Cubs

Word on the Street: Bulls the NBA's best secret?

Word on the Street: Bulls the NBA's best secret?

Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Bulls: Best kept secret in the NBA?

Columnist Steve Dilbeck thinks that they are. According to Dilbeck, the Spurs with the best record in the league and the Lakers as defending champs get most of the news coverage in the Western Conference. In the east, the Celtics and Heat, each with their own "big three," are the media darlings. But with a 38-16 record, and Joakim Noah ready to return after the All-Star break, he believes that the Bulls will only get better. (TheNational)

Ricketts leaves door open for Pujols

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, who was in Arizona on Saturday to address the team on the first day of full-squad workouts, said that the only thing he knows about the Albert Pujols situation is "what I read in the paper."

However, he did leave the door open to a potential mega-deal for the All-Star first baseman should the Cardinals fail to sign him.

Theres going to be a little more financial flexibility at the end of the season than weve had in years past, Ricketts said. Well have to assess the situation when we get there and see whats available. The fact is, well be open-minded to what we think is best for the team when that comes up. (CSNChicago.com)

Jackson likely to start second for Sox

Barring any injuries, setbacks, or other unforseen changes, Edwin Jackson is in line to start the second game of the White Sox season on April 2 in Cleveland. Additionally, the sox have set up their rotation for the first week of Cactus League play, which begins of Feb. 28. Gavin Floyd will make the first start of the spring for the Sox, followed by Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, John Danks, and then Jake Peavy. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Williams to New York in 2012?

Right now the eyes of the New York basketball world are on Carmelo Anthony, however, in another year there may be a new name on their radar. According to sources close to former-Illini, and current-Jazz point guard Deron Williams, he has began informing those close to him that he would like to join Amar'e Staudemire in New York when he becomes a free agent in 2012.

Though, if the Knicks were to pull the trigger on a deal with Anthony, it is unlikely they would have the cap room remaining to make a deal with Williams. (cbssports.com)

Former Chicago Cardinal RB Matson passes away

Hall of Fame running back Ollie Matson, who had a 14-year NFL career and won two medals at the 1952 olympics, died at the age of 80 on Saturday. Matson was the first pick (third overall) for the Chicago Cardinals in the 1952 NFL draft.

Matson passed away due to respiratory failure, surrounded by family at his home in Los Angeles. His nephew, Art Thompson, said that Matson had been mostly bedridden for several years due to a type of dementia, and had not spoken in four years. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Yu Darvish and Cubs pull off dramatic comeback win over Dodgers

darvish_thum.jpg
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Yu Darvish and Cubs pull off dramatic comeback win over Dodgers

There were some added stakes to Saturday night’s Cubs-Dodgers matchup. Darvish made his first start at Dodger Stadium since his infamous Game 7 loss in the 2017 World Series, looking for a great effort in front of a fan base that had their up-and-downs in terms of their relationship with him. He (maybe) took a small jab at the Dodgers before the game had even started, telling the Los Angeles Times that he wasn't worried about being booed because “the Dodgers don't have many fans here in the first three innings, so maybe it will be on the quieter side.”

Well Dodgers faithful certainly got the message and made sure to let Darvish hear it.

However, Darvish got the last laugh on Saturday night. He pitched a stellar seven innings. Over those seven innings, Darvish gave up 1 ER on 2 hits and also notched 10 strikeouts.

Darvish has been hitting his stride as of late, maintaining a 2.96 ERA over his last four starts. 

All of that being said, it would be remiss of me not to mention the contributions of Darvish’s teammates. His great outing helped keep the Cubs in the game, but the gutsy performances of Anthony Rizzo and Pedro Strop are what won the contest.

Dodgers All-Star relief pitcher Kenley Jansen had a 10-game scoreless streak coming into Saturday night, but one swing of Rizzo’s bat was all that was needed to restore balance to the everlasting battle of pitcher versus hitter. After Jansen hit Kris Bryant with a pitch to put him on base, Rizzo activated “clutch mode”, mashing a 400-foot bomb out to right field.

Though small, Saturday night’s homer gives Rizzo a three-game hitting streak, perhaps forecasting that things are trending  upwards for the first baseman as the Cubs look to close out the series against the Dodgers with a win on Sunday night. And not to be left out of the fun, Pedro Strop came in to face the Justin Turner, MVP hopeful Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Matt Beaty to nail down the save.

Never afraid of high-pressure moments, Stop came through big time.

Strop got a ground out from Turner, struck out Bellinger and Beaty in his 15-pitch save effort. This was a much-needed win for the Cubs, who have well-documented struggles on the road. As they look to split the four-game set with the Dodgers on Sunday night, the Cubs can be pleased with their fight this week.

Saturday’s win over the Dodgers was the Cubs first win of the season after trailing through six innings, as they were 0-23 in such situations prior to the victory. Amid a season that has been fraught with injury and general roster construction concerns, it was wonderful to see the Cubs pull out a tough win lead by the much-maligned Darvish and the never-quit attitude of his teammates.

For on-the-rise White Sox, learning to win also means learning to lose

For on-the-rise White Sox, learning to win also means learning to lose

The White Sox lost Saturday night.

That’s baseball, of course, they’re not all going to be winners. And this rebuilding franchise has seen plenty of losses. But the feelings have been so good of late — whether because of Eloy Jimenez’s 400-foot homers or Lucas Giolito’s Cy Young caliber season to this point or a variety of other positive signs that make the White Sox future so bright — that losing Saturday to the first-place New York Yankees seemed rather sour.

Obviously there will be plenty more losses for this White Sox team before the book closes on the 2019 campaign. Back under .500, these South Siders aren’t expected to reach elite status before all the pieces arrive, and it would be no shock if they’re removed from the playoff race in the American League by the time crunch time rolls around in September.

But don’t tell these White Sox that an 8-4 defeat is a return to reality or a reminder that this team is still a work in progress. Even if, for a lot of players, development is still occurring at the major league level, the “learning experiences” that have been such a large part of the conversation surrounding this team in recent seasons and their daily goal of winning baseball games aren’t mutually exclusive.

“The Yankees are sitting in first place and they lost two games in a row,” catcher James McCann said Saturday night, providing a reminder of how the first two games of this weekend series went. “Just because you're expected to win and expected to be World Series contenders doesn't mean you're not going to lose ballgames. It's how you bounce back.

“And it doesn't mean you're going to win tomorrow, either. It's just, how do you handle a defeat? How do you handle a bad at-bat? How do you handle a bad outing, whatever it may be? But it doesn't mean that we step back and say, ‘Oh, we're back under .500, we're supposed to lose.’

“We expect to win when we show up to the ballpark. You can take learning experiences whether you win or lose. Do I think a game like tonight reminds us we're supposed to be in a rebuilding mode? No. We still expect to win, and we're going to show up tomorrow with that mentality.”

Maybe that’s a description of the much-discussed “learning to win” young teams supposedly need to do on the road to contender status. Maybe that can’t happen until a team figures out how to bounce back from a defeat — until it learns how to lose and how to act in the wake of a loss.

For all McCann’s certainty about the team’s expectations on a daily basis, his explanation was peppered with questions. He said he’s seen the answer to “how do you bounce back?” from this club, and his three-run homer in the eighth inning Saturday night was fairly convincing evidence that the White Sox didn’t use up all their fight just getting back to .500.

So while the White Sox know they won’t win every game — that no team will — they need to know how they handle defeat. Losing, it turns out, might end up being more instructive about when this team is ready to win.

“I think we've done a pretty good job (bouncing back),” McCann said. “You look at the road trip in Houston and Minnesota where we took two out of four from a good Houston team and then played really not very good baseball for three days in Minnesota only to come home and have an extremely good homestand.

“It's the big picture. It's not the very next day. It's not, ‘We've got to bounce back and win.’ It's not a must-win situation in the middle of June. But it's how do you handle yourself? How does a game like tonight, do you show up flat tomorrow and let it snowball into a three-, four-game spiral? Or do you fight?

“And that's what this team's been really good at doing is fighting and not giving in.”

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.