Word on the Street: NBA postpones training camp

Word on the Street: NBA postpones training camp

Thursday Sept. 22, 2011
NBA postpones training camp

There was no deal when both the owners and players union met on Thursday and there won't be another negotiation until next week. However, players have agreed to lower their cut to 53 percent. The league and the union have said that there is still enough time to reach a deal so the season could start on time. That same statement was not indicated in the meeting on Thursday. (AOL SportingNews)

FOX to apologize?

FOX admitted to their faulty headlines about Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler,so where's the apology? Fox's vice president of communication Dan Bellsaid Nobody tries to be more perfect than we do at Fox Sports . . . .We understand that we were wrong. OK, where's the real apology? Belldoesn't feel the need to apologize live during or before the game on Sundayagainst the Packers. He said they already apologized to the Tribune and on the The Score 670. Bell also said he thinks they've made itclear that they apologized. (Chicago Tribune)
Farewell Ramirez?

Has Aramis Ramirez taken his last at-bat for the Cubs? It seems as though the Cubs have decided to let him go as a free agent rather than picking up the option on his contract. He would come at a high price on the open market, with a batting average of .302 and 92 RBIs. He's the best third baseman on the North Side since Ron Santo. Ramirez could sign with the Tigers, Angels or Yankees. (Chicago Tribune)

Metta World Peace donates to mental charities
Metta World Peace has chosen to give away more than 500,000 to mental charities in the nation. He raised the money by auctioning his 2010 Lakers championship ring. World Peace has already donated 285,000. World Peace has a special place in his heart for the mental health of children since he had problems at 13 years old. (ProBasketball Talk)

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

The Wrigley Field basket has played a huge role in this week's Cubs-Reds series.

In Monday night's game, Cincinnati catcher Curt Casali hit a game-tying homer into the basket in the seventh inning of a game the Cubs went on to lose.

But the basket giveth and the basket also taketh away.

Tuesday night, it was Kyle Schwarber and the Cubs who were singing the praises of one of the strangest ballpark quirks in baseball.

Schwarber connected on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning off Reds closer Raisel Iglesias, hitting a fly ball through the impossibly-humid air and into the basket in left-centerfield for a 4-3 Cubs win.

"Whoever thought about that basket — whenever that occurred — tell them, 'thank you,'" Joe Maddon said. "Although it did work against us [Monday]. When it works for you, it's awesome."

Schwarber has stood under the left-field basket many times with his back against the wall, thinking he might be able to make a play on a high fly ball only to see it settle into the wickets and turn into a chance for a Bleacher Bum to show off their arm. 

But is he a huge fan of the basket now that it worked in his favor?

"I guess so," Schwarber laughed. "Yesterday, it cost us, but today, it helped us out. It's just the factor of Wrigley Field. Happy it worked out today."

It was Schwarber's first career walk off RBI of any kind.

It was the Cubs' fourth walk-off homer of the season, but their first since May 11 when Willson Contreras called "game" on the Milwaukee Brewers. 

The Cubs are now 4-1 since the All-Star Break and hold a 2.5-game lead in the division.

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease picked up a win in his first start, but his second did not go as well.

Cease pitched six innings Tuesday at the Royals and gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk. He struck out seven, but took the loss in an ugly game for the White Sox.

The game got off to an ominous start with Eloy Jimenez getting injured on the first batter Cease faced. The White Sox defense didn’t help Cease much either with three errors (Cease had one of those on an errant pickoff throw).

After giving up six runs in the first four innings, Cease settled down to retire the final eight batters he faced. He finished with seven strikeouts against just one walk and threw 67 of his 108 pitches for strikes.

Cease struck out six in his first start and is the first pitcher in White Sox history to strike out six or more in each of his first two career appearances.

A deeper look at Cease’s numbers show his swing and miss stuff hasn’t quite caught on as expected so far. Cease got 13 swinging strikes in 101 pitches in his major league debut. He got 12 whiffs on 108 pitches on Tuesday. His slider did get five swinging strikes on 25 pitches against the Royals.

Fastball command remains a key part to Cease’s success. He only threw 26 out of 54 fastballs for strikes in his debut. Cease improved upon that with 31 strikes on 50 fastballs against the Royals.

Most of the Royals’ damage came against Cease’s fastball as well. Six of the Royals’ eight hits off Cease, including all three extra base hits, were off heaters. Cease also gave up four hits with two strikes.

There has been plenty of hype surrounding Cease since he joined the White Sox, but he hasn’t hit the ground running in the majors just yet. Having 13 days between the first two starts of his career due to the all-star break and the White Sox giving him some extra rest also isn’t the ideal scenario for a young pitcher.

Cease’s ERA is now at 5.73, which isn’t going to set the world on fire. Still, there have been enough positives in his first two starts to see where reasonable improvement could lead to Cease becoming the pitcher the White Sox expect him to be.


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