Cubs

Word on the Street: Rose leaps Rondo

Word on the Street: Rose leaps Rondo

Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Rose leaps Rondo

Derrick Rose has jumped in front of Celtics guard Rajon Rondo for second place among guards in Eastern Conference All-Star voting. Dwyane Wade currently leads all guards in the East. If Rose is chosen to start in this year's NBA All-Star Game, he will be the first Bull to do so since Michael Jordan in 1998.

Eastern Conference guard vote totals:
Dwyane Wade: 1,499,768
Derrick Rose: 1,225,575
Rajon Rondo: 1,171,311 (CSNChicago.com)

Cutler NFL's Most Hated Player?

There have been times, particularly after one of his trademark interception-riddled games, that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been one of Chicago's least favorite athletes. But is he the most-hated in the entire NFL? At least one columnist believes he just may be.

In columnist Rick Reilly's most recent article he says, "If Cutler is not The Most Hated Man in the NFL, he's in the running." The article, titled "Jay Cutler is No Teddy Bear," lists multiple incidents in which Cutler allegedly acted disrespectfully to former teammates and coaches. Because of his negative public image, Reilly says that this Sunday's game against the Seahawks is even bigger for Cutlerthan it is for the Bears.

"It's a huge moment for Cutler, if only because his disdain for making nice means everything rides on his wins and losses," Reilly writes. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Fire Draft Defense

With the ninth overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft the Chicago Fire bolstered their defense, selecting Jalil Anibaba of North Carolina. In his senior year at North Carolina, Anibaba was named a NSCAA second team All-American and first team All-ACC.

Jalil is a stout defender who will be a great addition to the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas said. His ability to play defensive soccer, distribute the ball from the back and control the back line will help us as we head into the 2011 MLS season. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Tatupu Out for Second Straight Practice

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu missed his second straight day of practice on Thursday as he attempts to recover from a concussion. Though his status for Sunday's divisional playoff game remains unknown, head coach Peter Carrol says he is optimistic that Tatupu will be able to go. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Broncos Hire Fox

The Denver Broncos have hired former Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox to fill their head coaching vacancy. Despite a disappointing 2-14 final season in Carolina, Fox did have measured success with the Panthers, compiling a 78-74 record - including the playoffs - over nine seasons. (AFP)

Beckham Drama-Free Year

After a 2010 season filled with drama surrounding a feud between White Sox general manager Kenny Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen as well as the trade for the notoriously-drama-prone Manny Ramirez, Sox second basemen Gordon Beckham is looking forward to a distraction-free season.

"We want to go out there and compete, we don't want outside drama to fill our locker room this year," Beckham said Thursday during a conference call. "We're going to try this year to thoroughly concentrate on baseball." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Favre's Sister Arrested on Meth Charge

What has been a rough few months for the Favre family appears to be getting even worse as Brett Favre's sister, Brandi Favre, has been arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and producing hazardous waste as a byproduct. This comes at the same time as Brett Favre is facing sexual harassment lawsuits.

If convicted, Brandi Favre could face up to 1 million in fines and up to 30 years in prison on each count. (ABC News)

It might have been just another dinger in homer-happy All-Star Game, but Willson Contreras will remember it forever

It might have been just another dinger in homer-happy All-Star Game, but Willson Contreras will remember it forever

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Willson Contreras’ third-inning home run might not have ended up standing out too much in an All-Star Game featuring a jaw-dropping and record-shattering 10 dingers.

But, obviously, it will always stand out to the guy who hit it.

“I enjoyed every single second that I spent out there.”

Remarkably, Contreras repeated his feat from two seasons ago, when he hit his first big league homer on the first big league pitch he ever saw. Ditto on Tuesday night at Nationals Park, when he launched the first pitch he saw as an All Star out over the wall in left field.

“When I hit the ball and thought it was gone, I went back to 2016, playing in Chicago. It was the same thing, first pitch for a homer,” Contreras, all smiles, said following the American League’s 8-6 victory. “I’m really blessed with these kinds of situations. Those moments, they’re going to be history and they’re going to be in my mind and my heart.”

Contreras’ long ball was the highlight of the evening for fans watching back home in Chicago. Javy Baez got a hit in his first All-Star at-bat but was outdone by his teammate. White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was hitless in his two trips to the plate.

And while it will be a highlight on this night for Cubs fans, it will be a highlight forever for Contreras, who enjoyed the heck out of his first All-Star experience.

“‘I did it, I did it,’” he said when asked what was going through his head. “I knew it was something special. And I wasn’t trying to do too much because these guys are nasty, throwing 98 in the first inning. I just tried to get the hit out.”

The nasty guy he went deep against was Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell, whose 2.27 ERA on the season made him a very worthy inclusion on the AL roster. But Contreras was more impressed with the guy who started the game for the National League, raving about Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer after the game.

“He was great, man. Great stuff, he gets so into the game,” Contreras said. “I would like to have him one day on my team or play with him for a few years. That guy is amazing.”

That’s not the current Nationals star Cubs fans are dreaming about, Willy, but point taken.

But it wasn’t Snell or Scherzer or even Baez or Jon Lester, also in the NL dugout, who Contreras was thinking about the most during his home run trot. Instead, Contreras was thinking about his grandfather, Ernesto, who passed away a few years ago.

“My grandpa, he died in 2015,” Contreras said. “I grew up with him.

“He didn’t play ball. But I feel like every time I go out there and step into the box, he’s at my back. It just feels amazing when you hit a homer or do something special, look at the sky and you know that he’s there smiling somewhere.”

It all made for a pretty incredible night for Contreras, who has officially and loudly taken his place among baseball’s best on the game’s biggest stage.

The only thing that was missing? The ball.

Yeah, Contreras didn’t get the ball, not that he really expected to. But if you’ve got it, he wants it.

“I don’t think they’re giving it back,” he said with a grin.

We’ll see. Social media’s a powerful tool. So reach out.

Manny Machado as a Dodger creates a formidable foe out west for the Cubs

Manny Machado as a Dodger creates a formidable foe out west for the Cubs

Well, it's finally happening, or at least it's going to happen. The Athletics' Ken Rosenthal reported during the MLB All-Star game that the Baltimore Orioles had agreed to officially move their franchise player Manny Machado. Neither team has confirmed anything at this time, but the deal has reportedly been as close to a done deal for the last day or so, and it would seem Machado is destined for finish his 2018 campaign in Hollywood. 

Of course, with this addition, the reigning National League champions look primed for another deep postseason run. Though, the club is clinging to a half-game lead in the NL West, with Machado in tow the Dodgers are right with the Cubs and Brewers as the elite squads in the National League. It could be argued the Dodgers didn't necessarily 'need' Machado, with an offense that was already in the top 10 in runs scored, but Machado might be the perfect addition for the Dodgers. 

After losing their young star shortstop Corey Seager for the season with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers were in need of a more permanent solution at shortstop. And despite Machado's defensive metrics showing a steep decline in his glove at shortstop, the Dodgers will welcome his robust slash line of .315/.387/.575 while ignoring any shortcomings on defense. 

But what this means for the Cubs, who are only two games off the 2016 World Series club pace, is the path to another championship will likely require another run-in with the Dodgers. The club's biggest threat has been at this point the Brewers, but it's not hard to envision the Dodgers distancing themselves as the clear favorites in the National League with Machado in the heart of the order.

The good news for the Chicago is at least Machado didn't end up in Milwaukee, but that also could mean the Brewers make a more concerted effort to acquire pitching before the July 30th deadline. The Cubs will also see the return of Yu Darvish, who despite only managing to win one game this season in a Cubs uniform, will be a massive upgrade over the scuffling Tyler Chatwood. If the Cubs pitching can start producing like many expected them to before the start of 2018, and guys like Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant start to hit alongside All-Stars Javier Baez and Willson Contreras, it's not hard to imagine the Cubs separating themselves from the pack in the 2nd half of season. 

The Dodgers are no strangers to blockbuster deadline deals, acquiring Yu Darvish in a similar three-month rental situation, but the Cubs getting a bat like Rizzo right and an arm like Darvish healthy would be better than any deal Theo Epstein could make to improve this team. And if it's not enough, the Cubs have a solid track record of grabbing former Dodger rentals in the off-season. The push for the playoffs starts Thursday for the north-siders.