White Sox

Word on the Street: Fergie goes postal

Word on the Street: Fergie goes postal

Monday, Dec. 13, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Fergie goes postal

Hall of Famer, and former Cub, Fergie Jenkins has added yet another achievement to his already-lengthy list of accomplishments; his own stamp. On Monday, Jenkins' 68th birthday, he was honored by Canada Post as they conducted a print run of his stamps, which will help commemorate Black History month this coming February. Jenkins is the only Canadian in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. (USA Today)

Favre's record streak ends

The last time Vikings quarterback Brett Favre missed a game President Bush was in office. The first one. After 297 consecutive starts, dating back to 1992, Favre's consecutive starts has come to an end. He did not suit up for Monday Night's game against the New York Giants in Detroit due to a shoulder injury. Tavaris Jackson will start in Favre's place. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Taylor's knee problem not serious

Bears backup running back Chester Taylor reportedly had swelling in his left knee last week but the injury is apparently not serious. Taylor still played in the game on Sunday against the Patriots, even scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run.

"I feel pretty good,'' Taylor said during open locker room Monday. "I had treatment all week last week, so I'm ready to go this week.'' (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Decision on BearsVikings must come Tuesday

The University of Minnesota has informed the Vikings that if they plan to play the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium next Monday while the Metrodome is being repaired, they will need to know by Tuesday. While the Vikings have not yet formally asked the University of Minnesota Gophers to use their stadium, it is one of the options being considered. The Gophers say they will need time to clean up the field and get it into playing shape in time for the game.

"We had an eight inch snow two weeks before the Iowa game; that was a pretty big task getting that much snow out," said Scott Ellison, University of Minnesota associate athletic director. "Now were facing 17 inches and drifts, so its something were still looking at, to come up with a plan of attack. ... It was hard enough with eight inches. Now we have four feet drifts. Getting that out is going to be a challenge. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Cavallari disappointed in Bears

Apparently Kristin Cavallari, former "Hills" star and current Jay-Cutler-girlfriend, was less than impressed by the Bears performance on Sunday. Cavallari, who was unable to make the game, watched the Patriots trample the Bears by a score of 36-7 from a sports bar in West Hollywood. Sources are saying that Cavallari left the bar "disappointed" after the embarrassing performance by her boyfriend's Bears. (The Daily Jolt)

Chicago loses the 'Stars

The Chicago Red Stars announced on Monday that they would be suspending operations because they do not have the necessary capital to play in the upcoming 2011 Women's Professional Soccer season.

"This has been a very difficult and complex decision," Red Stars Part-Owner and GovernorArnim Whisler said. "We love this team, our players, staff and fans.Everything was trending well for our breakthrough 2011 season, but theabrupt loss of the Bay Area team scared away some of our plannedinvestors, and we simply could not recover in time." (Our Sports Central)

Sox sign Bruney

The White Sox have signed reliever Brian Bruney to a minor league deal. Bruney, 28, experienced serious struggles in only 17.2 innings for the Nationals in 2010, after being traded by the Yankees. Bruney was released and then spent the rest of the season in the Mets and Brewers minor league systems. (MLB Trade Rumors)

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

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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?

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USA TODAY

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.”