Bears

Bayne Nearly Untouchable In Winston-Salem Victory; Burgess Raking For Daytona

Bayne Nearly Untouchable In Winston-Salem Victory; Burgess Raking For Daytona

Monday April 11, 2011
Posted: 10:20 p.m.WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
A late offensive burst lifted Winston-Salem to a 7-5 victory against Potomac Monday night at Pfitzner Stadium. It was the third consecutive win for the Dash, who have allowed nine runs in three games after surrendering seven runs in a season-opening defeat at Kinston.

The Dash scored five runs over the final three innings, offsetting the Nationals four-run outburst in the eighth. Kyle Sheltons solo homer in the seventh got the late charge started. The Dash also scored twice as a result of a Potomac error in the ninth. That was sandwiched around an eighth inning that saw Winston-Salem plate three times on run-scoring hits by Jose Martinez, Ian Gac and Jason Bour.

Martinez remains red hot, collecting a pair of hits. Hes hitting .556 through four games.

Cameron Bayne, a 12-game winner last year at Kannapolis, made his season debut and allowed an unearned run in seven innings before the bullpen stumbled. Bayne struck out three and allowed only one hit in earning the victory. He had a no-hitter for 6 23 innings, retiring 16 consecutive batters at one point, before a Destin Hood double spoiled his evening.
Charlotte AAA
The Knights continued to improve on their best start in franchise history Monday night, topping the Durham Bulls, 4-3, with a late rally to remain undefeated. Charlotte improved to 5-0, marking the first time in franchise history it has gotten off to such a start. The Knights and Columbus, which was rained out on Monday, are the only undefeated International League teams remaining.

Charlotte spotted the Bulls a 3-0, first-inning lead and thats how the score stayed until the seventh when Gookie Dawkins RBI double made it 3-1. Dayan Viciedos two-run homer in the eighth knotted it up at 3-3 before Alejandaro De Azas RBI single in the ninth brought home the game winner.

Brandon Hynick started and settled down after allowing the three first-inning runs, tossing shutout ball over the next five innings. Jhonny Nunez then pitched two scoreless innings before Josh Kinney earned his first win of the season despite walking a pair in a shaky ninth.

In other news, Jake Peavy is scheduled to make a rehab start for the Charlotte on Wednesday when it faces Durham on Wednesday at Knights Stadium.
Kannapolis A
The Intimidators, coming off their riveting doubleheader sweep of Lakewood on Sunday, continued their road trip on Monday with a 5-3 victory at Delmarva.

Kannapolis scored what would prove to be the winning run in the seventh without the benefit of a hit, snapping what had been a 3-3 tie. Trayce Thompson was hit by a pitch, went to third on an errant pickoff throw and then scored on a wild pitch to give the Intimidators the lead. Juan Silverios run-scoring single made it a two-run game an inning later. Thompson also had a homer and drove in a pair.

Jimmy Ballinger picked up the win in relief.
Birmingham AA
The Barons dropped their second consecutive game, this one a 10-3 decision to Montgomery in a game that was stopped in the seventh inning because of weather. Nevin Griffith allowed seven runs in three innings to take the loss.
CUBSDaytona A
Michael Burgess three-run homer capped a four-run seventh inning as Daytona rallied for a 6-5 victory over Clearwater at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

The victory, coupled with Ft. Myers loss, leaves the Cubs 5-0 as the lone undefeated team in the Florida State League. Burgess, meanwhile, continues his long-ball tear. He had two homers in the game and has four this season. The outfielder, who was originally a first-round draft pick by the Nationals in 2007, had three hits and five RBIs.

Though Brent Ebinger allowed three runs one earned in four innings he picked up his first victory of the season.
Tennessee AA
The Smokies couldnt handle Mother Nature or Chattanooga on Monday night, dropping a 6-5 decision in a game that was called in the sixth inning because of rain.

Ryan Flaherty, Josh Vitters and Steve Clevenger all had homers for Tennessee but Brooks Raley, making his Double-A debut after winning eight games for Daytona last year, allowed six runs on eight hits over 3 23 innings to take the loss.
Peoria A
The Chiefs opened their first road trip of the season, a 10-game Midwest League jaunt, in disappointing fashion, dropping a 4-2 decision at Burlington.

The Bees took the lead with a two-run third inning without ever getting the ball out of the infield. Greg Rohans error helped fuel the inning and made a loser of Graham Hicks. Rubi Silva was 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak to five games while Matt Szczur had two hits and made a spectacular diving eighth-inning catch in center field. The three Chiefs pitchers did not record a strikeout. It marked the first time since April 13, 2006 against Quad Cities that Peoria pitchers didnt strike out a batter. Hicks walked a career-high six.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Is Marcus Mariota the most logical QB target for the Bears?

Is Marcus Mariota the most logical QB target for the Bears?

Chicago Bears fans are sick and tired of the quarterback conversation surrounding this team as we enter the most important two month stretch of the offseason. My Twitter timeline (and vicious replies) are evidence of that. 

Duly noted.

That said, it's an unavoidable truth that GM Ryan Pace has no choice but to do something at quarterback in free agency or the NFL Draft. The most diehard Mitch Trubisky fan has to admit that. The former second overall pick hasn't developed into a franchise player through three seasons under center, and while the optimist would argue there's still time for him to become that guy, the realist is who must prevail when it comes to roster construction.

Marcus Mariota may be the perfect compromise. He doesn't have a resume that will immediately threaten Trubisky in 2020, but his sneaky upside combined with his youth and overall skill set is an ideal combination that could make him a long-term answer if Trubisky fails in the short-term.

According to Sports Illustrated, Chicago -- and coach Matt Nagy -- would be an ideal destination for Mariota, even if there's an inherent conflict of interest because both Mariota and Trubisky are represented by the same agent.

There are coaches out there—cough, Chicago, cough—who could slide him in easily under the guise that Mariota is a high-quality backup and develop him into a weapon under center who could take over when the starter falters.

Mariota, like Trubisky, hasn't lived up to the hype that he entered the NFL with back in 2015 when he was the second overall pick of the Titans. He's logged 61 starts and a career record of 29-32. He's completed just under 63% of his 1,110 career pass attempts and has 76 touchdown passes to 44 interceptions.

His stat sheet isn't impressive. His on-field play, at times, hasn't been, either. But he'd be an ideal reclamation project that the Bears can sell as the perfect backup even if the hope is for him to emerge as a starter.

There’s an advantage for QB-needy teams here who don’t want to deal with the public courting of Tom Brady, who don’t want to sacrifice mobility by signing Philip Rivers, who don’t want to roll the dice on every snap by signing Jameis Winston, and who don’t have the trade capital or cap space to go after someone like Nick Foles or Derek Carr.

Chicago won't be able to get into a bidding war for the bigger names like Tom Brady or even Teddy Bridgewater because of their limited cap space. Mariota won't command nearly as much to sign, and he's likely to get nothing more than a one-year commitment from a team hoping he can be like the guy who replaced him, Ryan Tannehill.

Of all the quarterbacks who've been pegged as a possible option for the Bears, Mariota feels like the most logical and, more importantly, cheaper targets who realistically could be lining up as the Chicago's starter by Week 4 of the 2020 season.

Tributes to Kobe Bryant, city of Chicago highlight memorable All-Star Sunday

Tributes to Kobe Bryant, city of Chicago highlight memorable All-Star Sunday

The specter of Kobe Bryant was omnipresent throughout All-Star weekend. Too often, it felt that the city of Chicago was not. 

But both took center stage at the All-Star game itself on Sunday night. The result was poignant, powerful and downright enthralling.

Magic Johnson set the tone early with a eulogy to Bryant that elicited multiple, impassioned ‘Kobe!’ chants from the crowd. That gave way to South Side native Common seamlessly weaving a cadenced monologue dedicated to Chicago, Bryant and daughter Gigi, as images of city legends from Barack Obama to Michael Jordan to Hebru Brantley flashed across the screen. The United Center rippled with emotion from start to finish.

For Bryant, the homage was a culmination. For Chicago, it was an essential re-centering to cap a weekend that saw only one Bull participate in an event — Zach LaVine, who exited after round one of the 3-point shootout. After 32 years since last hosting, this city deserved its moment in the sun. That one delivered.

“Chicago held it down,” Anthony Davis said. “I think they showed the league and everyone around the world about our Chicago history, about the city. I think everyone enjoyed it and respects Chicago a little bit more.”

Of course, there was a game to play, too — and embedded within were moments of pure symbolism.

On the surface: Members of Team Giannis and Team LeBron donned No. 24 and No. 2, respectively, in honor of Bryant and Gigi. The final quarter of the game went untimed, a slog to 157 (24 points more than the 133 Team Giannis entered the period with, per the league’s new Elam-inspired format). 

Chicago charities — Chicago Scholars ($400,000) for Team LeBron, After School Matters ($100,000) for Giannis — also received a cumulative $500,000 over the course of the game. Seventy-nine assists between the two teams means $79,000 will go towards STEM research in the greater Chicago area, too.

But now, let’s get a little nebulous. 

That fourth quarter, after a familiarly lackluster previous three, was electric. The offenses were legitimately running plays, the defenses were scrapping. There was controversial officiating, sweat dripping, and charges and clutch blocks galore. By the end, you could cut the tension with a knife.

“It felt like playing in the league in a playoff game,” Davis said.

Forgive me this contrivance, but how fitting a finish to commemorate both this city and Bryant. A true grind-it-out, scratch-and-claw affair. And as epic a pickup run as you’re like to find.

Most poetic, then, was the winning bucket. Yes, it was a free-throw — an anticlimactic ending to a memorable night — but the man that took it, Davis, was both born and bred in Chicago, and currently reps the same purple and gold Bryant did for 20 seasons as a member of the Lakers. 

“It was a great feeling, to be back home,” Davis said. “And I’m happy I was able to be the one to knock down the free throw to seal the game.

“For our side to get a win, for Kob (Kobe), this whole weekend was honoring him. And I think the league did a great job of doing that.”

Davis went on to congratulate Kawhi Leonard, who tonight took home the first ever Kobe Bryant All-Star game MVP award. His 30 points led all scorers in the game.

“It’s very special,” Leonard said. “I had a relationship with him (Bryant). Words can’t explain how happy I am for it. Able to put that trophy in my room… And just to be able to see Kobe’s name on there. It just means a lot to me. He’s a big inspiration in my life. He did a lot for me.”

On Thursday, normalcy will return to the United Center in the form of the Bulls and Hornets. But this was a night no one will soon forget. Thank you, Chicago. Thank you, basketball.

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