White Sox

Should players get paid to play in Olympics?

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Should players get paid to play in Olympics?

In 2008, Redeem Team helped bring world basketball bragging rights back to the homeland after failed attempts to throw NBA players on a roster with the conventional thinking that they could overwhelm organized teams with talent.

The players on that team honored a three-year commitment leading up to the 2008 games and none of them participated in the World Championship in Turkey in 2010.

Before 08, there was a problem getting the leagues best players interested in competing for gold and with a condensed season and many players from that roster set for long playoff runs, the roster for 2012s Olympic games in London might look completely different as rest will be a priority for many after their respective seasons are concluded.

As Boston Celtics Ray Allen told Fox Sports Florida, pay could be a way to entice guys to want to participate.

You talk about the patriotism that guys should want to play for, but you (need to) find a way to entice the guys, Allen said. Its not the easiest thing in the world if you play deep in the playoffs and then you get two, three weeks off and then you start training again to play more basketball where it requires you to be away from home and in another country. Its fun, but your body does need a break.

Everybody says, Play for your country. But (NBA players are) commodities, your businesses. You think about it, you do camps in the summer, you have various opportunities to make money. When you go overseas and play basketball, you lose those opportunities, what you may makeIf Im an accountant and I get outsourced by my firm, Im going to make some money somewhere else.

Allen makes a good point, especially with the toll this condensed season has already taken on a number of Olympic hopefuls for this years games in London, although its sure to be taken wrongly by many as players are already making millions and the belief that representing ones country should be done out of pride and honor, not financial gain.

The Celtics guard goes on to say that players should receive an unspecified amount from sales of the jerseys and other products that are sold with their names and likeness on it.

The U.S. Olympic Committee provides every American with 25,000 for winning a gold medal, 15,000 for silver and 10,000 for bronze.

The Olympics also allow athletes the chance to grow their own personal brands overseas, but not every player will have those marketing and branding advantages.

So, should players be paid for representing their countries?

White Sox are considering five players for the third pick in the MLB draft

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USA TODAY

White Sox are considering five players for the third pick in the MLB draft

While more key White Sox prospects are making the jump to the majors and progressing through the higher levels of the minors, the farm system is still due to get another significant prospect.

That’s because the White Sox hold the third pick in the draft, which is six weeks away on June 3. This is the highest pick the White Sox have had since the team took Carlos Rodon No. 3 overall in 2014. Last year the White Sox had the fourth pick and took Oregon State infielder Nick Madrigal.

Nick Hostetler is the White Sox director of amateur scouting, which means he is the face of the White Sox draft. In an interview with James Fegan of The Athletic, Hostetler said the White Sox have “dwindled our list down to about five” players they could take with the third pick.

So who could those five players be? This year’s draft class is position-player heavy at the top, which is something Hostetler later admits, but he did said there is “a pitcher still in our mix.” Given that, it sounds like four position players and a pitcher.

MLB Pipeline has six position players topping its rankings while Baseball America had batters occupying the top nine spots. Baseball America added that “four players seem to have put themselves into a tier among their own.” In that group is Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, Cal first baseman Andrew Vaughn and two high school shortstops, Bobby Witt Jr. and C.J. Abrams. FanGraphs and ESPN have the same top four in some order.

Rutschman was Madrigal’s teammate at Oregon State last year when the Beavers won the College World Series. He is the consensus top-rated prospect with Pipeline, BA, ESPN and FanGraphs all putting Rutschman No. 1.

After that things vary a little bit with Vaughn offering comical offensive numbers the last two years for Cal. He had a 1.350 OPS last year as a sophomore and has a 1.219 OPS so far this season.

Witt and Abrams are prep shortstops noted as good athletes. Witt’s father was the third overall pick in 1985. Abrams is known for his elite speed and went to the same high school in Georgia (Blessed Trinity Catholic) as former White Sox players Tyler Flowers and Matt Skole.

Finding out the pitcher Hostetler was referring to is trickier, although TCU left-hander Nick Lodolo is having a dominant junior season with 77 strikeouts, a 2.20 ERA and a WHIP just under 1 in 65 1/3 innings.

The draft is only six weeks away, but things can change quickly as these players wind down their season. Still, these are names that will continue to be named towards the top of the draft.

 

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Tarik Cohen admits losing Jordan Howard ‘hurt me a little bit’

Tarik Cohen admits losing Jordan Howard ‘hurt me a little bit’

The Jordan Howard trade was tough for Tarik Cohen.

The two Bears running backs had formed a backfield bond over the last two seasons, and Cohen was there to support him during the rumors and eventual move to Philadelphia.

“I was really following after him as soon as I came to the Bears because I was one year behind him, so he could tell me everything to do because he had already been through it,” Cohen said Monday. “Losing him, it hurt me a little bit. I’m not going to lie. It hurt me, because that’s like my brother.”

Both running backs understand football is a business as they go their separate ways. Cohen’s “brother” will get to work in the city of brotherly love, while the North Carolina native continues to go out in his adopted community.

Cohen and Bears chairman George McCaskey met with members of Heartland Alliance’s Rapid Employment and Development Initiative in Chicago as part of the team’s effort to combat gun violence.

“I wear a ‘C’ on my helmet every Sunday, and every time I play a game,” Cohen said. “So I feel like it’s necessary for me to get inside the community and see what’s going on, and to help any way I can.”

With Howard exchanging his “C” for green wings, Cohen is now the running back a year ahead in Matt Nagy’s offense as Mike Davis joins the backfield.

The former Seattle Seahawk is just getting to know Halas Hall in the first phase of the offseason program, but he and Cohen had already connected through a mutual friend — fellow North Carolina native Todd Gurley.

“Mike, he’s like one of the guys,” Cohen said. “He’s already fitting in the locker room. Everybody’s already getting along cool.”

Just like that, life moves on without Howard in Chicago. Cohen expects Ryan Pace to add a rookie to the backfield too, and then it’ll be his turn to be the mentor.

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