Cubs

@MarshallMeter tracking Bears WR this season

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@MarshallMeter tracking Bears WR this season

Fans of Brandon Marshall are in for a treat this season as CSNChicago.com has launched a Twitter account solely dedicated to the new Bears wide receiver. Follow @MarshallMeter to get up-to-the-minute tweets on the latest happenings of the always-entertaining wideout.

Football die-hards have flocked to @MarshallMeter for fun off-the-field updates along with tweets on Marshalls performance during practice. CSNChicago.com first brought fans @BearsTalkCSN and now this latest social media venture has not only sparked interest among Bears fans, but Marshall himself (@BMarshall) is one of the more than 260 followers and counting.

The 28-year-old Marshall is entering his seventh NFL season and is coming off of a productive year (1,214 yards, six touchdowns) with the Dolphins. In fact, that yardage total would be the third most in a singe season if Marshall would have collected them in a Bears uniform. Only Marcus Robinson (1,400 yards in 1999) and Jeff Graham (1,301 yards in 1994) have had better totals in one season of play.

Here is a taste of what to expect all season long:

embedly_twitter_76166479background:url(http:a0.twimg.comprofile_background_images210194876background.jpg) 131516; padding:20px; embedly_twitter_76166479 pbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 0px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_76166479 .embedly_tweet_contentbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_76166479 p span.metadatadisplay:block;width:100;clear:both;margin-top:0px;height:40px; padding-bottom: 12px; embedly_twitter_76166479 p span.metadata span.authorline-height:15px;color:999;font-size:14px embedly_twitter_76166479 p span.metadata span.author aline-height:15px;font-size:20px;vertical-align:middle embedly_twitter_76166479 p span.metadata span.author imgfloat:left;margin:0 10px 0 0px;width:48px;height:48px embedly_twitter_76166479 p a color: 009999; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_76166479 p a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_76166479 .embedly_timestampfont-size:13px;display:inline-block;margin-top: 5px; embedly_twitter_76166479 .components-above span.embedly_timestampfont-size:10px;margin-top: 1px;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_76166479 a color: 009999; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_76166479 a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-screen-name font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-full-name padding-left: 4px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-actionsmargin-left: 10px;font-size:13px;display:inline-block;width:250px embedly_twitter_76166479 .components-above span.tweet-actionsfont-size:10px embedly_twitter_76166479 .controlsline-height:12px!important embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-actions a margin-left:5px embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-actions a bfont-weight:normal embedly_twitter_76166479 .components-above span.tweet-actions a bvertical-align:baseline;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_76166479 .components-above .tweet-textfont-size:13px;vertical-align:baseline embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-image float: left; width: 40px; embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-user-block-image float: left; width: 48px; height: 48px embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-row margin-left: 40px; margin-top: 3px;line-height: 17px; embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-user-block margin-left: -40px; embedly_twitter_76166479 .stream-item padding-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 12px; embedly_twitter_76166479 .simple-tweet-image img margin-top: 4px; embedly_twitter_76166479 .simple-tweet-content margin: 0 0 13px 0px; font-size: 14px; min-height:48px; embedly_twitter_76166479 .in-reply-to-border border-color: EBEBEB; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px 0 0; embedly_twitter_76166479 .in-reply-to-text margin-left: 4px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 10px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-actions i background: transparent url(http:a2.twimg.coma1306889658phoeniximgsprite-icons.png) no-repeat;width:15px;height:15px;margin:0 4px -3px 3px;outline: none; text-indent:-99999px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline-block;position:relative; embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-actions a.retweet-action i background-position:-192px 0; embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-actions a.reply-action i background-position:0 0; embedly_twitter_76166479 .tweet-actions a.favorite-action i background-position:-32px 0; MarshallMeter Marshall Meter @BMarshall What was your Scrabble high score last night in dorms? Best word? Could u do us a solid & please follow us? Good luck GoBears Jul 25 Favorite Retweet Reply in reply to@MarshallMeter @BMarshall
Brandon Marshall @MarshallMeter tonight we'll crack open scrabble..
Jul 25 via Twitter for iPad Favorite Retweet Reply
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Marshall Meter 15 on if Bears O is most explosive he's played on Not even close he said his little league team scored at will in 1994
Jul 27 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply
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Marshall MeterInstead of counting sheep, @BMarshall is counting TD catches from Cutler all night long...zzz...zzz
Jul 27 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Andre Dawson talks about his Cubs reunion

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Andre Dawson talks about his Cubs reunion

Carmen DeFalco (ESPN 1000) and Jordan Bernfield join Kap on the panel. Anthony Rizzo returns to the Cubs after an emotional weekend home while Tom Ricketts expects another World Series parade. Plus Hall of Famer Andre Dawson joins Kap to talk about his Cubs reunion and how the current crop unsigned free agents compares to his experiences with collusion. 

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

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AP

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

GLENDALE, Ariz. — On a day when Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada took live batting practice for the first time this spring, off in the distance was a lanky White Sox prospect standing in the outfield grass.

But Alec Hansen was doing more than shagging flies. He was watching both hitters very closely.

“I was looking to see how much pop they had,” Hansen said of Abreu and Moncada. “I kind of look at that to see the difference in power between minor league ball and the major leagues. It’s nice to see it’s not a huge difference. That makes me feel a bit more comfortable.”

At 6-foot-8 — actually 6-foot-8-and-a-half, according to his spring training physical — Hansen is a big man with big plans for his baseball career. He might be quiet on the outside, but he has booming expectations for himself on the inside.

“I want to be the best,” Hansen said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

The best? The very best?

That’s what Hansen aspires to become, though later in our conversation, he did dial back a notch, settling for becoming “one of the best.”

Either is fine with manager Ricky Renteria, who is overseeing these uber-confident White Sox prospects and accepts their lofty expectations.

“I think their mindset is where it’s supposed to be,” Renteria said. “None of these kids are concerned or consumed with the possibility of failure. Much more they’re consuming themselves with the understanding that they might hit some stumbling blocks, but they’re going to have a way to avoid overcoming them and push forward and be the best that they can be.”

In his first full season in the White Sox organization, Hansen led the minor leagues with 191 strikeouts. He’s proud of that accomplishment but admitted something: He’s not that impressed because he didn’t do it where it really matters — in the major leagues.

When you watch Hansen pitch, it’s easy to see that the talent is there. His coaches and teammates rave about his ability. With his enormous size and power arm, he is loaded with strengths.  

Though there is one weakness that Hansen acknowledges he needs to work on.

“Sometimes I have a tendency to think too much and worry. I think worrying is the worst thing that I do just because I want to be perfect,” Hansen said. “I think everyone wants to be perfect, some more than others, and I worry about things getting in the way of achieving perfection.”

To Hansen, that doesn’t mean throwing a perfect game. He actually takes it one step further.

He wants to strikeout every single hitter he faces.

“I love striking people out,” Hansen said. “Not having to rely on anyone else and just getting the job done myself and knowing that the hitter can’t get a hit off me. That’s a great feeling. That they can’t put it in play. Like a line drive out. That’s terrible.”

At some point, Hansen will have to lower these impossible expectations for himself. This is an imperfect game. There’s no place for nine-inning, 27-strikeout performances. Players end up in the Hall of Fame because they learn how to succeed with failure.

In the meantime, Hansen is here in big league camp watching and learning anything and everything.

“I’m a good observer. I listen. I don’t really talk too much. I’m a pretty quiet guy. I like to sit back and observe and see how these guys go about their business. Just trying to be at their level, hopefully one day surpass them.”

Surpass?

“It’s kind of hard to surpass some of these guys. I mean, they’re at the tip-top, like the pinnacle of the sport,” Hansen said. “I guess you could say, to get on that level and then be one of the best in the league.”

He might be on his way.