Bears

Kerry Wood loses his cool in loss to Braves

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Kerry Wood loses his cool in loss to Braves

Kerry Wood walked off the mound and squeezed his glove before throwing it into the stands. He tossed his hat to the fans before disappearing into the dugout.

It was like a scene out of Little League. One pressbox wag wondered what the reaction would have been if Carlos Zambrano had done something like that.

The boos were muted, barely audible, during Tuesday nights meltdown, because its Wood. Cubs fans have a soft spot for the kid they watched grow up at Wrigley Field.

But it all unraveled for the 34-year-old reliever during the eighth inning of a 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. His postgame media session lasted 45 seconds. He cut it off after a reporter mentioned the glove.

Irrelevant, dude, and why the (bleep) would you even bring that up? Wood said. You guys have a good night.

With that, Wood stormed away from his locker. He hadnt really spoken publicly since leaving the team in the middle of April, flying from Miami to Chicago for a cortisone shot the team hoped would strengthen his right shoulder.

There were more questions about Woods health after he faced six Braves and walked two and gave up two hits. By the time Dan Ugglas two-run single landed in left-center field, parts of the announced crowd of 38,523 began heading toward the exits.

Thats the frustrating thing, Wood said. I bounced back from the injection and the shoulder feels great. It still feels fine. I actually threw some good curveballs tonight for the first time in a month. But its all about results.

Manager Dale Sveum: He said he feels fine.

The Cubs (12-18) wasted another strong start from Ryan Dempster, who limited a powerful Braves lineup to one run across seven innings, but hasnt had his luck change.

Dempster still doesnt have a win yet, even with a 1.02 ERA through five quality starts. He probably knows Wood as well as anyone in the Cubs clubhouse.

I know hes feeling good, Dempster said. Coming off the DL, hes had a couple rough outings. But hes a professional, as professional as anybody Ive ever played with and things will turn around real soon.

Before the game, Cubs president Theo Epstein told reporters how the upcoming draft is probably the most important thing that were doing right now, to be honest.

Its a year-long process, Epstein said. Right now, were right in the sweet spot of finishing up evaluations, going back, getting final looks and then well get together and dissect all the information.

Thats where the Cubs are at as an organization, looking at around 10 players for the sixth overall pick.

While it would be nice to win this year, its not the No. 1 priority. Its all building toward the future, which seems to make a 3 million setup guy something of a luxury item.

Wood can do a lot for that clubhouse, and may still strengthen this bullpen, but right now he has a 14.54 ERA. Something is clearly gnawing at him.

Its frustrating. It doesnt matter if youre young or a veteran guy, Sveum said. When you give up a couple runs and you walk a couple guys, its frustrating. It doesnt matter who you are, how many years you have in the big leagues. Its frustrating to do that in a tie ballgame.

Patrick Mahomes' injury will have direct impact on NFC North race

Patrick Mahomes' injury will have direct impact on NFC North race

The Kansas City Chiefs and the entire NFL universe nearly imploded Thursday night after reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes suffered a dislocated kneecap in the Chiefs' victory over the Denver Broncos.

It was hard to watch. Not only did it feel like the league was losing its top superstar, but the vision of Chiefs trainers popping Mahomes' right kneecap back into place was, well, unpleasant.

Speculation about how much time Mahomes will miss in 2019 spread like wildfire on Twitter. A range of three weeks to the rest of the season was suggested. After undergoing an MRI Friday, it appears Mahomes will be back sooner than later. He'll miss some games, but not the rest of the season, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Assuming Mahomes misses just three games, his absence will still have a massive ripple effect on the NFC North. Two of the Chiefs' next three games include the Packers and Vikings, both of whom the Bears are jockeying with for divisional supremacy. The Bears, meanwhile, face the Chiefs in Week 16 when all indications suggest Mahomes will be back to firing missiles all over the field.

It's great news that Mahomes avoided a serious injury. It's less than great news that his injury will only hurt Chicago's chances at a second-consecutive division title.

Here's to hoping Mitch Trubisky catches fire over the final 11 games and outduels his 2017 draft classmate in the penultimate game of the season.

Blackhawks remember Dave Bolland for more than just '17 Seconds'

Blackhawks remember Dave Bolland for more than just '17 Seconds'

The Blackhawks are honoring one of their own on Friday, with Dave Bolland set to skate “One More Shift” with the organization. He will join the team on the ice during the anthem, and will be featured throughout the game commemorating his time in Chicago.

When you think of Bolland, the first thing that pops up into the minds of fans is his game-winning goal in Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins. Or, better known as the second goal of "17 Seconds."

But his former teammates remember him for more than that.

"He was awesome," Patrick Kane said. "He was one of those guys who played a third-line role for like his whole time here and just really did well with it. I remember the line with him, [Martin] Havlat and [Andrew] Ladd really took off in 2009 and obviously [Dustin] Byfuglien, him and [Kris] Versteeg were a good line in 2010. But just the way he played, he got underneath the other teams skin, especially their star players. Wasn't afraid to chirp, wasn't afraid to get into the mix, especially with his size and the way he was built.

"But yeah, some great moments, some big goals, a lot of big shorthanded goals, you can obviously remember his 17 seconds was unbelievable as well, that's a goal I'm sure he'll never forget. We'll never forget that celebration too, so it's awesome he's getting honored."

Bolland, who earned the nickname "The Rat," is perhaps best known for the role he played in the Blackhawks' playoff series battles with the Vancouver Canucks. His line frequently drew the defensive matchups against Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and he's the one player who really knew how to throw both twins off their game at the same time.

"I think he's kind of like Shawzy," Jonathan Toews said. "He's one of those guys that fans here in Chicago really like. Aside from scoring goals and the plays that he made over the years in the playoffs, he was one of those guys that you loved having on your team that other teams hated. He found ways to chip away at their best players and get them off their game. He was good at a lot of little things like that, so he was a big part of those winning teams."

Andrew Shaw was teammates with Bolland for only two seasons, but they won a Stanley Cup together and Bolland was one of the best and knowing his role and perfecting it.

"One of the best at his job," Shaw said. "He played that shutdown centerman. I always thought he had the shortest shifts. His shift lengths were so short just cause he would play so much against top guys that he'd want to be so well-rested while he was out there. ... He was skilled enough to chip in offensively as well.

"That's the type of player he was. He'd play against the top guys, he'd shut them down, he'd be that little rat himself, just try to get them off their game as well as outworking them."

Bolland spent seven of his 10 NHL seasons in Chicago, where he registered 168 points (70 goals, 98 assists) in 332 games. He was drafted by the Blackhawks in the second round (No. 32 overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft.

Friday will mark the first night honoring the 10-year anniversary of the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship, which ended a 49-year drought in franchise history. The first 10,000 fans on Friday will receive a Marian Hossa bobblehead.

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