Blackhawks

Delmon Young was suspended for seven days

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Delmon Young was suspended for seven days

From Comcast SportsNet
DETROIT (AP) -- Delmon Young was suspended by Major League Baseball on Monday for seven days without pay following his arrest on a hate crime harassment charge last week in New York. The commissioner's office said the suspension is retroactive to Friday, when Young was arrested after a late-night tussle at his hotel during which police say he yelled anti-Semitic epithets. "Those associated with our game should meet the responsibilities and standards that stem from our game's stature as a social institution," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "An incident like this cannot and will not be tolerated. I understand that Mr. Young is regretful, and it is my expectation that he will learn from this unfortunate episode." The statement from the commissioner's office also said that Young would be required to participate in a treatment program. Young is eligible for reinstatement from the restricted list May 4. The suspension will cost Young approximately 257,240 of his 6,725,000 salary. Speaking before the Tigers game against the Kansas City Royals was postponed by rain, Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said Young will not appeal the ruling and that he will not face additional discipline by the team when he comes off the restricted list Friday. "Under the (collective bargaining agreement), there's no dual discipline," he said. "He'll be activated and ready to play on Friday. If he's not in the lineup, that will be the manager's decision. He's been working out over the weekend, and took batting practice today, so he'll be physically ready on Friday." Around 2:30 a.m. Friday, Young was standing outside the team hotel in New York. Nearby, a group of about four Chicago tourists staying at the hotel were approached by a panhandler wearing a yarmulke and a Star of David around his neck, according to police. Afterward, as the group walked up to the hotel doors, Young started yelling anti-Semitic epithets, police said. It was not clear whom Young was yelling at, but he got into a scuffle with the Chicago group, and a 32-year-old man was tackled and sustained scratches to his elbows, according to police and the criminal complaint. Both Young and the group went inside the hotel, and at some point, police were called, and Young was arrested, police said. Young was first taken to a hospital because he was believed to be intoxicated, police said. Young apologized to his teammates and fans in a statement before being arraigned hours after his arrest. Dombrowski did not know any of the details of the treatment program. It is not known if Young would undergo sensitivity training, treatment for alcohol and anger issues or some combination. "We have not been told those details, and we might never know all of them," he said. "When Miguel (Cabrera) was in a similar program last spring, I never saw the entire treatment program. The team is just told what they need to know to facilitate the player's work in the program." Young is hitting .242 in 18 games, batting fifth in the order behind Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. He has one homer and five RBIs.

Why Blackhawks are eager for 'heck of an opportunity' ahead of NHL's restart

Why Blackhawks are eager for 'heck of an opportunity' ahead of NHL's restart

When the NHL paused its season on March 12, the Blackhawks had a 2.6 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to Hockey Reference. They were six points out of the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference and had four teams to jump, which would have been virtually impossible with only three weeks of hockey left.

But because of the financial ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the league was forced to get creative about its Return to Play plan and announced a 24-team format in May. The Blackhawks, as we know, were the final team in the West to get in.

And while it may not feel like their postseason drought has ended, the Blackhawks won't apologize for it. They've been handed a gift and want to take advantage of this new life.

"It's a heck of an opportunity," Jonathan Toews said after Day 1 of training camp. "We were kind of going down that road where our playoff chances were dwindling. It would've been a long-shot otherwise, but we were able to sneak in under these rules and under this format, so it's an opportunity for all of us. Regardless of whether there's fans in the building or not, there's something to play for."

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You won't find a bigger competitor than Duncan Keith, who's a two-time Norris Trophy winner and wears his emotions on his sleeve. He wants to get back to playing consistent playoff hockey and is as motivated about the restart as anyone. Just check his Instagram page.

"The biggest thing is just the fact that we're getting a chance to compete and be in the playoffs," Keith said. "You go back to the regular season, we were several points out and it wasn't looking good. Now we're in this opportunity — it's a great opportunity for us to try to prove that we deserve to be in the playoffs. ... We know we've got our work cut out for us, but I think as a group, we're excited to have this opportunity and show that we belong and that we could make some noise as an underdog."

On one end of the spectrum, you have a group of multiple Stanley Cup winners hungry to play meaningful hockey again. On the other end, you have a group of young players that haven't had a taste of the postseason yet and are itching to find out, even though there won't be any fans in attendance.

Put the groups together and you have a hungry Blackhawks squad that's eager to show they can make a potential run.

"It's good experience for everyone because the veteran guys that have played a lot of playoff hockey have never been through something like this before and the young guys who have never played in the playoffs, there's no better opportunity to try and get your feet wet and try and show your teammates what you can do," Toews said. "So, every game, that thought of the Cup being on the line has to be in the back of your mind. You win one game, there's no telling how far you can go, so we'll really try and build that feeling and that mindset in the locker room over the next couple weeks before we start."

David Montgomery could be facing make-or-break season in 2020

David Montgomery could be facing make-or-break season in 2020

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery is entering just his second season in the league, and after a rookie year that included the usual ups and downs from a first-year player, the expectations are much higher for Year 2.

Montgomery ended last season with 889 yards and six touchdowns, but his 3.7 yards per carry left a bit to be desired. He ran hard; he ran determined. But in today's NFL, sub-900 yards just isn't good enough.

If he has another season with production like that, it could be his last in Chicago. Sure, that seems harsh. But take a look at the running backs who will be available in next year's free-agent market:

And it doesn't stop there. The 2021 NFL draft will provide teams looking to upgrade at running back with some pretty good options:

Montgomery will run behind an improved offensive line in 2020 with the addition of Germain Ifedi and the coaching upgrade through Juan Castillo. The quarterback play should be improved, too, even if Mitch Trubisky wins the job. The presence of Nick Foles will force him to bring his A-game every week. Those two factors will create bigger running lanes and a greater likelihood Montgomery will find his way to the second level of opposing defenses.

But if he doesn't? The Bears won't be hurting for options to replace him.