White Sox

Word on the Street: Cavallari a jinx on Bears?

Word on the Street: Cavallari a jinx on Bears?

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Cavallari a jinx on the Bears?

If Bears fans aren't worried about the Sports Illustrated jinx for their beloved Monsters of the Midway, there may be another factor tipping the luck scales in the Packers' favor. Reality TV celebrity Kristen Cavallari may provide the infamous "Jessica Simpson" factor on her quarterback beau, Jay Cutler.

Simpson, the famed singersongwriteractress, was famously the girlfriend of Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo and brought nothing but misfortune to her boyfriend and his teammates on the season's biggest stage--the playoffs.

However, even with Cavallari in tow, the Bears have already done something those Cowboys teams failed to do--win a playoff game. And according to reports, Cavallari wants Cutler to focus on winning as much as any diehard Bears fan. (Toronto Sun)

Clark to suit up for Bears?

Desmond Clark, the Bears' veteran tight end who has been on the inactive list for much of the 2010 season, has Tweeted that he will be suiting up and on the field Sunday against the Packers. Clark has not appeared in a game since the Bears' Week 3 win over the Packers at Soldier Field. (Twitter)

Fire show their support for Bears

The Chicago Fire declared Friday Bears Day at Toyota Park. Participating staff members donned their best Bears apparel and then posed for a picture inside the Fire locker room (See photo above right). (Chicago Fire)

Dent honorary captain Sunday

Richard Dent, the Bears all-time sack leader and MVP of Super Bowl XX, will be an honorary captain for Sunday's NFC Championship game at Soldier Field. Dent recorded 124.5 sacks in his 12 year career with the Bears and is a Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011 finalist. (CSNChicago.com)

Minnesota bar to roast bear Sunday

A sports bar owner in St. Paul, Minn., will support the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Championship game Sunday afternoon by roasting a 180-pound bear.

Blake Montpetit, the co-owner of Tiffany Sports Lounge, says he will cook the black bear in a pig-roaster over hickory and charcoal on Sunday. He says his cousin shot and killed it in northern Wisconsin during bear hunting season and then froze it. (Washington Post)
Referee retains position in Bears-Packers game at Soldier Field

Terry McAulay has been annouced as the referee in Chicago on Sunday. That may not mean much to some people, but McAulay was the referee in Week 3 when the Packers were flagged 18 times for 152 yards.

However, this will not be a repeat of Week 3, according to Mike Pereira of FoxSports.com. McAulay is the only one from his crew that was involved in that Week 3 game. As Pereira says, "from this point on in the playoffs, the crews are made up of the top three officials at each position." (Fox Sports)

Boozer set to make return Saturday for Bulls

Carlos Boozer, the Bulls' star power forward, looks to be on the fast track to recovery. After missing the last three games due to an ankle injury suffered in the waning seconds of Chicago's thrilling 99-96 victory over the Miami Heat last Saturday, Boozer has been announced as a go for Saturday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center. (CSNChicago.com)

Bulls don't need Melo?

According to ChicagoNow.com, the Bulls are doing just fine without Carmelo Anthony and despite the superstar's scoring prowess, Chicago can do just fine in the Eastern Conference without having to mortgage Joakim Noah or a surplus of picks or bench players to acquire the services of the superstar forward. (ChicagoNow)

Could Sox have had Papelbon?

Jonathan Papelbon, the star closer for the Boston Red Sox, was reportedly shopped to multiple teams over the offseason, mainly the Oakland Athletics and the Chicago White Sox, according to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated. Heyman cites the high price tag arbitration was likely to bring kept the teams at bay (OverTheMonster.com)

Ozzie launches new website

Ozzie Guillen, the enigmatic and outspoken manager of the Chicago White Sox, celebrated his 47th birthday in style, after having his 2012 option picked up with the team and launching his own website www.ozzieguillen.com. The site features news, photographs and videos of Guillen in addition to promoting his charity foundation that has been around since 1998. (Chicago Tribune)

Manny signs with Rays
Manny Ramirez signed with the Tampa Bay Rays Friday on a one-year deal. Ramirez, who played the last month-plus of the 2010 season with the Chicago White Sox, signed for a reported 2 million. He hit .298 with nine home runs in 265 at-bats last season. (Sports Illustrated)

Former Cubs prospect gives it another go as a pro

Ryan Harvey, the Cubs' first-round pick in 2003, is attempting a comeback at Major League Baseball. Harvey was drafted as the sixth player overall as an outfielder with some major power potential, but never quite cut it. In eight minor league seasons, Harvey never rose above Double-A level and hit just .244 with 711 strikeouts and 158 walks in 2,372 at-bats.

Now, however, Harvey is attempting to make it as a pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization, signing with the club this offseason. (Fox Sports)

After last season's personal tragedy, Tim Anderson ready to unleash real self

After last season's personal tragedy, Tim Anderson ready to unleash real self

GLENDALE, AZ --  There’s a different Tim Anderson at White Sox spring training this year.

You can see it on his face  You can hear it in his voice.

“I’m busting out of the shell. I’m talking more,” he said as he sat down for an interview with NBC Sports Chicago (in the video above).

It’s not the new Tim Anderson. It turns out, it’s the real one that’s been there all along.

“This is me. It’s always been me. I never knew how to express myself. I feel like I’m being a lot more open,” Anderson explained. “That’s what I want to give to fans. Let them know the real me. You’re cheering for me. Why not know me? I’m being open and kind of let fans into my life.”

The White Sox shortstop has learned a lot about life in the past year. It all started in May when the White Sox were in Baltimore to play the Orioles. Anderson received a phone call at 4 a.m. It was news from back home.

It was the worst phone call of his life.

His best friend Branden Moss had been murdered in the parking lot of a Tuscaloosa, Ala., bar after helping the victim of a fight.  

The two were like brothers. Anderson is the godfather to Moss’s young daughter. Moss was the godfather to Anderson’s 2-year-old daughter.

“It was heartbreaking,” Anderson said.

While Anderson grieved, playing baseball seemed like it would be a perfect escape for his pain. Only it wasn’t. Far from it.  Baseball might have made things even worse.

In fast-paced sports like football and hockey, players don’t have much time to think. It’s react, react, react. Whatever might be happening off the field feels like a million miles away.

Not in baseball.

The game moves at a much slower speed. There’s plenty of time for your mind to wander. Thoughts kept going back to Anderson’s lost friend, taken from him in an instant.

At 23, he didn’t have the tools to deal with the emotional pain and excel at baseball at the same time.

“The year was rough. I wasn’t having fun in between the lines. I was making the game harder than it was. I was thinking too much. I was feeling sorry for myself and the list can go on. When my friend died it definitely took a lot out of me. I had a dark moment,” Anderson said. “Some days I didn’t feel comfortable coming to the ballpark because I knew it was going to be a bad day.”

Making matters worse, there were many nights when Anderson didn’t sleep. Not a wink. Still, he dragged himself to the ballpark and somehow tried to play.

The results weren’t pretty. On June 22, Anderson already had 16 errors at shortstop, most in the majors. At the plate, he was hitting .256/.284/.374 with six home runs and 19 RBIs.

He knew he was better than that. He also knew something else: He needed help.

In July, Anderson started meeting with a therapist who was able to unlock the pent up thoughts and emotions that he was burying inside him.

The therapist would write down everything that Anderson was feeling on paper and then read it back to him.

“Just going in and talking and pouring everything out of you. It lets you hear what you’ve been going through,“ Anderson said. “When she did it, it was a lot. I took what she read to me, balled it up and threw it away. I got lighter. It was a brightening. Those counseling sessions definitely helped me.”

Soon, Anderson was back to being himself both on and off the field.

In the month of August, he had 8 doubles, 5 home runs and 16 RBI.

“Woof. I was hot,” he said after hearing those stats. “That’s Tim. That’s more Tim that we need to see.”

In September, he batted .327 with 3 home runs and 9 stolen bases.

“We need a lot of that this year. That’s the way I want to go. That’s the way I want to go about it. Get back to what got me here.”

There was still an issue with his plate discipline. He had 32 strikeouts and only 1 walk in September.

“We play a tough sport as it is. They’re going to come,” Anderson said about the walks. “I mean, when I walk more, what are you going to tell me? ‘Start swinging more?’ It’s one of those things. It’s a give and take. We’ll see what happens.”

In 2017, Anderson received a crash course in adversity. What did he learn from all that pain and misery?

“Tough times happen, but they don’t last forever.”

Now that he’s survived the personal storm from last season, he wants “another shot at it. I feel like last year went left. This is new season.”

So, what does he envision for himself in 2018?

“Having fun, smiling a lot, picking up my teammates, hugging on the coaches and players. A lot of love, more so than stats,” Anderson said. “I’m fired up. I’m excited. I feel like I’m ready to lead this pack. We got a great group of guys. We’ve got a chance to do something special.”

Injuries affecting Fire's preseason with season three weeks away

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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.