Bulls

Word on the Street: Bulls set CSN ratings record

Word on the Street: Bulls set CSN ratings record

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Bulls win over Hornets sets CSN ratings record

After big wins against the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls fans are apparently more excited than ever about their team. On Monday, Comcast SportsNet recorded it's best-ever numbers for a Bulls game as the Bulls topped the New Orleans Hornets 85-77. The game recorded a 7.21 household rating. The previous record for a bulls game was 6.35 on April 30, 2009; a triple-overtime victory over the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Hawks talking trash?

According to a story in the Toronto Sun, the Chicago Blackhawks had some unkind words for Brendan Morrison. Morrison was injured in last Wednesday's game against the Blackhawks and, according to him, some Blackhawk players were talking trash while he was on his way to the bench.

I dont know if they understand exactly what was going on, Morrison said. Some young guys were standing and yelling. I dont think it was very professional. They will learn." (Toronto Sun)

Greinke likely to start year on DL

The new Milwaukee Brewer ace Zack Greinke will likely begin his first season with the team on the disabled list due to a fractured right rib. Greinke suffered the injury while playing basketball over the offseason. The initial X-rays came back negative, but an MRI conducted on Monday showed a hairline fracture on one rib and a bruise on a second.

"I've been doing this playing basketball for a couple years now, and people are always saying, 'You're going to get hurt,'" Greinke said. "It finally caught up to me."
(MLB.com)

Northwestern's Bryant to visit with Bears

Northwestern defensive tackle Corbin Bryant is scheduled to meet with the Chicago Bears following his Pro Day workout session today. Bryant is reported to have ran the 40-yard dash in 5.02 seconds and bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times. Bryant, who is considered a rising draft prospect, is also scheduled to meet with the Jacksonville Jaguars. (National Football Post)

Tiki Barber to come out of retirement?

Sports Illustrated is reporting that Tiki Barber has told the NFL of his plans to come out of retirement and play in the 2011 season. Barber, 36, retired in 2007 after 10 seasons with the New York Giants. The Giants have confirmed that Barber has contacted them, asking to be removed from the reserve-retirement list and that they plan to release him once the league allows it - after a new CBA is in place.

Since retiring, Barber has been surrounded by controversy in both his personal and professional life. During his time as a correspondent with The Today Show and Football Night in America, he made headlines for being critical of his former coach, Tom Coughlin, and his former quarterback, Eli Manning. In his personal life, he left his wife of 11 years in April 2010 for a 23-year-old former-NBC intern. (Sports Illustrated)

Gayle admits to relationship Yang

Former-Bear Shaun Gayle admitted from the witness stand on Tuesday that he had sex with Marni Yang the night before she allegedly killed another woman, who was carrying Gayle's baby. Gayle also described how he was questioned for 10 hours by Deerfield police on the day in October 2007 that his pregnant girlfriend, Rhondi Reuter, was found shot to death in her condo. (ChicagoBreakingNews)

Report: Bulls sign former Arizona Wildcat Rawle Alkins to two-way contract

rawle.jpg
USA TODAY

Report: Bulls sign former Arizona Wildcat Rawle Alkins to two-way contract

A report on Sunday from Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports indicated that the Bulls have agreed to a two-way contract with former Arizona Wildcat Rawle Alkins. 

The 6'5'' guard was a teammate of Lauri Markkanen on the 2017 Wildcats, and many expected him to be a potential lottery pick after showing off the all-around skill set that also made him the top player in the state of New York in high school.

After going undrafted, Alkins played for the Toronto Raptors Summer League team, where he put up 9 points, 4.67 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. In the six  Las Vegas Summer League games he played in, Alkins shot poor from the field (37 percent) and the free throw line (62.5 percent), but he knocked down his 3-pointers, shooting 43.9 percent on a healthy 3.5 attempts from deep per game. 

There is an obvious fit on the Bulls for a player like Alkins. He was a career 36.5 percent 3-point shooter in his two college seasons, and has the physical profile of a great wing defender at the NBA-level. Alkins has a 6'9'' wingspan, and at a listed 220 lbs., it is easy to see him having the potential to guard four-to-five different positions on the floor. At this stage of the rebuild, the Bulls could really use as many of the coveted "3-and-D" wings as they can get. And there are some, like, The Ringer's Chris Vernon, who think that Alkins has the potential to become a glue guy.

Alkins will be a fan favorite wherever he plays. You want a Marcus Smart, Tony Allen, or P.J. Tucker–type player when you need a big play in a big game. I see that with Alkins.

-The Ringer's Chris Vernon 

The nature of the two-way contract means that Bulls fans will to catch some Windy City Bulls games to see Alkins in action. But much like Antonio Blakeney last season, we could see Alkins make an instant impact in the G League and get a call-up sooner than later, especially if the Bulls decide to move on from veteran Justin Holiday.

Either way, the pick up is a shrewd move by the Bulls front office. Alkins is a well-rounded, defense-first player who will be joining a young roster overstocked with scoring talent, but thin on defenders capable of guarding on the perimeter or executing a switching defense at a high level.

Matt Carpenter giving the Cubs Daniel Murphy PTSD

Matt Carpenter giving the Cubs Daniel Murphy PTSD

Say the name Daniel Murphy around Cubs fans (who have been around since before they won the 2016 World Series) and expect a dirty look or shade of some sort.

What Murphy did to the Cubs in the 2015 National League Championship Series still haunts the fanbase, even if they did end the championship drought the following fall.

Now, the Cubs are seeing it again and their PTSD is in overdrive.

St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter has been on an unreal tear of late, setting Cardinals franchise records in the process.

Throughout this five-game series at Wrigley Field, Carpenter is 9-for-16 with 6 homers, 10 RBI, 8 runs scored, 3 walks, a pair of doubles and a bunt single to lead off Sunday's game against the Cubs' shift.

"We're seeing this guy probably at his best moment in his life as a baseball player," Joe Maddon said. "My god. We saw it a couple years ago in the playoffs. We're seeing it all over again.

"Similar kind of a swing, not missing anything. It's pretty impressive."

In that 2015 NLCS, Murphy — then with the New York Mets — homered in all 4 games while hitting .529 with a 1.850 OPS, driving in 6 and scoring 6. 

To put that in perspective: The Cubs scored only 8 runs as a team in the 4 games.

Maddon and the Cubs don't know what to do to get Carpenter out right now, so they've resorted to walking him whenever possible, like in the second inning Sunday when they just dealt out a free pass to the Cardinals infielder with runners on second and third and two outs.

They also tried out a funky shift in the seventh inning Sunday, with Kris Bryant as a fourth outfielder in left-center, Addison Russell as the only defender on the left side of the infield and Javy Baez playing on the grass in shallow right field. It worked, as Carpenter grounded it to Baez for a routine out.

Beyond that, all the Cubs can do is hope time eventually wears Carpenter down. After all, nobody can stay this hot forever.

Even though Carpenter and the Cardinals are leaving town after Sunday's game, these two team square off against each other again next weekend for the final series in St. Louis.

"For them, it's a blast to watch," Maddon said. "Give the guy credit. What he's working right now is unique. The last time I saw it was Daniel Murphy. 

"Before that, I think, was Barry Bonds in the World Series in 2002. Playoffs with Murphy a couple years ago, where the guy — every pitch that is thrown — he's on time, he's on balance with a forceful swing that looks like the ball can go out of the ballpark every time. Bonds, Murphy and now him."

That's some serious company to be in.

So what's led to this insane stretch from Carpenter?

Maybe it's the salsa.

When told about that theory, Maddon laughed and said:

"Listen, that makes total sense to me. Can he send a jar over here, please?"