Cubs

Word on the Street: Obama backs the Bears

Word on the Street: Obama backs the Bears

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Obama to be the first President attend the Super Bowl?

President Barack Obama has never hid his love for Chicago sports teams. An avid White Sox fan, plus a Blackhawks supporter last summer, the President is now showing the Bears some love.

Obama announced today from the Oval Office that he will "no doubt" be going to Dallas to watch the Bears play in the Super Bowl should they win this weekend against the Green Bay Packers. (NBC Chicago)

Carmelo Anthony not getting any closer to Chicago

Representatives for Carmelo Anthony are engaging the Chicago Bulls with hopes of pushing them into becoming a serious bidder for the Denver Nuggets star. Trade discussions have completely stopped with the New Jersey Nets, and Anthony has been enthusiastic about a possible trade to the Bulls for a while.

But Denver and Chicago officials had been previously unable to come to terms on a deal. John Paxson and Gar Forman are interested in acquiring Anthony, but are not ready to lose Joakim Noah.

Anthony has reportedly been a very unhappy client, and is pressuring his agents to make a deal soon. (Yahoo! Sports)

Toews relieved to be without All-Star captain title

Blackhawks fans were a bit upset after the outcome of the NHL All-Star Game's captain selection, as Jonathan Toews was not selected. But that didn't upset Toews at all.

"I'm relieved ... I'm more comfortable sitting on the outside. It's only my second All-Star Game appearance. There's no reason to take all that pressure right off the bat," Toews said after practice.

The Red Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom and Hurricanes' Eric Stall were selected team captains for the Jan. 30 game. (Chicago Tribune)

White Sox invite 14 non-roster players to spring training

With spring training right around the corner, the White Sox have added new players to their list of non-roster invitees.

Earlier this winter, the Sox agreed to minor-league contracts (with spring training invitations) to pitchers Brian Bruney, Jeff Gray, Josh Kinney, Shane Lindsay and Miguel Socolovich. Catchers Donny Lucy and Jared Price and infielder Dallas McPherson were also signed to minor-league deals.

Left-hander Charlie Leesman, outfielder Jordan Danks and catcher Josh Phegley were among the 14 players invited to the White Sox's spring training as non-roster invitees. (Chicago Tribune)

Milton Bradley arrested on felony charge

Milton Bradley was not the most popular player in Chicago. And it looks like he's not that well-liked in Los Angeles either.

At 10:40 a.m. at a residence in Encino, Calif., Bradley was arrested about two hours after police received a call from an unidentified woman saying a man had threatened her.

The former Cub was booked on a felony charge of making criminal threats and released after he posted 50,000 bail. His court date is set for Feb. 8. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Former Sox Crede signs with Rockies

The Colorado Rockies signed former White Sox third baseman Joe Crede to a minor-league contract with an invite to major league camp in spring training.

Crede was a member of the 2005 World Series championship team. He played only 90 games for the Minnesota Twins in 2009, hitting .225 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI. He sat out the entire 2010 season because of back injuries. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Green Bay paper apologizes for spelling error

After spelling "Chicago" incorrectly in a front page headline that read "On To Chicaco," Bears fans had some new material to work with.

Today, the Green Bay Press-Gazette apologized for the spelling error saying "We know the great city of Chicago is spelled with two "C"s and a "G," and not three "C"s. We were equally embarrassed we got it wrong in the first place and then failed to catch it in the proofreading process."

The paper went on to say that in the event the Packers move on to the Super Bowl, they will spell the host city of Dallas correctly. (Chicago Tribune)

Cubs get more encouraging news on Jon Lester

Cubs get more encouraging news on Jon Lester

The news on Brandon Morrow might not be so positive, but the Cubs did receive very good reports on their injured ace this weekend.

Jon Lester threw a simulated game against a couple of his Cubs teammates Saturday morning at Wrigley Field, tossing 45 pitches in total. In between "innings" of the sim game, Lester was also working out on the side in an effort to ramp up the intensity and simulate more of a game feel to see how his injured left hamstring will respond.

Lester initially went on the injured list two weeks ago after he was removed in the third inning of the Cubs' home opener on April 8, when he hurt his hamstring running the bases.

"[The sim game went] really well," Joe Maddon said Saturday morning. "I thought he looked very good. Pretty amazing where he's at already. ... Did not hold back at all, so it's very encouraging."

Maddon also said he thought Lester's stuff looked good from where he was watching behind the catcher and pointed out that the Cubs ace was "hypercritical of himself," indicating that Lester's focus was on competing and making good pitches instead of worrying about his hamstring or any physical limitations.

The Cubs don't have a next step mapped out for Lester just yet, as they will see how the 35-year-old feels Sunday after the "rigorous" activity Saturday.

There is currently no timetable for his return, but Maddon didn't rule out the possibility that Lester would be able to pitch sometime in the coming week.

The Cubs rotation has looked very good since Lester went down — combining for a 0.96 ERA in the last 7 games before Yu Darvish struggled early in Saturday's tilt with the Diamondbacks.

Tyler Chatwood gets the ball for the Cubs Sunday to close out the series against Arizona and then the team has Jose Quintana and Cole Hamels lined up for the first two games of the series against the Dodgers when they come to town Tuesday night. 

The Cubs won't need a fifth starter in the rotation again until next Saturday, April 27, so that could be a date to circle for a possible Lester return if all continues to go well in the veteran's recovery.

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Cubs shut down Brandon Morrow after setback

Cubs shut down Brandon Morrow after setback

Brandon Morrow will not be ready to join the Cubs bullpen in the near future.

It was expected the closer would miss at least the first month of the season after recovering from November elbow surgery, but now the Cubs say Morrow has suffered a setback and they're shutting down the 34-year-old pitcher.

Morrow threw a bullpen at the Cubs' complex in Arizona earlier in the week and experienced some of the same issues in his arm after.

"The bounceback after the last time out wasn't as good, so we gotta back off him once again and just slow things down," Joe Maddon said Saturday morning. "It's just where he's at. It's not unlike what had been going on earlier.

"It was all trending very well and this last time, just not as good. So we have to pay attention to what he's saying."

Morrow will not pick up a baseball for a little while, though the Cubs didn't specify exactly how long that would be. This obviously pushes Morrow's timeline back significantly and raises serious questions about his status moving forward this season.

He has not appeared in a game since July 15 last year, hitting the shelf with what was classified as a biceps issue initially and then later revealed as a bone bruise. The surgery in November was a debridement procedure similar to what Yu Darvish underwent in September for his own bone bruise.

The Cubs have been very conservative with Morrow throughout his entire recovery, especially given his long injury history. 

Yet even with that conservative approach, nine months away from game action to let the injury recover and the procedure on his elbow to clean things up, Morrow is still experiencing similar issues to what he went through in the second half of last year. As he tried to come back and join the Cubs' pennant race last August and September, Morrow also struggled bouncing back after throwing sessions.

It will be a bit until the Cubs have any sort of definitive timeline on Morrow, but in the meantime, they'll continue piecing together a bullpen that has found its footing lately after a brutal stretch to begin the season. 

The Cubs also have some reinforcements on the way soon in the form of veterans Xavier Cedeno and Tony Barnette, who both signed free-agent deals with the team over the winter. Cedeno, a 32-year-old lefty, is throwing another rehab game in Double-A Tennessee Saturday while Barnette — a 35-year-old righty — is expected to make his first rehab appearance with Triple-A Iowa Sunday.

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