White Sox

Fine on leave after molestation allegations

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Fine on leave after molestation allegations

From Comcast SportsNet

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP)Longtime Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine was placed on administrative leave Thursday after old child molesting allegations resurfaced, just two weeks after a child sex abuse scandal rocked Penn State.

ESPN reported the accusations were made by two former ball boys.

Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor said in a statement Friday morning that the school will not turn a blind eye to the allegations.

We hold everyone in our community to high standards and we dont tolerate illegal, abusive or unethical behaviorno matter who you are, Cantor said in an email Friday morning to students, faculty and staff.

Bobby Davis, now 39, told ESPN that Fine allegedly molested him beginning in 1984 and that the sexual contact continued until he was around 27. A ball boy for six years, Davis told ESPN the alleged abuse occurred at Fines home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four.

Davis stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, who also was a ball boy, told ESPN that Fine molested him starting while he was in fifth or sixth grade.

Syracuse police spokesman Tom Connellan said the investigation is in its early stages. He said police were given information on Thursday but declining to identify who provided it.

Fine is in his 35th season as a Syracuse assistant.

He has vehemently denied the allegations and should be accorded a fair opportunity to defend himself against these accusations, Cantor said in the email.

Orange coach Jim Boeheim released a statement saying: This matter was fully investigated by the university in 2005 and it was determined that the allegations were unfounded.

I have known Bernie Fine for more than 40 years. I have never seen or witnessed anything to suggest that he would (have) been involved in any of the activities alleged. Had I seen or suspected anything, I would have taken action. Bernie has my full support.

ESPN said it first investigated the accusations in 2003, but decided not to run the story because there was no independent evidence to corroborate the allegations. Recently, a second man contacted ESPN, alleging that Fine also molested him. That person said he decided to come forward after seeing the Penn State coverage.

The Post-Standard said it, too, held off in 2003 for the same reason.

A statement by Kevin Quinn, the schools senior vice president for public affairs, said Syracuse was contacted in 2005 by an adult male who told us that he had reported to the Syracuse City Police that he had been subjected to inappropriate contact by an associate mens basketball coach.

Quinn said the alleged activity took place in the 1980s and 1990s.

We were informed by the complainant that the Syracuse City Police had declined to pursue the matter because the statute of limitations had expired, Quinn said.

Quinn said the school conducted its own four-month investigation at that time, including interviews with people the accuser said would support his allegations, but that all of them denied any knowledge of wrongful conduct and that the coach also denied the allegations.

Davis said he felt bitter emotions after sex scandals emerged in the Catholic Church and, lately, with the allegations and charges against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

In the Penn State case, Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years. The case cost Joe Paterno his job, and former school administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are charged with not properly alerting authorities to suspected abuse and perjury.

Davis told ESPN that Boeheim knew he was traveling on the road and sleeping in Fines room.

Boeheim saw me with Bernie all the time in the hotel rooms, on road trips, Davis said. Hed come in, and see me laying in the bed, kind of glance at me like, What are you doing here? But he wouldnt say that. Hed just scowl. And I would look at him like, Id be nervous. I felt embarrassed cause I felt stupid that Im there. Im not supposed to be here. I know it, and Boeheims not stupid.

In a telephone interview Thursday night with the AP, Boeheim said: This kid came forward and there was no one to corroborate his story. Not one. Not one. They said I walked into Bernies room on the road and saw this. I have never walked into Bernies room on the road. This isnt true. This just isnt true.

Former Syracuse center Rony Seikaly, who worked closely with Fine throughout his college career and exchanged text messages with him just Wednesday, told the AP he refuses to believe the allegations.

Bernie would never do such a thing, Seikaly said in a telephone interview in Miami. I vouch for Bernie. There is no way something like this could ever happen in my eyes. No way.

Seikaly said he questions why the ball boy would come forward again now, adding that he believes the headlines generated by the scandal at Penn State may have been a motivating factor.

Completely ridiculous, Seikaly said. Do people want a quick buck or something? I spent four years with Bernie, every single day. I know what kind of guy he is. Hes just a very helpful guy. He was the glue to Syracuse basketball. Hes still the glue 20 years later when youre already gone. He keeps in touch with every single player. Hes that kind of guy.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

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USA TODAY

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

One thing you better do if you play for Rick Renteria is run to first base.

Yet again, Renteria benched one of his players Monday for the sin of not hustling down the line.

Welington Castillo, a veteran, not a developing player in need of ample “learning experiences,” popped up to first base with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth inning of Monday’s eventual 3-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles. He did not run down to first, instead staying at home plate.

So when the inning ended and the White Sox took the field, Castillo stayed in the dugout.

Ricky’s boys don’t quit, or so the slogan goes. But what happens when a player doesn’t live up to that mantra? What happens when they don’t play their absolute hardest for all 27 outs, as the T-shirts preach? This is what happens. A benching.

“It was towering fly ball in the infield at first, probably had 15, 20 seconds of hangtime,” Renteria explained after the game. “I assumed the dropped ball. It has occurred. He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way.

“That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest, it truly is. Maybe he was just frustrated in that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all. And you guys have heard me talk to all the guys about at least giving an opportunity to move in that particular direction.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, 99 out of (100) times he’s going to catch that ball.’ And then that one time that he doesn’t, what would I do if the ball had been dropped? Would it have made it easier to pull him? Well, it was just as easy because you expect not the best, but the worst.

“That is uncharacteristic of that young man. I had a quick conversation with him on the bench, and he knew and that was it.”

It might seem a little overdramatic, a little nutty, even, to sit down a veteran catcher brought in this offseason to provide some offense and to do it in a one-run game. But this rebuild is about more than just waiting around for the minor league talent to make its way to the South Side. It’s about developing an organizational culture, too. And Renteria feels that if he lets this kind of thing slide at the big league level, that won’t send the right message to those precious prospects who will one day fill out this lineup.

“There’s one way to do it, you get your action, you start moving toward that direction in which you’ve got to go,” Renteria said. “What would’ve happened if everybody’s watching it — and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, (but also for) everybody in the minor leagues — and they’re saying, ‘Well, at the top, they said they’re going to do this and then they don’t do it.’

“It’s really simple. And people might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this, do that so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened in 2018. Avisail Garcia was taken out of a game during spring training for not giving maximum effort. Leury Garcia was removed from a game earlier this month for not busting it down the first-base line on a weak grounder that went right to the first baseman.

It’s become a somewhat common tactic for Renteria, and while it might strike some as taking things a little too seriously, what good is this developmental season if a culture goes undeveloped? The White Sox have placed their bright future, in part, in Renteria’s hands, and they’ve talked glowingly about how the players have bought into his style and how the team played last season under his leadership.

If Renteria truly is the right man for the rebuild, things like this are how he’s going to establish his culture. And it will, he hopes, impact how all those prospects play when they’re no longer prospects and the White Sox are contending for championships.