White Sox

Word on the Street: Bulls set CSN ratings record

Word on the Street: Bulls set CSN ratings record

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Bulls win over Hornets sets CSN ratings record

After big wins against the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls fans are apparently more excited than ever about their team. On Monday, Comcast SportsNet recorded it's best-ever numbers for a Bulls game as the Bulls topped the New Orleans Hornets 85-77. The game recorded a 7.21 household rating. The previous record for a bulls game was 6.35 on April 30, 2009; a triple-overtime victory over the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Hawks talking trash?

According to a story in the Toronto Sun, the Chicago Blackhawks had some unkind words for Brendan Morrison. Morrison was injured in last Wednesday's game against the Blackhawks and, according to him, some Blackhawk players were talking trash while he was on his way to the bench.

I dont know if they understand exactly what was going on, Morrison said. Some young guys were standing and yelling. I dont think it was very professional. They will learn." (Toronto Sun)

Greinke likely to start year on DL

The new Milwaukee Brewer ace Zack Greinke will likely begin his first season with the team on the disabled list due to a fractured right rib. Greinke suffered the injury while playing basketball over the offseason. The initial X-rays came back negative, but an MRI conducted on Monday showed a hairline fracture on one rib and a bruise on a second.

"I've been doing this playing basketball for a couple years now, and people are always saying, 'You're going to get hurt,'" Greinke said. "It finally caught up to me."
(MLB.com)

Northwestern's Bryant to visit with Bears

Northwestern defensive tackle Corbin Bryant is scheduled to meet with the Chicago Bears following his Pro Day workout session today. Bryant is reported to have ran the 40-yard dash in 5.02 seconds and bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times. Bryant, who is considered a rising draft prospect, is also scheduled to meet with the Jacksonville Jaguars. (National Football Post)

Tiki Barber to come out of retirement?

Sports Illustrated is reporting that Tiki Barber has told the NFL of his plans to come out of retirement and play in the 2011 season. Barber, 36, retired in 2007 after 10 seasons with the New York Giants. The Giants have confirmed that Barber has contacted them, asking to be removed from the reserve-retirement list and that they plan to release him once the league allows it - after a new CBA is in place.

Since retiring, Barber has been surrounded by controversy in both his personal and professional life. During his time as a correspondent with The Today Show and Football Night in America, he made headlines for being critical of his former coach, Tom Coughlin, and his former quarterback, Eli Manning. In his personal life, he left his wife of 11 years in April 2010 for a 23-year-old former-NBC intern. (Sports Illustrated)

Gayle admits to relationship Yang

Former-Bear Shaun Gayle admitted from the witness stand on Tuesday that he had sex with Marni Yang the night before she allegedly killed another woman, who was carrying Gayle's baby. Gayle also described how he was questioned for 10 hours by Deerfield police on the day in October 2007 that his pregnant girlfriend, Rhondi Reuter, was found shot to death in her condo. (ChicagoBreakingNews)

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

mickeradolfo.jpg
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?

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.”