Fire

Word on the Street: Cubs looking to the bleachers

Word on the Street: Cubs looking to the bleachers

Friday, Sept. 9, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Cubs drop prices on bleacher seats

Even with a 62-81 record, the Cubs have managed to bring in 2.8 million fans this year, showing definite promise to hit the 3 million mark by the end of the season. However, attendance hasnt been as hot in the bleachers, worrying the franchise about how the crowd will appear on television. The team is planning on lowering the cost of the bleacher seats next season, hoping to raise the 500 person-per-game drop the section is experiencing. The new cost for tickets has not been released yet. (HardballTalk)

Jordan: Best team in NBA 2K12?

Michael Jordan shows off quite a bit of bling and the success of the Bulls throughout the years. In his latest commercial for NBA 2K12, Jordan challenges fans to find a more successful team to take to the court. Will you go with the 96 Chicago Bulls? (YouTube)

Barber out for Sunday

The Bears have confirmed that Marion Barber will be out for Sundays game opener against the Atlanta Falcons due to his calf injury. Cory Wootton is listed as questionable, but is unlikely to play. Wootton was injured in a preseason game and is recovering from knee surgery. (ChicagoTribune)

LaHair back in the lineup

The Cubs are giving Bryan LaHair another chance to show what hes got. Hell be playing tonight at Citi Field, taking the place of Tyler Colvin who has been playing against right-handers.

Casey Coleman will be on the mound tonight, shooting to get his first win. Darwin Barney is back in the lineup after missing Wednesdays game for the birth of his daughter. (ChicagoTribune)

Canucks responsible for rioting costs?

As if losing game 7 of the Stanley Cup Championships wasnt difficult enough, the Canucks are now taking heat from the mayor of Vancouver for riots that broke out after their loss to Boston. Due to the citys large bills for the clean up and repair of buildings, mayor Gregor Robertson has asked the team to cover part of the cost. The city hopes to meet with the team and NHL to discuss a possible outcome that everyone can agree on. (ProHockeyTalk)
Dodgers bid called a publicity stunt

The shocking 1.2 billion offer for the LA Dodgers was called a publicity stunt by Frank McCourts lawyer. It is believed that McCourt has not responded to the bid in any way. He claims he still has no intentions to sell his team. (HardballTalk)

Bastian Schweinsteiger finally sees the field in Fire preseason

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USA TODAY

Bastian Schweinsteiger finally sees the field in Fire preseason

Coach Veljko Paunovic still went with a second-choice lineup to start the Fire's preseason match against USL expansion team Nashville SC on Wednesday, but the second half featured the first preseason action for Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Schweinsteiger came on for the second half, along with Nemanja Nikolic, Johan Kappelhof and a few other Fire regulars. The German sat out the first four preseason games, but looked sharp in his 45 minutes.

One of the highlights was this smooth move between two defenders:

Schweinsteiger also had an impressive switch pass to set up a shot for second-round pick Diego Campos in the final minutes of the game. Campos drilled the shot on target, but was unable to beat the goalkeeper.

The team did not say Schweinsteiger was injured despite the repeated absences in matches. The Fire have dealt with injuries to Matt Polster, Luis Solignac, Daniel Johnson and rookie Grant Lillard this preseason. None of those four, along with Dax McCarty, played in the 0-0 draw.

The Fire next play Saturday at Orlando in a final match in Florida before returning to Chicago. The Fire also play Tulsa, the team's USL affiliate, at Toyota Park on March 3 before taking on Sporting Kansas City in the season opener on March 10.

There are 600,000 reasons you won't hear Gar, Pax or Hoiberg discuss losing

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AP

There are 600,000 reasons you won't hear Gar, Pax or Hoiberg discuss losing

The Bulls made headlines on Tuesday when VP John Paxson announced that David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne would be entering the rotation, thus continuing the youth movement in Chicago.

On the surface the moves make sense. The 24-year-old Nwaba, the 25-year-old Felicio and the 23-year-old Cameron Payne will be replacing 28-year-old Justin Holiday, 29-year-old Robin Lopez and 25-year-old Jerian Grant. The Bulls want to see what they have in these younger players who haven't played much; they already know what they have in Lopez and Holiday, and Grant (like the other two) is under contract through next year.

OK, got that? Here's why they're making the move: they're sitting 8th in the NBA Lottery standings and really want to move into the top-5 to give themselves a chance at what should be a loaded front-end of the draft class. It's pretty obvious, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either named Gar Forman, John Paxson or Fred Hoiberg.

And here's why: On Wednesday Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined a whopping $600,000 by the NBA for comments he made on a podcast regarding tanking. The Mavericks are currently 18-40, the third worst record in the NBA. This comes a season after they finished 33-49, netting them the No. 9 pick that turned into talented point guard Dennis Smith Jr.

So when Cuban was asked about the best interests of his Dallas team, which touts young talent but clearly isn't headed for the postseason in 2018, he said this on the House Call with Dr. J Podcast:

"I'm probably not supposed to say this, but, like, I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night, and here we are, you know, we weren't competing for the playoffs. I was like, 'Look, losing is our best option. [Commissioner] Adam [Silver] would hate hearing that, but I at least sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans were going to be this summer, that we're not going to tank again. This was, like, a year-and-a-half tanking, and that was too brutal for me. But being transparent, I think that's the key to being kind of a players owner and having stability."

Cuban isn't wrong, and the Mavericks sure as hell aren't the only team tanking. But to come right now and admit that losing is the team's best option wasn't, as Cuban predicted, going to sit well with the league office.

Commissioner Adam Silver sent out a memo with the fine that said Cuban's comments "which concerned his perspective on the team's competitive success this season" were "detrimental to the NBA."

So while the Bulls are going about their business in trying to lose as many games down the stretch as possible, don't expect anyone to admit it's the reason behind their personnel moves. There are 600,000 reasons why.