Cubs

Jason Kidd is in some trouble for DWI

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Jason Kidd is in some trouble for DWI

From Comcast SportsNet
Jason Kidd mentoring Jeremy Lin was a nice story last week. Then Kidd was arrested on a drunken-driving charge, Lin's departure from New York for a "ridiculous contract" in Houston became more realistic, and a position of strength suddenly was one of turbulence for the Knicks. Kidd's arrest came within hours of the Knicks agreeing to a trade for fellow point guard Raymond Felton, raising the possibility they will refuse to match Lin's offer sheet with the Rockets. Police said Kidd crashed his SUV into a telephone pole in the Hamptons on Sunday, days after signing with the Knicks. Treated at a hospital for minor injuries after the crash, Kidd was arraigned on a misdemeanor driving-while-intoxicated charge and released without bail, Southampton Town police said. Phone and email messages were left seeking comment from Kidd's agent. His attorney, Ed Burke Jr., said in a statement that Kidd was returning from a charity function before his accident, had pleaded not guilty to the DWI charge and was awaiting further court proceedings. The Knicks, who signed the 10-time All-Star in free agency last week, had no immediate comment. Nor would they comment on their plans for Lin, even as speculation grew that Linsanity was headed elsewhere. Kidd, 39, was alone in the 2010 Cadillac Escalade when it hit a pole and veered into the woods around 2 a.m. in Water Mill, police said. Water Mill is a serene, mainly residential community east of Southampton Village. Kidd's next court date wasn't immediate available. The DWI charge carries the potential for up to a year in jail. The Knicks signed Kidd away from the Dallas Mavericks in a deal that will pay him about 3 million a year. Kidd had played in New Jersey, leading the Nets to two NBA Finals appearances, before being traded to Dallas and remains fond of the New York City area, where his children continue to live. The two-time Olympic gold medalist has been in trouble with the law before. While playing with Phoenix in 2001, he was arrested on a domestic violence charge, acknowledging he struck his former wife. Kidd is second on the NBA's career lists for assists and steals. Coach Mike Woodson said Kidd, who helped the Mavericks win the 2011 NBA championship, would be a good tutor and backup for Lin, whom he said would open next season as the starting point guard. Now he may not even be in New York. The Knicks have repeatedly said they would match any offer for Lin, but the Rockets made it difficult with a three-year, 25 million deal that's worth about 15 million in the third year. New York has until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday to match the offer sheet for the restricted free agent. Asked if he could envision Lin being with the Knicks next season, All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony said: "At this point there's a lot going on. I stay away from that part right now. I would love to see him back, but I think he has to do what's best for him right now." Anthony, speaking before practice with the U.S. Olympic team, was then reminded it's up to the Knicks, not Lin, to decide whether he stays or goes. "It's not up to me," Anthony said with a laugh. "It's up to the organization to say they want to match that ridiculous contract that's out there." The Knicks wouldn't comment on their plans and never even confirmed whether they had received the offer sheet from Houston to start the three-day clock for matching the offer. Felton played well in half a season for the Knicks before he was dealt to Denver in February 2011 as part of the package for Anthony. He struggled this season in Portland, briefing losing his starting job, but was considered an option for the Knicks if they couldn't land Steve Nash or Kidd to play with Lin. Now it may be Kidd and Felton.

Cubs optimistic Javy Baez avoided serious injury on hit-by-pitch

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AP

Cubs optimistic Javy Baez avoided serious injury on hit-by-pitch

ST. LOUIS — Cubs nation can breathe a sigh of relief for now.

The team announced Javy Baez has a left elbow contusion after taking a 90 mph fastball off it in the third inning of Sunday night's game. Baez will still undergo X-rays to be sure there is nothing more sinister at play, but for now, it looks as if he has avoided serious injury.

Still, this is not what the Cubs wanted to see.

The Cubs entered play Sunday night having gone 24-12 since getting swept out of St. Louis in the first weekend of May. They were feeling good about themselves, starting to get their mojo back and playing more like the team everybody expected.

And then Baez took a fastball off the left elbow:

After a couple minute delay, Baez was led off the field and Addison Russell came in off the bench to replace him at first base.

The 25-year-old was in the midst of a breakout season for the Cubs, sitting 5th in the National League with 46 RBI and on pace for a near 30-30 seaosn (33 homers, 29 stolen bases). 

He had slowed a bit (.175 average, .502 OPS in June) but still gives the Cubs so much energy and versatility on a daily basis with his ability to move around the infield and lineup.

If the Cubs are going to be without Baez for any length of time, it could be a huge blow to a team that was just hitting its stride.

James Shields, Joakim Soria and some other potential midseason trade candidates for the White Sox

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USA TODAY

James Shields, Joakim Soria and some other potential midseason trade candidates for the White Sox

Another day, another quality start for James Shields.

The White Sox once more didn’t win a Shields start. Despite an increasingly good-looking season stat line, Shields can’t seem to rack up many wins, with just two to his name on the season. But of course, wins are not exactly the most important barometer in this rebuilding campaign.

Speaking of the rebuild, the White Sox are getting closer to the trade deadline, it’s about a month and a half away. And Shields’ continued success could have Rick Hahn’s phone ringing as July 31 creeps closer. After six innings and three runs in Sunday’s loss to the visiting Detroit Tigers, Shields has seven quality starts in his last 10 outings,

After last season’s struggles that ended in a 5.23 ERA and 27 home runs surrendered, getting anything for Shields might’ve seemed a bit of a fantasy. But Shields has delivered, especially since the end of a rocky April.

“It’s very important to try to eat as many innings as you possibly can,” Shields said of his consistent efforts of late. “Early on in the season, we were ruining our bullpen by not going deep into games. My main focus is to go as deep as I possibly can. … Consistency’s the name of the game.”

Does it make him one of the most attractive names on the market? No, probably not. Is it going to fetch a highly ranked prospect? No, probably not. But it might fetch something, and in a season where guys believed to be afterthoughts like Dylan Covey and Daniel Palka are working their way into the conversation about the White Sox future, who wouldn’t want something added to this rebuilding effort?

And Shields isn’t the only White Sox player who could bring something back.

The bullpen was stocked with potential sign-and-flip guys over the offseason, and a few of those veteran arms have had good runs that could earn them a similar fate to the bulk of last year’s relief corps. Anthony Swarzak, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, Dan Jennings and Tyler Clippard were all dealt away last summer. Could Hahn employ a similar strategy this season?

The bullpen hasn’t been quite as good as it was last year, which made all of those players attractive additions for contending teams around the league. But veterans like Joakim Soria, Luis Avilan, Bruce Rondon, Xavier Cedeno — guys who hoped to rediscover some old magic — could still draw interest.

Soria owns a 3.12 ERA. Avilan’s is at 3.10. Cedeno hasn’t given up a run in his six relief appearances. Rondon has shown blow-em-away stuff at times. It’s been a nice recovery for some of these sign-and-flip veterans.

“They’ve had an opportunity to get their chances to work on different things and become really effective performers,” manager Rick Renteria said of some of his veteran relievers prior to Sunday’s game. “I think Joakim has risen his level of game back what he was pre last couple years, I think he’s reinvented himself a little bit. He has an up-down breaking ball now, he’s continuing to attack the strike zone, he’s throwing 93 miles an hour with his fastball, he’s commanding the zone. He’s doing everything he can to be as good a closer as he was in the past. His history and his experience also allow him some confidence to be put in situations to close out ballgames.”

Soria could perhaps draw the most interest because closers are often in demand in July. But last year’s trade-a-thon showed that teams are willing to trade prospects away for relief help of any kind. Many of the return pieces in those deals might not get rebuild-loving prospect followers thrilled. Casey Gillaspie and Ryan Cordell haven’t exactly put their names at the forefront of the discussion about 2020 and beyond. But remember that Blake Rutherford came over in the deal that sent Robertson and Kahnle out of town (Todd Frazier went to the New York Yankees in that trade, too). So an acquisition that could improve the rebuild can most definitely happen, even with middle relievers.

There’s no guarantee that any of these guys, be it Shields in the rotation or any of the arms out in the bullpen, will get traded or even draw significant interest. But for a team in the White Sox position, you’d have to assume they’d be open to making a deal and getting something to add to this rebuilding process.