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)

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

The Wrigley Field basket has played a huge role in this week's Cubs-Reds series.

In Monday night's game, Cincinnati catcher Curt Casali hit a game-tying homer into the basket in the seventh inning of a game the Cubs went on to lose.

But the basket giveth and the basket also taketh away.

Tuesday night, it was Kyle Schwarber and the Cubs who were singing the praises of one of the strangest ballpark quirks in baseball.

Schwarber connected on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning off Reds closer Raisel Iglesias, hitting a fly ball through the impossibly-humid air and into the basket in left-centerfield for a 4-3 Cubs win.

"Whoever thought about that basket — whenever that occurred — tell them, 'thank you,'" Joe Maddon said. "Although it did work against us [Monday]. When it works for you, it's awesome."

Schwarber has stood under the left-field basket many times with his back against the wall, thinking he might be able to make a play on a high fly ball only to see it settle into the wickets and turn into a chance for a Bleacher Bum to show off their arm. 

But is he a huge fan of the basket now that it worked in his favor?

"I guess so," Schwarber laughed. "Yesterday, it cost us, but today, it helped us out. It's just the factor of Wrigley Field. Happy it worked out today."

It was Schwarber's first career walk off RBI of any kind.

It was the Cubs' fourth walk-off homer of the season, but their first since May 11 when Willson Contreras called "game" on the Milwaukee Brewers. 

The Cubs are now 4-1 since the All-Star Break and hold a 2.5-game lead in the division.

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease struggles early, but finishes strong in second White Sox start

Dylan Cease picked up a win in his first start, but his second did not go as well.

Cease pitched six innings Tuesday at the Royals and gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk. He struck out seven, but took the loss in an ugly game for the White Sox.

The game got off to an ominous start with Eloy Jimenez getting injured on the first batter Cease faced. The White Sox defense didn’t help Cease much either with three errors (Cease had one of those on an errant pickoff throw).

After giving up six runs in the first four innings, Cease settled down to retire the final eight batters he faced. He finished with seven strikeouts against just one walk and threw 67 of his 108 pitches for strikes.

Cease struck out six in his first start and is the first pitcher in White Sox history to strike out six or more in each of his first two career appearances.

A deeper look at Cease’s numbers show his swing and miss stuff hasn’t quite caught on as expected so far. Cease got 13 swinging strikes in 101 pitches in his major league debut. He got 12 whiffs on 108 pitches on Tuesday. His slider did get five swinging strikes on 25 pitches against the Royals.

Fastball command remains a key part to Cease’s success. He only threw 26 out of 54 fastballs for strikes in his debut. Cease improved upon that with 31 strikes on 50 fastballs against the Royals.

Most of the Royals’ damage came against Cease’s fastball as well. Six of the Royals’ eight hits off Cease, including all three extra base hits, were off heaters. Cease also gave up four hits with two strikes.

There has been plenty of hype surrounding Cease since he joined the White Sox, but he hasn’t hit the ground running in the majors just yet. Having 13 days between the first two starts of his career due to the all-star break and the White Sox giving him some extra rest also isn’t the ideal scenario for a young pitcher.

Cease’s ERA is now at 5.73, which isn’t going to set the world on fire. Still, there have been enough positives in his first two starts to see where reasonable improvement could lead to Cease becoming the pitcher the White Sox expect him to be.

 

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