Blackhawks

Word on the Street: Cards offer low-ball deal to Pujols

Word on the Street: Cards offer low-ball deal to Pujols

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Cardinals offer 'shocking' low-ball offer

The deadline that Albert Pujols set for the cutoff of negotiations with the Cardinals has past. So where does Pujols go from here?

According to Craig Calcaterra of the NBC Sports blog Hard Ball Talk, "spring training has begun for Pujols and El Hombre will not negotiate during spring training." Calcaterra believes a trade is not a real possibility and that Pujols will definitely play out the season with St. Louis.

He calls the deadline that just passed a "soft" one, saying that there will be, at some point between now and next October, real discussions between the Cardinals and Pujols.

The final offer that the Cardinals made to Pujols was "pretty shocking." According to reports, St. Louis wouldn't go to 10 years and proposed an annual salary that would make Pujols around the 10th-highest salary in baseball bringing home between 19 million and 21 million a season. But last spring the Phillies and Yankees each made deals that paid Ryan Howard and Mark Teixeira 25 million and 22.5 million respectively. (NBC Sports)

Moreland to replace Santo

CSNChicago.com's Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney reports that the Cubs and WGN Radio announced that Keith Moreland will follow the legendary broadcaster Ron Santo in the press box high atop Wrigley Field.

Moreland played six seasons for the Cubs (1982-87) and has extensive experience as an analyst. He knows that it will be strange for fans to hear someone else calling the action for the Cubs this summer.

"Nobody's going to replace Ron Santo," Moreland said. "All I can do is keep the seat warm." (CSNChicago.com)

Podsednik signs minor deal with Blue Jays after turning down 2 mil from Dodgers

Scott Podsednik was offered a 2 million mutual option with the Dodgers back in November, but the former White Sox slugger declined his side of the option and chose free agency.

Four months later and still without a major-league deal, Podsednik signed a minor-league contract with the Blue Jays. That means he's not even guaranteed a spot on the Opening Day roster. (NBC Sports)

Weeks and Brewers agree to extension

It looks like Rickie Weeks will be playing in Milwaukee for many years to come. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported that Weeks and the Brewers agreed to a five-year deal worth 50 million.

The Brewers can void that fifth year if Weeks "is not an everyday player in 2013 and 2014."

Last year Weeks hit .269 with 29 homers, 112 runs, and an .830 OPS. (NBC Sports)

Quade mum on Pujols questions

Albert Pujols' deadline to re-sign with the Cardinals has passed, but Cubs manager Mike Quade didn't have much interest in commenting on the story. He said that saga is the Cardinals' deal, and that he's more interested in welcoming Carlos Pena to camp on Friday.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Carlos Pena knock the daylights out of the ball," he said. "That's all that really matters to me right now." (Chicago Breaking Sports)

10 Keys to get Bears to Super Bowl

The Chicago Bears have to do just ten things in order to lock a trip to the Super Bowl next year, according to the Bleacher Report.

On the top of the list? The Bears will have to improve the O-line. The Bears line gave up the most sacks in the NFL last season. This is an area that can be addressed in both the draft and free agency.

Jay Cutler's consistency, minimizing Hester as a wide receiver, and keeping the offensive coaching staff were also among the 10 keys that the Bears need to do to ensure success next season. (Bleacher Report)

Illini FB coach gets a raise

It seems a 7-6 record is good enough for a hefty raise. Illinois head football coach Ron Zook will get a 250,000-a-year raise.

Illini Athletic Director Ron Guenther made the announcement, saying that the change in salary has to be approved by university trustees.

Guenther also said that Zook's entire staff will get raises, too. (Chicago Tribune)

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks face Golden Knights for first time

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks face Golden Knights for first time

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 8:45 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Corey Crawford vs. ... Oscar Dansk? 

The Golden Knights have seen both Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban go down with injuries, so they're scraping for goaltenders at this point.

On one end of the ice, you have one of the best netminders in the league and a two-time Stanley Cup champion in Crawford. On the other, you have a 23-year-old rookie in Dansk making his first official NHL start who will be backed up by a 24-year-old rookie in Maxime Lagace, who has never appeared in an NHL game.

In his first game action, Dansk stopped 10 of 11 shots in relief during Saturday's 3-2 overtime win over St. Louis.

2. Fast start.

The Blackhawks are tied for second in both goals scored (13) and fewest goals allowed (four) in the first period, which has a large reason for their early season success.

The Golden Knights aren't the kind of team that gets out to a blazing start. They've allowed only five goals in the opening frame, but they've scored only five as well, which ranks among the bottom 10 teams in the league. 

3. Beware of James Neal.

The Golden Knights became the first team in NHL history to win six of their first seven games of their inaugural season. And they probably don't have half of those wins if it weren't for Neal, who scored the game-winning goal in each of their first three games.

He leads the club with six goals and eight points, and serves as the motor for a team that doesn't have much offensive talent. He's the go-to guy, and somebody you have to keep an eye on when he's on the ice.

 

Three Things to Watch: Bulls square off against LeBron and the Cavaliers

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Three Things to Watch: Bulls square off against LeBron and the Cavaliers

Here are Three Things to Watch in the Bulls' Tuesday night tilt against the Cavaliers on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.

1. LeBron James will be on your television

Love him or hate him, LeBron James is must-see TV. Now in his 15th NBA season, James has shown no signs of slowing down. Despite playing just one preseason game (against the Bulls), James has shown anything but rust in three games, averaging 25.0 points on 60 percent shooting, 8.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in nearly 37 minutes. He's a threat every night to do something you've never seen on a basketball court, His Airness included. Justin Holiday and Paul Zipser will have their hands full against the game's best player.

2. Lauri Markkanen, Week 2

Small sample size alert! But through the season's first week Markkanen and Ben Simmons are the only rookies averaging a double-double (Dallas' Dennis Smith has played just one game, averaging 16 points and 10 assists). While the Bulls have struggled through two games, Markkanen's net rating is third best on the team and he leads the Bulls bigs in rebounds per game and rebound percentage. Markkanen has shown some versatility offensively, and his 7 free-throw attempts have been a nice surprise as well.

3. Don't forget: The Bulls swept the Cavaliers last year

OK, so expecting a victory Tuesday night in Cleveland isn't smart. The Bulls will be underdogs just like they were in each of the four games last season, all of which were Bulls winners. It was the first time in 52 division series that LeBron James had been swept, which is pretty remarkable considering the Bulls were the No. 8 seed and the Cavs coasted to a third straight NBA Finals. We're not over here predicting a win. But just remember: the Bulls have fared well against James in the regular season.