Cubs

Simeon wins home-opener by 56

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Simeon wins home-opener by 56

By Dan Ruane
Yourseason.com

Among the crowd at Simeons home opener against Red-South opponent Carver were several college coaches. They got to see the top-ranked Wolverines dismantle the Challengers for a 79-23 victory in a game that was never close.

Representatives from Georgetown, Missouri State, Michigan State and Illinois along with head coaches Johnny Dawkins from Stanford, Buzz Williams of Marquette and Roy Williams of North Carolina came to see uncommitted juniors Jabari Parker, Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate.

The Wolverines did not disappoint in storming out to a 27-2 first-quarter lead playing its trademark ball-sharing offense along with its suffocating defense.

Theyre a fantastic team, Roy Williams said. They play so hard and so well together. Theyre a very unselfish team and I obviously like to see that.

Simeon also knows how to get the ball to the guy with the hot hand.

Marquette-bound Steve Taylor scored 13 of his 15 points in the first quarter, all while the Wolverines (4-0, 1-0) were forcing Carver (0-7, 0-1) into 14 first-quarter turnovers.

They are a true Number 1 team, Carver coach Johnnail Evans said. They are going to run through the Red-South this year. People do not have the talent to match up against them.

The only mystery in the game was how long Simeon coach Robert Smith would play his regulars. Smith used his bench extensively but also allowed his starters enough time to display their wares for the would-be college suitors.

Its a tribute to our program that so many high, major programs are looking at our kids, Smith said. I got into Kendrick at halftime. With all of these college coaches here, he came out in second half and made gold.

Nunn scored 13 of his 16 points in the third quarter including converting three treys. Jabari Parker played a strong all-around game with 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Tate came off the bench to score 15 points. Taylor recorded four blocks while Parker had five.

Michael Howell led Carver with 12 points.

Yu Darvish thinks Houston Astros should be stripped of 2017 World Series title

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USA Today

Yu Darvish thinks Houston Astros should be stripped of 2017 World Series title

The Astros' sign-stealing scandal is personal for a lot of players, though it probably hits a little differently for Yu Darvish. 

Darvish was a member of the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers team that Houston beat in the World Series. Darvish didn't have his best performance in the series and when asked about the scandal, the Cubs' pitcher didn't hold back:

It's a weird feeling. Like, in the Olympics, when a player cheats, you can't have a Gold medal, right? But they still have as World Series title. That makes me feel weird. That's it. And one more thing. With [Carlos] Correra talking about [Cody] Bellinger. I saw that yesterday. So they cheat, and I think right now that they don't have to talk. They shouldn't talk like that right now.

You can watch the video of Darvish's comments, from ESPN's Jesse Rogers, it right here.

The comments took on a life of their own, as Astros' soundbytes have been known to do over the last few weeks or so. Darvish was ready for the clapback, though, and delivered a final blow to some poor 'Stros fan who thought he could compete with Darvish on twitter dot com. 

Sign a lifetime contract, Yu. Never leave us.

Related: Bryant crushes Astros for cheating scandal: 'What a disgrace that was' 

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Jason Kipnis comes home looking to write one final chapter of his career

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USA TODAY

Jason Kipnis comes home looking to write one final chapter of his career

Jason Kipnis, who’s potentially the Cubs’ new second baseman but indisputably the pride of Northbrook, said there’s one major reason why his possible reunion with Wrigley Field is so exciting.

“Now I don’t have to hate the 'Go Cubs Go' song,” he quipped.

Kipnis was a late addition to the Cubs’ roster, and still not even a guaranteed one at that. After almost a decade spent being one of the Cleveland Indians’ cornerstones, Kipnis arrived in Mesa on a minor league contract, looking to win a job. Ironically, being with his hometown team is unfamiliar territory for the two-time All-Star. 

“[Leaving Cleveland] was hard at first,” he said. “You get used to the same place for 9-10 years, and I think it’s a little hard right now coming in and being the new guy and being lost and not knowing where to go. But it’ll be fun. It’s exciting. It’s kind of out of the comfort zone again, which is kind of what you want right now – to be uncomfortable. I don’t know, I’ve missed this feeling a little bit, so it’ll be good.”

It was a slow offseason for the second baseman, but the second baseman said he was weighing offers from several teams. Opportunity and organizational direction dictated most of his decision-making, but Kipnis admitted the forces around him were all, rather unsubtly, pulling him in one direction.

“They were telling me to take a deal, take a cut, whatever. Just get here,” he joked. “... It made sense, it really did. I think I didn't fully understand it until it was announced and my phone started blowing up and I realized just how many people this impacted around my life. Friends and family still live in Chicago, so it’s going to be exciting.”

The theme of renewed motivation has hung around Sloan Park like an early-morning Arizona chill, and Kipnis said part of the reason he feels the Cubs brought him in is to set a fire under some guys. He talked with Anthony Rizzo during the offseason, who talked about how the Cubs had struggled at times to put an appropriate emphasis on each of the 162 games in a regular season. That’s not a new problem in baseball, and it struck a chord with Kipnis, who himself was on plenty of talented Cleveland teams that never got over the hump. 

“They got a good core here. I’m well aware of that, they’re well aware of that, too,” he said. “I texted him and called him and asked him what happened last year, because I look at rosters, I look at St. Louis’, I look at all that, and I’m like, ‘I still would take your guys' roster.’” 

As for his direct competition, Kipnis said he hasn’t had a chance to really get to know Nico Hoerner yet, but doesn’t feel like the battle for second base has to be a contentious one by any means. At 32, Kipnis has been around long enough to understand the dynamics an aging veteran vs. a top prospect, and doesn't feel like it’s a situation where only one of them will end up benefiting. 

“I know he came up and had a pretty good success, so I think [it’s] going to be a competition, but at the same time, I’m not going to try to put him down,” he said. “I’d like to work with him, kind of teach him what I know too and hopefully both of us become better from it.”