White Sox

5 Questions with...Sun-Times' Adam Jahns

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5 Questions with...Sun-Times' Adam Jahns

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010

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 weekly 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 top young guns on the local sports journalism scene whose beat coverage of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks continues to be must-read daily in the Chicago Sun-Timesas busy as his schedule is, he still finds time to...who are we kidding, he never has any free timeexcept to take a brief time out for CSNChicago.coms 5 Questions withADAM JAHNS!

BIO: Adam Jahns joined the Chicago Sun-Times in 2005, starting out on the high school sports desk. He had a short stint as a writer for the Sun-Times Media Wire, chasing down hard-news stories. He was later named the Assistant Editor for YourSeason.com, the Sun-Times expansive high school sports website. Jahns roles soon expanded to include occasional coverage of the Bears, Cubs, Sox and Blackhawks. He was part of the Sun-Times coverage team for the Hawks 2008-09 postseason. Jahns started the 2009-10 season as an editor for YourSeason.com. On Dec. 16, 2009, he was officially moved to the Hawks beat.

Jahns is a native Chicagoan, growing up on the citys Northwest Side in the Mayfair neighborhood. He attended Notre Dame High School for Boys in Niles, before heading off to St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. He was the sports editor of St. Norberts weekly newspaper. As a senior, he wrote for the Green Bay News-Chronicle, covering college hockey, volleyball, soccer and basketball. After the News-Chronicle closed in the summer of 2005, Jahns moved home and attended Columbia College, where he earned a Masters degree in journalism. He majored in Media Communication at St. Norbert.

He lives in Chicago with his wife Colleen.

1) CSNChicago.com: Adam, as you can attest, were all still coming off the Blackhawks Stanley Cup championship hangover in what was an amazing summer of celebration for the team and the entire city. Alas, its a new season and a new-look team so-to-speak, but that stellar core of young talent (with huge playoff experience) is back to make another run at the title. In your opinion, is there any reason why this years team cant repeat as champs?

Jahns: History is certainly against the Hawks. There hasnt been a repeat champion since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 1997 and 1998. The Red Wings almost did it again after the lockout, but the Pittsburgh Penguins, who they defeated the year earlier, won in a rematch. Its the hardest title to win in all of sports. The grind of the NHL postseason -- where the physical play is amplified, games are every other day and travel becomes a factor especially in the Western Conference -- is unmatched.

With that said, the Hawks are still a very good team. Everyone points out who the Hawks lost, but I think people forget that Marian Hossa and Dave Bolland missed half of the regular season last year. They are healthy now. Look at what Hossas done already this season. A 45-goal season is a real possibility for him.

The Hawks will make the playoffs. Once theyre in, anything can happen. They have enough talent to win it all again with Hossa, Bolland, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brian Campbell leading the way. And, who can say that its not possible for some of the new guys to emerge as quality role players?

2) CSNChicago.com: The Blackhawks have a new one-two punch in the nets this year with veteran Marty Turco and a big league opportunity for the teams 2003 NHL Draft pick Corey Crawford. From what youve seen so far, what would you say is your main pro & con for each of these two netminders?

Jahns: A big con for both goalies is the lack of familiarity with the Hawks defense. Marty Turco, in particular, likes to play the puck a lot. It will take some time for him to get used to where the Hawks like to be, how they like the puck, where they want it and when they want him to play it. But Turcos puck-moving ability is also his biggest plus. There arent many goalies, if any, that can move the puck like he does. Corey Crawford has had to sit and wait his turn for years in the Hawks system. He has really improved on rebound control.

3) CSNChicago.com: When Patrick Kane scored that game-winner in Game 6 last June, giving the Blackhawks their first Stanley Cup title in 49 years, was it as surreal to you as someone who covered the team 247, as it was to all of us as fans?
Jahns: I remember what I was doing vividly. I was standing in the first row of the press box. I was packing my bag and about to head downstairs to set myself up in the makeshift media room in the Wachovia Center. Its easier to write in the media room, especially on deadline. The locker rooms are closer than being in the press box.

As I was packing my bag, Patrick Kane let go a bad-angle shot from the bottom of the left circle. I didnt think he scored, but he took off down the ice toward Antti Niemi, skating wildly away from the play. Patrick Sharp gave chase. Brian Campbell and Andrew Ladd looked lost. The Flyers stood around looking for the puck.

There were other reporters surrounding me, looking down at their laptops and churning out copy for the following day. On the ice, there was confusion. Then the Hawks bench emptied. Oh my God, I thought. They just won.

Gloves, helmets and sticks soon covered the ice. The Flyers hung their heads. They won, I said. Everyone around me looked up. We raised our heads to look for the replay on the press-box TVs. The Wachovia Center was eerily quiet.

I frantically finished packing my bag, ran to the elevator, found a spot in the crowded media room and made my way to the ice to interview the Hawks. Some 25 minutes later and as the Hawks celebrated in their locker room, I sat next to a large flat-screen TV in the first row of seats in the media room, writing my game story for the paper. My first sentence was: The Blackhawks are the 2010 Stanley Cup champions.

4) CSNChicago.com: Youve covered a lot of beats so far in your young journalism career. Whats the single worst assignment you ever had to cover and what made it so awful?

Jahns: I wouldnt say Ive had any really awful assignments. But there have been some tricky ones, where the elements certainly made my job more difficult. I once interviewed Bears quarterback Jay Cutler during a rain storm under a tent at La Rabida Childrens Hospital in Hyde Park. I was in need of a full change of clothes afterward. I covered a high school football playoff game between Proviso East and Downers Grove North on a snowy Friday night a few years ago. My notes were ruined, and I didnt dress warm enough. I didnt even have a hat to wear.

With the News-Chronicle in Green Bay, I covered a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men's basketball game. I placed my voice recorder on the table during the post-game interviews. When I checked it afterward and started to write, I found out the batteries in it were dead. That wasn't too fun.

A tough one to swallow was turning down a chance to help cover a White Sox game two summers ago. It was July 23, 2009, and I had other responsibilities to tend to. Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game that day.

5) CSNChicago.com: Whats your favorite press dining room pre-game entre served at the United Center and tell us a couple of road city arenas that you consider having some solid press dining grub?

Jahns: At the United Center, the Hawks serve an in-game meal during the second intermission. My favorite is the chicken fingers and macaroni cheese. The pre-game meal at Vancouver isnt bad at all. Columbus, believe it or not, has two places I highly recommend for those interested in dining at one-of-a-kind local restaurants. Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails, which is known for its pot roast sandwich, and the Thurman Caf, a popular burger joint, are great places. They arent exactly the healthiest places to eat, but their food is absolutely delicious. Every time the Hawks head to Columbus I get a pot roast sandwich at Tip Top.

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: Anything you would like to plug Adam? Tell us, we want to hear about it

Jahns: As for what I could be working on, I always have something cooking. I really enjoy doing long, in-depth features. But what type of reporter would I be if I gave them away?

Jahns LINKS

Chicago Sun-TimesBlackhawks home page

Chicago Sun-TimesAdam Jahns Inside the Blackhawks blog

Adam Jahns on Facebook

Adam Jahns on Twitter

Reynaldo Lopez is changing his place in the White Sox rebuild: 'When I'm on the mound, I'm the best and I don't care about the rest'

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USA TODAY

Reynaldo Lopez is changing his place in the White Sox rebuild: 'When I'm on the mound, I'm the best and I don't care about the rest'

Rebuilds are full of surprises.

Fans can pencil in any names they want into their 2020 lineups, but there’s almost no one who’s going to have a 100-percent success rate when it comes to predicting exactly what the next contending White Sox team will look like.

Reynaldo Lopez carried plenty of hype when he was acquired from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton deal prior following the 2016 season. He had a high prospect ranking before he was called up last summer. He hasn’t materialized out of nowhere.

But with names like Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, Alec Hansen, Carlos Rodon and others to compete with for one of those coveted rotation spots of the future, was anyone going to use the term “ace” to describe Lopez?

Well, in this rebuilding season’s most pleasant surprise for the White Sox and their fans, that’s exactly what Lopez has been. He’s been hands down the team’s best starting pitcher, and he’s making the case that he shouldn’t be considered an ancillary piece in this rebuilding process but a featured one.

He might not be getting the attention that others are. But he’s doing the most with his opportunity of being at the big league level right now. In the end, as long as you’re getting batters out, who cares how much attention you get?

“It’s not about what people say or what they are talking about,” Lopez said through a translator. “It’s about the confidence I have in myself, and I have plenty of confidence in myself. For me, I’m the best. I’m not saying the other guys are not. I’m just saying that’s the confidence I have. When I’m on the mound, I’m the best and I don’t care about the rest.”

Sunday marked the best start of Lopez’s young career, so said the pitcher himself. He was terrific in shutting down the visiting Texas Rangers, holding them to just two hits over eight scoreless innings.

It was one heck of a bounce-back performance considering what happened last time out, when he was roughed up for six runs in just two innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The difference? His attitude, his focus, his intensity, his conviction.

“I just changed my attitude in the game,” Lopez said. “I was more positive today than I was in my last outing and that was one of my biggest differences.”

“I do think he came out a little bit more focused, to be honest,” manager Rick Renteria said. “The intensity level was a little higher today. I think he threw the first couple pitches 97, 98 miles an hour, where his last outing they were at 93, 94. There wasn’t a whole lot of commitment or conviction to his pitches (against the Pirates). I think, as we talked after the last outing, (pitching coach Don Cooper) spoke to him a little about making sure he brought that intensity that he has the ability to do, to bring it from Pitch 1 and he did today.”

Renteria liked it all, and he saw something different in his pitcher when he went out to talk to him with two outs in the eighth. Lopez issued a two-out walk, and Renteria considered lifting Lopez from the game.

Lopez made sure his manager wouldn’t pull the plug on this outing.

“I hid the baseball in my glove because I didn’t want to leave the game,” Lopez said. “I asked me, ‘How are you? Are you good?’ And I told him, ‘Yes, I’m good.’ Then he asked me again, ‘Do you think you are able to get him out?’ And I said yes, ‘This is my game, and I’m going to finish it.’”

What did Lopez do with his extra life? He finished it all right, blowing Shin-Soo Choo away with a 96-mile-an-hour fastball. Then he showed as much emotion as he’s ever shown on a major league field. He earned that celebration.

“When you see your manager come out and you’ve already gone through most of your game in terms of what you might think you have in number of pitches available to you, and you reiterate that you want to finish a particular batter because you want to get out of that inning, and you do it, it's an accomplishment,” Renteria said. “It's a big accomplishment. For him, pretty good hitter. He battled him and he was able to get out of that inning and complete a very, very strong eight-inning outing.”

It’s the kind of exclamation point on a dominant afternoon that could stir some big plans in White Sox fans always dreaming of the future. What Lopez has done this season has been a strong case for a spot in that future rotation and a spot at the front of it, at that. Following Sunday’s gem, Lopez owns a 2.98 ERA with at least six strikeouts in four of his nine starts.

There’s a lot of development and a lot of time left before the White Sox contention window opens. But Lopez pitching like this offers a glimpse into the crystal ball, a look at what could be for an organization that’s acquired so much talent over the last two years.

You might not have seen it coming like this, but the future arriving in the form of Lopez is a sign that brighter days are ahead on the South Side.

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we'll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Jacobs

Head coach: Bill Mitz

Assistant coaches: Bubba Smith, Mike Warren, Brian Zimmerman, JM Foote, Ryan Arndt and Bob Mackey

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (5-3 Fox Valley Conference). Jacobs made the Class 7A playoff field. The Golden Eagles lost to Lincoln-Way West in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 Hampshire 

Aug. 31 @ Huntley 

Sept. 7 Dundee-Crown 

Sept. 14 @ McHenry 

Sept. 21 Neuqua Valley 

Sept. 28 Prairie Ridge 

Oct. 5 @ Cary-Grove 

Oct. 12 Crystal Lake South 

Oct. 19 @ Crystal Lake Central

Biggest storyline: Can the Golden Eagles move up in the Fox Valley Conference pecking order in 2018?

Names to watch this season: OT Joacheim Price and OL Nick Zonta

Biggest holes to fill: The Golden Eagles will need to replace its entire starting linebacker group from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Year in and year out, Jacobs is always a factor in the rugged Fox Valley Conference (seven playoff appearances in the last eight years). The Golden Eagles return some starters in several key spots. If the underclassmen group can step up this summer, look for Jacobs to challenge for the FVC conference title and a higher seed in 7A come IHSA playoff time.