White Sox

Word On the Street: Peppers fined 10k

Word On the Street: Peppers fined 10k

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Peppers fined 10K

Bears defensive end Julius Peppers was fined 10,000 by the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Sunday's NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field. The hit (pictured right) resulted in a 15-yard penalty. (ChicagoBreakingSports)
James Johnson to D-League
Despite an impressive pre-season showing, Bulls forward James Johnson received minimal playing time in the first half of the season. Johnson has been rumored to be on the trading block, but because he has only played in 12 games with limited success this season, teams seem hesitant to pull the trigger on a deal. As a result, Johnson is expected to be assigned to the Iowa Energy of the D-League, by his own request, where he can receive more playing time and showcase his talents.

When the Bulls do make the move official, it will be the first time that the Bulls have made use of the D-League since assigning Shannon Brown, Cedric Simmons, Demetris Nichols and JamesOn Curry to the Energy during the 2007-08 season. (CSNChicago.com)

IHSA suspends 7 area high schools

The Illinois High School Association suspended seven chicago-area high schools from state competition on Thursday for failing to attend town hallprincipal rules meetings for two consecutive years. The suspended schools are Chicago's Orr, Academy of Scholastic Achievement, Best Practice, Henry Ford Power House Charter and Las Casas, Plainfield's Christ Lutheran Academy and Rockford's Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

These schools were put on probation after failing to appear last year, and after missing this school year's meetings in November, they were given the chance to attend a pair of make up meetings this month. (Chicago Tribune)

NASCAR changing scoring system

NASCAR chairman Brian France announced on Wednesday that the racing league will be scraping the scoring system they have used since 1975 for a simpler format. The system will still be point-based, but the values of wins and finishing positions have been changed.

"Now everyone will know, when a driver is down by 10 points, that he needs to pass 11 more cars to take the lead in the point standings," France said. "We (had) a point system that's hard to describe for ourselves. We just thought this was the perfect time ... (to) simplify it so people can follow." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Noah getting closer to return

Noah and his Bulls teammates are beginning to get excited at the prospect of an early return. Noah is approaching the six-week mark after a surgery that was expected to keep him out of action for 8-12 weeks and though he is not yet ready to return, head coach Tom Thibodeau says he is ahead of schedule.

"The next step will be getting him on the court to do non-contact stuff," Thibodeau said. "He's probably a week or two away from that. Once he can get through the non-contact part of practice, then the next step will be contact in practice. When he gets through that, then he plays. He's still two steps away." (Chicago Tribune)

White Sox Talk Podcast: The 10th anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

White Sox Talk Podcast: The 10th anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

Chuck Garfien and Steve Stone take a look back at Mark Buehrle's perfect game. How did Buehrle do it? How did Dewayne Wise make that catch?

Plus, Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski talk about how Buehrle actually told Pierzynski before taking that field that day that he would throw a perfect game and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Road struggles continue for Cubs in late-game implosion against Giants

Road struggles continue for Cubs in late-game implosion against Giants

It’s no secret that the Cubs have had their fair share of struggles on the road this season. Entering Monday’s game the Giants – the first of a nine-game road trip -- the Cubs held an 18-27 road record, 21st in all of baseball.

Things took a turn for the worse in that department on Monday night.

Clinging to a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning, the Cubs called upon reliever Pedro Strop to shut down the Giants 3-4-5 hitters. Strop, who entered action with a 4.62 ERA in 29 appearances (5.40 in July), surrendered three runs on four hits – including three doubles. The end result was the Giants taking a 5-4 lead, ultimately the game’s final score.

While Strop’s outing will get the most face time due to it occurring in a high-leverage spot, the truth of the matter is that the Cubs struggled for much of Monday’s game. After taking an early 3-0 lead, they couldn’t pull away from the Giants, watching San Francisco slowly close the gap and cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fifth inning.

The Giants actually came close to tying the game at 3-3 in the seventh inning, though Steve Cishek was able to work out of a first and second, one out jam to keep the Cubs ahead. Plus, before consecutive two out singles in the eighth inning – one being an RBI from Anthony Rizzo to give the Cubs an insurance run, the Cubs offense went through a 1-for-15 drought that began with two outs in the third inning.

At the same time, Strop struggling again is quite concerning. The 34-year-old has been the team's most reliable reliever for the past five seasons, posting sub-3.00 ERAs in each campaign from 2014-18. However, he's in the midst of a forgettable month, allowing seven runs on 11 hits in 7 2/3 innings. Strop also surrendered a game-tying home run in the eighth inning Friday against the Padres, though the Cubs were able to bounce back and win. 

Between their road woes and Strop's rough July, Monday's game did nothing to alleviate concerns over two unsettling Cubs trends. If there's one positive to take away from the game, it's that the Cubs were six outs away from picking up their third road win in seven tries this month.

Moral victories count for little when a team is in a heated pennant race, though, especially since the Cardinals took down the Pirates Monday to cut the Cubs' lead in the NL Central to 1.5 games. The Cubs have to find a way to get better on the road, and they have to find a way to get Strop back on track. Fortunately for the Cubs, there's still time to do both, as Strop pointed out postgame.

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