Fire

Word on the Street: Burleson guarantees Lions win

Word on the Street: Burleson guarantees Lions win

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Nate Burleson guarantees Lions' win

Sure, the Lions will be starting their third string quarterback against a Bears defense that has been dominant as of late, but that hasn't phased Nate Burleson. Burleson has guaranteed a Lions win over the surging 8-3 Bears.

"Yeah, I said we're going to win," Burleson said. "I am not saying the Chicago Bears aren't good, they are a very good football team. They can take this as bulletin board material if they want, but we play to win the game." (The Detroit News)

Jordan, UCF upset No. 18 Florida

Marcus Jordan, son of NBA-legend Michael Jordan, led the University of Central Florida to an impressive 57-54 upset of the No. 18 Flordia Gators on Wednesday. Jordan scored 18 points on 6 of 11 from the field and played tight defense, shutting down Florida's big scorers. (Orlando Sentinel)

Sox prospect Phegley recovering after surgery

White Sox catching prospect Josh Phegley is reportedly making a strong recovery after having his spleen removed on Nov. 5 in Chicago. Phegley suffers from Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a condition that results in low blood platelets. The Sox's medical staff consulted with several experts who concluded that the surgery was Phegley's best chance to overcome the condition.

Since the surgery, Phegley has returned to working out and says his platelet counts are "real good." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Lions' Stanton less than fond of Martz

Detroit Lions quarterback Drew Stanton, who will start this Sunday against the Bears, spent the early years of his career with Mike Martz as his offensive coordinator during Martz's time in Detroit. And while Martz may be known by many around the league as an offensive genius, Stanton was apparently less than impressed.

Stanton says Martz attempted to change his throwing motion, an endeavor that left both men frustrated.

"Obviously, with some of the stuff that he was doing with my mechanics and what-not just wasn't natural for me," said Stanton. Asked if he retained any fundamental changes from his time with Martz, Stanton said "Not a single one." (Mlive.com)

Forbes: Blackhawks seventh most valuable NHL team

After winning the Stanley Cup championship last year, the Blackhawks were forced to cut salaries to keep themselves within the boundaries of the NHL salary cap. However, the rest of their financial operation seems to be doing quite well. Forbes magazine listed the Blackhawks as the seventh most valuable team in the NHL, worth 300 million dollars - a 16 percent increase over last year's value.

The Hawks are still far behind the NHL's most valuable team, the Toronto Maple leafs, who are valued at 505 million. (ChicagoBreakingSports)
Favre to retire after this season... No, really

Apparently it's that time of year again. No, not the holiday season; it's time for Brett Favre's yearly retirement. This time, he says, it's for real. He told the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Wednesday that he feels like he's accomplished everything he could possibly accomplish in his career and this time he's done for good.

Asked if he had any second thoughts, Favre said, "I'm done, I'm done." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

'85 Bears a "failed dynasty?"

After the Bears' nearly-perfect 1985 Super Bowl season it seemed as though the Bears were a blossoming dynasty. They had it all; a shut-down defense, a great coach, and one of the greatest running back's of all time. Unfortunately, that never happened. Just three years later they found themselves dominated 28-3 by the San Francisco 49ers in a frigid NFC title game at Soldier Field.

This disappointing fall from greatness earned the Bears the No. 5 spot on Sports Illustrated's Top 10 Failed Dynasties list. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Rose named Bulls player of the month

Derrick Rose and the Bulls are fresh off their first successful west-coast circus trip since the final season His Airness was in Chicago, and Rose is being rewarded for his leadership on the trip. On Wednesday he was named the team's player of the month for November.

The NBA will announce the league's player of the month on Friday and Rose has a great shot at that award as well. He averaged 26.6 points, 8.2 assists, and 4.6 rebounds during the month of November. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Ever wonder what a Portillo's soccer jersey would look like?

portillos.jpg
@JTHAZZARD

Ever wonder what a Portillo's soccer jersey would look like?

Portillo's has become a staple in the Chicagoland area due to its popular hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and now, its soccer jerseys.

OK, maybe one of these does not belong with the others. Regardless, Twitter user @JTHazzard created mock-up soccer jerseys mashing MLS teams and restaurants based in that team's city, and the Portillo's jersey is sweet. 

From the Portillo's logo taking center-stage to the picnic blanket pattern to the discrete Chicago Fire logo, this jersey is absolutely brilliant. The only change this writer would make is including the logo below instead.

Valspar is the current sponsor featured on the Fire's uniforms. If the team ever needs a new sponsor, though, Portillo's would be an excellent replacement.

The White Sox sent down Carson Fulmer, so why isn't Lucas Giolito receiving the same treatment?

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AP

The White Sox sent down Carson Fulmer, so why isn't Lucas Giolito receiving the same treatment?

Lucas Giolito is having a rough go of things in his second year with the White Sox.

He came into the season with some pretty high expectations after posting a 2.38 ERA in seven starts at the end of the 2017 campaign and then dominating during spring training. But he’s done anything but dominate since this season started, and after one of his worst outings in Thursday’s 9-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, he’s got a 7.53 ERA in 10 starts in 2018.

Giolito stuck around for only four outs Thursday, but he allowed the Orioles to do plenty of damage, giving up seven runs on six hits — two of which were back-to-back home runs to start the second inning — and three walks. He leads the American League with his 37 walks.

“I take what I do very seriously. I work as hard as I can at it,” Giolito said. “So when I experience failure like this, it’s kind of hard to deal with. All I can do is come back tomorrow, keep working on things and hopefully have a better one.”

All of Giolito’s struggles have fans wondering why the White Sox haven’t sent him down to Triple-A to work on his craft.

“I don’t foresee that at this particular time,” Rick Renteria said when asked if Giolito could be sent to Triple-A. “I think he’s just a young man who’s got to continue to minimize the emotional aspect of crossing from preparation into the game and staying focused, relaxed and hammer the zone with strikes. And truthfully it’s just first-pitch strike and get after the next one.”

The White Sox have already sent one young pitcher down in Carson Fulmer, who was having a nightmarish time at the big league level. Fulmer’s results were worse than Giolito’s on a regular basis. He got sent down after posting an 8.07 ERA in nine outings.

But hasn’t Giolito suffered through command issues enough to warrant some time away from the major league limelight? According to his manager, Giolito’s situation is vastly different than Fulmer’s.

“I don’t see them anywhere near each other,” Renteria said. “They’re two different competitors in terms of the outcomes that they’ve had. Lucas has at least had situations in which he might have struggled early and been able to gain some confidence through the middle rounds of his start and continue to propel himself to finish some ballgames, give us six or seven innings at times. So it’s two different guys.

“With Gio, I expect that we would have a nice clean start from the beginning, but when he doesn’t I still feel like if he gets through it he’ll settle down and continue to hammer away at what he needs to do in order to get deeper into a ballgame, and that was a little different with Carson. With Carson it was right from the get-go he was struggling, and he had a difficult time extending his outings after the third or fourth because it just kept getting too deep into his pitch count and not really hammering the strike zone as much.”

Renteria is not wrong. Giolito has had a knack to take a rough beginning to a start and turn it into five or six innings. Notably, he gave up a couple first-inning runs and walked seven hitters and still got the win against the Cubs a week and a half ago. And while his first-inning ERA is 10.80 and his second-inning ERA is 12.54, he’s pitched into at least the sixth inning in seven of his 10 starts.

Renteria’s point is that Giolito is learning how to shake off early damage and achieving the goal, most times out, of eating up innings and keeping his team in the game. Those are a couple valuable qualities to develop for a young pitcher. But are those the lone qualities that determine that Giolito is suited to continue his learning process at the major league level? His command remains a glaring problem, and both he and Renteria admitted that his problems are more mental than physical.

“The one thing everyone has to understand is we have to go beyond the physical and attack a little bit more of the mental and emotional and try to connect and slow that down,” Renteria said. “Those aspects are the ones that ultimately, at times, deal in the derailment of the physical action. So if we can kind of calm that down a little bit.

“He’s very focused. Giolito is high intensity. Nice kid but high-intensity young man when he gets on the mound. You might not believe it. He’s going 100 mph. So I think it goes to more just trusting himself, trusting the process, taking it truthfully one pitch at a time.”

Well, if a demotion to the minors isn’t likely, what about moving Giolito to the bullpen? Carlos Rodon and Chris Sale dipped their toes in bullpen waters before moving to the rotation. Could a reversal of that strategy help Giolito?

Well, the current state of the White Sox starting rotation — Fulmer in the minors, Miguel Gonzalez on the 60-day DL and pitchers like James Shields, Hector Santiago and Dylan Covey, who aren’t exactly long-term pieces, getting a lot of starts — doesn’t really allow for another piece to be removed.

“I know they have done it with Rodon and Sale,” Renteria said. “The difference is we don’t have the makeup of the starting rotation that those clubs had in order to put those guys in the ‘pen. We are in a different situation right now. Moving forward, is that something we can possibly do? Absolutely. It has been done with very good success.

“Right now we are in truly discovery mode and adjustment mode and adapting and trying to do everything we can to get these guys to develop their skill sets to be very usable and effective at the major league level and we are doing it to the best of our ability.”

There could be promise in the fact that Giolito has turned a season around as recently as last year. Before he was impressing on the South Side in August and September, he was struggling at Triple-A Charlotte. Even after he ironed things out, things had gotten off to a rocky enough start that he owned a 4.48 ERA and 10 losses when he was called up to the bigs.

It doesn’t seem Giolito will be going back to Charlotte, unless things continue to go in a dramatically poor direction. Right now, these are just more of the growing pains during this rebuilding process. “The hardest part of the rebuild” doesn’t just means wins and losses. It means watching some players struggle through speed bumps as they continue to develop into what the White Sox hope they’ll be when this team is ready to compete.