Cubs

Word on the Street: Pippen wants Rodman in HOF

Word on the Street: Pippen wants Rodman in HOF

Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Pippen wants to see Rodman in Hall of Fame

Bulls great Scottie Pippen, who went into the Hall of Fame last year, said he hopes former teammate Dennis Rodman joins him. Rodman is on the nomination list for the first time this year and led the league in rebounding for seven straight seasons. He was also named to the All-Defensive team eight times.

We all watched Dennis career and we know just how good he was as a basketball player, Pippen said. I think we all got caught up in his antics, and things he did away from the game, and it sort of disrespected or took attention away from what he did on the basketball court. But he is surely a Hall of Famer.

Finalists for the Hall of Fame are announced during the NBA All-Star weekend. (nba.com)

T.O. picks Seahawks over Bears

Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens believes the Seahawks will win in Chicago on Sunday.

"Of course they can," Owens said on "The T.Ocho Show" on Versus. "They just won. They have all the confidence and all the momentum on their side."Owens also picks the Green Bay Packers to beat the Atlanta Falcons, setting up an NFC championship at Qwest Field. (seattleepi.com)Brewer won't replace Bogans anytime soonRonnie Brewer appears to finally be healthy and has the numbers to back that up, but don't expect him to enter the Bulls' starting lineup in the near future."I like the way it's worked with Ronnie coming off the bench. And Keith has done a good job guarding some primary scorers." Tom Thibodeau said.
He did, however, offer some light at the end of the tunnel by remarking "We'll see how the season unfolds." (sbnation.com)Starks almost a Bear?Current Green Bay Packers running back James Starks was extremely close to being a Chicago Bear as general manager Jerry Angelo confirmed. Angelo said the Bears even called Starks to tell him they were drafting him in the sixth round.Instead, Angelo changed his mind and picked Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour. (profootballtalk.com)Dave Wannstedt coaching in the NFL again?Former Bears coach Dave Wannstedt, recently fired as the coach at Pitt, appears to have numerous opportunities to roam an NFL sideline once again.Wannstedt is expected to talk with Chargers coach Norv Turner about taking over for Ron Rivera, who is now the head coach in Carolina. Rivera is also interested in talking to Wannstedt about becoming his defensive coordinator. The Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills have also expressed interest. (chicagobreakingsports.com)

Cubs' World Series expectations are no surprise, but they show how radical transformation from Lovable Losers has been

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USA TODAY

Cubs' World Series expectations are no surprise, but they show how radical transformation from Lovable Losers has been

MESA, Ariz. — Tom Ricketts sure doesn’t sound like the guy who met his wife in the bleachers during the century-long tenure of the Lovable Losers.

“Everyone knows that this is a team that has the capability to win the World Series, and everyone will be disappointed if we don’t live up to that capability.”

Yeah, the Cubs have been among baseball’s best teams for three seasons now. That curse-smashing World Series win in 2016 was the high point of a three-year stretch of winning that’s seen three straight trips to the National League Championship Series and a combined 310 wins between the regular season and postseason.

But it’s still got to come as a strange sound to those who remember the Cubs as the longtime butt of so many baseball jokes. This team has one expectation, to win the World Series. The players have said it for a week leading up to Monday’s first full-squad workout. The front office said it when it introduced big-time free-agent signing Yu Darvish a week ago. And the chairman said it Monday.

“We very much expect to win,” Ricketts said. “We have the ability to win. Our division got a lot tougher, and the playoff opponents that we faced last year are likely to be there waiting for us again.

“I think at this point with this team, obviously that’s our goal. I won’t say a season’s a failure because you don’t win the World Series, but it is our goal.”

The confidence is not lacking. But more importantly, success drives expectations. And if the Cubs are going to be one of the best teams in baseball, they better keep winning, or they’ll fail to meet those expectations, expectations that can sometimes spin a little bit out of control.

During last year’s follow-up campaign to 2016’s championship run, a rocky start to the season that had the Cubs out of first place at the All-Star break was enough to make some fans feel like the sky was falling — as if one year without a World Series win would be unacceptable to a fan base that had just gone 108 without one.

After a grueling NLDS against the Washington Nationals, the Cubs looked well overmatched in the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and that sparked plenty of outside criticism, as well as plenty of offseason activity to upgrade the club in the midst of baseball’s never-ending arms race.

“I think people forget we’ve won more games over the last three years than any other team. We’ve won more playoff games than any other team the last three years. And we’ve been to the NLCS three years in a row,” Ricketts said. “I think fans understand that this is a team that if we stay healthy and play up to our capability can be in that position, be in the World Series. I don’t blame them. We should have high expectations, we have a great team.”

On paper, there are plenty of reasons for high expectations. Certainly the team’s stated goals don’t seem outlandish or anything but expected. The addition of Darvish to a rotation that already boasted Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana makes the Cubs’ starting staff the best in the NL, maybe the best in the game. There were additions to the bullpen, and the team’s fleet of young star position players went untouched despite fears it might be broken up to acquire pitching.

“I think this is, on paper, the strongest rotation that we’ve ever had,” Ricketts said. “I think that being able to bring in a player of (Darvish’s) caliber reminds everyone that we’re intending to win our division and go all the way.

“We’ve kept a good core of players together for several years, and this year I think our offseason moves have really set us up to be one of the best teams in baseball.

“Just coming out of our team meeting, the vibe feels a lot like two years ago. Everybody’s in a really good place. I think everyone’s really hungry and really wants to get this season off to a great start and make this a memorable year.”

There should be no surprise that the team and its players and its executives and its owners feel the way they do. The Cubs are now expected winners, even if that’s still yet to sink in for the longtime fans and observers of the team they once called the Lovable Losers.

Blackhawks deal Michael Kempny to Capitals for conditional third-round pick

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks deal Michael Kempny to Capitals for conditional third-round pick

The Blackhawks dealt defenseman Michael Kempny to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick. Kempny had seven points in 31 games this season.

Kempny, 27, recorded 15 points in 81 career games for the Blackhawks. He tallied an assist in Saturday's 7-1 victory over the Capitals.

Kempny signed a one-year extension through the end of this season back in May.