Cubs

Word on the Street: Ozzie's fashion statement

Word on the Street: Ozzie's fashion statement

Friday, April 1, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Ozzie sporting a new look?

Ozzie Guillen showed up to the postgame press conference with a new wardrobe, a shirt that read "Ozzie mows Wrigley Field," complete with a photo of the White Sox manager mowing the lawn at the Cubs' home field. (CSNChicago.com)

Rodman in the Hall of Fame?

The Pistons honored Dennis Rodman by retiring his No. 10 Friday night, but a bigger honor awaits Monday.

A Pistons source confirms that the NBA will announce that Rodman is part of the 2011 class of Hall of Fame inductees.

Rodman didn't speak much on the topic of the Hall of Fame during a 20-minute press conference Friday evening, deflecting one question about it by saying he had a lot going on. But he did touch on several other topics and became very emotional at times. (mlive.com)Holliday to undergo appendectomy

The St. Louis Cardinals will have to play without another major contributor for a while this season. Just a day after hitting a solo home run in the season opener, Matt Holliday will undergo an appendectomy.

The outfielder went home after the 5-3 extra-inning loss to the Padres and began feeling pain.

General manager John Mozeliak said the club will not make any roster moves today, instead waiting to hear from doctors about how the surgery goes. (StlToday.com)

The best goal call in Fire history?

The Chicago Fire defeated the Colorado Rapids in the second round of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifying at Shea Stadium in Peoria on Wednesday. But it is the energetic and at times hysterical goal calls that have had fans talking.

Communications Manager Brendan Hannan made his play-by-play debut alongside Team Writer Jeff Crandall, and drew inspiration from Jerry Seinfeld. (Chicago-Fire.com)

More and more agree: Cam Newton is No. 1 pick

On NFL Network's late-night edition of "Total Access" Thursday, Albert Breer became the latest reporter to predict Cam Newton will be the No. 1 selection in April's draft.

"If you ask me today, Cam Newton goes to Carolina with (the) first pick, Breer wrote on Twitter just before the segment. Breer added on air, This kid has dealt with a lot of things. And hes been a leader throughout it. I spoke to a personnel man recently. He would be shocked if Cam Newton wasnt the No. 1 overall pick. (Newton) still remains strong there as the top quarterback in the draft. (ProFootballTalk)

Krause leaving Sox for Arizona job

The White Sox's struggling effort to maintain a presence in Latin America is facing yet another challenge. Director of White Sox international scouting Jerry Krause will leave the team to take a position with Arizona.

Krause held his position with the Sox for less than one year. He leaves to serve as special assistant to Jerry DiPoto, the Diamondbacks' executive vice president of scouting and player development.

Krause was the Bulls' former general manager and had spent 21 of his 37 years scouting baseball players. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Unlikely ex-Hawk garners Goal of the Night honors

The folks at ProHockeyTalk select the best save and goal every night during the NHL season, and last night, Ben Eager won the title of Best Goal of the Night.

No, this is not an April Fool's Day joke, Eager, the former Blackhawks enforcer is the legitimate Goal of the Night winner.

Currently on the San Jose Sharks, Eager showed that he could use his hands for more than just fighting, taking a nice pass and moving it to his backhand to score a beauty of a goal. (ProHockeyTalk)

Potential Kris Bryant trade market becomes clearer after Anthony Rendon lands with Angels

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USA TODAY

Potential Kris Bryant trade market becomes clearer after Anthony Rendon lands with Angels

The first domino of this offseason’s third base market has fallen.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, free agent Anthony Rendon is set to sign a seven-year, $245 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Texas Rangers were also linked to Rendon in recent days, but they’ll now have to shift their focus elsewhere. Texas’ attention is now on the other superstar free agent third baseman — Josh Donaldson — as MLB.com’s TR Sullivan reported. The same can be said about Rendon’s former team, the Washington Nationals.

This leads us to the Cubs and Kris Bryant. With Rendon off the board and Donaldson soon to follow, a potential trade market for the Cubs third baseman is growing clearer.

Only one of the Rangers and Nationals can sign Donaldson, not to mention his most recent team — the Atlanta Braves. When Donaldson’s domino falls, two of these teams will be left empty-handed in their pursuit of a third baseman.

The Los Angeles Dodgers also were linked to Rendon, though they don’t necessarily need a third baseman with Justin Turner manning the hot corner. Their pursuit of Rendon points to how they’re willing to shift Turner off third base, however. Add them to the list of teams seeking third base help.

Add that all up, and you have four teams in the market for Donaldson. The Cubs aren’t guaranteed to trade Bryant, but they’ll soon find themselves with some leverage. For the three teams that don’t land Donaldson, the most logical move will be to inquire with the Cubs about trading for Bryant.

Bryant’s unresolved grievance case will be an issue in any potential negotiations. The difference between two years of control (if he loses) and one (if he wins) is big when it comes to his value. Even though they’ll have leverage over interested teams, the Cubs will yield stronger trade proposals for Bryant if he loses his case.

But, again, a trade is no certainty. What is certain is teams will be inquiring about Bryant in the not-so-distant future, once Donaldson chooses his free agent destination.

Four observations: Bulls rout Atlanta Hawks in much-needed get-right game

Four observations: Bulls rout Atlanta Hawks in much-needed get-right game

The Bulls picked up a valuable get-right win in a 136-102 blowout of the Atlanta Hawks. Observations from a game the Bulls had to win, and did handily:

The bench provided a spark (again)

Bulls starters not named Zach LaVine got off to a sluggish start in this one. At the 3:14 mark of the first, the Hawks led 29-21 and were shooting a scalding 13-for-18 (72.2%) from the field (3-for-6 from 3-point range). LaVine had 12 of the Bulls’ 21 points.

The hosts ended the period ahead 37-33, buoyed by a 16-4 run by a bench unit of Coby White, Ryan Arcidiacono, Denzel Valentine, Thad Young, and Daniel Gafford. Valentine hit four floaters over that stretch, Gafford had a resounding block, White had a strong and-one take over Alex Len and Thad Young tallied five points, for good measure. 

Bench runs have become commonplace for this Bulls team, even in the midst of a three-game losing streak. This one carried over into the second quarter, which the Bulls won 29-19, holding Atlanta to 6-for-21 (28.6%) shooting, 2-for-10 (20%) from three. They didn't look back from there.

Young finished the first half with nine points, four rebounds, and two assists. White had a flashy night — tallying 19 points. Valentine and Gafford connected on a handful of alley-oops (which has quickly become a tradition).

Zach LaVine bounced back

LaVine — averaging 20 points on 33.3% shooting during the team’s three-game losing streak — was ripe for a breakout, and this Hawks team (29th in the NBA in defensive rating) presented an opportunity to bounce back. He took advantage.

As mentioned, LaVine carried the Bulls offense early: he had 18 first-half points on 7-for-9 shooting. Embedded in that line were a few highlight-reel dunks that awoke the United Center:

He tacked on a cool 17 (!) in the third quarter before coming out with the game out of reach for the Hawks. LaVine finished the night leading all scorers with 35 points and shot a staggering 7-for-7 from 3-point range. When he’s on, it’s too much fun, and he dazzled in this one. 

In a favorable matchup, the defense kept rolling

Coming into this game, we knew the Bulls defense, theoretically, matched up well with Atlanta’s offense plan of attack. For the most part, that bore out, in practice.

Kris Dunn was outstanding in containing Trae Young tonight, hounding him off of every screen (where he was usually aided by a hedge from the big in coverage) and staying attached even in instances when Young was able to penetrate.

Young didn’t score until the 11:07 mark in the second quarter and finished the night with 15 points on 4-for-14 shooting (1-for-6 from three) and seven turnovers. This is the fourth-leading scorer in the NBA we’re talking about here. He did rack up 13 assists (six in the first quarter) — and some were very, very pretty — but most of those came in transition. In the halfcourt, the Bulls’ set defense effectively bottled him up.

The Hawks, as a team, committed 23 turnovers on the night, which the Bulls were able to convert into 15 points. Atlanta is an inferior opponent, yes, but it was a strong showing, nonetheless.

Blowouts are fun

This one was a little too close for comfort early on but ended in a rout. The Bulls simply outclassed the Hawks, winning statistical categories this team has often been overmatched in, from rebounds (42-40) to points in the paint (78-42), to blocks (7-4), to the 3-point battle. Lauri Markkanen even utilized garbage time to turn a fine stat line into a good one: he had 10 points in the fourth quarter, finishing the game with 22 points on 8-for-9 shooting. 

So, you know what? Rest your brain with some of the best clips of the night. You’ve earned it:

 

 

 

 

The Bulls can push questions about fourth-quarter stagnation, cold shooting streaks, and crowded rotations until this weekend. This was a solid overall performance.

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