White Sox

Word on the Street: Singletary won't return as head coach

Word on the Street: Singletary won't return as head coach

Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Singletary will not return as head coach

Former Bears linebacker Mike Singletary will not return as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers next season, according to reports out of CSNBayArea.com. The 49ers lost to the division rival St. Louis Rams 25-17 Sunday, effectively knocking the preseason NFC West favorite out of the postseason.

The 49ers are now 5-10 with one game left to play and there are reports that he may very well be fired even before the final game of the season. If not, it is confirmed the former Monster of the Midway will not be back next year. (CSNBayArea.com)
Cubs out of the running for Webb

Brandon Webb has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Texas Rangers, pending a physical. The Cubs were said to be out of the running for the pitcher's services before Sunday, when those talks were nixed before the Webb-Texas report.

A source claims Webb is closing in on a decision from both of the remaining teams. The veteran has not pitched since Opening Day of 2009, but has drawn interest this offseason as his shoulder is reportedly healthy. (ESPN.com and MLB.com)

Vikings-Eagles pushed to Tuesday night
Thanks to a horrendous storm on the east coast, the Philadelphia Eagles' matchup with the Minnesota Vikings that was originally scheduled for Sunday night has been moved to Tuesday night. The game will be played at 7 p.m. CST and televised still on NBC.

"Due to public safety concerns in light of today's snow emergency in Philadelphia, tonight's Vikings-Eagles game has been postponed," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. "Because of the uncertainty of the extent of tonight's storm and its aftermath, the game will be played on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET This will allow sufficient time to ensure that roads, parking lots and the stadium are fully cleared. The National Weather Service states that a winter storm warning in Philadelphia remains in effect until 1 pm on Monday."(Chicago Tribune)

Hawks regaining health

Marian Hossa and Viktor Stalberg will play in Sunday night's Blackhawks game against the Columbus Blue Jackts. Hossa hasn't played since he was hurt in practice on Nov. 29 with a lower body injury. Stalberg was injured Dec. 15 in a game against Colorado.

Patrick Kane is still sidelined and is going to evaluate how he feels after Monday's practice before making a choice about whether or not he will play Tuesday in St. Louis. (CSNChicago.com)

Vikings could play outdoors in '11

The Vikings must have enjoyed their outdoor game against the Bears last Monday night because there is talk of Minnesota playing outside for all of the 2011 season.

Sources say Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission is assessing the viability of the Vikings playing in TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota (where they played the Bears last Monday) for the entire season. (ESPN.com)

Bulls leading the way in home attendance

LeBron James left a void on the Cleveland Cavaliers when he took his talents to South Beach, but the fans are still packing the stands in the King's old castle. The Cavs have the second best home average attendance with 20, 562. Only the Bulls draw more fans at home. (NY Times)

Parity in the NFC North?

The Detroit Lions, who have spent the larger part of the decade in the NFC North cellar, have now won three straight games and sit at 5-10 on the season. The Lions were heralded as a much-improved team coming into the '10 season, but until recently, they hadn't shown much proof of that. But, after a win against the 7-8 Miami Dolphins (a team that was previously still alive in the AFC playoff picture), Detroit now has its best winning streak since 2007. (Chicago Tribune)

Marlins pitcher puts White Sox on Perfecto Watch on anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

Marlins pitcher puts White Sox on Perfecto Watch on anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

Rick Renteria called it "eerie."

Ten years to the day after Mark Buehrle delivered one of the most memorable moments in White Sox history with a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays, there was another Perfecto Watch on the South Side.

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Caleb Smith didn't reach "call your neighbors" territory, but he retired the first 17 batters he faced in order, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning Tuesday night against the White Sox.

"I'll be honest, it was a little eerie for us," Renteria said after the 5-1 loss. "I kept thinking, I wasn't here 10 years ago for that. And he was working that, and I was like, 'Hey, (pitching coach Don Cooper), I don't like what I'm seeing here.'"

Smith was excellent, striking out nine of those first 17 hitters he put down in order. On a night when White Sox fans were celebrating the anniversary of Buehrle's feat, this was not the type of celebration they had in mind.

"You start to see," White Sox shortstop Ryan Goins said. "Anybody says they don’t feel it, he can say he doesn’t feel it but everybody knows the perfect game is going on. ... But he did a god job keeping us off-balance today."

The White Sox broke up the Perfecto Watch with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Adam Engel putting an end to Smith's stretch of five consecutive strikeouts with a walk. Leury Garcia followed that with a walk of his own, and Jon Jay put an end to the no-hit bid and the shutout with an RBI single.

Smith gave up a base hit to AJ Reed the following inning, but he finished his effort with one run and just four base runners allowed over seven innings. Smith's had himself a nice season for the last-place Marlins, his ERA down to 3.30 after Tuesday night's game.

The four base runners the White Sox got against Smith were the only ones they had on a silent night for the bats. A pair of Marlins relievers followed up Smith's work with two 1-2-3 innings. The White Sox struck out 10 times.

A decade later, Renteria might have been one of the few in the White Sox dugout putting the history together with what was happening on the field Tuesday night, but that didn't make Smith any less dominant on the anniversary of Buehrle's dominance.

"I don’t think we are thinking that far back," Goins said. "We are just trying to go up there and have good at-bats, honestly. He did a great job of not really leaving anything in the middle of the plate to hit, mixing his pitches up and throwing everything for a strike. And then throwing chase pitches when he needed to."

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Cubs Talk Podcast: A Whole Roster of Issues

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: A Whole Roster of Issues

Tony Andracki, David Kaplan, and Kelly Crull dive into everything going on with the Cubs at the moment, including Addison Russell's struggles and the team's other personnel issues (1:10), whether some trade targets are realistic for the Cubs to acquire (7:30), the ultimate role for Robel Garcia (11:15), how the Cubs will structure the bullpen with Pedro Strop's struggles (14:30), and what the roster could look like after the trade deadline (18:30).

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below: