White Sox

CSN Top 20 IHSA basketball rankings

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CSN Top 20 IHSA basketball rankings

1.Whitney Young (11-1)
PrepsTalk: Jahlil Okafor thoroughly dominated Saturdays game against Numann-Goretti (PA) at the Cancer Research Classic32 points on 77 shooting. Paul White added 19 points and seven rebounds.

2. Morgan Park (15-1)
PrepsTalk: The Mustangs leap into the 2 position, thanks to Saturdays 81-51 win over Normal U-High, who features standout Keita Bates-Diop. Billy Garrett, Kyle Davis and Josh Cunningham all reached double-figures.

3. Simeon (9-2)
PrepsTalk: Jabari Parker (17 points, 13 rebounds) came to play against Montverde (FL) Saturday but got little support against the elite prep basketball powerhouse. Simeon hosts Perspectives-Calumet Wednesday.

4. Marian Catholic (14-1)
PrepsTalk: Tyler Ulis scored 21 points --13 in the first quarter-- as Marian Catholic defeated Marmion 65-42 Friday night. The Spartans will travel to Providence on Tuesday.

5. North Chicago (14-1)
PrepsTalk: The Warhawks got a week off after taking first place at the State Farm Holiday Classic. They now return to North Suburban conference play: Wauconda on Tuesday; Libertyville Saturday.

6. Neuqua Valley (14-0)
PrepsTalk: The Wildcats were flawless in November and December. Can they continue the momentum in January? Wednesdays game at Bolingbrook (who just beat H-F) should be an interesting test.

7. Proviso East (10-3)
PrepsTalk: The Pirates can now concentrate on the West Suburban Gold, with conference games at Hinsdale South (Tuesday), home vs. Morton (Friday) and Willowbrook (118) on the slate.

8. Oswego (11-2)
PrepsTalk: Oswego will dive back into Southwest Prairie conference play as Plainfield Central comes to town on Tuesday. Then, they will travel to Minooka (Friday) and Plainfield North (118).

9. Benet (15-3)
PrepsTalk: Nice statement win for the Redwings on Friday, as they go into Niles and defeat ESCC foe Notre Dame. Sean OMara (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Pat McInerney (11 points, six boards) impressed once again.

10. Notre Dame (13-2)
PrepsTalk: Matt Mooney scored 14 points, but the Dons could not hold a 10 point halftime lead against Benet. Nazareth will have back-to-back home games with Nazareth (Friday) and Conant (Saturday).

11. West Aurora (11-2)
PrepsTalk: West utilized good free throw shooting and a dominance on the glass to beat Naperville North 68-56 on Saturday. The Blackhawks will now face West Chicago Friday.

12. Orr (9-2)
PrepsTalk: Orr had a good showing in Michigan over the holiday break. The Spartans jump back into Public Red-West play this week, traveling to Marshall and North Lawndale.

13. Bloom (10-3)
PrepsTalk: Johnny Griffin, Dejahown Freeman and James Coleman earned all-tournament honors at the McDipper Tournament. The Blazing Trojans will battle Lockport on Tuesday.

14. Niles North (10-3)
PrepsTalk: Malachi Nix, Billy Voitik and BJ Beckford have propelled the Vikings thus far. North will travel to Maine East (Tuesday) and then host Deerfield (Friday).

15. Larkin (14-1)
PrepsTalk: No place like home for the holidays? How about most of January, too? After winning the Elgin Tournament, the Royals will only play one game away from Larkin this month.

16. Providence-St. Mel (12-3)
PrepsTalk: The Knights picked up a 69-59 win over Aurora Christian on Saturday at the Rock Falls Shootout. Providence-St. Mel will face Christ The King on Friday.

17. Stevenson (10-4)
PrepsTalk: The Patriots will have their work cut out for them to start 2013at Mundelein (Friday), then at Vernon Hills (Saturday) and then they host Zion-Benton next Friday.

18. Brother Rice (12-2)
PrepsTalk: Alex Majewski scored 16 points as the Crusaders took care of Bishop McNamara on Friday, 57-49. Rice will host Washington on Wednesday and then Hales on Friday.

19. Curie (7-5)
PrepsTalk: The record may not reflect it, but the Condors a forcespecifically 6-9 junior Cliff Alexander. He tallied 25 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks against Muskegon (MI) on Saturday.

20. St. Patrick (11-3)
PrepsTalk: Four East Suburban Catholic teams are in the CSN Top 20; the Shamrocks break through with a 62-54 win at Fenwick on Saturday. Royale Ewing led all scorers with 18 points.

Looming and Lurking: Lemont, Homewood-Flossmoor, Crystal Lake Central, St. Rita, Naperville Central, Bogan, Maine South, Montini, North Lawndale, Zion-Benton, Lake Forest, Dundee-Crown, Geneva, Marist, York, Oak Park, New Trier.

You can catch High School Lites, sponsored by Discount Tire, every Friday night at 10:30. We stream the show live at csnchicago.com.

Be sure to follow @PrepsTalkCSN and @JoeCSN for prep basketball coverage.

White Sox free-agent focus: Dallas Keuchel

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USA TODAY

White Sox free-agent focus: Dallas Keuchel

This week, we’re profiling some of the biggest names on the free-agent market and taking a look at what kind of fits they are for the White Sox.

The White Sox need starting pitching, so why not bring in a guy with a Cy Young Award sitting on his mantle?

Dallas Keuchel is one of the two biggest names on the starting-pitching market this winter, along with Patrick Corbin, who will get more attention — and likely more dollars — because he's two years younger. But Keuchel's the guy with the track record, the AL Cy Young winner in 2015 (when he was also a top-five MVP finisher), a two-time All Star, a four-time Gold Glove winner and the owner of a 3.28 ERA over the past five seasons, during which he helped the Houston Astros transition from rebuilding to one of baseball's perennial contenders. You might have heard something about them winning the World Series in 2017.

It's true that things have been somewhat up and down for Keuchel since his Cy Young win. After posting a 2.48 ERA with a career-high 216 strikeouts in 33 starts during that 2015 season, he had a 4.55 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 26 starts in 2016, then a 2.90 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 23 starts in 2017 and a 3.74 ERA and 153 strikeouts in 34 starts last season. But three times in the last five years he's finished with an ERA under 3.00. In other words, he's pretty darn good.

How might he fit with the White Sox? Well, in terms of whether or not he lines up with their long-term plans. Keuchel's older than Corbin, but it's not like he's old. He'll be 31 on Opening Day 2019, and a long-term deal, which he's expected to fetch, would keep him around for another planned transition from rebuilding to contention. Keuchel — a veteran who's accomplished a lot already, including putting a World Series ring on his finger — could be viewed as a Jon Lester type for these rebuilding White Sox, a big name who buys into the front office's long-term plan and helps make those plans become reality.

And there's no doubt the White Sox are in the market for starting pitching this winter. Michael Kopech is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and the White Sox decided not to pick up James Shields' option for 2019. That leaves two holes in the starting rotation. An addition like Keuchel would be a long-term one, which means the White Sox would opt to make him a safety net for their still-developing fleet of young pitchers and choose not to roll the dice on a homegrown starting staff for 2020. However, if they're confident in a quintet of Kopech, Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease, then maybe they opt for a couple one-year fill-ins in 2019. Keuchel would not be a one-year fill-in.

Keuchel could also fill the role vacated by Shields, a veteran who could help bring along the young guys in an off-the-field mentor role. His experience going through the dark days of a rebuild — he was a member of Astros teams that lost a combined 310 games from 2012 to 2014 — and coming out the other end a world champ would also figure to be of value.

Of course, the White Sox wouldn't be alone in a pursuit of Keuchel, if they were interested. Thanks to Clayton Kershaw signing a new contract extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he's one of the two biggest names on the market when it comes to starting pitchers. The White Sox would likely have to go through the same bidding war and pitch of planned future success they would with other big names like Corbin, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

But there's no doubt Keuchel would be an upgrade to this rotation in 2019 and could provide plenty of value for years beyond.

Cubs fans collective rage measured in one word

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USA TODAY

Cubs fans collective rage measured in one word

Baseball is an emotional game, both for those on the field and those merely spectating. Cubs fans are no exception to this notion.

TickPick looked into how often fans used expletives on Reddit during the 2018 MLB Postseason. According to the study, Cubs fans used the f-bomb on Reddit more than any other team.

Despite playing in just one postseason game, Cubs fans ranked first in frequency of using f-bombs per postseason game played at 432 occassions. Of course, the Cubs' playoff run ended quickly with a 2-1 loss to the Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game.

There were 1,911 f-bombs used on Reddit during the Wild Card Game, including 48 when Javier Báez hit an RBI-double in the eighth inning to tie the score at 1-1.

Red Sox fans "placed" second in f-bomb frequency/game with 342, an interesting note considering a) the Red Sox played in 13 more playoff games than the Cubs and b) they won the World Series. 

Reddit users directed the fourth-most "f _ _ _ you's" at the Cubs as a team, trailing just the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox. Individually, no Cubs ranked in the top 5 in "f-you's" directed at players, for what it's worth. 

Playoff baseball! You've got to love it, right? The full study is available can be found here.

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