Bears

Draft: Cubs will target pitching, with potential A-Rod on radar

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Draft: Cubs will target pitching, with potential A-Rod on radar

SAN FRANCISCO There were egos involved on both sides, and a lack of precedent. But the Theo Epstein compensation talks with the Boston Red Sox dragged out for so long, in part, because the Cubs didnt have enough prospects.

The Cubs know they need to restock their system in next weeks amateur draft.

Baseball America and MLB.com have projected that they will use the No. 6 overall pick on Albert Almora, an outfielder from Mater Academy in Hialeah Gardens, Fla., and a University of Miami recruit.

Whether or not the Cubs use their top pick on a pitcher left-hander Max Fried of Harvard-Westlake School near Los Angeles worked out at Wrigley Field this week this will have to be addressed.

As an organization, I think our pitching depth is one of our bigger concerns, general manager Jed Hoyer said. We dont have a ton of arms in the minor leagues. I think the best organizations are littered with power arms.

Some guys will become starters, some guys will become relievers, but the best bullpens are built internally. And the more we can add those kinds of arms throughout the draft, the better.

That will be a focus, not just in 2012, but every year. It is a bit of an organizational hole, so our ability to close that will be real important.

Everyone from chairman Tom Ricketts to the major-league coaching staff watched Wednesdays workout, which also featured Carlos Correa, a 6-foot-4-inch, 190-pound shortstop from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy.

With Epstein, Hoyer and their top scouts standing near the cage, Dale Sveum threw batting practice to Correa, who impressed the Cubs manager by hitting to all three fields in a 20 mph wind at Wrigley Field, and showing some composure.

A reporter mentioned the comparisons between Correa and Alex Rodriguez, and Sveum could see the similarities.

Yeah, youd hate to ever say anything (like that), Sveum said. But I mean I played with A-Rod when he was 19 and it was kind of a lot of the same actions, the same body, the power. It was impressive. They told me to start working him away. He starts throwing it in the seats in right field with the 20 mph wind.

Beyond Fried and Correa, the Cubs are expected to meet with around 40 players in Chicago for final evaluations before the draft.

(This is) a whole new regime, Sveum said. (Theyre) probably a lot more hands-on than other people in the draft. Theyre doing their due diligence to make sure we get the right people that can impact this organization in a few years.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Teddy Bridgewater too expensive for the Bears?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Teddy Bridgewater too expensive for the Bears?

Laurence Holmes, JJ Stankevitz and Mark Grote join Kap on the panel.

0:00 - The pressure continues to mount on Rob Manfred as the Astros scandal lingers. He apologized on Tuesday but should that be enough for him to keep his job?

17:00 - Drew Brees is heading back to New Orleans, so Teddy Bridgewater will be looking for a new home. The guys discuss if he'll be too expensive for the Bears. if he is, who could come to Chicago to join Mitch in the QB room at Halas Hall?

Listen here or in the embedded player below.

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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Bulls coach Jim Boylen stumps for Rudy Tomjanovich's Hall of Fame bid

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USA Today

Bulls coach Jim Boylen stumps for Rudy Tomjanovich's Hall of Fame bid

In case you forgot, Jim Boylen once worked for Rudy Tomjanovich. In fact, the former Rockets coach gave Boylen his NBA start, hiring him as an assistant coach and video coordinator way back in 1992.

Boylen saw first-hand the coaching chops and commitment Tomjanovich displayed as the Rockets won back-to-back NBA titles while Michael Jordan was playing baseball in the mid-1990s. So it's beyond loyalty when Boylen says he believes, like many others, that Tomjanovich belongs in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The organization named Tomjanovich a finalist over All-Star weekend in Chicago.

[RELATED: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett highlight Hall of Fame finalists]

"He's deserving," Boylen said. "I don't know why he's not in there yet. It doesn't make sense to me. Two championships, a gold medal."

That's a reference to Tomjanovich coaching USA Basketball's gold-medal winning team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Tomjanovich is an occasional visitor to the Advocate Center to watch Boylen.

"What he did with those Rockets teams and his playoff games — sixth seed in '95 — nobody's duplicated that. To win it from the sixth seed, play on the road like we did," Boylen said. "He has an unbelievable record in elimination games, which I think is a true test of your coaching and being able to communicate your message. I think he's getting in."

Does Boylen possess inside information?

"No," Boylen said, smiling. "He's due."

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