Cubs

Two rulings that went in favor of Jerry Sandusky

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Two rulings that went in favor of Jerry Sandusky

From Comcast SportsNet
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A judge rejected requests by prosecutors that jurors be brought in from outside the State College area to hear the child sex-abuse case against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Judge John Cleland on Monday also denied prosecutors' requests that Sandusky remain indoors while on home confinement before his trial and ruled that Sandusky can have supervised contact with most of his grandchildren, saying there was no evidence that the children's parents wouldn't be able to keep them safe. Sandusky faces 52 criminal counts for what prosecutors say was the sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. He has denied the allegations. Cleland has tentatively scheduled the trial to start in mid-May. He said jury selection will be a challenge, given the pretrial publicity and the special role that Penn State plays in the Centre County community. "If, after a reasonable attempt it is apparent that a jury cannot be selected within a reasonable time, then I will reconsider this ruling," Cleland wrote. A spokesman for the attorney general's office said the judge's orders were being reviewed. Sandusky's lawyer issued a statement saying Sandusky, his wife and their family were "relieved by and pleased with" the visitation ruling, which pertains to all but three of his 11 grandchildren, ages 2 to 14. Those three children are involved in a custody case, and Cleland deferred decisions about any visits from them to the judge handling that matter. Prosecutors made the bail modification request, asking that Sandusky remain indoors, after hearing concerns by neighbors about the safety of children, particularly at an elementary school behind Sandusky's house. "The commonwealth failed to present any evidence whatsoever that the defendant presents a clearly defined threat to any student at the adjoining elementary school simply by being on his deck," Cleland wrote. "No evidence was presented that at any time the defendant made any effort to contact any of the children by signaling or calling to them, or that he made any gestures directed toward them, or that he acted in any inappropriate way whatsoever." Cleland encouraged state prosecutors to work with the judge who supervised a grand jury that investigated Sandusky to figure out how to release grand jury transcripts to Sandusky's lawyers "on a schedule which balances the appropriate interests of maintaining the secrecy of the grand jury while still assuring the trial can proceed without unnecessary disruption." Cleland also ordered prosecutors to tell defense lawyers where and when the purported crimes occurred and how old the children were at the time. He addressed disputes between the sides over material that should be turned over to the defense by directing prosecutors to put their objections in writing by Feb. 20. Sandusky's lawyers will be allowed to reply by Feb. 27. Sandusky lost a request to force prosecutors to disclose the names, addresses and birth dates of witnesses. "While we are happy with the outcome of Friday's hearings, we realize, nevertheless, a number of difficult legal battles lie ahead of us," his lawyer, Joe Amendola, said in a statement. "We will continue to work very hard in preparing Jerry's defense with the ultimate goal of obtaining Jerry's acquittal." The 68-year-old Sandusky was also granted the right to see adult visitors. Under the court's latest order, he will list up to 12 adults he would like to be able to see, subject to approval by the county officials overseeing his home confinement. His visits will be limited to a total of two hours, three times a week. Also Monday, a Penn State administrator asked a judge to throw out charges that he lied to the grand jury investigating Sandusky and that he failed to properly report suspected child abuse. Tim Curley filed motions in Dauphin County Court that argued the death of football coach Joe Paterno last month left prosecutors without a required second witness to support the perjury charge. He said allegations that he didn't report suspected abuse in 2002 were filed under a revision of the law that was passed five years later and that the statute of limitations has expired. The attorney general's office said it, too, was under review. The 57-year-old Curley is on leave as athletic director as he awaits trial. Former Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz, who faces the same charges as Curley, has not filed similar motions. Both have denied the allegations.

When Kyle Schwarber met new Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis: 'I don't suck'

When Kyle Schwarber met new Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis: 'I don't suck'

MESA, Ariz. — The first thing Kyle Schwarber told his new hitting coach?

"His first statement to me is, 'I don't suck.'"

The Cubs hired Chili Davis as the team's new hitting coach for myriad reasons. He's got a great track record from years working with the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, and that .274/.360/.451 slash line during an illustrious 19-year big league career certainly helps.

But Davis' main immediate task in his new gig will be to help several of the Cubs' key hitters prove Schwarber's assessment correct.

Schwarber had a much-publicized tough go of things in 2017. After he set the world on fire with his rookie campaign in 2015 and returned from what was supposed to be a season-ending knee injury in time to be one of the Cubs' World Series heroes in 2016, he hit just .211 last season, getting sent down to Triple-A Iowa for a stint in the middle of the season. Schwarber still hit 30 home runs, but his 2017 campaign was seen as a failure by a lot of people.

Enter Davis, who now counts Schwarber as one of his most important pupils.

"He's a worker," Davis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "Schwarbs, he knows he's a good player. His first statement to me is, 'I don't suck.' He said last year was just a fluke year. He said, 'I've never failed in my life.' And he said, 'I'm going to get back to the player that I was.'

"I think he may have — and this is my thought, he didn't say this to me — I think it may have been, he had a big World Series, hit some homers, and I think he tried to focus on being more of a home run type guy as opposed to being a good hitter.

"His focus has changed. I had nothing to do with that, he came in here with that focus that he wants to be a good hitter first and let whatever happens happen. And he's worked on that. The main thing with Kyle is going to be is just maintaining focus."

The physically transformed Schwarber mentioned last week that he's established a good relationship with Davis, in no small part because Schwarber can relate to what Davis went through when he was a player. And to hear Davis tell it, it sounds like he's describing Schwarber's first three years as a big leaguer to a T.

"Telling him my story was important because it was similar," Davis said. "I was a catcher, got to big league camp, and I was thrown in the outfield. And I hated the outfield. ... But I took on the challenge. I made the adjustment, I had a nice first year, then my second year I started spiraling. I started spiraling down, and I remember one of my coaches saying, 'I'm going to have to throw you a parachute just so you can land softly.' I got sent down to Triple-A at the All-Star break for 15 days.

"When I got sent down, I was disappointed, but I was also really happy. I needed to get away from the big league pressure and kind of find myself again. I went home and refocused myself and thought to myself, 'I'm going to come back as Chili.' Because I tried to change, something changed about me the second year.

"And when I did that, I came back the next year and someone tried to change me and I said, 'Pump the breaks a little bit, let me fail my way, and then I'll come to you if I'm failing.' And they understood that, and I had a nice year, a big year and my career took off.

"I'm telling him, 'Hey, let last year go. It happened, it's in the past. Keep working hard, maintain your focus, and you'll be fine.'"

Getting Schwarber right isn't Davis' only task, of course. Despite the Cubs being one of the highest-scoring teams in baseball last season, they had plenty of guys go through subpar seasons. Jason Heyward still has yet to find his offensive game since coming to Chicago as a high-priced free agent. Ben Zobrist was bothered by a wrist injury last season and put up the worst numbers of his career. Addison Russell had trouble staying healthy, as well, and saw his numbers dip from what they were during the World Series season in 2016.

So Davis has plenty of charges to work with. But he likes what he's seen so far.

"They work," Davis said. "They come here to work. I had a group of guys in Boston that were the same last year, and it makes my job easier. They want to get better, they come out every day, they show up, they want to work. They're excited, and I'm excited to be around them.

And what have the Cubs found out about Davis? Just about everyone answers that question the same way: He likes to talk.

"I'm not going to stop talking," he said. "If I stop talking, something's wrong."

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: