White Sox

Thibodeau-Bulls rift truly headline-worthy?


Thibodeau-Bulls rift truly headline-worthy?

An ESPN.com report quoted Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau as being "dismayed" about the lack of progress in reaching a new contract extension. While it may be new to you, this isn't news.

After winning the NBA's Coach of the Year award in his first season as an NBA head coach, it's only natural Thibodeau would want to be rewarded for his service. However, Thibodeau is currently in the second year of his contract and the Bulls have the option to bring him back for a third year, something that's universally expected to occur.

"I don't know where that's coming from and I'm not worried about any of that stuff," Thibodeau said after Friday's win over the Pistons. "I'm under contract and I'm fine with everything here."

What else would you expect him to say? Let's be logical, folks: Thibodeau is known as one of the most focus and intense people in the business, so at this late juncture in the season--or even earlier in the campaign, when a New York media outlet first reported his frustration about his contract situation--do you think he would strategically leak his concerns, taking away from the Bulls' goal of winning a title?

Highly unlikely. Sure, Thibodeau is probably disappointed that the Bulls haven't already addressed the issue, as well as the fact that he's one of the league's lowest-paid head coaches, but knowing the potential of this team and being a student of the game, on and off the court--specifically the Bulls' track record of dealing with coaches' contracts as an organization, with Phil Jackson and Scott Skiles as two examples--he surely can't be surprised at the process.

He's also very likely aware that the grass isn't greener elsewhere. Looking around the league at possible upcoming vacancies, New York comes to mind with Mike D'Antoni starting the season as a lame-duck head coach and Mike Woodson as an interim coach--albeit a successful one, thus far--and with Thibodeau's history as a Knicks assistant, it would seem like just the opportunity to lure him away.

But even if the Knicks were interested, Thibodeau knows that he's already put his stamp on this Bulls team, he won't ever find a more coachable superstar than Derrick Rose, he wouldn't find a more ideal supporting cast and even taking into consideration the amount of talent on New York's roster, the relentless competitor would actually be taking a step back in his quest for a championship. Does that sound like a move the ever-calculating tactician would make?

Don't fret, Bulls fans: Thibodeau's contract situation will be resolved in due time. Even if they appear to be dragging their feet in doing so--and like any fiscally-sound operation, they're being prudent in waiting to pay him the big bucks, to Thibodeau's consternation, at least for the time being--the Bulls' braintrust understands there's not really an upgrade from Thibodeau available on the market, as long as Phil Jackson stays retired (and the triangle offense isn't exactly a perfect fit for Derrick Rose's skill set) and not to mention, they wouldn't want to chance of alienating their players.

"Of course--I'm not going to give you guys the answer I'm supposed to say--but not just for me, but for this organization and what he's done, and if we don't bring him back, somebody's going to take him. He's that good," said Luol Deng, who has developed into an All-Star under Thibodeau and along with Rose, has probably benefited the most from his tutelage. "I didn't even know there's a situation. He's not the type of guy who's going to talk to us about it. We're not the type of team that's going to talk about it. I think we all want to see him stay here for many years to come, but that's not up to me."

Deng will likely get his--and Bulls' fans--wish, but thinking about far-fetched scenarios, like arguably the league's top coach simply walking away due to lack of interest, makes for good headlines in the meantime. It hasn't been a perfect world under Thibodeau's reign, as his laser-like focus can rankle people to a degree, but nobody questions his work ethic, intent and most importantly, results, all of which make the likelihood of the Bulls not bringing him back and even after 20 years as an assistant before getting a shot, perceived anger and impatience at the slowness in getting his first extension as a head coach, a tad overblown.

White Sox sign Enoy Jimenez, the 17-year-old brother of Eloy Jimenez


White Sox sign Enoy Jimenez, the 17-year-old brother of Eloy Jimenez

One Jimenez just isn't enough for the White Sox.

The White Sox signed the younger brother of top prospect Eloy Jimenez this weekend. Enoy Jimenez is a 17-year-old infielder, and the 21-year-old outfielder ranked as the No. 3 prospect in baseball was on hand for his brother's big moment.

Eloy figures to hit the big leagues early next season, though it will likely be a while longer before his teenage brother could do the same. Still, they're likely hoping for the chance to play together one day.

According to this pretty exhaustive list from MLB.com, four sets of brothers have played together on the White Sox: Homer and Ted Blankenship in the 1920s, Dick and Hank Allen in the 1970s, Roberto and Sandy Alomar in 2003 and 2004 and John and Jordan Danks in 2012.

Should we be getting ready for the fifth pair?

Report: People around baseball believe Joe Girardi is waiting for managerial job with Cubs or White Sox


Report: People around baseball believe Joe Girardi is waiting for managerial job with Cubs or White Sox

Joe Girardi won't be the manager of the Cincinnati Reds in 2019, perhaps because he has hopes of landing a gig in Chicago.

According to Fancred's Jon Heyman, Girardi was in the running for the Reds' managerial job (which went to former Cubs third-base coach David Bell this weekend) but pulled himself out, this after interviewing for but not getting the same position with the Texas Rangers. Heyman cites "industry speculation" that Girardi might want to remain a free agent so he can land the job of skipper in Chicago.

Heyman is of course not specific, listing a city with two major league teams, leaving this open for interpretation as either the Cubs or the White Sox.

Obviously Girardi has a history on the North Side. He had two stints there as a player, from 1989 to 1992 and again from 2000 to 2002. Joe Maddon has one year remaining on his contract, and Cubs president Theo Epstein said during his end-of-season press conference that the team has not had discussions with Maddon about an extension. After managing the New York Yankees to their most recent World Series championship in 2009, Girardi might again want a crack at managing a big-market contender.

But if Girardi is simply itching to get back to his home state — he was born in Peoria and graduated from Northwestern — perhaps he has the White Sox on his wish list, too. Rick Renteria has one year remaining on his current contract, as well, and should the rebuilding White Sox see all their young talent turn into the contender they've planned, the manager of such a team would be an attractive position to hold.

But just because folks believe Girardi wants to manage in Chicago doesn't mean there'd be mutual interest. Despite Epstein's comments that there have been no extension talks with Maddon, the president of baseball operations also backed his manager in that same press conference, refusing to blame Maddon for the team's "broken" offense down the stretch last month. And Rick Hahn and the rest of White Sox brass heap frequent praise on the job Renteria has done in his two years, describing him as an important part of player development and of establishing a culture hoped to spread throughout the organization.

Plus, it's worth mentioning that Girardi's decade-long tenure in the Bronx came to an end amid suggestion that he was unable to connect with his young players. It's unknown how much of a realistic concern that would be for any team thinking about hiring him. But the recently fired Chili Davis believed that very issue was part of the reason his time as the Cubs' hitting coach came to an end. And there are few teams out there younger than the White Sox.

Again, it's just speculation for now. But if for some reason one or both Chicago teams don't hand out new contracts to their current managers, perhaps Girardi would be interested in an opening on either side of town.