White Sox

Word on the Street: Rose leaps Rondo

Word on the Street: Rose leaps Rondo

Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Rose leaps Rondo

Derrick Rose has jumped in front of Celtics guard Rajon Rondo for second place among guards in Eastern Conference All-Star voting. Dwyane Wade currently leads all guards in the East. If Rose is chosen to start in this year's NBA All-Star Game, he will be the first Bull to do so since Michael Jordan in 1998.

Eastern Conference guard vote totals:
Dwyane Wade: 1,499,768
Derrick Rose: 1,225,575
Rajon Rondo: 1,171,311 (CSNChicago.com)

Cutler NFL's Most Hated Player?

There have been times, particularly after one of his trademark interception-riddled games, that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been one of Chicago's least favorite athletes. But is he the most-hated in the entire NFL? At least one columnist believes he just may be.

In columnist Rick Reilly's most recent article he says, "If Cutler is not The Most Hated Man in the NFL, he's in the running." The article, titled "Jay Cutler is No Teddy Bear," lists multiple incidents in which Cutler allegedly acted disrespectfully to former teammates and coaches. Because of his negative public image, Reilly says that this Sunday's game against the Seahawks is even bigger for Cutlerthan it is for the Bears.

"It's a huge moment for Cutler, if only because his disdain for making nice means everything rides on his wins and losses," Reilly writes. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Fire Draft Defense

With the ninth overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft the Chicago Fire bolstered their defense, selecting Jalil Anibaba of North Carolina. In his senior year at North Carolina, Anibaba was named a NSCAA second team All-American and first team All-ACC.

Jalil is a stout defender who will be a great addition to the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas said. His ability to play defensive soccer, distribute the ball from the back and control the back line will help us as we head into the 2011 MLS season. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Tatupu Out for Second Straight Practice

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu missed his second straight day of practice on Thursday as he attempts to recover from a concussion. Though his status for Sunday's divisional playoff game remains unknown, head coach Peter Carrol says he is optimistic that Tatupu will be able to go. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Broncos Hire Fox

The Denver Broncos have hired former Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox to fill their head coaching vacancy. Despite a disappointing 2-14 final season in Carolina, Fox did have measured success with the Panthers, compiling a 78-74 record - including the playoffs - over nine seasons. (AFP)

Beckham Drama-Free Year

After a 2010 season filled with drama surrounding a feud between White Sox general manager Kenny Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen as well as the trade for the notoriously-drama-prone Manny Ramirez, Sox second basemen Gordon Beckham is looking forward to a distraction-free season.

"We want to go out there and compete, we don't want outside drama to fill our locker room this year," Beckham said Thursday during a conference call. "We're going to try this year to thoroughly concentrate on baseball." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Favre's Sister Arrested on Meth Charge

What has been a rough few months for the Favre family appears to be getting even worse as Brett Favre's sister, Brandi Favre, has been arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and producing hazardous waste as a byproduct. This comes at the same time as Brett Favre is facing sexual harassment lawsuits.

If convicted, Brandi Favre could face up to 1 million in fines and up to 30 years in prison on each count. (ABC News)

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.”