Cubs

Word on the Street: Super Bowl most-watched on TV ever

Word on the Street: Super Bowl most-watched on TV ever

Monday, Feb. 7, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Super Bowl is most-watched TV show in the US

The Nielsen Co. said that an estimated 11 million people watched the Green Bay Packers outlast the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. That surpassing the 106.5 million who watched the 2010 game between New Orleans and Indianapolis, making it the most-watched television ship in the United States.

The most-watched single play of the game was Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's final incomplete pass to Mike Wallace with about a minute to go. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Aaron Rodgers celebrates Super Bowl at Disney

The Super Bowl MVP rode on the back of a convertible pacing down a confetti-filled parade route through Disney World's Magic Kingdom on only a few hours' sleep. After Green Bay's 31-25 win over Pittsburgh, even a Florida afternoon storm couldn't cloud the QB's spirit.

"It's a special day, it really is," Rodgers said. "I didn't get a lot of sleep, but it's great to be able to celebrate. This is a team that came together and accomplished something special." (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Mr. President has kind words for Coach McCarthy

Despite his support of the Chicago Bears, President Barack Obama congratulated Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy on their Super Bowl win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The White House says that Obama told McCarthy that "even a Bears fan" can appreciate what the win means to Wisconsin. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

MSU's Izzo receives 'hang in there' text from Cavs owner

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has sent Michigan State coach Tom Izzo an encouraging text message.

According to Izzo, the note said "hang in there."

After losing two straight and five of the past six, the Spartans fell out of The Associated Press poll. Gilbert tried to hire Izzo last summer for the Cavs coaching position, but the Cavaliers are having a tougher time than the Spartans. They head into Monday night's game at Dallas with a record 24-game losing streak. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Ex-Hawk Burish to undergo surgery

Adam Burish will have to wait for swelling to go down around his eye before he can have surgery on his orbital bone. There is no timetable on the ex-Blackhawk's return.

Burish was placed on Injured Reserve with a facial injury on Feb. 4 when he suffered the injury at Boston. (The Dallas Morning News)

Adbert Alzolay makes some memories on an otherwise forgettable night for the Cubs

Adbert Alzolay makes some memories on an otherwise forgettable night for the Cubs

The Cubs lost an entirely forgettable game on Tuesday night, dropping the second of their four games against the NL East-leading Braves by a score of 3-2. They left four men on base, only managed four hits, ran into two outs, and made one error in a game that was over well in time for a Clark Street nightcap, or three. 

What was memorable about Tuesday night was the performance of Adbert Alzolay, the Cubs’ top pitching prospect who was making his first major league start. The final line: 4.2 innings pitched, one hit, one run, four walks and four strikeouts. It’s certainly not the prettiest line you’ll see in tomorrow’s box scores, but the 24 year old passed the eye test with flying colors. 

“Everything was good - he was outstanding,” Joe Maddon said after the game. “I just think he hit a well there at the end. We just have to get him more used to that. Listen, he’s been injured in the past, he’s coming back - you’ve got to be real sensitive to the number of pitches and workload you put on him, because you can see how good he’s going to be.”

Things got off to an inauspicious start for Alzolay, whose first pitch of the game was crushed 413 feet into the left field bleachers for a leadoff homer, courtesy of Braves’ outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. It would prove to be the only hit and run that Alzolay allowed on the night. 

“It’s just one pitch,” he said. “You have to keep working - the game continues. I was just starting the game, so if you lose your mind in that situation than you’re not going to last a lot of innings.

“Even after the home run, he came right back and said, ‘I’m fine’,” Maddon added. “Then he went up and got three really good hitters out. I liked the mound demeanor, we’ve just got to get him a little further along in regards to being stretched out.”

After coming out flat with his secondary pitches during his 4-inning relief appearance on June 20th, Alzolay flashed better command and execution of both his curveball and changeup. Half of his strikeouts came on the curveball - one to get left fielder Austin Riley in the 2nd and one to get Acuña in the 3rd. After throwing 13 changeups in his debut, Alzolay double that number on Tuesday (27). 

“I’m feeling really confident throwing the pitch in any count,” Alzolay said of his changeup. “Tonight I threw it a couple times when I was behind in the count and I got a good result after that, so I’ll just keep on throwing it.

“For us to get confident at something, you have to practice, you have to execute it, and you have to use it in the game,” said catcher Willson Contreras, who plated both of the Cubs’ two runs with a double in the 4th. “For him to be able to throw the changeup for a strike, and strikeout people, it’s really good - especially at his age.”

Maddon couldn’t answer when Alzolay would make his next start. With Kyle Hendricks eyeing a return around the All-Star break, there would seemingly be a few more opportunities ahead of the rookie. Given what he showed on Tuesday night, it’d be hard to argue against it.

"He can be really good in the big leagues," Contreras said. "He still needs to make adjustments like all of us, but with the confidence he has, the ability he has, and the way he prepares before the games, it's going to take him a long way."

Tim Anderson helped off field with ankle sprain, will be reevaluated Wednesday

Tim Anderson helped off field with ankle sprain, will be reevaluated Wednesday

White Sox fans saw a sight they hoped they'd never see Tuesday night.

Tim Anderson was helped off the field with an ankle injury in the fifth inning of Tuesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, hurt while making a play on a ground ball on a wet night in Massachusetts.

The White Sox announced later in the evening that Anderson has a sprained ankle and that X-rays were negative. The team added that Anderson will be reevaluated Wednesday.

Anderson made an on-the-run throw to nab J.D. Martinez at first base, but a play that Anderson has made look fairly routine over the past couple seasons this time included a slip on the rain-soaked infield. The White Sox star shortstop fell to the ground in pain immediately. After having his ankle briefly checked by the trainer, Anderson was helped off the field, into the dugout and into the clubhouse.

The rain poured down on Fenway Park on Tuesday night. The start of the game was delayed a half hour, but the teams played through steady rains throughout, worsening playing conditions, something the White Sox and every team across baseball have had to deal with quite often this season.

The degree of Anderson's ankle sprain is unknown, but the sight of him coming off the field was a nightmarish one for the White Sox and their fans. A sigh of relief came with the team's update, which did not include the words "Achilles" or "tear."

Anderson has emerged as one of the faces of the franchise this season, earning AL Player of the Month honors after a sensational April and earning national attention for flipping his bat after home runs and his mission to make what he calls a "boring" game more fun. He's got a .317/.342/.491 slash line on the season.

Anderson is undoubtedly a core piece for the rebuilding White Sox, who can pen him in as their shortstop of the future as well as the present.

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