."

I havent gotten on the scale yet, but I probably have lost weight, continued Rose, who added that he weighed in at 213 pounds before the condition cropped up. Im just waiting for it to heal right now.

I really cant complain right now. Were winning. Everythings going great right now. This is just something Ive got to fight through.

The Bulls point guard also discussed his selection as an Eastern Conference starting guard in next months NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Its great, knowing that everything is going my way right now. I feel blessed. If it wasnt for my fans, the organization, adidas, everybody playing a big role, I wouldnt have got that spot, said Rose, the Bulls first All-Star Game starter since Michael Jordan in 1998. I love L.A. The crowd there is going to be crazy, playing with a great bunch of guys, just out there having fun, the only thing that changes is Im going to be a starter.

It wont surprise anyone whos observed him closely that he wasnt overenthusiastic when he heard the news Thursday night.

Regular. It wasnt like a celebration or anything, Rose recalled about his reaction to the announcement, as he spent a quiet evening at home with friends and family. I just wasnt into it like that. Thats just really not me.

Rose found out when they Roses mother and friends came in the roomthey were in the living room, watching itI was in my room.

Rose did acknowledgein his own waythat he was deserving of the honor and excited about the upcoming event.

Ive been playing well. My confidence is very high right now, said Rose. Last year, I didnt start, but it was a good experience.

Still, he refused to classify himself among the NBAs elite players.

Not yet, Rose repeated three times. Ive still got a long way to go.

Added Thibodeau: Its great. Were happy for him, but were also concerned about what we have to do tonight. Thats a priority for us.

Business as usual.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Cubs' World Series expectations are no surprise, but they show how radical transformation from Lovable Losers has been

0218-tom-ricketts-joe-maddon.jpg
USA TODAY

Cubs' World Series expectations are no surprise, but they show how radical transformation from Lovable Losers has been

MESA, Ariz. — Tom Ricketts sure doesn’t sound like the guy who met his wife in the bleachers during the century-long tenure of the Lovable Losers.

“Everyone knows that this is a team that has the capability to win the World Series, and everyone will be disappointed if we don’t live up to that capability.”

Yeah, the Cubs have been among baseball’s best teams for three seasons now. That curse-smashing World Series win in 2016 was the high point of a three-year stretch of winning that’s seen three straight trips to the National League Championship Series and a combined 310 wins between the regular season and postseason.

But it’s still got to come as a strange sound to those who remember the Cubs as the longtime butt of so many baseball jokes. This team has one expectation, to win the World Series. The players have said it for a week leading up to Monday’s first full-squad workout. The front office said it when it introduced big-time free-agent signing Yu Darvish a week ago. And the chairman said it Monday.

“We very much expect to win,” Ricketts said. “We have the ability to win. Our division got a lot tougher, and the playoff opponents that we faced last year are likely to be there waiting for us again.

“I think at this point with this team, obviously that’s our goal. I won’t say a season’s a failure because you don’t win the World Series, but it is our goal.”

The confidence is not lacking. But more importantly, success drives expectations. And if the Cubs are going to be one of the best teams in baseball, they better keep winning, or they’ll fail to meet those expectations, expectations that can sometimes spin a little bit out of control.

During last year’s follow-up campaign to 2016’s championship run, a rocky start to the season that had the Cubs out of first place at the All-Star break was enough to make some fans feel like the sky was falling — as if one year without a World Series win would be unacceptable to a fan base that had just gone 108 without one.

After a grueling NLDS against the Washington Nationals, the Cubs looked well overmatched in the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and that sparked plenty of outside criticism, as well as plenty of offseason activity to upgrade the club in the midst of baseball’s never-ending arms race.

“I think people forget we’ve won more games over the last three years than any other team. We’ve won more playoff games than any other team the last three years. And we’ve been to the NLCS three years in a row,” Ricketts said. “I think fans understand that this is a team that if we stay healthy and play up to our capability can be in that position, be in the World Series. I don’t blame them. We should have high expectations, we have a great team.”

On paper, there are plenty of reasons for high expectations. Certainly the team’s stated goals don’t seem outlandish or anything but expected. The addition of Darvish to a rotation that already boasted Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana makes the Cubs’ starting staff the best in the NL, maybe the best in the game. There were additions to the bullpen, and the team’s fleet of young star position players went untouched despite fears it might be broken up to acquire pitching.

“I think this is, on paper, the strongest rotation that we’ve ever had,” Ricketts said. “I think that being able to bring in a player of (Darvish’s) caliber reminds everyone that we’re intending to win our division and go all the way.

“We’ve kept a good core of players together for several years, and this year I think our offseason moves have really set us up to be one of the best teams in baseball.

“Just coming out of our team meeting, the vibe feels a lot like two years ago. Everybody’s in a really good place. I think everyone’s really hungry and really wants to get this season off to a great start and make this a memorable year.”

There should be no surprise that the team and its players and its executives and its owners feel the way they do. The Cubs are now expected winners, even if that’s still yet to sink in for the longtime fans and observers of the team they once called the Lovable Losers.

Blackhawks deal Michael Kempny to Capitals for conditional third-round pick

michal-kempny-0420.jpg
USA TODAY

Blackhawks deal Michael Kempny to Capitals for conditional third-round pick

The Blackhawks dealt defenseman Michael Kempny to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick. Kempny had seven points in 31 games this season.

Kempny, 27, recorded 15 points in 81 career games for the Blackhawks. He tallied an assist in Saturday's 7-1 victory over the Capitals.

Kempny signed a one-year extension through the end of this season back in May.