White Sox

Word on the Street: Rose feeling pressure from MJ?

Word on the Street: Rose feeling pressure from MJ?

Monday, March 14, 2011CSNChicago.com

Rose feeling pressured by Jordan's praise?

After announcing to the press that his pick for MVP was Derrick Rose, and telling thousands of fans at a packed United Center that more championships were on the way for Chicago, Michael Jordan may have put more stress on his old team than he had originally intended.

"That's a lot of pressure," Rose said. "A lot of pressure, I don't know why he did it. We're still trying to become a 48-minute team and that's the only thing we're worried about right now." (Pro Basketball Talk)

Does Milbury think Blackhawks can repeat?

When the Blackhawks visited the Capitals on Sunday, Pierre Lebrun asked Mike Milbury if he thought the Hawks could win the Stanley Cup two years in a row. Milbury said there is indeed hope for the team, but that it would be a difficult feat to accomplish.

"They've really turned it up a notch in the last couple of months," Milbury said. I think Toews has got 'em going in the right direction. But they've got a lot of guys to get through before they get to the finals. It'll be a tough road for them."

He also called Patrick Kane a "lovable imp," saying "he's the guy that puts tacks on seats and gum under the desks." (Pro Hockey Talk)

DePaul Women's Basketball earns No. 3 seed

The records keep coming in for the DePaul Women's Basketball team. The Blue Demons earned a program-best No. 3 seed in the 2011 NCAA Championship. This marks the ninth consecutive NCAA Championship appearance for DePaul. The Blue Demons have been invited to 16 tournaments with its first appearance coming in 1990.

The Blue Demons play 14th seeded Navy on Saturday, Mar. 19th at Penn State. (DePaulBlueDemons.com)

Should the Blackhawks regret losing Niemi?

Well, Puck Daddy seems to be heading in that direction. Last year, the Blackhawks walked away from an arbitration decision that ended up making Antti Niemi a free agent. He was quickly picked up by the San Jose Sharks for a 1-year deal, then received a a 4-year contract extension.

Meanwhile, rookie Core Crawford has appeared in 39 games this season, taking over the starting gig from Marty Turco much in the same way Niemi burie Cristobal Huet on the depth chart last season. Crawford is a likely finalist for the Calder trophy as a rookie netminder.

But the thing that nets the most press about this dispute? That would be Niemi's 3-0-0 record with a 1.96 GAA in three starts against the Blackhawks. (Puck Daddy)

Calvin Johnson catch will not lead to rule change

Remember that Calvin Johnson catch that wasn't a catch with 24 seconds remaining in the Week 1 meeting between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears at Soldier Field? Despite the fact that many assumed the league would rework the rule, a change will not be made in the NFL.

"That play will still be incomplete," New York Giants owner John Mara, a member of the competition committee said.

The reason behind remaining with the status quo is the belief that a change would leave too much interpretation for the officials. (National Football Post)

White Sox prospect Luis Robert on fire fresh off promotion to Triple-A

White Sox prospect Luis Robert on fire fresh off promotion to Triple-A

Luis Robert has been promoted twice in 2019, but nothing has slowed down his red-hot season.

The 21-year-old Cuban has only played in five games for Triple-A Charlotte, but has skipped past the adjustment period and has been productive in all five.

After collecting two hits, a walk and two stolen bases on Monday, Robert is hitting .429/.500/.810 for the Knights. He has reached base at least twice in every game with Charlotte.

Robert has shown some versatility in his game as well. He hit four extra base hits in his first three games, including two home runs in his first game for Charlotte. In the last two he has added three stolen bases. One of the stolen bases on Monday didn’t require a slide.


With Eloy Jimenez coming into his own for the White Sox and Dylan Cease one start into his major league career, Luis Robert is the clear gem of the White Sox system currently. The outfielder is ranked as the No. 5 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline.

Charlotte’s BB&T Ballpark is known as a hitters’ park and Triple-A plays with the same baseballs that have been under fire lately for being juiced for hitters in the majors. It makes sense that Robert would put up big numbers, but it’s still an impressive start that has White Sox fans antsy for his call-up.

It’s just five games and the White Sox haven’t been in any rush with their top prospects, but Robert is showing that he isn’t that far away from being ready for MLB pitching.

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Jason Heyward getting back to 'who he's supposed to be' in Cubs lineup

Jason Heyward getting back to 'who he's supposed to be' in Cubs lineup

This is the Jason Heyward the Cubs thought they were getting when they signed him to an eight-year deal in December 2015.

Back then, the Cubs believed Heyward had more power to tap into from his 6-foot-5, 240-pound, linebacker-esque frame. 

It didn't play out that way initially, with Heyward hitting only 26 homers to go along with a .367 slugging percentage and .688 OPS in his first three seasons in a Cubs uniform.

But all that has changed this year.

Heyward is on pace for 26 homers in 2019 — which would equal that three-year total — and his 71 RBI pace would be his highest since 2012, when he drove in 82 runs.

The 29-year-old hit his 15th homer of the season Sunday and it marks the first time he's eclipsed the 15-homer threshold since that same 2012 season, when he hit 27 dingers as a 22-year-old with the Atlanta Braves.

The power is the area that jumps off the page right now about the new and improved Heyward, but that carries with it a grain of salt that must be taken with everybody's longball total in the game right now. But his walk rate (11.6 percent) is the second-best mark of his career to only his rookie season in 2010. He's also pulling the ball less than he ever has and utilizing the middle of the field more while his hard and soft contact rates are far and away better than they've ever been in a Cubs uniform. 

All told, this is not the same hitter Cubs fans saw in the first three years of Heyward's megadeal.

"He's set up a little bit differently," Joe Maddon said. "Right now, his confidence is soaring. That ball was properly struck [Sunday afternoon] and he's been doing that often — even his basehits.

"... He's set up a little bit differently, but honestly, I think it's a confidence thing right now. He's feeling so good about himself. He's on the barrel more. I mean that's obvious. You don't see the ball off the weaker part of the bat nearly as often as we've seen in the past. I think that's the primary difference — the ball's off the barrel. 

"His hands are really alive. I love that the ball's still line to line, but the power is still showing up. I think that's exactly who he's supposed to be."

Sunday's homer was the game-winning hit for the Cubs and Heyward put his team in front once again Monday night with an RBI groundout to plate Kris Bryant in the fourth inning before a bullpen/defensive meltdown in the seventh inning. Oh yeah, and he got the game-winning knock in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday immediately after the Cubs gave the lead right back to the Pirates in the pivotal first game coming out of the All-Star Break.

He's been a difference-maker in this Cubs lineup all year, even as they search for more consistency and steady production. 

Heyward has gone from a guy who was on the bench in some of the most important games in the 2016-17 postseason because of his offensive issues to an integral part of this team's run production.

He's shown flashes of this in the past, including a month or so in the early part of last summer where he got really hot. But this has been sustained offensive production. In every month but May (when he batted .186 with a .618 OPS), Heyward has hit over .300 with an OPS well above league average, including a .968 mark in June and .992 in April.

But right now, he's not getting into all that. He's just trying to ride the wave of a long season.

"I don't try to break it down at all, honestly," Heyward said. "Just keep it simple and just stay in tune to what I got going on — first at-bat or whatever. It is kinda simple when you just look at it — not dwell on the negative, don't get too deep on that. 'Cause you're gonna fail. Just kinda choose how you want that to happen and make the best."