Cubs

5 Questions with...Dan Patrick

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5 Questions with...Dan Patrick

By Jeff Nuich
CSN Chicago Senior Director of CommunicationsCSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the citys most popular personalities on the spot with everyones favorite local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

On Wednesdays, exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guestone of the biggest sports media personalities in the nationfor close to three decades, this standouts cool delivery and insightful interview style has made him a favorite go-to-guy for thousands of personalities in both the sports and entertainment fieldyou can catch him live on Comcast SportsNet every Monday-Friday morning from 8:00-11:00 AM and on NBC Sports Football Night in America every Sunday night during the NFL season simply put, hes one of the best in the business, here are 5 Questions withDAN PATRICK!

BIO: Dan Patrick is one of America's legendary sports journalists and a revered member of the national media industry. In 1989 Patrick started at ESPN. During his 18 years at ESPN, Patrick was most notably recognized for his many years as co-host of SportsCenter. In 1998, Patrick received a Sports Emmy Award in the Studio Host category. In 2000, Patrick was named the National Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, making him just the second cable commentator to receive the honor. In 2011, Patrick has once again been nominated for a Sports Emmy for the Outstanding Sports Personality Studio Host Category.

In 2007 Patrick left ESPN to pursue building his own independent brand. He began by recreating his radio show, distributed nationally through DirecTV Sports Networks. The radio show also runs on Fox Sports Radio Network. His weekday radio program can now be heard on over 260 affiliate stations.

Since August 3, 2009, the Dan Patrick Radio Show has been simulcast live on DIRECTVs Audience Network. DIRECTV is a world leading provider of digital television entertainment services and has over 17.6 million subscribers in the United States. As of October 2010, Dan has simulcasted his television show on to the Fox Sports Network Platform which puts him in over 90 million homes in the United States.

In addition to The Dan Patrick Show on Comcast SportsNet, Patrick can be seen on NBC's Football Night in America, was a key member of NBC Sports 2010 Winter Olympics broadcast team from Vancouver, and was a correspondent during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Additionally, Patrick is a Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated and writes a weekly column for Sports Illustrated magazine.

Patrick has a fully interactive website at www.danpatrick.com, with live blogging, videos, audio, and listener interaction. He has also created his very own digital fan loyalty program called Dan Nation that has over 90,000 members.

Patrick continues to build upon his independent brand by growing his distribution platforms in radio, TV, internet, magazines, and even movies but he isnt done yet. By continuing to innovate, Patrick will remain as one of the leading sports broadcasters and premium brands in the business.

1) CSNChicago.com: Dan, thanks for taking time out of your always-hectic schedule to join us for this edition of 5 Questions with Lets get right to it. With your show based out in the New England area, you are naturally familiar with Red Sox Nation and the GM tenure of Theo Epstein. With Epstein now officially running the baseball operations side in the Chicago Cubs front office, what immediate culture changes do you expect to occur at Wrigley Field from a front office perspective and, down the line, from an on-field perspective?

Patrick: Theo brings hope. Cubs fans saw what he and the Red Sox did over the last decade and have to think that he can do it again. Remember, there is no downside. Nobody really critiques big money free agents with the Cubs, even GMs, because whats the worst that could happen...you dont win the World Series. Thats all thats happened for every living Cub fan. Theo will up the temperature of the entire organization immediately and will not accept not making the playoffs. This is good news for Cubs fans.

2) CSNChicago.com: The Dan Patrick Show, which airs on Comcast SportsNet Chicago weekdays from 8:00-11:00 AM, is truly being enjoyed by Chicago TV viewers for your always-entertaining guests and insightful commentary. Since this is a live, morning production, take us briefly through your morning routine from the time you wake upto the time you sit in the host chair.

Patrick: Coffee! Then the Danettes and I meet in the mancave and talk things outtopicsguests. But one thing we do is we try not to talk too much on any one topic in the pre-show meeting. If we are hot on a topic or story, we put the brakes on and save the discussion for the show. You dont want to try to re-do what you just talked aboutwhat you see on air is natural and unscripted.

3) CSNChicago.com: Many people in the sports media industry look up to you as one of the best interviewers in the biz. Which media personalitypersonalities did you admire growing up that you felt were (and maybe still are) the gold standard in interviewing guests?

Patrick: I admire the ones that can smoothly handle a big, live eventJim McKayKeith JacksonBrent MusbergerBob Costas. Being the point man on the air at the Olympics, World Series or Super Bowl is a pressure gig and the best in the business keep things moving while surrounded by chaos.

4) CSNChicago.com: As host of NBC Sports Football Night in America, you know all about the dominance of the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. Here in Chicago, fans are just hoping the Bears can make a return to the playoffs, especially since the Pack will likely lock up the NFL North title. Simple question, do the Bears have a shot to realistically make the playoffs?

Patrick: They do. They had a shot last year at the Super Bowl and, if Cutler stays upright in the NFC title game, who knows how that game ends. The blocking is improving for Cutler. Forte is the best all-around back in the game. If the receivers can up their game and they remain a run-first team, they can make the playoffs. That being said, Green Bay looks almost flawless so far, so it will be tough to get past them if they meet again in the playoffs.

5) CSNChicago.com: Its a pretty cool fact that youre good friends with box office superstar Adam Sandler, as you appeared in numerous Sandler films over the years (including the upcoming Jack and Jill opening up on November 11). Weve got to knowany chance DP goes Hollywood full-time to pursue a career in acting?...and -- outside of Peter Krause (who did a fine job mimicking you on Sports Night years ago) -- which actor would you like to see portray your life story on film?

Patrick: Wow, now we are talking. I heard they may make an ESPN movie a la The Social Network. Id be good with Jason Bateman playing me in the 90s. Hes snarky and you have to respect his hairI do.

Patrick LINKS:

The Dan Patrick Show official site

The Dan Patrick Show on Facebook

The Dan Patrick Show on Twitter

The curious ripple effects of the Cubs' trade for Martin Maldonado

The curious ripple effects of the Cubs' trade for Martin Maldonado

While the Cubs put the finishing touches on a lackluster loss to the Reds Monday night at Wrigley Field, the game quickly took a backseat as reports of a trade filtered through Baseball Twitter.

In came a veteran catcher — Martin Maldonado — from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Mike Montgomery, who will live on in Cubs history books forever as the guy who threw the curveball that notched the final out in the 2016 World Series to break a 108-year championship drought.

There are many layers to this move, including the corresponding aspect of Cubs All-Star catcher Willson Contreras hitting the 10-day injured list with a strain in the arch of his right foot. Contreras had an MRI Monday afternoon/evening, which revealed the issue. 

Contreras felt like he could play through it and passionately pleaded his case, but the Cubs want to exercise an abundance of caution with one of their most important players.

"Our medical staff feels like if he were to try to play on it, that he'd be risking exacerbating the injury and turning it into something long-term," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. "So we have to get ahead of it, take it out of Willy's hands and take him off his feet. 

"We don't expect it to be longer than 10 days — that's what we hope for, anyways."

But even before the severity of Contreras' injury was known, Epstein said the team was already in talks with the Royals front office.

"We've been having discussions with Kansas City and they had an opening in their rotation after trading [Homer] Bailey and they'd been talking to a couple teams about Maldonado and we knew that," Epstein said. "We'd actually been working on a version of the deal beforehand and it was something we wanted to quickly finalize once it became clear that Willson was gonna miss some time."

That's interesting.

So the Cubs' interest in Maldonado is not solely based on Contreras' injury, which means they value the veteran catcher as more than just a short-term, couple-week insurance policy to pair with Victor Caratini. 

On the one hand, that leaves the Cubs free to trade Caratini over the next couple weeks if a deal developed.

But the move for Maldonado also shores up a major area of depth for the Cubs, which is exactly what Epstein talked about before Monday's game, referencing the change in MLB rules that eliminated the August waiver wire deadline. Now, every team has to make their moves ahead of the July 31 deadline and that's it.

"Teams need to keep depth in mind a little bit more, that you have to anticipate where you might be vulnerable to an injury and try to build that depth up in advance — preemptively, really — knowing that there's no escape valve in August," Epstein said. "So you gotta really do all your work this month as much as possible and really take a hard look at your organizational depth."

Well, despite fantastic seasons from Contreras and Caratini, the Cubs actually have very little in the way of catching depth beyond those two. Taylor Davis is the only other backstop on the 40-man roster and he has almost no big-league experience. When Caratini was on the IL earlier this year with a hand injury, Davis rarely played in the month-plus he was on the roster.

Even if Contreras' injury is as minor as it appears, it underscores the point that the Cubs' depth is very fragile at the most physically demanding position on the field. What would the team do if Contreras or Caratini suffered an injury in August or September?

Now, they can add Maldonado into the mix — a veteran catcher who draves rave remarks for his defense and game-calling. 

The right-handed-hitting catcher is due to turn 33 next month and is in his ninth big-league season. He hasn't done much with the bat in his career (.289 on-base percentage, .351 slugging) and that hasn't changed this year (.647 OPS), but his work behind the plate was enticing to the Cubs and their veteran-laden pitching staff.

"He's an established catcher in the league who does a lot of great things behind the plate," Epstein said. "He can really receive, he can really throw. He's caught playoff games. He's handled some of the best pitchers in the game; he's a favorite for pitchers to throw to.

"He's very calm back there, very prepared, calls a great game, really soft hands, lot of experience, lot of savvy and someone who we think can step in and share the job with Vic and get up to speed really quickly in what we hope is a brief absence from Willson."

The Cubs haven't yet shared a plan for how they plan to manage the roster crunch for all three catchers when Contreras returns from injury in a week or two, but that might be because they don't yet have a plan. That's more of a "cross that bridge when it comes" type of situation.

When everybody is healthy — if everybody is ever healthy all at the same time — the Cubs could carry three catchers and utilize Contreras' ability to play the outfield and Caratini's first/third base versatility. They could also option Caratini to the minors for a couple weeks and bring him back up when rosters expand in September or if another injury strikes.

Either way, the Cubs front office, coaching staff and pitching staff can rest easier knowing they have another experienced backstop on the roster. 

The other aspect to all this, obviously, is in the Cubs bullpen and starting depth. Montgomery is out, which means there is an easy open spot on the roster for Alec Mills, who is making a spot start Tuesday while Cole Hamels continues to rehab his oblique injury.

In the longer term, this could be a good thing for the Cubs bullpen, as Montgomery was miscast and rarely used as a short-inning reliever. The 30-year-old southpaw last threw on July 2 and has only made five appearances in the last month. 

Montgomery was slowed by injury in spring training and then again in the first couple weeks of the season, but he had been building up his workload of late - throwing at least 2.1 innings in each of his last three outings. Still, the Cubs opted to go with Mills Tuesday against the Reds instead of Montgomery and they also had Tyler Chatwood and Adbert Alzolay in the rotation at various points earlier this season.

Montgomery hasn't started once in 2019, but he made 28 starts in a Cubs uniform, including 19 last year while filling in for the injured Yu Darvish.

The Cubs clearly feel good enough with their rotation depth as is (Mills, Chatwood, Alzolay) and Hamels' return looks to be right around the corner, so the writing was on the wall that Montgomery wouldn't get many chances to start in the short or long term in Chicago.

It's also good for Montgomery, a guy who got the last out in the World Series and did everything asked of him in his three-plus years in Chicago, bouncing between the rotation and bullpen. 

Now he gets an opportunity to start, which he's been vocal about wanting to do, and he'll be thrown right into the fire — the Royals have him penciled in to start Friday...in Cleveland.

How's that for full circle?

After short stint in the majors, White Sox send Zack Collins to Triple-A

After short stint in the majors, White Sox send Zack Collins to Triple-A

When general manager Rick Hahn has talked about bringing up key prospects, he says he wants those players to be able to come up to the majors and stay there. That won't be the case with Zack Collins.

The White Sox sent the catcher down to Triple-A Charlotte following Monday's 5-2 loss to the Royals. No corresponding move will be made until Tuesday, but it is expected Welington Castillo will return from his rehab stint and rejoin the White Sox.

Collins was called up on June 18, but only played in nine games with seven starts in his 28 days on the big league roster. Collins drew a pinch-hit walk in his first plate appearance at the Cubs on June 19. He then homered two days later in his first start in Texas.

After that, Collins struggled. He goes back to Charlotte after hitting .077 (2-for-26) with five walks, the one home run and 14 strikeouts in 31 plate appearances.

It's unclear if Collins had a chance to stick on the roster or if the plan was for him to go back to Triple-A once Castillo was ready to return. Collins certainly didn't do himself any favors at the plate, but he also didn't see regular playing time.

Collins, a first-round pick in 2016, was seen working out at first base in fielding practice before games, but he stuck to catcher and DH. He could have played some first base or DH when Castillo returned. However, the White Sox claimed A.J. Reed off waivers and he debuted after the all-star break. Reed has taken the at-bats at DH, leaving Collins without regular at-bats.

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