White Sox

Word on the Street: '85 Bears best team of all time?

Word on the Street: '85 Bears best team of all time?

Friday, Feb. 4, 2011
CSNChicago.com

'85 Bears best team in history?

According to Jim Ruppert of the State Journal-Register, the '85 Bears were the best team in NFL history.He attributes the talent of Da Coach Mike Ditka, Hall of Famers WalterPayton, Dan Hampton, and Mike Singletary, plus legends like JimMcMahon, Steve McMichael, and Jim Covert to the team's success. (State Journal-Register)

Burish placed on IR

The Stars announced that right wing and ex-Blackhawk Adam Burish was placed on Injured Reserve with a facial injury. He suffered the injury Feb. 3 at Boston.

Burish has appeared in 52 games for Dallas this season, scoring seven goals and four assits for 11 points. The seven goals and 11 points are new career-highs. (DallasStars.com)

Deng 'disappointed' about All-Star snub

Despite being 20 games over .500 at 34-14, the Bulls will only be sending one player to the NBA All-Star Game. Derrick Rose will make the trip to Los Angeles on Feb. 20. And Luol Deng is surprised about that decision.

"I'm dissapointed," he said. "To go there and represent the team would've been great. It's weird to me we only have one. All I can do is put it past me."

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he felt both Deng and Carlos Boozer were deserving of All-Star selections. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Bears sign Canadian receiver

The Bears signed a big, physical receiver that they hope will compliment their existing receiving corps. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Canadian Football League veteran Andy Fantuz was signed to a reservefuture contract.

The Ontario native led the CFL with 1,380 receiving yards on 87 catches and six touchdown in 2010. Fantuz spent five seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, hauling in 276 receptions for 4,136 yards and 23 touchdowns. (Chicago Sun-Times)
Brewers sign Kotsay

According to the team, the Brewers singed Mark Kotsay to a Major League contract. Kotsay will earn 800K plus a 100K roster bonus and 350K in performance bonuses. The 35-year-old will provide the Brewers with another option in the outfield and at first base.

Hitting .239.306.376 in 359 plate appearances last season for the White Sox, Kotsay clubbed eight homers while playing first base and right field. (MLBtraderumors.com)

Falling ice injures workers at Super Bowl stadium

Local media reports have said between five and seven people were injured after sheets of ice and snow slid off the doomed roof of Cowboys Stadium and fell to the ground as a result of warming temperatures after four days of freezing conditions. All entrances to the venue have been closed except for one.

Forecasters expect a mostly sunny Super Bowl Sunday with highs in the 40s. The stadium's retractable roof will be closed. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

McMahon reports memory loss

Jim McMahon is in Dallas ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers hoping to shine a spotlight on a crisis that has suddenly become the NFL's hot-button issue: head injuries.

The Super Bowl-winning QB reports that he has experienced memory loss and is working with the Sport Legacy Institute (SLI), a non-profit organization whose mission is to help advance the study, treatment and prevention of head trauma in athletes. McMahon suffered at least five concussions during his 15 seasons, which has exacted a heavy toll. (L.A. Times)

Islanders goalie out 4-6 weeks after KO

In the first NHL goalie fight in over three years, New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro suffered a solid left hit to the chin from Penguins goalie Brent Johnson on Wednesday. Now, Pietro is expected to miss the next four to six weeks with facial fractures.

"You never go into a fight expecting you're going to get smashed in the face that hard or with these kind of consequences," DiPietro said. "It happens... Unfortunately my face paid the price." (Chicago Breaking Sports)

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

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USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

PHOENIX, Ariz. — One of the White Sox prized prospects will be on the shelf for a little while.

Outfielder Micker Adolfo has a sprained UCL in his right elbow and a strained flexor tendon that could require surgery. He could avoid surgery, though he could be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Though he hasn’t received the same high rankings and media attention as fellow outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, Adolfo is considered a part of the White Sox promising future. He’s said to have the best outfield arm in the White Sox system.

Adolfo had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .264/.331/.453 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 112 games with Class A Kannapolis.

Adolfo, along with Jimenez and Robert, has been generating buzz at White Sox camp in Glendale, with a crowd forming whenever the trio takes batting practice. Earlier this week, the three described their conversation dreaming about playing together in the same outfield for a contending White Sox team in the future.

Javy Baez can do anything defensively, but what's next for him at the plate?

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USA TODAY

Javy Baez can do anything defensively, but what's next for him at the plate?

MESA, Ariz. — You don’t need to spend long searching the highlight reels to figure out why Javy Baez goes by “El Mago.”

Spanish for “The Magician,” that moniker is a fitting one considering what Baez can do with his glove and his arm up the middle of the infield. The king of tags, Baez also dazzles with his throwing arm and his range. He looks like a Gold Glove kind of player when you watch him do these amazing things. And it’s no surprise that in his first media session of the spring, he was talking about winning that award.

“Just to play hard and see what I can do. Obviously, try to be healthy the whole year again. And try to get that Gold Glove that I want because a lot of people know me for my defense,” he said Friday at Cubs camp. “Just try to get a Gold Glove and stay healthy the whole year.”

Those high expectations — in this case, being the best defensive second baseman in the National League — fall in line with everything the rest of the team is saying about their own high expectations. It’s been “World Series or bust” from pretty much everyone over the past couple weeks in Mesa.

Baez might not be all the way there just yet. Joe Maddon talked earlier this week about his reminders that Baez needs to keep focusing on making the easy plays while staying a master of the magnificent.

“What I talked to him about was, when he had to play shortstop, please make the routine play routinely and permit your athleticism to play. Because when the play requires crazinesss, you’re there, you can do that,” Maddon said. “But this straight up ground ball three-hopper to shortstop, come get the ball, play it through and make an accurate throw in a routine manner. Apparently that stuck. Because he told me once he thought in those terms, it really did slow it down for him. And he did do a better job at doing that.”

But the biggest question for Cubs fans when it comes to Baez is when the offense will catch up to his defense. Baez hit a game-winning homer run in his first major league game and smacked 23 of them last season, good for fifth on a team full of power bats. But arguably just as famous as Baez’s defensive magic is his tendency to chase pitches outside of the strike zone. He had 144 strikeouts last season and reached base at a .317 clip. Seven Cubs — including notable struggling hitters Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist — had higher on-base percentages in 2017.

Baez, for one, is staying focused on what he does best, saying he doesn’t really have any specific offensive goals for the upcoming season.

“I’m not worrying about too much about it,” he said. “I’m just trying to play defense, and just let the offense — see what happens.”

Maddon, unsurprisingly, talked much more about what Baez needs to do to become a better all-around player, and unsurprisingly that included being more selective at the plate.

“One of the best base runners in the game, one of the finest arms, most acrobatic, greatest range on defense, power. The biggest thing for me for him is to organize the strike zone,” Maddon said. “Once he does that, heads up. He’s at that point now, at-bat wise, if you want to get those 500, 600 plate appearances, part of that is to organize your zone, accept your walks, utilize the whole field, that kind of stuff. So that would be the level that I think’s the next level for him.”

Will Baez have a season’s worth of at-bats to get that done? The versatile Cubs roster includes a couple guys who split time between the infield and outfield in Zobrist and Ian Happ. Getting their more consistent bats in the lineup might mean sacrificing Baez’s defense on certain days. Baez, of course, also has the ability to slide over to shortstop to spell Addison Russell, like he did when Russell was on the disabled list last season.

Until Baez learns how to navigate that strike zone a bit better, it might make Maddon more likely to mix and match other options, rather than considering him an everyday lock like Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

But like Russell, Albert Almora Jr. and Willson Contreras, Baez is one of the young players who despite key roles on a championship contender the last few years still have big league growth to come. And Maddon thinks that growth is right around the corner.

“I want to believe you’re going to see that this year,” Maddon said. “They’ve had enough major league at-bats now, they should start making some significant improvements that are easy to recognize. The biggest thing normally is pitch selection, I think that’s where it really shows up. When you have talented players like that, that are very strong, quick, all that other stuff, if they’re swinging at strikes and taking balls, they’re going to do really well. And so it’s no secret with Javy. It’s no secret with Addy. Addy’s been more swing mode as opposed to accepting his walks. That’s part of the maturation process with those two guys. Albert I thought did a great job the last month, two months of getting better against righties. I thought Jason looked really good in the cage today. And Willson’s Willson.

“The natural assumption is these guys have played enough major league at-bats that you should see something different this year in a positive way.”