White Sox

Vanderbilt's Jenkins "would love" to be a Bull

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Vanderbilt's Jenkins "would love" to be a Bull

For a team that won 50 games in the regular season, and finished first in its division and conference, the Chicago Bulls have plenty of questions to answer this off-season.Perhaps the biggest need after securing viable scoring replacements for Derrick Rose and Luol Deng, is gaining financial flexibility under the cap.One player who could help the Bulls in both areas is Vanderbilt shooting guard John Jenkins, who recently visited with the Bulls' brass and came away impressed.You see Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, all the great coaches there, the championship banners, so its definitely motivation for me, Jenkins said at last weekend's NBA Pre-Draft Combine. I would love to play for them.The 6-foot-4 junior enters the NBA Draft as perhaps the most lethal outside shooter. He was named an honorable mention All-American in 2011, and a third team All-American in 2012. In both seasons Jenkins was named to the All-SEC team, leading the conference in scoring both years (19.5 points in 2011, 19.0 in 2012).The Bulls should have their pick of available shooting guards when their pick rolls around, including Kentucky sophomore Doron Lamb, UC-Santa Barbara senior Orlando Johnson and Jenkins. But the Commodore's prolific outside shooting (he led the nation in 3-point makes a year ago) and his experience (4 NCAA games and an SEC Tournament Championship) could give Jenkins the edge."I think every shooting guard in the draft thinks they're the best shooter, but I definitely work at it, to be the best," Jenkins said.The Bulls also would receive some financial flexibility by selecting Jenkins, or any shooting guard, in the first round. Doing so would give the Bulls the ability to decline team options on shooting guards Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer.Korver is set to make 5 million in 2012-'13, and Brewer is set to make 4.37 million.The Bulls' selection of Jimmy Butler with the 30th overall pick in last year's draft gives the Bulls a similar, cheaper option to Brewer. Butler will make just over 1 million in 2012, followed by team options of 1.174 million and 2.119 million in 2013 and 2014, respectively.Thanks to the NBA's slotted first round salaries, whomever the Bulls select will make an approximate 1.028 million and 1.105 million guaranteed the next two seasons. That would be almost 4 million per year cheaper than Korver.While a rookie, potentially Jenkins, would not bring as much short term value as Korver would, the salary cap space it would open up makes sense for the long-term.Gar Forman told Bulls.com the team intends to re-sign restricted free agent center Omir Asik this off-season, but they will need to have available cap room freed up should another team sign the 7-footer to a tender offer.That could mean declining C.J. Watson's 3.7 million team option, but without Rose for a good chunk of next year, Watson could be a valuable piece for the Bulls.A more likely option is the Bullsshoring up the shooting guard position at a cheaper price, potentially through the draft with a player like Jenkins.They said they need a shooter, a guy that can really open things up for D-Rose and just really open up the offense, Jenkins said at the Pre-Draft Combine.Forman insists the team will not draft based on need, rather selecting the best player available. But Jenkins, an obvious team need, also could be the best player left when the Bulls are on the clock June 28.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

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

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

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USA TODAY

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

One thing you better do if you play for Rick Renteria is run to first base.

Yet again, Renteria benched one of his players Monday for the sin of not hustling down the line.

Welington Castillo, a veteran, not a developing player in need of ample “learning experiences,” popped up to first base with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth inning of Monday’s eventual 3-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles. He did not run down to first, instead staying at home plate.

So when the inning ended and the White Sox took the field, Castillo stayed in the dugout.

Ricky’s boys don’t quit, or so the slogan goes. But what happens when a player doesn’t live up to that mantra? What happens when they don’t play their absolute hardest for all 27 outs, as the T-shirts preach? This is what happens. A benching.

“It was towering fly ball in the infield at first, probably had 15, 20 seconds of hangtime,” Renteria explained after the game. “I assumed the dropped ball. It has occurred. He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way.

“That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest, it truly is. Maybe he was just frustrated in that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all. And you guys have heard me talk to all the guys about at least giving an opportunity to move in that particular direction.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, 99 out of (100) times he’s going to catch that ball.’ And then that one time that he doesn’t, what would I do if the ball had been dropped? Would it have made it easier to pull him? Well, it was just as easy because you expect not the best, but the worst.

“That is uncharacteristic of that young man. I had a quick conversation with him on the bench, and he knew and that was it.”

It might seem a little overdramatic, a little nutty, even, to sit down a veteran catcher brought in this offseason to provide some offense and to do it in a one-run game. But this rebuild is about more than just waiting around for the minor league talent to make its way to the South Side. It’s about developing an organizational culture, too. And Renteria feels that if he lets this kind of thing slide at the big league level, that won’t send the right message to those precious prospects who will one day fill out this lineup.

“There’s one way to do it, you get your action, you start moving toward that direction in which you’ve got to go,” Renteria said. “What would’ve happened if everybody’s watching it — and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, (but also for) everybody in the minor leagues — and they’re saying, ‘Well, at the top, they said they’re going to do this and then they don’t do it.’

“It’s really simple. And people might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this, do that so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened in 2018. Avisail Garcia was taken out of a game during spring training for not giving maximum effort. Leury Garcia was removed from a game earlier this month for not busting it down the first-base line on a weak grounder that went right to the first baseman.

It’s become a somewhat common tactic for Renteria, and while it might strike some as taking things a little too seriously, what good is this developmental season if a culture goes undeveloped? The White Sox have placed their bright future, in part, in Renteria’s hands, and they’ve talked glowingly about how the players have bought into his style and how the team played last season under his leadership.

If Renteria truly is the right man for the rebuild, things like this are how he’s going to establish his culture. And it will, he hopes, impact how all those prospects play when they’re no longer prospects and the White Sox are contending for championships.