White Sox

5 Questions with...The Score's David Schuster

394617.jpg

5 Questions with...The Score's David Schuster

CSN Chicago Senior Director of Communications
CSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the city's most popular personalities on the spot with everyone's 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 guest .. a guy who has pretty much seen it all in his 30-plus years of covering the Chicago sports scene ... his trust and rapport with athletes and team executives has paid major dividends in a career that most sports journalists will would die for ... calling him a sports nut is a fair assessment, but hes also one of the nicest guys around ... from WSCR 670 The Score, here are 5 Questions with ... DAVID SCHUSTER!

BIO: David Schuster has been covering the local sports scene for over 30 years and, in that time, he has seen more games and events then just about anybody. Hes covered nine local championships (six by the Bulls, and one each by the Bears, White Sox & Blackhawks), along with three no-hitters and one perfect game. Plus he had the honor of covering the best basketball player ever on a daily basis. In addition to covering numerous teams and events in and around Chicago, hes also an active sports participant in basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, you name it. Hes also a huge movie buff, a frequent traveler and even owns a piece of a local minor league baseball team and a local restaurant.

1) CSNChicago.com: David, first up, you're back in Arizona once again covering the start of spring training for Chicago's baseball teams. Tell us your top 3 hopeful predictions that will have White Sox fans excited for the upcoming campaign -- and three as well for the Cubs.

Schuster: Hope is ever eternal at Spring Training and this year is no different for both our baseball teams. The following are hopeful predictions (maybe even beyond hope) for the Sox & Cubs.

On the south side: 1) Jake Peavy returns to his Cy Young award winning form with no repercussions from his shoulder surgery to win 20 plus games, 2) Paul Konerko & Adam Dunn combine for 90 home runs and 3) the Sox win the World Series.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town: 1) Carlos Zambrano is like a choir boy and wins 20 for the first time, 2) Carlos Marmol saves 45 games and 3) Carlos Pena hits 40 HRs and drives in a 115 runs as the Cubs get back into the playoffs. Like I said, hope is eternal (if not realistic) at this time of the year.

2) CSNChicago.com: As someone who has covered spring training for years, what are your favorite and least favorite elements during your extended stay in sunny AZ?

Schuster: You have to love covering Spring Training if for nothing else the weather. Tell me many other jobs where you get transported from the snow and the cold to 80 degrees and sunny, while reporting on teams that don't even have any losses yet. Plus, all the players are in such good moods this time of the year. Five months later maybe not so much, but they certainly are affable in February.

As for the drawbacks there aren't many, but I certainly get jealous when I see the fans gulping down their beers while catching rays....hey that should be me! And, even though I love baseball, I miss covering hoops. I'm a basketball junkie and Derrick Rose is the best player I have had the pleasure of covering since Michael Jordan. He has really livened the city with his greatness.

3) CSNChicago.com: Your popular ChicagoNow.com Booth Reviews film blog does a solid job of reviewing new and classic movies, without taking yourself or the movies too seriously. Since its Oscar season and you've pretty much seen them all, is The Kings Speech the Best Picture winner this year or do you see a dark horse in The Social Network winning the big prize?

Schuster: In my mind, there is no question that "The King's Speech" was hands down the best movie of the year. I definitely liked "The Social Network" and "The Fighter," but you just get that certain feeling when you walk out of a theater after seeing certain movies and I was hit with that feeling after seeing "The King's Speech." The writing was fabulous and the chemistry between Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush was outstanding -- both should win acting nods for their portrayals.

4) CSNChicago.com: How is it possible with everything else you have going on that you also own a piece of a minor league baseball team and a restaurant!? Tell us about how you got yourself involved in those endeavors.

Schuster: I got involved as a minor league baseball owner and part owner of a restaurant through associations with close friends. After being on the other side of the ledger in baseball, I kidded Jerry Reinsdorf that I would never question him again when it came to ownership. He laughed at me. As for the restaurant, it's not normally a good investment, but I have faith in the main proprietor (Jeff Shapiro). The restaurant's name is Rural Urban Barbeque in Highland Park and the food is really good. Jeff knows the business inside and out and his cooking and sauces are out of this world.

5) CSNChicago.com: Credit has to be given when its due. Your social media following is off-the-charts impressive. It seems like every time you send out a sentence or two -- on anything -- you immediately get 20-30 replies from your friends and followers. Whats your personal secret and do you think social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter have leveled off in popularity or are they on the verge of becoming even bigger?

Schuster: I think we have just scratched the surface when it comes to social media outlets. It's truly amazing how effective they are and how all the old time media use them to their advantage. If you work at a radio or TV station or at a newspaper, you have to keep track of various Twitter or Facebook accounts. We constantly are getting stories from both and often get breaking news from these sources.

As for my own page, I love just putting out certain opinions or facts and then having all my followers make comments. Some are intelligent and some are off the wall. But I'm constantly amazed at how many comments I'll get and when it comes to baseball -- Cubs and Sox fans often go at each other. In fact, I can put up quotes from the Gettysburg Address or something so far away from baseball and yet those Cubs and Sox folks will spew their venom towards each other. It blows me away sometimes, but it also tells me of the passion that both teams enjoy from their fandom.

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: Any finals words or comments David?

Schuster: I appreciate having the forum here to answer the above 5 Questions and will continue to say that I am truly a lucky guy. I am doing what I have always wanted, which is to cover sports in my hometown. I'm on the front line of history every day and I wouldn't trade that in for anything....except maybe a winning (100 million) Power Ball ticket.

Schuster LINKS

David Schuster sectionblog on WSCRs official web site

Schusters ChicagoNow.com Booth Reviews blog

David Schuster on Facebook

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

machado-sox-pod.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

0521-welington-castillo.jpg
USA TODAY

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

One thing you better do if you play for Rick Renteria is run to first base.

Yet again, Renteria benched one of his players Monday for the sin of not hustling down the line.

Welington Castillo, a veteran, not a developing player in need of ample “learning experiences,” popped up to first base with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth inning of Monday’s eventual 3-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles. He did not run down to first, instead staying at home plate.

So when the inning ended and the White Sox took the field, Castillo stayed in the dugout.

Ricky’s boys don’t quit, or so the slogan goes. But what happens when a player doesn’t live up to that mantra? What happens when they don’t play their absolute hardest for all 27 outs, as the T-shirts preach? This is what happens. A benching.

“It was towering fly ball in the infield at first, probably had 15, 20 seconds of hangtime,” Renteria explained after the game. “I assumed the dropped ball. It has occurred. He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way.

“That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest, it truly is. Maybe he was just frustrated in that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all. And you guys have heard me talk to all the guys about at least giving an opportunity to move in that particular direction.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, 99 out of (100) times he’s going to catch that ball.’ And then that one time that he doesn’t, what would I do if the ball had been dropped? Would it have made it easier to pull him? Well, it was just as easy because you expect not the best, but the worst.

“That is uncharacteristic of that young man. I had a quick conversation with him on the bench, and he knew and that was it.”

It might seem a little overdramatic, a little nutty, even, to sit down a veteran catcher brought in this offseason to provide some offense and to do it in a one-run game. But this rebuild is about more than just waiting around for the minor league talent to make its way to the South Side. It’s about developing an organizational culture, too. And Renteria feels that if he lets this kind of thing slide at the big league level, that won’t send the right message to those precious prospects who will one day fill out this lineup.

“There’s one way to do it, you get your action, you start moving toward that direction in which you’ve got to go,” Renteria said. “What would’ve happened if everybody’s watching it — and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, (but also for) everybody in the minor leagues — and they’re saying, ‘Well, at the top, they said they’re going to do this and then they don’t do it.’

“It’s really simple. And people might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this, do that so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened in 2018. Avisail Garcia was taken out of a game during spring training for not giving maximum effort. Leury Garcia was removed from a game earlier this month for not busting it down the first-base line on a weak grounder that went right to the first baseman.

It’s become a somewhat common tactic for Renteria, and while it might strike some as taking things a little too seriously, what good is this developmental season if a culture goes undeveloped? The White Sox have placed their bright future, in part, in Renteria’s hands, and they’ve talked glowingly about how the players have bought into his style and how the team played last season under his leadership.

If Renteria truly is the right man for the rebuild, things like this are how he’s going to establish his culture. And it will, he hopes, impact how all those prospects play when they’re no longer prospects and the White Sox are contending for championships.