White Sox

Notre Dame's luck, ability to deal with it does a 180 from 2011

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Notre Dame's luck, ability to deal with it does a 180 from 2011

A year ago, Notre Dame seemingly couldn't catch a break. It started with Jonas Gray's fumble on the season's opening drive, and continued with plenty of bad bounces that swung the outcome of a few games.

That's not saying Notre Dame's 8-5 record last year was completely due to bad luck -- far from it. But that seemingly every bounce possible went against the Irish certainly played into it.

This year, though, Notre Dame's 9-0 start has fallen squarely in the "lucky" category. The Irish aren't undefeated by blind luck, but luck has definitely played a role in that start. Look no further than Kevin Harper's missed 33-yard field goal, and the missed penalty that came along with it.

Brian Kelly has experience with an undefeated team, with his 2009 Cincinnati team finishing the regular season 12-0 before he left and the Bearcats were crushed by Tim Tebow and Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

"I don't think I've ever had a lucky football team," Kelly said. "I think I've had a team that's gotten some breaks along the way, but generally those teams have earned them along the way."

That 2009 Cincinnati team needed some breaks along the way, most notably a failed two-point conversion attempt by Pittsburgh that set up a one-point win over the No. 14 Panthers in Kelly's final game with the Bearcats.

Last year, Notre Dame wasn't equipped to deal with bad luck, which only exacerbated the team's underlying flaws. This year, though, Notre Dame is equipped to deal with good luck thanks to an opportunistic team that's proven it can win close games.

"Most of the time you're making your luck, and you're playing through some rough spots," Kelly said. "I've never had a team that won because it was lucky. But I've had many teams that were fortunate because they were good football teams and they found a way to win."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What should be the plan to call up the White Sox prospects?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What should be the plan to call up the White Sox prospects?

SportsTalk Live is on location for White Sox Authentic Fan Night. Phil Rogers (MLB Network), Mark Carman (WGN Radio), David DeJesus and Ozzie Guillen join Kap to talk about Manny Machado Mania, Anthony Rizzo’s struggles and the White Sox plans for calling up their best prospects. 

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

White Sox add Alex Presley at Triple-A, another veteran outfielder who could factor into 2018 plans for banged-up outfield

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USA TODAY

White Sox add Alex Presley at Triple-A, another veteran outfielder who could factor into 2018 plans for banged-up outfield

Not long after the White Sox brought Michael Saunders into the organization, another outfielder with major league experience is joining Triple-A Charlotte.

Alex Presley — a 32-year-old who played 71 games last season for the Detroit Tigers and has also spent time with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers — is the latest addition to the Knights’ outfield. He’s a guy who could potentially be used to help the White Sox outfield, which has seen two Opening Day players go on the disabled list for extended periods of time.

Avisail Garcia is in his fifth week on the DL while dealing with a Grade 2 hamstring strain. Nicky Delmonico is expected to miss the next four to six weeks while recovering from a broken bone in his hand. The White Sox might feel that the collection of Adam Engel, Trayce Thompson, Leury Garcia and Daniel Palka might be enough to get them through those injuries. But the results have not been great from that group. Engel and Thompson are both hitting under .200, while Leury Garcia and Palka have on-base percentages just above .300.

Presley, like Saunders, could be an option for a midseason promotion should he hit well in the minors. He hit .314 with a .354 on-base percentage in those 71 games with the Tigers last season. This year, he was playing in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization, where he hit .275 with a .347 on-base percentage in 26 games.

It’s possible we won’t see either veteran outfielder on the South Side this season (though having Presley here for Elvis Night would be pretty excellent), but it gives the White Sox options should the lack of production from their current crop of outfielders and the injuries to Avisail Garcia and Delmonico keep them out longer.

It’s also quite possible that none of the names mentioned to this point will have a role to play in this team’s long-term future, not an outlandish thought considering Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Micker Adolfo, Blake Rutherford and Luis Alexander Basabe are all still developing in the minor leagues.