White Sox

Bulls try to stop Rondo's run at history on CSN

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Bulls try to stop Rondo's run at history on CSN

The Bulls will have an attempt to halt history in the making tonight when they host Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics tonight at the United Center on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.
Rondo dished out 10 assists Friday night in a win against the Bucks, giving him 10 assists or more in 30 straight games, the third longest streak in NBA history. Rondo trails only Hall of Famers Magic Johnson (46, 1982-'83) and John Stockton (37; 1988-'89) on this prestigious list, and he may be happy to see Chicago next on the schedule.
In 22 career games (21 starts) Rondo has averaged 9.4 assists per game against the Bulls. That's his second highest average against any team in the East, behind only Miami (9.9 in 21 games).
The Bulls enter tonight's matchup allowing 19.8 assists per game, the seventh best mark in the league, and starting point guards are averaging just 4.6 assists per game. Only Russell Westbrook (12) has handed out double-digit assists against the Bulls, but they may have to go against Rondo without point guard Kirk Hinrich, who strained his hip Friday against the Timberwolves.
In Game 6 of the 2009 First Round Playoffs, Rondo threw Hinrich into the scorer's table and started a scrum on the court. It's a good bet that Hinrich will try his best to get back for his first game against Rondo back in Chicago.
Rondo has added six games to his list this season, made more impressive because he's doing so without sharpshooter Ray Allen on the perimeter. The NBA's all-time leading 3-point shooter signed with Miami this offseason, and so far Courtney Lee and Jason Terry have produced mixed results as Allen's replacement.
Lee (5.0 points, 41.9 percent) and Terry (11.7 points, 50 percent) have lacked consistency, and because of that the Celtics have been forced to rely on their Big Three of Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
But Boston's decision to move Garnett to center, with Brandon Bass and first round draft pick Jared Sullinger manning the power forward spot, has been up-and-down. The Celtics have been outscored by 13 points in the paint through six games, and the loss of reserve center Greg Stiemsma looms large in the middle.
That's good news for Joakim Noah, whose 15.0 points per game this year is easily a career-high. He's been efficient, is making his free throws at a career rate and should continue his offensive pace tonight. Noah has always played Boston with an extra chip on his shoulder after his memorable steal-and-dunk on Paul Pierce in triple-overtime of the 2009 NBA Playoffs, making him a likely game-changer for the Bulls.
Carlos Boozer also needs a rebound game after failing to make a field goal for the first time since 2003 on Friday against Minnesota. It's been a roller coaster of a year for Boozer, who will match up with Bass, who can defend from 15-feet out. Boozer's best chance may be working inside, where the Celtics have struggled thus far in 2012.
Past point guard, where the Bulls may struggled without Hinrich, the Bulls and Celtics match up perfectly in just about every category. Two defensive-minded, hard-working teams flying under the radar in the Eastern Conference are still showing they can be contenders.
The Celtics have won three of four after an 0-2 start, and the Bulls will want to leave Chicago on a high note before their six-game circus road trip. There's a chance these two teams are battling for playoff position late in the season, so tonight's game may have more implications than simply an added tally in the win column.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

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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

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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.