Bears

Sox send Viciedo down to make room for Teahen

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Sox send Viciedo down to make room for Teahen

Friday, Aug. 13, 2010
12:24 AM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

While Chicago White Sox slugger Dayan Viciedo failed to stick with the big club through the dog days of August, the 21-year-old was encouraged by the teams faith in him and was confident hed be rejoining the team soon, perhaps for good.

The team speaks to me clearly and tells me exactly what they expect from me, Viciedo said after Thursdays game, when the young star was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte to make room for Mark Teahen, a callup the White Sox will announce later on Friday. That means a lot.

Viciedo is a rather dramatic free swinger, failing to draw a base on balls in 82 at-bats this season while striking out 16 times. He ended Chicagos first-inning rally vs. Francisco Liriano by drawing a 3-0 count and then flying out deep to center field one strike later. He would end his final game in Chicago 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

I dont take many walks, Viciedo said, by way of explaining his style. Anything in the zone, Im going to take my swings at.

Viciedo demonstrated impressive power in his time with the White Sox, belting three home runs in 27 games with the club, slugging .451 in spite of a recent one-of-19 slump that plunged his batting average from above .300 down to .268. Lofty comps, yes, but he is capable of screamers to the wall heretofore seen from Chisox legends like Dick Allen and Frank Thomas.

The corner infielder previously appeared in 62 games with the Knights this season, sporting an .855 OPS with 14 doubles, 14 homers and 34 RBI. He drew eight walks opposed by 52 Ks in the minors.

It was just two weeks ago that White Sox general manager Ken Williams rather surprisingly admitted that Viciedo was an untouchable, placing him on the same plane as esteemed middle infielder Gordon Beckham: Hes just 21 and is going to be a major force in the game.

Viciedo admitted that his first taste of the big leagues was an eye opener.

This is where you come to fight every day, he said. You have to bring youre A-game. The competition here is the best.

Despite the setback, Viciedo said that the coaching staff simply implored him to continue working hard. Primarily a third baseman with the big club, Viciedo just this afternoon was working through some grueling drills to improve on his lateral defense and barehanded plays with White Sox bench coach Joey Cora. Cora has previously admitted being impressed with Viciedos third-base defense and has proclaimed him major-league ready.

With such endorsementsmanager Ozzie Guillen has been very complimentary toward Viciedo as wellthe youngster isnt wrong to anticipate a swift return.

I hope to be back soon, he said with a smile, and a posture of determination.

Teahen rejoins the Sox for the first time since being placed on the disabled list with a fractured right middle finger on May 31. Before the injury, Teahen was hitting .255 with three home runs and 14 RBI. In 11 games spent rehabbing with the Knights, Teahen hit .364 with four RBI in 33 at-bats and saw action in right field as well as his primary position of third base.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Unfinished Bears job a 'bitter pill' for John Fox, but the legacy lies beyond just the W-L record

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USA TODAY

Unfinished Bears job a 'bitter pill' for John Fox, but the legacy lies beyond just the W-L record

When John Fox succeeded Marc Trestman in 2015, neither he nor the Bears were looking at the situation and Fox as any sort of “bridge” hire – a de facto interim coach tasked with winning, but just as importantly, developing and getting a team turned around and headed in a right direction.

The heart of the matter is always winning, but in the overall, the mission statement also includes leaving the place better than you found it. Fox did that, which is very clearly the sentiment upstairs at Halas Hall as the Bears move on from Fox to Matt Nagy.

“It would’ve been nice to see it through,” Fox said to NBC Sports Chicago. “That’s kind of a bitter pill but you sort things out and move forward.

“I do think it’s closer than people think. We inherited a mess... but I felt we were on the brink at the end. I think that [Halas Hall] building is definitely different; they feel it. I do think that it was a positive.”

(Fox is probably not done coaching at some point, but that’s for another time, another story, and anyway, it’s his tale to tell when he feels like it. Or doesn’t.)

One measure of the Bears change effected: Virtually the entire Trestman staff, with the exceptions of receivers coach Mike Groh and linebackers coach Clint Hurtt, was jettisoned along with Trestman. By contrast, Nagy has retained not only virtually the entire Fox defensive staff under coordinator Vic Fangio, but also arguably the single most important non-coordinator offensive coach by virtue of position responsibility – Dave Ragone, the hands-on mentor of quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

Obvious but extremely difficult decisions are coming, as to shedding personnel and contracts – Josh Sitton, Pernell McPhee, Willie Young being among the most difficult because of tangible intangibles that no organization wants to lose.

“Bridge” results

Fox was never intended as a bridge coach but the results point to that function having been served. To exactly what end remains to play out under Nagy and the quarterback whom Ragone and Fox’s handling began developing.

Rick Renteria was one of those “bridge” guys for the Cubs, intended to be part of pulling out of or at least arresting the slide into the Mike Quade-Dale Sveum abyss, and leaving something for Joe Maddon. The late Vince Lombardi effectively served as that, at age 56 and for an unforeseen one-year for a Washington Redskins organization that’d gone 13 years without a winning season before Lombardi’s 1969 and needed a radical reversal. The culture change was realized over the next decade under George Allen and Jack Pardee, much of the success coming with the same players with whom Washington had languished before the culture change.

The Bears were in that state after the two years of Trestman and the three years of GM Phil Emery, certain of whose character-lite veteran player acquisitions (Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall) and high-character launchings (Brian Urlacher) had left a palpable pall over Halas Hall. A Fox goal was to eradicate that, which insiders in Lake Forest say privately was accomplished even amid the catastrophic crush of three straight seasons of 10 or more losses, and with injuries at historic levels.

What happens next is in the hands of Nagy and GM Ryan Pace, after a third John Fox franchise turnaround failed to materialize. Or did it? Because much of the core, from Trubisky through the defensive makeover, came on Fox’s watch, like him or not.

“You wish some things would’ve happened differently obviously,” Fox said, “but there was a lot positive that happened.”

Blackhawks ban four ejected fans from future home games

Blackhawks ban four ejected fans from future home games

The Blackhawks have banned the four fans — who were ejected from Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals for their racist remarks towards Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly — from future home games.

On Monday, a Blackhawks spokesperson released this statement:

We have contacted the select individuals involved in the incident on Saturday to notify them that they are no longer welcome at our home games. Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks also wanted to remind fans that they can alert security at the United Center by texting the following to 69050: UCASSIST <SPACE> followed by the seating section, row and a brief description of the issue.