Bears

Cubs pull off minor move to bolster pitching staff

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Cubs pull off minor move to bolster pitching staff

After weeks -- nay, months -- of build-up, Theo Epstein and the Cubs have finally pulled the trigger on a trade, just under two weeks until the deadline.

But it's not Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza. Not even Alfonso Soriano or Darwin Barney.

The Cubs gave cash to the Boston Red Sox for right-handed reliever Justin Germano.

Germano was pitching for Boston's Triple-A affiliate before they purchased his contract on July. He only appeared for the big-league club once, hurling 5.2 scoreless innings in relief on July 7. He was designated for assignment on July 13.

The 29-year-old has pitched for the Padres, Reds and Indians in addition to the Red Sox. He carries a 4.91 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with 5.6 K9. He has thrown 258.2 big-league innings spanning 80 games, including 36 starts.

His best season came as a reliever with the Indians in '10, in which Germano had a 3.31 ERA and 0.99 WHIP.

Germano was working as a starter in Triple-A, with a 2.40 ERA and .90 WHIP in 16 starts.

He is expected to be available for the Cubs Friday night in St. Louis.

Germano figures to be Plan B in case Dempster -- who is slated to start Friday -- is dealt.

The Cubs designated Jairo Asencio for assignment to make room for Germano on the roster.

Week 3 NFL picks: Over 90 percent of experts pick Bears to defeat Cardinals

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USA TODAY

Week 3 NFL picks: Over 90 percent of experts pick Bears to defeat Cardinals

The Bears aren’t going to take the Arizona Cardinals lightly on Sunday, but Chicago isn’t expected to have too much trouble with their Week 3 opponent.

The Cardinals have scored six points through two games, shutout last week against the Los Angeles Rams. Quarterback Sam Bradford has struggled and his offensive line has been a big reason for it, making another favorable matchup for Khalil Mack to continue his strong start.

Few experts expect the Cardinals to pull off the upset, with over 90 percent of NFL prognosticators picking the Bears to win, according to NFL Pick Watch.

Analysts from CBS and MMQB as well as the analytics from FiveThirtyEight are picking against Chicago this week, while every Pro Football Focus analyst picked the Bears across the board.

The Cardinals are nearly touchdown underdogs by Las Vegas betting lines, and sportsbooks see the game as one of the lowest-scoring matchups of the weekend.

Arizona hasn’t had much offensive success this season, but with talent like David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, an upset is only ever a few plays away. The Cardinals defense has done well in spite of the team’s struggles, and this game won’t be a walk in the park for the Bears on the road.

Anton Forsberg to tribute Avicii with new mask

Anton Forsberg to tribute Avicii with new mask

Goaltender masks are often a place for artistic expression and tribute. Blackhawks goalie Anton Forsberg is adding his own touching tribute this season.

The 25-year-old Swedish goalie chose to tribute Avicii with an image of the musician on his goalie mask. Avicii, a fellow Swede, died by suicide in April.

David Gunnarsson, a professional mask artist, did the art for Forsberg's mask and posted it on Instagram.

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Today we have the honor to present Anton Forsberg´s new Blackhawks mask for the coming season😊🥅. Anton knew what he wanted on his new mask, he wanted to pay tribute to the Swedish DJ legend Tim Bergling❤️, a.k.a Avicii, who recently passed away. Just as Anton I am also a big admirer of his music and person and family🙏🏻❤️. It was a huge honor for me to paint and create this painting together with Anton in honor to Avicii´s family, they were also the first to see this painting❤️. The rest of the mask is painted in an old school and clean style, and on the other side of the mask Anton`s best friend pop up and makes him company in the net. @antonforsbeerg @nhlblackhawks @nhl @daveart

A post shared by David Gunnarsson (@daveart) on

According to Tracey Myers of NHL.com, Forsberg asked Avicii's parents for permission before going ahead with it.

"I've always listened to his music and have been a big fan of it," Forsberg said. "For me, there was no hesitation putting him on the mask."

Forsberg wore last season's mask in his preseason debut in Detroit on Thursday so he hasn't shown off the new gear just yet. That may need to wait for the regular season.