Bulls

Who defended Steve Williams' racial slur?

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Who defended Steve Williams' racial slur?

From Comcast SportsNet
SYDNEY (AP) -- Greg Norman defended caddie Steve Williams over his racial slur about Tiger Woods, and does not believe Williams is racist. "We've all made stupid comments at stupid times, unfortunately his stupid comment became global news," Norman said Monday. "I know he probably regrets saying it, but I guarantee you in that room on that night there was probably some heavier things said." Williams' disparaging comment came during a caddies' awards party Friday in Shanghai. Norman added that Williams' current employer, Adam Scott, should ignore calls to release him. Scott has said he will stand by Williams. Norman had Williams on his bag for several years in the 1980s. He replied "no, not at all," when asked if Williams was racist. Norman spoke from The Lakes, where he'll begin play in the Australian Open on Thursday. Scott said in a statement Monday he believes "there is absolutely no room for racial discrimination in any walk of life, including the game of golf." "I have discussed this matter directly with Steve and he understands and supports my view on this subject. I also accept Steve's apology, knowing that he meant no racial slur with his comments. I now consider the matter closed. I will not be making any further comment." Woods and Scott are also playing in the Australian Open, which has attracted a strong field because of the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne next week. Norman disagreed with possible, but extremely unlikely, moves to pair Woods and Scott this week in Sydney for the first two rounds of the Australian Open. It was also suggested to Norman, the captain of the International side for the Presidents Cup, that he might send Scott out against Woods in the team event in Melbourne. "Of course, everybody wants to see it," Norman said. "I don't think it's the right thing to do from a promotional aspect, No. 1, because it should just be an automatic draw. I don't think there is any issue between Tiger and Adam at all." Norman said any feud between Woods and Williams needs to be sorted out. "Because of the temperature that was going on between the two of them, anything that is said or not said is going to exacerbate whatever that feeling is," Norman said. "I hope it gets resolved. Golf doesn't need it. Golf needs Tiger back playing great golf like he used to. Golf needs the cohesiveness that's always existed. "There's always been underlying currents, not everybody loves everybody and the people who dislike each other; we just have a tendency of parting our ways and not seeing each other. But to have it play out like it's played out has been a bit sad for the game." Asked if racism is a problem in golf, Norman said he's "never seen it at all." On Monday, Woods was in Melbourne, where he last won a tournament -- the Australian Masters in November 2009. Weeks later, news of his infidelities surfaced, followed by a divorce, injuries and swing changes. Woods spoke to a Melbourne radio station whose interviewers were told not to ask questions about Williams. Woods flew back to Sydney later Monday. He'll have a news conference at The Lakes on Tuesday when he's expected to respond to Williams' remarks. Woods told the Melbourne station he's seeing a gradual improvement in his game. "I've had a ruptured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), I've had a broken leg, a torn Achilles and strained ligaments over the last five years," he said. "I've been rehabbing for so long I haven't been able to train. I'm hitting faster, more explosive, my speed's come back. I'm hitting the ball distances I know I can hit the golf ball again. It's getting fun." Woods played at the private Capital Golf Club with cricket great Shane Warne, Warne's fiancee and English actress Liz Hurley and billionaire businessman James Packer.

Bulls rule out Chandler Hutchison, Wendell Carter Jr. out for the rest of the season, Otto Porter Jr., Zach LaVine could be next

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USA TODAY

Bulls rule out Chandler Hutchison, Wendell Carter Jr. out for the rest of the season, Otto Porter Jr., Zach LaVine could be next

The injuries are mounting for the Bulls as the end of the season nears and that means some players won’t play again this season.

John Paxson spoke to reporters before Saturday’s 114-83 loss to the Jazz and gave injury updates on four players. For starters, Chandler Hutchison and Wendell Carter Jr. both have been ruled out for the season.

Carter showed a lot of promise in his rookie season, averaging 10.3 points and 7 rebounds per game, but has been out since Jan. 15 with a thumb injury.

Hutchison has been out since Jan. 25 with a toe injury. He played in 44 games, making 14 starts, in his rookie season while averaging 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

“He had another scan and he continues to progress really well, but we’re officially ruling him out,” Paxson said of Hutchison. “We’ve kind of run out of time to say to ourselves it makes any sense to bring him back to try to play at the end of the year.”

Those aren't major surprises at this point. More recent injuries to Porter and LaVine will affect the Bulls down the stretch. LaVine missed his second straight game with a thigh injury while Porter missed his third straight with what Paxson described as “a lot of little nagging injuries.”

Paxson said they are monitoring both daily, but it sounds more likely that Porter won’t play again this season.

“Otto has so many little things going on where we won’t push him,” Paxson said. “We may run out of time with him, too.

“We’re not ruling him out completely yet, but it’s kind of trending that way.”

LaVine was limited to 24 games last season after coming off knee surgery and was later shut down for the final 14 games of the season. So far this season, he has missed 11 games with eight left for the Bulls.

“I think it’s important for him to try to fight through some of these little things because last year we shut him down toward the end,” Paxson said. “If his patellar tendinitis doesn’t get appreciably better in the next week, let’s say, then again, you start looking at the reality of it and it doesn’t make sense. But we’re not there yet.”

All these absences do give some role players a chance to prove their worth to the Bulls. Shaq Harrison has been in the starting lineup recently and impressed on the defensive end. Antonio Blakeney also got the start and logged 27 minutes, the most for him since November. Similarly, Brandon Sampson got called up from the G-League and logged a season-high 17 minutes.

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In a surprise move, Cubs option Ian Happ to Triple-A

In a surprise move, Cubs option Ian Happ to Triple-A

In a surprise move, Ian Happ will not be on the Cubs roster on Opening Day.

Joe Maddon told reporters on Saturday afternoon that Happ will begin the season with Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs have since made the move official. Happ debuted with the Cubs in May of 2017 and had been up with the Cubs ever since.

The move means the Cubs will likely start the 2019 season with Albert Almora Jr., Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber as the team's outfielders. Ben Zobrist and Kris Bryant can also play in the outfield, but both are expected to be regular starters on the infield. With Addison Russell still serving his suspension, Zobrist is expected to start at second base. Bryant will occupy his regular spot at third, but can also play in the outfield with David Bote filling in at third as needed. Additionally, Daniel Descalso is expected to be ready for Opening Day after enduring a left shoulder injury and gives the team versatility on the infield.

Happ, 24, hit .253/.328/.514 with 24 home runs as a rookie in 2017. Last season his numbers dipped to .233/.353/.408, including .196/.313/.340 after the all-star break. He has played in 257 games in the past two seasons with the Cubs.

Happ has been struggling at the plate this spring. He is hitting .135/.196/.192 in 17 Cactus League games.

"We just want to make sure that he gets down there and really gets a lot of consistent at-bats, especially from the left side," Maddon said. "Obviously we consider him a huge part of our future, but just based on the conclusion of last year and what we're seeing at this point this year, we think it's really important."

Happ's move comes as a surprise, but it may not be a long-term move. With Happ being optioned to Triple-A, that gives the Cubs an extra roster spot that could be used for a reliever.

Additionally, pitchers Dillon Maples and Alec Mills and catcher Taylor Davis were optioned to Triple-A along with Happ. Two non-roster invitees, infielder Cristhian Adames and outfielder Johnny Field, were assigned to minor league camp.

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