White Sox

Word on the Street: Bears' backs brawling?

Word on the Street: Bears' backs brawling?

Friday, Dec. 3, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Bears' backs brawling?

Bears running backs Chester Taylor and Kahlil Bell nearly came to blows Thursday afternoon during practice. The situation was resolved before it escalated, according to a source for Chicago Tribune writer Brad Biggs, but there was rumor that this was a long time coming, as the two may have been at odds for a while.

This isn't the first bout with a teammate Taylor has endured throughout his veteran career, having already fought Vikings defensive end Erasmus James in 2007. He also reportedly threw a chair at offensive tackle Orlando Brown when both players were on the Baltimore Ravens.

This isn't the first time Bears' running backs have gotten into a fight, either, but the dispute may come with a silver lining. The last time came in 2006 when Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson dueled. At one point, Jones even punched Benson in the head at practice. However, the Bears went to the Super Bowl that year, so Thurday's tiff could be a good omen. (Chicago Tribune)

Cubs interested in trading for Gonzalez?

The Cubs are reportedly still interested in trying to work out a deal for All Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The Cubs are looking into acquiring a left-handed hitting first baseman in the offseason and are also interested in Carlos Pena and Lance Berkman. No trade offer has been reported, but the Cubs and Red Sox are front runners at the moment. (FoxSports)

Santo's wake and funeral announced

Ron Santo, the beloved former Cubs player and radio broadcaster, passed away early Friday morning from complications with bladder cancer. A public visitation for the Hall of Fame hopeful will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday at Holy Name Cathedral, 730 N. Wabash St.

The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Holy Name. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ron's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Follow the link for more information. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Canucks coach still feels Hawks ran up score

Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville and Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault are still at odds over whether Chicago ran up the score during its 7-1 win over Vancouver on Nov. 20. Vigneault is still steamed and Quenneville is still defending his team and his decisions. The rivalry between the two teams has grown thanks to the meetings in the playoffs the last couple of years, both ending in the Hawks eliminating the Canucks from contention. (Vancouver Sun)

Super Bowl Shuffle owner files lawsuit

Julia Meyer, the owner of the popular ditty "Super Bowl Shuffle" from the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl team, filed a lawsuit this week against Viacom, claiming the media conglomerate used the video on MTV and VH1 without permission. (Wall Street Journal)

Lions likely to be without top defensive end

The bad news just keeps rolling in for the Detroit Lions, who are already without their top two quarterbacks Sunday against the Bears. Now, they are likely going to face off against Jay Cutler and the red-hot Chicago offense without the aid of their top pass-rusher Kyle Vanden Bosch.

Vanden Bosch missed practice for the fourth straight day Friday and has not practiced since leaving the Lions' loss to New England on Thanksgiving Day last week with a neck injury. (Freep.com)

Cutler avoids fine

Despite the fact that the Bears won the game, quarterback Jay Cutler was still apt to yell at an official, but has avoided a fine for his behavior. Cutler was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct after screaming at an official for not calling what he believed to be pass interference on running back Matt Forte. The Bears' signal-caller was fined 20,000 for abusive conduct toward an official after the Cardinals beat Chicago 41-21 at Soldier Field last year. (Chicago Tribune)

Bedard won't be a Cub, but will Bonderman?

The Chicago Cubs have officially lost out on the Erik Bedard sweepstakes as the Seattle Mariners signed the oft-injured southpaw starter to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract. The Cubs were reportedly interested in signing Bedard, but may just come out winners now that they don't have to deal with him. Bedard has gone to the disabled list every season in his professional career. The Cubs have had enough of those types of pitchers after Mark Prior and Kerry Wood in the early 2000's.

However, the Loveable Losers may be interested in Jeremy Bonderman, the former Detroit Lions starter who has battled arm injuries for the past few seasons. Cubbies Crib blogger Jordan Campbell believes Bonderman should be the Cubs' fallback option if they are unable to sign former Arizona Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb. (CubbiesCrib.com)

Welington Castillo on board with the reasoning behind his Monday benching and the identity Rick Renteria is trying to establish

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AP

Welington Castillo on board with the reasoning behind his Monday benching and the identity Rick Renteria is trying to establish

And that’s why you always run hard to first base.

Rick Renteria didn’t use a one-armed man to teach his team a lesson Monday night, but he used a relatively extreme measure, benching one of his few veteran players to send a message that lack of hustle won’t be tolerated on this rebuilding White Sox team.

In fact, it won’t be tolerated anywhere in this rebuilding White Sox organization.

That’s the hope, at least.

Welington Castillo stood at home plate while his popup fell into the first baseman’s glove during the sixth inning of Monday night’s loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles, and because of it he didn’t go back out with his teammates for the seventh inning. It was the latest in-game benching by Renteria for a similar offense. Avisail Garcia was sat down during spring training, and Leury Garcia at the end of the team’s previous homestand.

This kind of reoccurring strategy might seem a tad strange, a manager enforcing hustle regulations to pro players during a season in which his team entered play Tuesday with baseball’s worst record. But part of rebuilding and development is establishing a cultural identity, and Castillo seemed on board with Renteria’s strategy, as well as the end goal of these punishments.

“That’s something that he always says, that’s something that he’s not going to let pass,” Castillo said Tuesday. “He always says you’ve got to run the bases hard no matter what. And for some reason, I was just frustrated, I wanted to get the job done. I saw the ball was going to be fair, and for some reason I did not run. I think that the decision that he made was the right decision. That’s not me, and I’m not going to do it again.”

Castillo was brought in this past offseason to provide some veteran experience to what is otherwise a very young squad of South Siders. Coming off career years both offensively and defensively, Castillo seemed to be an addition that would benefit this club in the short and long term. He could be here all the way through the 2020 season, when the White Sox could see their talented minor leaguers arrive and open the organization’s contention window.

And therein lies the importance of what Renteria did Monday. Castillo would figure to be veteran enough to be past such punishments. But if he buys in to Renteria’s style and passes it along to the young guys when they come up, then Renteria will have achieved what he wanted: for this to be the standard of the present and the future.

“The same rule that is for the young guys is for the veteran guys, too,” Castillo said. “We are a team, we are a family. One thing is for me, and the same thing has to be for everybody because we are a family, we are a team. Sometimes that’s good that that happens, and we’ve just got to learn from that.”

“We’re trying to eliminate habits if they’re there. Accidents you understand, but we’re trying to continue to create the identity of the White Sox organization as to how we’re going to go about doing things,” Renteria said. “They accept it, they understand it, and when we take an action I think for the most part they are accountable to what goes on.”

Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks

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AP

Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks

The Blackhawks announced Monday that they have officially agreed to terms with forward Dominik Kahun, defensemen Lucas Carlsson and Darren Raddysh and goaltender Kevin Lankinen on entry-level contracts.

Kahun ($925,000 cap hit), Lankinen ($925,000) and Raddysh ($730,000) each signed two-year deals that run through the 2019-20 season while Carlsson's is a three-year deal that runs through the 2020-21 campaign and carries a cap hit of $792,500.

So who are these guys? Let's meet them:

Carlsson

Drafted in the fourth round (No. 110 overall) by the Blackhawks in 2016, Carlsson set a career-high with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 44 games this season with Brynäs IF of the Swedish Hockey League. He was tied for fourth among all blue liners with seven goals.

Carlsson, 20, doesn't have major upside, but he's a reliable, well-rounded defenseman and that's what drew the attention of Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley.

“When he’s on the ice, he makes things happen," Kelley told Scott Powers of The Athletic last summer. "I think what impressed the Sweden under-20 coach was Lucas’ ability to challenge in all three zones. He’s an active defensively. Offensively, he challenges. He keeps plays alive.”

Kahun

The 22-year-old forward spent the last four seasons with EHC München of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Germany's top professional hockey league, where he established career highs in assists (29), points (41) and tied a personal best with 12 goals, leading Munchen to their third straight championship in 2018 after recording four goals and 10 assists in 17 playoff contests.

He raised eyebrows at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, where he compiled five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games and won 55.4 percent of his faceoffs (41 of 74), helping Germany capture a silver medal.

“He has made an enormous step this year, has become much more stable and mature," German national team coach Marco Sturm said after the Olympics. "I am sure that he would grab it in the NHL,” Sturm told the Hamburger Morgenpost.

Most recently, Kahun had a goal and two assists in seven games for Germany during the IIHF Men's World Championship. He's 5-foot-11, 176 pounds whose known to be a solid two-way player and can play center but may need some time to adjust to the smaller ice surface and NHL style of speed and physicality.

Lankinen 

Lankinen is 23 years old and coming off a season in which he was in the discussion for the Urpo Ylönen trophy, annually awarded to the top goaltender of the Finnish Elite League, after registering a league-best 1.33 goals against average and .946 save percentage in 15 games with HIFK.

He missed a large portion of the season because of an injury, but it didn't stop him from turning in a strong postseason, guiding his team to a bronze medal after posting a 1.99 GAA and .936 save percentage in 13 playoff games. The year before that, he led the league with seven shutouts in 42 games, backstopping his team to a silver medal.

This is a low-risk, medium-sized reward signing for the Blackhawks, who could use some more young goaltending depth in the pipeline, especially given how this season unfolded with the big club.

Raddysh

The Blackhawks signed Raddysh to a one-year AHL contract last June, and he turned it into an NHL one after a strong season with the Rockford IceHogs.

Raddysh, 22, accumulated 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 66 regular-season games with the IceHogs, and has appeared in each of the team's playoff games en route to the Western Conference Final.

Last season Raddysh was named the OHL's top defenseman after scoring 16 goals and 65 assists for 81 points in 62 games for the Erie Otters, where he was teammates with current Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat. He's the Otters' all-time leader in assists (143) and points (184) among defensemen.

Raddysh might be nothing more than a depth defenseman, but his development is worth monitoring because the offensive production is there and that's something the Blackhawks lacked this past season from their back end.