Cubs

Word on the Street: Buehrle stands by Vick comments

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Word on the Street: Buehrle stands by Vick comments

Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Buehrle stands by Vick comments

WhiteSox lefty Mark Buehrle has no problem standing behind what he saidabout Michael Vick last week, when he admitted "there were times wehope he gets hurt."

Today, Buehrle said the following:"No, I said it. Its an old story. Again, we are not bringing dramainside and past history stuff. So, I said it, meant it. Its over, andwell move on." (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)

Hawks close to acquiring Mark Stuart?

The Blackhawks may be close to acquiring defenseman Mark Stuart from Boston. According to the rumor, the Hawks would be sending the Bruins a draft pick in return for Stuart, whose departure would help the Boston clear salary space.

In 31 games so far this season, Stuart has a total of five points (one goal, four assists). (ProHockeyTalk)

Patrick Kane makes list of Top 5 U.S. born hockey players

On Sunday, February 20, the 2011 Hockey Day in America on NBC will be covering four hockey games spotlighting the growth of hockey in the United States.

They have compiled a list discussing the top five U.S. - born players that will appear in Sunday's contests. Blackhawks' winger Patrick Kane came into the list at the No. 2 spot.

The other four players that made the list were No. 1 Ryan Miller (Sabres), No. 3 Brian Rafalski (Red Wings), No. 4 Brandon Dubinsky (Rangers) and Jimmy Howard (Red Wings).
(ProHockeyTalk)

White Sox are a fat team

According to a study by the Wall Street Journal, the 2007, 2008 and 2009 White Sox take the top three spots in history for the heaviest teams. Citing players such as Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, the Sox averaged 219.4 pounds per player. With the addition of Adam Dunn for 2011, that number probably won't go down very much. (wsj.com)

NFL, NFLPA agree...

... to do nothing but talk for a week.

A league source (but not a league office source) says that the league and union have agreed to seven straight days of negotiations. This development was disclosed in a conference call with agents. The seven straight days will kick off Friday.

Thursday included two tiny steps forward for everyone hoping for a resolution by early March. The two sides agreed to federal mediation and now have agreed to the kind of sustained discussions necessary to get a deal done. (profootballtalk.com)

Tigers' Cabrera charged with DUI

Miguel Cabrera was arrested in Florida late Wednesday night for drunk driving. Cabrera's car was reportedly stopped alongside the road with his engine smoking when he was spotted by police. The arrest report states that Cabrera smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech, and even took a swig of scotch in front of an officer.

This is not Cabrera's first brush with controversy. In 2009, the night before his team lost the AL Central Division title to the twins, he got into a fight with his wife after a night of drinking. (CNN)

White Sox decide to keep Sale in bullpen

After an offseason full of speculation about whether the White Sox would move Chris Sale into the rotation or keep him in the bullpen the drama is already over, as general manager Ken Williams announced that Sale will be used as a reliever.

Sale had a 1.93 ERA last season with 32 strikeouts in 23 innings. (HardballTalk.com)

Rodman owes 42K in back taxes

According to a report, former-Bull Dennis Rodman owes more than 42,000 in back taxes to the state of California. However, Rodman's business manager, Peggy King, is disputing the state's claim.

King says, "It's got to be incorrect" because Rodman recentlyreceived a refund check from the state "for 42,000 or 43,000." (ChicagoBreakingSports)
Manumaleuna to have surgery

Bears tight end Brandon Manumaleuna is expected to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Manumaleuna, who signed a five-year contract with the bears before the start of last season, underwent a similar surgery on his left knee before last year's NFL draft. Because the surgery is being done so early in the offseason, he is expected to be back to full strength in time for training camp. (National Football Post)

Barkley: Bulls could be best in the East

NBA-great Charles Barkley had some high praise for the Bulls on Wednesday, during a taping of "The Jay Leno Show." Barkley said that he thinks that, once Joakim Noah returns from injury, the Bulls could be better than both the Heat and Celtics - the two teams currently ahead of the Bulls in the Eastern Conference.

"The Chicago Bulls, if they get everybody healthy, might be the best team in the East," Barkley told Leno.(ChicagoBreakingSports)

Michael Jordan, No. 32?

Here's a fun, nonsensical little story; the mystery of the No. 32 Michael Jordan statue. The incorrectly-numbered statue appeared in the background of the Jimmy Kimmel show while he was shaving the head of pop star Justin Bieber.

So, where did the statue come from? In short; nobody knows, but apparently it's not the only one. And, in case you wondered, it costs 650. (Ball Don't LieYahoo! Sports)

Why Cubs core's desire to sign extensions might not matter anymore

Why Cubs core's desire to sign extensions might not matter anymore

The day after Kris Bryant suggested that first-time fatherhood and the dramatic reality of world events have changed how he looks at his future with the Cubs, general manager Jed Hoyer outlined why it might be all but moot.

Setting aside the fact that the Cubs aren’t focusing on contract extensions with anyone at this time of health and economic turmoil, the volatility and unpredictability of a raging COVID-19 pandemic in this country and its economic fallout have thrown even mid-range and long-term roster plans into chaos.

“This is without question the most difficult time we’ve ever had as far as projecting those things,” Hoyer said. “All season in projecting this year, you weren’t sure how many games we were going to get in. Projecting next season obviously has challenges, and who knows where the country’s going to be and the economy’s going to be.”

Bryant, a three-time All-Star and former MVP, is eligible for free agency after next season. He and the club have not engaged in extension talks for three years. And those gained little traction while it has looked increasingly likely since then that Bryant’s agent, Scott Boras, would eventually take his star client to market — making Bryant a widely circulated name in trade talks all winter.

MORE: Scott Boras: Why Kris Bryant's free agency won't be impacted by economic crisis

The Cubs instead focused last winter on talks with All-Star shortstop Javy Báez, making “good” or little progress depending on which side you talked to on a given day — until the pandemic shut down everything in March.

Báez, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber are both also eligible for free agency after next season, with All-Star catcher Willson Contreras right behind them a year later.

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None has a multiyear contract, and exactly what the Cubs are willing to do about that even if MLB pulls off its 60-game plan this year is hard for even the team’s front office executives to know without knowing how hard the pandemic will continue to hammer America’s health and financial well-being into the winter and next year.

Even with a vaccine and treatments by then, what will job markets look like? The economy at large? The economy of sports? Will anyone want to gather with 40,000 others in a stadium to watch a game anytime soon?

And even if anyone could answer all those questions, who can be sure how the domino effect will impact salary markets for athletes?

“There’s no doubt that forecasting going forward is now much more challenging from a financial standpoint,” Hoyer said. “But that’s league-wide. Anyone that says they have a feel for where the nation’s economy and where the pandemic is come next April is lying.”

The Cubs front office already was in a tenuous place financially, its payroll budget stretched past its limit and a threat to exceed MLB’s luxury tax threshold for a second consecutive season.

And after a quick playoff exit in 2018 followed by the disappointment of missing the playoffs in 2019, every player on the roster was in play for a possible trade over the winter — and even more so at this season’s trade deadline without a strong start to the season.

Now what?

For starters, forget about dumping short-term assets or big contracts for anything of value from somebody’s farm system. Even if baseball can get to this year’s Aug. 31 trade deadline with a league intact and playing, nobody is predicting more than small level trades at that point — certainly not anything close to a blockbuster.

After that, it may not get any clearer for the sport in general, much less the Cubs with their roster and contract dilemmas.

“We have a lot of conversations about it internally, both within the baseball side and then with the business side as well,” Hoyer said. “But it’s going to take a long time and probably some sort of macro things happening for us to really have a good feel for where we’re going to be in ’21 and beyond.”

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Cubs' GM Jed Hoyer: Everyone in MLB has to take COVID-19 'equally' serious

Cubs' GM Jed Hoyer: Everyone in MLB has to take COVID-19 'equally' serious

Veteran umpire Joe West made waves Tuesday downplaying the severity of COVID-19 in an interview with The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. 

“I don’t believe in my heart that all these deaths have been from the coronavirus," West said. "I believe it may have contributed to some of the deaths.”

As far as the Cubs are concerned, those comments don’t represent how to treat the virus. In fact, they’ve gone out of their way to ensure everyone treats it with equal severity.

“That’s one of the things we've really tried internally to instill in our players and our coaches,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday, “[that] everyone here has to take it equally [serious].”

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Hoyer noted like the world, MLB isn’t immune to people having different viewpoints on the virus — those who show concern and those who don’t. This echoes comments made by manager David Ross earlier on Tuesday, and Hoyer said those he’s talked to with the Cubs don’t feel the same way as West.

The Cubs had an up close and personal look at pitching coach Tommy Hottovy’s battle with COVID-19 during baseball’s shutdown. It took the 38-year-old former big leaguer 30 harrowing days to test negative, and in the past week many Cubs have said watching him go through that hit home. 

“When you get a 38-year-old guy in wonderful health and he talks about his challenges with it,” Hoyer said, “I think that it takes away some of those different viewpoints.”

To ensure everyone stays safe and puts the league in the best position to complete a season, MLB needs strict adherence to its protocols.

“I think that's one of our goals and one of the things that we feel is vital is that we have to make sure everyone views this the same way, because we can't have a subset of people within our group that don't view it with the same severity,” Hoyer said.

“That’s not gonna work. We're not gonna be successful."

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