White Sox

Cubs vs White Sox "Crosstown Cup" coverage returns to CSN this Friday

Cubs vs White Sox "Crosstown Cup" coverage returns to CSN this Friday

Comcast SportsNet’s Crosstown coverage gets underway this Friday, July 10 LIVE from Wrigley Field starting at 2:00 PM!

CSN to carry LIVE coverage of ALL SIX Crosstown battles this season (July 10-12 at Wrigley Field & August 14-16 at U.S. Cellular Field);

coverage team this weekend to include Kasper, Deshaies, Harrelson, Stone, Melton, Hollandsworth, Boyle, Garfien, Crull, Lewis, Mooney and Hayes

CSNChicago.com to also provide LIVE video stream of post-game press conferences, plus detailed “Crosstown Cup” analysis via ‘CubsTalk’ & ‘WhiteSoxTalk,’

along with numerous feature stories & in-game “Tweets” from CSN on-air/digital talent 

Cubs and White Sox fans can get interactive throughout the weekend by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #CrosstownCup

Chicago, IL (July 8, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, is ready jump start the annual northside-southside rivalry in a big way with expanded, LIVE coverage of ALL SIX GAMES of the “Crosstown Cup” series this season and it all starts up this FRIDAY, JULY 10 as the Cubs host the White Sox at Wrigley Field.  Plus - CSNChicago.com will be there to provide dedicated 24/7 coverage of this always-entertaining city series.

Comcast SportsNet’s “Crosstown Cup” coverage gets underway this Friday, July 10 at 2:00 PM CT with an expanded, one-hour, Wrigley Field remote edition of Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group (hosted by Pat Boyle, analysts Todd Hollandsworth & Bill Melton, Cubs reporter Kelly Crull, and White Sox reporter Chuck Garfien), featuring a complete “Crosstown Cup” series preview, interviews with players and coaches, special features, and much more.  First pitch coverage of this “Cubs telecast” on CSN begins at 3:00 PM featuring Len Kasper & Jim Deshaies with the game call.  Immediately following the game, fans can look forward to a complete game recap/analysis, plus live post-game press conferences featuring Cubs manager Joe Maddon, player interviews and much more on Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois.

Saturday (July 11) and Sunday’s (July 12) games at Wrigley Field will be “White Sox telecasts” on Comcast SportsNet featuring the announcing tandem of Ken “Hawk” Harrelson & Steve Stone.  On Saturday, White Sox Pregame Live presented by Lexus of Orland and Merrillville gets the viewing day underway at 2:30 PM LIVE from Wrigley Field (hosted by Chuck Garfien featuring Melton, Hollandsworth as analysts, along with Cubs reporter Kelly Crull, and White Sox reporter Kip Lewis); first pitch coverage begins at 3:00 PM, which will be followed by Subaru White Sox Postgame Live immediately after the game.  On Sunday, White Sox Pregame Live presented by Lexus of Orland and Merrillville will begin at 12:30 PM LIVE from Wrigley Field (featuring the same coverage team as Saturday); first pitch coverage begins at 1:20 PM, which will be followed by Subaru White Sox Postgame Live immediately after the game.

In addition, Comcast SportsNet’s website, CSNChicago.com, will provide even more exclusive “Crosstown Cup” content including the following highlights:

  • Live stream of Cubs manager Joe Maddon post-game press conferences (sponsored by Xfinity) following every Crosstown game.
  • Complete coverage of the “Crosstown Cup” 24/7 from CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney), White Sox Insider Dan Hayes (@CSNHayes), plus - additional coverage provided by CSN “Pre/Post Game Live” hosts Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) and Pat Boyle (@CSNBoyle), along with Todd Hollandsworth (@hollytime28), and Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull).  CSNChicago.com digital baseball reporters Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) and JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) will also be providing game day reports, analysis and features, along with additional White Sox content via John Paschall (@John_Paschall).
  • “White Sox/Cubs Pulse,” a one-stop social media hub that reveals the latest trending topics and player buzz from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Plus, “White Sox/Cubs Pulse” aggregates all White Sox/Cubs player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #CrosstownCup. Fans can also get interactive on Twitter by utilizing hashtags #CrosstownCup, #WhiteSoxTalk, and #CubsTalk, plus – for the latest news, up-to-the-minute updates and more, fans are urged to follow @CSNWhiteSox and @CSNCubs.
  • WhiteSoxTalk & CubsTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive White Sox & Cubs news and opinion sections featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. WhiteSoxTalk & CubsTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBaskteballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk and GolfTalkCentral. SportsTalk was extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk, CubsTalk, WhiteSoxTalk, ChiFireTalk, BearsTalk, PrepsTalk, IrishTalk and B1GTalk which contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent.
  • CSNChicago.com’s state-of-the-art “AT&T U-Verse Lounge” to provide expanded White Sox & Cubs “Crosstown Cup” content throughout the week.
  • CSN Chicago’s White Sox & Cubs content will also be distributed via its digital network of partnerships including NBCSports.com, NBCNews.com, Yahoo! Sports and Xfinity.com.

Note Comcast SportsNet’s full coverage breakdown for the upcoming White Sox vs. Cubs “Crosstown Cup” series:

FRIDAY, JULY 10

2:00 PM – Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group – One-hour, expanded edition pre-game show LIVE from Wrigley Field

3:00 PM – WHITE SOX at CUBS (L) – “Cubs telecast” featuring Len Kasper & Jim Deshaies

6:00 PM – Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois (time approx.) – complete game recap/analysis, plus live post-game press conferences and player interviews

7:00 PM – White Sox at Cubs (game replay)

10:00 PM/10:30 PM/12:00 AM – SportsNet CentralFull Crosstown Cup recap, along with the latest news/highlights from the day in sports

SATURDAY, JULY 11

2:30 PM – White Sox Pregame Live presented by Lexus of Orland & Merrillville – Special edition pre-game show LIVE from Wrigley Field

3:00 PM – WHITE SOX at CUBS (L) – “White Sox telecast” featuring Ken “Hawk” Harrelson & Steve Stone

6:00 PM – Subaru White Sox Postgame Live (time approx.) – complete game recap/analysis, plus live post-game press conferences and player interviews

6:30 PM/10:00 PM/10:30 PM/12:00 AM – SportsNet CentralFull Crosstown Cup recap, along with the latest news/highlights from the day in sports

12:30 AM – White Sox at Cubs (game replay)

SUNDAY, JULY 12

12:30 PM – White Sox Pregame Live presented by Lexus of Orland & Merrillville – Special edition pre-game show LIVE from Wrigley Field

1:20 PM – WHITE SOX at CUBS (L) – “White Sox telecast” featuring Ken “Hawk” Harrelson & Steve Stone

4:30 PM – Subaru White Sox Postgame Live (time approx.) – complete game recap/analysis, plus live post-game press conferences and player interviews

6:30 PM/10:00 PM/10:30 PM – SportsNet CentralFull Crosstown Cup recap, along with the latest news/highlights from the day in sports

1:30 AM – White Sox at Cubs (game replay)

ALL TIMES CENTRAL TIME

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

NOTE: Comcast SportsNet’s complete details on Round 2 of the “Crosstown Cup” series, which will take place at U.S. Cellular Field August 14-16, will be announced in the coming weeks.

With Astros eliminated, let's rank their free agents by possibility of coming to White Sox

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USA TODAY

With Astros eliminated, let's rank their free agents by possibility of coming to White Sox

The Houston Astros will not win back-to-back world championships this October.

Eliminated by the Boston Red Sox in Game 5 of the recently concluded ALCS, the rebuilt Astros still remain the model for rebuilding teams like the White Sox. But with their first post-championship season ending without another ring on the fingers of homegrown stars like Jose Altuve, George Springer, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa, among others, the most pertinent topic involving the Astros when it comes to the White Sox is Astros players now hitting the free-agent market.

There's a number of them, and some are very, very good. The White Sox figure to be more active this winter then they were last offseason, with Rick Hahn already saying the team will be making pitching additions, a no-brainer with Michael Kopech slated to miss the entire 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. And Hahn has said the White Sox will be "opportunistic" when it comes to other types of additions, as well.

So could any of these soon-to-be former Astros land on the South Side? Maybe. Here they are, ranked by such a possibility.

1. Charlie Morton

The White Sox need starting pitchers. Kopech's out until 2020, and James Shields, should the team opt not to bring him back on a new contract, will be a free-agent departure. That's two holes that need filling, and Morton could fill one of them. I know what you're thinking, "Dallas Keuchel is also a free agent, why isn't he No. 1 on this list, you fool?" More on him in a bit. Right now, we're talking about Charlie Morton.

Morton is hardly the most rebuild-friendly pitching option out there at 35 years old. But Morton's been very good for the Astros over the past two seasons, making 55 starts, striking out 364 guys and posting a 3.36 ERA. His fastball velocity is as high as it's been in his 11-year big league career and he's coming off two straight playoff runs, so maybe he could teach these young White Sox a thing or two about playing winning baseball — he did close out Game 7 of the World Series last fall.

The biggest problem might be that he's not too far removed from different results when he played with the Pittsburgh Pirates, when his numbers weren't nearly as good as they got when he went to Houston. Would another change of scenery mean a different kind of performance?

What kind of contract Morton will get on the market remains to be seen, obviously, but it's kind of a mystery at this point, as he's coming off a couple great years but is getting up there in age when it comes to multi-year deals. He could be a fit for the White Sox should they want just a one- or two-year option while they wait for Kopech to return to full strength and for Dylan Cease to make his way to the major leagues. But should this recent success continue, he could be a valuable option on a White Sox team making the transition from rebuilding to contending, too.

2. Marwin Gonzalez

The White Sox have a bit of a quandary in that they are still waiting to find out what they've got in a lot of their young players. With so many prospects and even young players at the major league level yet to fully finish their development, it's tough to say where the holes on future White Sox teams will be. And that's made all the more difficult by the rash of injuries sustained by White Sox prospects in 2018.

A good way to plan for future unknowns is to have a guy you can plug in just about anywhere, and that's what Gonzalez is. During the 2018 regular season, Gonzalez played everywhere on the field besides pitcher and catcher: 73 games in left field, 39 games at shortstop, 32 games at second base, 24 games at first base, three games at third base, two games in center field and one game in right field. He played one game at designated hitter, too, in case you were wondering. He appeared at six different positions in 2017, when he finished in the top 20 in AL MVP voting. That versatility should make him a hot commodity this offseason.

The question marks come from Gonzalez's bat, which was excellent in 2017 but not nearly as good in 2018. After slashing .303/.377/.530 with 23 homers and 90 RBIs for the world-champion Astros in 2017, he got more playing time in 2018 and his numbers dropped to a .247/.324/.409 slash line, 16 homers and 68 RBIs for the AL runners up. So which batch of results would you get if you signed Gonzalez? That's the question facing teams this offseason. (To help assuage fears, however, Gonzalez just wrapped a solid postseason in which he batted .333 with a pair of homers, a pair of doubles and nine RBIs, not to mention a .389 on-base percentage.)

But for a team with as much unwritten future as the White Sox have, wouldn't it be nice to have a plan for every eventuality — and to have it all in the form of one guy? While Manny Machado and Bryce Harper grab all the free-agent headlines this winter, perhaps the White Sox could slip in and convince Gonzalez to help another transition from rebuilding to contending. He was a part of two 100-loss teams in 2012 and 2013 and along for the ride to the top of baseball's mountain. That's some good experience to have.

3. Dallas Keuchel

Now we arrive at Keuchel. Would the soon-to-be 31-year-old former Cy Young winner be a good fit for the rebuilding White Sox? Absolutely he would. Signing him to a long-term deal would not only solve a pitching problem in 2019 but it would provide a safety net should Kopech, Cease or whoever go through the to-be-expected growing pains that young players go through in their first tastes of the major leagues. He would be an anchor of future rotations with plenty of young arms around him.

Signing Keuchel — who has a combined 3.39 ERA and 278 strikeouts over the last two seasons — would be similar to the Cubs' signing of Jon Lester, a proven veteran climbing aboard a team heading toward a bright future, and his experience and talent could help them reach that future faster. Like Gonzalez, he experienced back-to-back 100-loss seasons in 2012 and 2013 and also got a World Series ring as the Astros completed their journey from the bottom to the top.

But being a good fit is only half the battle for the White Sox. A lot of other teams, including good ones capable of pitching a win-now roster, are going to be vying for Keuchel's services this winter. And while he might not be the No. 1 starting pitcher on the free-agent market — that's expected to be Clayton Kershaw, if he opts out of his current contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers — he's going to be no lower than the No. 3 starting pitcher on the free-agent market. Most of the contending clubs in the game are likely to have starting pitching on their shopping list, teams that can pitch present-day success and the ability to win a championship in 2019 against the White Sox promise of planned success down the road. And then there's the financials on top of that. Hahn has said the White Sox will have the financial flexibility to do what they need to do, but will it be enough to outbid baseball's biggest spenders?

Keuchel would obviously be a good fit for the White Sox. But the competition is going to be really stiff.

4. Tony Sipp

Sipp, a 35-year-old reliever who White Sox fans might remember from his days as a Cleveland Indian, was excellent for the Astros this season, posting a 1.86 ERA and striking out 42 guys in 38.2 innings during the regular season.

But while the White Sox could use bullpen help — their 4.49 relief ERA ranked 23rd out of 30 major league teams — that performance kind of elevates Sipp from the level of sign-and-flip guys they've acquired in recent seasons. Sipp might not be under the radar enough for the White Sox to take a flier, get a good few months and trade him away for a prospect.

Spending the kind of money Sipp might command on a 35-year-old reliever in a season where you're not expected to compete might not make for a good match.

5. Brian McCann

Yeah, the White Sox don't need Brian McCann.

Adam Schefter: Bears plan on Khalil Mack playing vs. Patriots

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USA TODAY

Adam Schefter: Bears plan on Khalil Mack playing vs. Patriots

Khalil Mack has yet to miss a game in his NFL career. He doesn’t plan on breaking that streak on Sunday.

ESPN insider Adam Schefter told the “Kirk and Callahan show” on WEEI in Boston that the Bears expect their star pass rusher to play this week against the New England Patriots.

Mack missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with the ankle injury he suffered last week against the Miami Dolphins.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio indicated this week that the outside linebacker could potentially play even if he doesn’t practice due to the injury.

Assuming Mack does take the field on Sunday, he won’t be 100 percent, and it’s unclear how much of an impact he’ll be able to have.

Last week was his least productive game of the season, and he earned a career-low grade from Pro Football Focus, with two missed tackles and only one pressure generated on 33 pass-rushing snaps.

The Bears are going to need more from Mack to slow down Tom Brady and the Patriots offense that’s averaging nearly 40 points per game over the last three weeks.