Cubs

McMahon sued over bank's loans

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McMahon sued over bank's loans

In an attempt to recover 104 million, federal authorities have sued former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon and eight others involved in a now-failed bank that was at the center of the campaign for President Obama's old U.S. Senate seat.

Seven former directors -- including McMahon -- and two officers of Broadway Bank ignored federal warnings about just how risky some of the bank's loans were, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. lawsuit filed last month. Two loans were approved in 2008 on the very day regulators "specifically warned" about "the risks that these types of loans posed to the Bank."

In all, 104 million in losses from 17 loans ''were caused by gross negligence'' and breaches of fiduciary duty by the defendants, the lawsuit says.

McMahon's involvement was confirmed Monday by a person close to the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the details. It was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

McMahon, the brash leader of the Bears, led the team to the 1986 Super Bowl victory over New England. He is now among dozens of retired players who have sued the NFL, blaming the league for concussion-related dementia and brain trauma.

Also named in the FDIC lawsuit are relatives of former Illinois treasurer and Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias. Giannoulias, who was an officer at the bank that was founded by his father before being elected state treasurer in 2006, is not named in the lawsuit. But the allegations of shady loans at the bank that was shutdown in 2010 dogged him throughout his unsuccessful Senate bid against Mark Kirk that year.

In a statement released through his attorneys, McMahon said Broadway Bank's failure stemmed from the bank's inability to "withstand the greatest market decline since the Great Depression" and not any wrongdoing.

"With the advantage of 20-20 hindsight, the FDIC now blames Broadway's former officers and directors for not anticipating the same unprecedented market forces that also surprised central bankers, national banks, economists, major Wall Street firms, and the regulators themselves," he said. "I am proud to have served as an outside independent director for a brief part of the bank's history. The allegations in the complaint are utterly without merit and I expect to be fully vindicated."

McMahon was on the board of directors from 2003 through late December 2008. The FDIC says McMahon played a role in only one of the 17 bad loans, when the board approved a 28 million loan that resulted in a loss of 19 million.

"Despite his board responsibilities," the lawsuit also says, "McMahon repeatedly missed critical board meetings."
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Brandon Morrow has a healthy sense of humor about his pants-related injury

Brandon Morrow has a healthy sense of humor about his pants-related injury

Brandon Morrow's body may not be healthy, but his sense of humor sure isn't on the disabled list.

The Cubs closer had to go on the DL Wednesday after he injured his back changing out of his pants early Monday morning when the Cubs returned home to Chicago after a Sunday night game in St. Louis.

The story made national rounds, not only in the baseball world, but resonating with non-sports fans, as well. After all, it's not every day a guy who gets paid millions for his athletic endeavors injures himself on a mundane every day activity.

But it's all good, because even Morrow can find the humor in the situation, Tweeting this out Thursday afternoon:

Morrow's back tightened up on him and didn't loosen up enough the next two days, making him unavailable for the Cubs doubleheader Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

The team decided to put him on the shelf Wednesday morning so an already-gassed bullpen wouldn't have more pressure during this stretch of 14 games in 13 days.

The Cubs are in Cincinnati this weekend for a four-game series with the Reds. Morrow is eligible to return from the DL next Wednesday in Los Angeles as the Cubs once again take on the Dodgers — Morrow's old team.

The 33-year-old pitcher is 16-for-17 in save chances this year while posting a 1.59 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in 22.2 innings. He's only given up a run in 2 of his 26 outings as a Cub.

Eloy's comin' to Charlotte, but how long before he's playing on the South Side?

Eloy's comin' to Charlotte, but how long before he's playing on the South Side?

The No. 1 prospect in the White Sox loaded farm system got a step closer to playing in the major leagues Thursday.

Eloy Jimenez was the headliner in a ridiculously large number of promotions throughout the organization that signaled that despite a 25-games-under-.500 record at the big league level, the rebuilding effort is progressing nicely.

But antsy fans and observers who want to see the fruits of that effort land on the South Side as soon as possible have the same question now that Jimenez is a Charlotte Knight as they did when he was a Birmingham Baron: When will he be inserted into Rick Renteria's everyday lineup?

Director of player development Chris Getz didn’t have that answer Thursday when he was discussing all the minor league movement. But he outlined exactly what’s had White Sox fans salivating over the idea of Jimenez in the major league lineup.

“He’s done nothing but hit with us, and he’s continuing to do that,” Getz said on the conference call. “He’s driving the ball to all fields with power. The hit tool is very good, as well. He’s hammering fastballs. Talking about maturity, he’s definitely beyond his years in how he handles the game as a whole.

“When he steps into the box, it seems that you’re looking at a guy that plays in the big leagues already, and he’s not. He’s controlling the zone, he’s driving the ball, he’s making good decisions. We’ll see what he can do up at Charlotte.”

With Jimenez mashing at Birmingham this season — to the tune of .317/.368/.556 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs in 53 games — plenty have wondered why a pit stop at Charlotte is even necessary. General manager Rick Hahn has answered that question in the past, pointing to the different kind of pitching that Jimenez will face, and Getz echoed that thinking Thursday.

“At Charlotte, you’re going to run into guys that have a little more experience,” Getz said. “Some may have pitched in the big leagues, some might have been labeled those ‘4-A’ types. But what comes with that is more off-speed pitches, pitching backwards, being able to locate a little bit more. It will be interesting to see how he does respond with guys attacking him a little bit differently.

“We as an organization believe he’s going to be able to accomplish pretty much the same type of things he’s been accomplishing at Charlotte.”

That would be good news for those eagerly awaiting Jimenez’s arrival in Chicago because if he dominates at the plate at Triple-A the way he did at Double-A, then another promotion could be a possibility before the 2018 major league season runs out.

Of course before that happens, the White Sox want Jimenez to master things at the Triple-A level. Hahn mentioned before the season started that a good developmental season could end without Jimenez joining the big league squad at all. Like with all things in this rebuilding effort, the White Sox are going to be patient and do what’s best for the long term.

“He’s never played at Triple-A,” Getz said about a player who prior to joining the White Sox organization last summer had never played above Class A. “Now do I have full confidence that he’s going to go up there and hit? Sure. I absolutely do.

“If he continues to do so and forces our hand, we’re certainly going to have that conversation about him coming to Chicago. Let’s just get him in the lineup tonight and see what he can do.”