Fire

Word on the Street: Bull vs bullfighter

Word on the Street: Bull vs bullfighter

Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Bull vs bullfighter

Bulls MVP Derrick Rose has commercial for his new Adidas shoes, AdiZeroRose 2. The commercial is set in Madrid in a bullfighting arena and Roseis the Bull. He dribbles in between two bullfighters that are trying totake him down. Then, he puts some And1 moves on a few more bullfighters rightbefore driving in for the dunk on a hoop. It's another classic Rose Adidas ad. The shoe will beavailable Oct 6. (Chicago Tribune)
Ben Wallace arrested for drunk driving and weapon charges

Former Bulls center Ben Wallace was arrested over the weekend for erratic driving. Wallace lives in Bloomfield Hills, Detroit and was pulled over around 3 a.m. Saturday while driving a 2007 Cadillac Escalade. When township police searched his car an unloaded pistol was found in a backpack without permit. Wallace was also given a breathalyzer test which showed a blood alcohol count above .08. Wallace's bond is set at 5,000.(ProBasketball Talk)

Marlins offered Morrison for Ozzie?

Chicago White Sox initially offered a deal to the Marlins which consisted of Logan Morrison for Ozzie Guillen. But, the White Sox don't have much leverage in this trading situation. Thanks to general manager Ken Williams the Sox still ended up with potential successors for Guillen. (Hardball Talk)

Strike 3 for Quade

Cubsmanager Mike Quade has been comfortable saying that he knows he is goingto be back next season, but not anymore. The stubborn optimist finally cameto terms with the likeliness that he will not with the Cubs for the2012 season. If Quade leaves then so may his staff. (Bleacher Nation)

Smith is better

BlackhawksMarian Hossa and Patrick Kane did a great job Wednesday at the UnitedCenter against the Red Wings. That was their first game in thepreseason and they each scored a goal. It was phenomenal win, but therewere terrible losses. Viktor Stalberg left during the first period due to a leginjury and Ben Smith was out with a head injury in the third. Stalberg could be out for three weeks.(Chicago Tribune)
Urlacher still respects Payton

FormerChicago Bears superstar Walter Payton's recent exposure of his personallife in Jeff Pearlman's new book "Sweetness", left Brian Urlacher andLance Briggs with comments. Urlacher said people are trying to getattention. He continues to say, "Its not going to change my view onwhat Walter Payton was or is." And Briggs said Walter Payton is theface of the NFL, "to think that people are without flaws is wrong. Hewas human," said Briggs. (Chicago Tribune)

Kill is still in

Former Northern Illinois University football coach Jerry Kill was hospitalized for seizures for the second time in two weeks. However, three days later he was coaching his Minnesota Golden Gophers. After practice Kill said he fully intends to be on the sidelines this weekend. Kill said his situation is complicated but he doesn't plan on resting anytime soon. (CollegeFootball Talk)

Injuries affecting Fire's preseason with season three weeks away

polster-217.jpg
USA TODAY

Injuries affecting Fire's preseason with season three weeks away

It may be a good thing that the Fire’s originally scheduled season opener March 3 at Colorado got moved back.

The Fire’s preseason has been riddled with injuries to key players and the extra week may end up being needed to get the team ready for the season. Four players (not counting the already known long-term injuries to Michael de Leeuw and Djordje Mihailovic) sat out Saturday’s game against Florida Gulf Coast University due to injury: Daniel Johnson (a right ankle injury suffered in a game against Philadelphia on Feb. 8), Grant Lillard (left knee), Matt Polster (left knee) and Luis Solignac (left hip).

Polster’s injury is especially notable because he has had recurring left knee problems since first suffering a sprain in the 2016 season finale at Toronto. Polster missed the first nine games of 2017 due to the injury and missed three more in August due to a related injury.

The 24-year-old, who is now the longest tenured player on the team and the only player remaining from before general manager Nelson Rodriguez’s tenure began at the end of the 2015 season, arrived with the Fire after playing with the U.S. national team in January. He played all 90 minutes on Jan. 28 against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bastian Schweinsteiger still hasn’t played in the preseason and the team hasn’t listed him as injured.

All the absences, combined with rest for some of the team’s regulars, resulted in a starting lineup against Florida Gulf Coast that featured two players who have appeared in an official match with the Fire. Three trialists and four draft picks started.

Four of the Fire’s seven scheduled preseason matches are in the books. The Fire lost 2-1 to Montreal on Feb. 14. One of the bright spots was a rare set piece goal after the Fire trailed the Impact 2-0. Dax McCarty headed in a free kick from Diego Campos. Campos has been dangerous on set pieces, hitting the post with a free kick and assisting a goal from a corner kick in Saturday’s 2-0 win against Florida Gulf Coast.

Next up is a match against USL expansion team Nashville SC on Feb. 21. Next Saturday the Fire play at Orlando to finish up play in Florida.

The Fire close out the preseason March 3 against the team’s USL affiliate, Tulsa, at Toyota Park before the season opener on March 10.

Addison Russell is so over 2017: 'That's last year, don't want to talk about that'

0217-addison-russell.jpg
USA TODAY

Addison Russell is so over 2017: 'That's last year, don't want to talk about that'

MESA, Ariz. — “That’s last year, don’t want to talk about that.”

In other words, Addison Russell is so over 2017.

The Cubs shortstop went through a lot last year. He dealt with injuries that affected his foot and shoulder. He had a well-documented off-the-field issue involving an accusation of domestic abuse, which sparked an investigation by Major League Baseball. And then came the trade speculation.

The hot stove season rarely leaves any player completely out of online trade discussion. But after Theo Epstein admitted there was a possibility the Cubs could trade away one or more young position players to bolster the starting rotation, well, Russell’s name came up.

And he saw it.

“There was a lot of trade talk,” Russell said Saturday. “My initial thoughts were, I hope it doesn’t happen, but wherever I go, I’m going to try to bring what I bring to the table here. It’s a good thing that it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m happy being in a Cubs uniform, I want to be in a Cubs uniform, for sure. But there was some talk out there. If I got traded, then I got traded, but that’s not the case.”

No, it’s not, as the Cubs solved those pitching questions with free-agent spending, bringing in Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood to replace the departed Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. It means Russell, along with oft-discussed names like Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ and Javy Baez, are all still Cubs.

While the outside world might have expected one of those guys to be moved in some sort of blockbuster trade for Chris Archer or some other All-Star arm, the Cubs’ young core remains intact, another reason why they’re as much a favorite to win the World Series as any team out there.

“I’m really not surprised. The core is still here. Who would want to break that up? It’s a beautiful thing,” Russell said. “Javy and I in the middle. Schwarber, sometimes playing catcher but mainly outfield. And then (Kris Bryant) over there in the hot corner, and of course (Anthony) Rizzo at first. You’ve got a Gold Glover in right field (Jason Heyward). It’s really hard to break that up.

“When you do break that down on paper, we’ve got a lineup that could stack up with the best.”

This winter has been about moving on for Russell, who said he’s spent months working to strengthen his foot and shoulder after they limited him to 110 games last season, the fewest he played in his first three big league campaigns.

And so for Russell, the formula for returning to his 2016 levels of offensive aptitude isn’t a difficult one: stay on the field.

“Especially with the injuries, I definitely wanted to showcase some more of my talent last year than I displayed,” Russell said. “So going into this year, it’s mainly just keeping a good mental — just staying level headed. And also staying healthy and producing and being out there on the field.

“Next step for me, really just staying out there on the field. I really want to see what I can do as far as helping the team if I can stay healthy for a full season. I think if I just stay out there on the field, I’m going to produce.”

While the decrease in being on the field meant lower numbers from a “counting” standpoint — the drop from 21 homers in 2016 to 12 last year, the drop from 95 RBIs to 43 can in part be attributed to the lower number of games — certain rate stats looked different, too. His on-base percentage dropped from .321 in 2016 to .304 last year.

Russell also struggled during the postseason, picking up just six hits in 36 plate appearances in series against the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. He struck out 13 times in 10 postseason games.

Of course, he wasn’t alone. That World Series hangover was team-wide throughout the first half of the season. And even though the Cubs scored 824 runs during the regular season, the second most in the National League and the fourth most in baseball, plenty of guys had their offensive struggles: Schwarber, Heyward and Ben Zobrist, to name a few.

“You can’t take anything for granted. So whenever you win a World Series or you do something good, you just have to live in the moment,” Russell said. “It was a tough season last year because we were coming off winning the World Series and the World Series hangover and all that. This year, we had a couple months off, a couple extra weeks off, and I think a lot of guys took advantage of that. I know I did. And now that we’re here in spring training, we’re going to get back at it.”