Cubs

Word on the Street: 'World Peace' found in LA

Word on the Street: 'World Peace' found in LA

Friday, Sept. 16, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Throw out those Artest jerseys

Thats right, Ron Artest has legally changed his name to Metta World Peace. The name change was supposed to happen a few weeks ago but got delayed because of traffic tickets. Hmm.

Anyways, World Peace hopes his new identity will inspire and bring youth together. Best of luck. (ProBasketballTalk)

Getting frisky

Airport security is no longer the only place pat-downs will be taking place. Football fans will undergo a more in-depth physical screening at all 32 stadiums starting this weekend. This change comes after a South Carolina man snuck a gun into a game last weekend and fired it into the crowd. (ChicagoTribune)

Doughtys contract drops daily

LA Kings training camp opened today without Drew Doughty on the roster, and the longer it takes him to sign, the less money hell be making during the season. Kings GM Dean Lombardi announced today the 21-year-old defenseman will be losing 25,000 each day he waits to sign. (ProHockeyTalk)

Judge denies QBs request

A Chicago high school quarterback has been denied by a Cook County judge to get back on the field. DaeShaun Hurley was barred from playing athletics by the Chicago Public League sports administration for transferring schools for football related reasons, which is never allowed.

Several Division 1 schools are looking at Hurley. A hearing is scheduled Tuesday for the quarterbacks appeal. (ChicagoTribune)

Another one bites the dust

A mild case of pneumonia looks like itll be enough to keep Twins Joe Mauer out for the rest of the season. The Twins sure havent been lucky in the illness department this season. (ChicagoTribune)

Javy Baez, the Cubs' versatile King of Swag

Javy Baez, the Cubs' versatile King of Swag

Even his teammates are having a hard time wrapping their minds around Javier Baez, the farmer.

Anthony Rizzo asked the flashy infielder before one of the panels this weekend at Cubs Convention, “What is it you do exactly? Feed chickens?”

The exchange garnered a good laugh from the crowd, but let’s be honest: only Baez could make feeding chickens look as cool as feeding a double play ball at Wrigley. Having asked at least 10 different Cubs players this weekend which teammate has the most swag, it was always Baez. And there was never any hesitation. 

Like the bling that hangs around his MLB logo-tatted neck, Baez dazzles on the field as well. His tags are a thing of beauty. You can just imagine young ballplayers around Chicago imitating the swipe, much like a Michael Jordan fadeaway jumper. Whether manning second or short, the 25 year-old All-Star has become a must-see defensive player.

Last season Baez took over at shortstop as Addison Russell dealt with a strained right foot/plantar fasciitis problem. In 30 games Baez thrived at his natural position, so much so he left some wondering if the Cubs would consider flipping Russell back to second base.

Baez has the more traditional, powerful shortstop arm, but Theo Epstein will tell you when you look at Russell’s defensive rankings compared to other shortstops, he’s a special player in his own right as well.

One thing’s for sure: the Cubs are fortunate to have that kind of depth up the middle. Joe Maddon made it clear last September that without the play of Baez, it’s doubtful the team would have been in position to clinch the division.

“We have two legitimate shortstops," Maddon said. "It’s very unusual to have that.”

Sure, a great problem to have. But how does it play out for the Cubs when all is said and done?

Does Baez take over at short with Russell moving to second, or is it Maddon having a tough conversation with Ben Zobrist and plugging No. 9 in as his everyday second baseman? There's Ian Happ, too. Is he the Cubs' second baseman of the future with Russell/Baez being the trade chip that lands a frontline starter?

All viable options, but just for fun in the video above we put Baez on the spot at Cubs Convention and asked him: Are you a shortstop playing second, or a second baseman playing short?”

He flashed a big grin and said a second baseman playing short. In other words, he gets it.

His bling doesn’t blind him from being a team player. "El Mago," the magician, knows his time is coming. A process that will begin in a few weeks when the Cubs report to Mesa.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Bears use Jags/Vikes as blueprints and build an elite defense over offense?

viks-d-stl-pod.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Bears use Jags/Vikes as blueprints and build an elite defense over offense?

On this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, David Schuster (670 The Score), Dan Cahill (Chicago Sun-Times) and Jordan Bernfield join David Kaplan on the panel.

The Bulls keep on winning. Should they try to make the playoffs? NBCSportsChicago.com’s Vincent Goodwill joins the guys to discuss.

Plus, with Bortles, Foles and Keenum starting in this weekend’s Championship Games should the Bears prioritize improving their defense this offseason?