Cubs

Word on the Street: Scott: 'I'll kick the - out of him'

Word on the Street: Scott: 'I'll kick the - out of him'

Thursday, March 31, 2011
CSNChicago.com
Scott on Thornton: 'I'll kick the (bleep) out of him'

Shawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins received approximately 40 stitches above his eye following Tuesday's win over the Blackhawks. After the game, he labeled the Hawks as a "team that will chirp a lot." The Hawks' John Scott, apparently, took offense.
"He said that? That's fine. He can say what he wants," Scott said. "He's going after some of our littlest guys on our team to start a fight.""He's Mr. Tough Guy and he's trying to challenge Pisani. If I'm in the lineup, he's more than welcome to come chirp at me. I'll kick the (bleep) out of him." (CSNChicago.com)Sox over the Tigers in the AL Central - barely

In the AL Central section of the Chicago Tribune's 2011 baseball predictions, Phil Rogers has the White Sox finishing one game ahead of the Tigers for the division title. Meanwhile, he predicts the Twins will fall back to third place with an 86-76 record, followed by the Royals and Indians - both of whom he predicts to finish with 90-plus losses. (Chicago Tribune)
Barney to start on opening dayDarwin Barney, not Jeff Baker or Blake DeWitt, will get the opening day nod at second base, Mike Quade said Thursday. Quade said that both Baker and Barney had great springs and that Baker would likely start on Saturday against the lefty starting pitcher for the Pirates. (CSNChicago.com)Cubs to finish 3rd in 2011?

Dave van Dyck, reporter for the Chicago Tribune, laid out his predictions for the Cubs' 2011 season on Thursday. He picked the Cubs to finish third, with a record of 84-78, behind the Reds and the Cardinals. He picked the Brewers, who added top starters Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum to go along with Yovani Gallardo and an already-talented offense, to finish fourth. (Chicago Tribune)

Ozzie still hates Wrigley

It's an old story, Ozzie Guillen is not a fan of Wrigley Field, but today it has a new chapter. This time Guillen tweeted that Winston-Salem stadium, the Sox class-A ballpark, is nicer than the Friendly Confines.

"People in Chicago are going nuts right now; but it is, it's true," said Guillen. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Blackhawks sign Hayes

The Blackhawks signed forward Jimmy Hayes to a three-year deal on Wednesday. Hayes, who was selected by the Maple Leafs with the 60th pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and then traded to the Blackhawks in July 2010, will forego his senior year at Boston College to join the Blackhawks. His begins at the start of the 2011-2012 season. (HockeyJournal.com)

When Kyle Schwarber met new Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis: 'I don't suck'

When Kyle Schwarber met new Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis: 'I don't suck'

MESA, Ariz. — The first thing Kyle Schwarber told his new hitting coach?

"His first statement to me is, 'I don't suck.'"

The Cubs hired Chili Davis as the team's new hitting coach for myriad reasons. He's got a great track record from years working with the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, and that .274/.360/.451 slash line during an illustrious 19-year big league career certainly helps.

But Davis' main immediate task in his new gig will be to help several of the Cubs' key hitters prove Schwarber's assessment correct.

Schwarber had a much-publicized tough go of things in 2017. After he set the world on fire with his rookie campaign in 2015 and returned from what was supposed to be a season-ending knee injury in time to be one of the Cubs' World Series heroes in 2016, he hit just .211 last season, getting sent down to Triple-A Iowa for a stint in the middle of the season. Schwarber still hit 30 home runs, but his 2017 campaign was seen as a failure by a lot of people.

Enter Davis, who now counts Schwarber as one of his most important pupils.

"He's a worker," Davis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "Schwarbs, he knows he's a good player. His first statement to me is, 'I don't suck.' He said last year was just a fluke year. He said, 'I've never failed in my life.' And he said, 'I'm going to get back to the player that I was.'

"I think he may have — and this is my thought, he didn't say this to me — I think it may have been, he had a big World Series, hit some homers, and I think he tried to focus on being more of a home run type guy as opposed to being a good hitter.

"His focus has changed. I had nothing to do with that, he came in here with that focus that he wants to be a good hitter first and let whatever happens happen. And he's worked on that. The main thing with Kyle is going to be is just maintaining focus."

The physically transformed Schwarber mentioned last week that he's established a good relationship with Davis, in no small part because Schwarber can relate to what Davis went through when he was a player. And to hear Davis tell it, it sounds like he's describing Schwarber's first three years as a big leaguer to a T.

"Telling him my story was important because it was similar," Davis said. "I was a catcher, got to big league camp, and I was thrown in the outfield. And I hated the outfield. ... But I took on the challenge. I made the adjustment, I had a nice first year, then my second year I started spiraling. I started spiraling down, and I remember one of my coaches saying, 'I'm going to have to throw you a parachute just so you can land softly.' I got sent down to Triple-A at the All-Star break for 15 days.

"When I got sent down, I was disappointed, but I was also really happy. I needed to get away from the big league pressure and kind of find myself again. I went home and refocused myself and thought to myself, 'I'm going to come back as Chili.' Because I tried to change, something changed about me the second year.

"And when I did that, I came back the next year and someone tried to change me and I said, 'Pump the breaks a little bit, let me fail my way, and then I'll come to you if I'm failing.' And they understood that, and I had a nice year, a big year and my career took off.

"I'm telling him, 'Hey, let last year go. It happened, it's in the past. Keep working hard, maintain your focus, and you'll be fine.'"

Getting Schwarber right isn't Davis' only task, of course. Despite the Cubs being one of the highest-scoring teams in baseball last season, they had plenty of guys go through subpar seasons. Jason Heyward still has yet to find his offensive game since coming to Chicago as a high-priced free agent. Ben Zobrist was bothered by a wrist injury last season and put up the worst numbers of his career. Addison Russell had trouble staying healthy, as well, and saw his numbers dip from what they were during the World Series season in 2016.

So Davis has plenty of charges to work with. But he likes what he's seen so far.

"They work," Davis said. "They come here to work. I had a group of guys in Boston that were the same last year, and it makes my job easier. They want to get better, they come out every day, they show up, they want to work. They're excited, and I'm excited to be around them.

And what have the Cubs found out about Davis? Just about everyone answers that question the same way: He likes to talk.

"I'm not going to stop talking," he said. "If I stop talking, something's wrong."

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: