White Sox

Word: Who will be on the cover of Madden 12?

Word: Who will be on the cover of Madden 12?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Madden cover tournament down to Elite Eight

This year, the lucky NFL-er who will grace the cover of Madden 2012 will be selected by a fan vote. The bracket-style voting has now reached the Elite Eight.

The eight who advanced in last week's round of voting are Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Patriots running back Danny Woodhead, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, Browns running back Peyton Hillis, Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.

This week, fans can cast their votes in four head-to-head competitions between players. The winner will be announced during the last week of April. (Pro Football Talk)

The Fridge gets his ring back

A 10-year-old boy from Pittsburgh made William "The Refrigerator" Perry a pretty happy guy.

Cliff Forrest used savings to buy The Fridge's Super Bowl XX ring from a sports memorabilia section of a sports bar in New York. Perry has never said whether he has lost, sold or auctioned off the ring to pay for medical expenses.

The boy heard of Perry's money problems and traveled to an autograph-signing in Chicago over the weekend and returned the ring to its owner. (WGN TV)
Quentin AL player of the week

Carlos Quentin has been named the first American League Player of the Week this season. CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider Brett Ballantini reports that the slugger went 6-11 in three starts over the weekend.

Through three games, Quentin leads the AL in batting average (.545) and is tied for the lead in doubles (three) and RBI (seven). (CSNChicago.com)

Castro shares NL player of the week honor

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro and Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia were named co-winners of the National League Player of the Week Award. Castro was leading the Majors with a .615 batting average and a .643 on-base percentage through the first three games of the season.

He also lead the NL with a 1.000 slugging percentage and 13 total bases.

This marks the first career NL Player of the Week Award for both Castro and Garcial. (mlb.com)

Rodman elected to HOF

Dennis Rodman is just the latest former Bull to join the ranks of the NBA's legends. The power forward joins the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2011.

Coaches Tex Winter, innovator of the Triangle offense, Stanfords Tara VanDerveer and Philadelphia Universitys Herb Magee were part of the class.

Longtime NBA and ABA star Artis Gilmore, former Portland TrailBlazers center Arvydas Sabonis and Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards also will be inducted. They are joined by Harlem Globetrotter Reece Goose Tatum and Boston Celtic Tom Satch Sanders. (AP)

Shaka Smart to stay at VCU

Shaka Smart will be staying in Virginia for a while longer. The Virginia Commonwealth coach signed a new deal with the university after it was reported that he removed his name from consideration for the head-coaching vacancy at North Carolina State.

"I'm extremely grateful for the belief that Dr. (Michael) Rao and (athletics director) Norwood Teague have shown and continue to show in our coaching staff and basketball program," Smart said in a statement issued by the school. (USA Today)

MLB The Show sim: Lucas Giolito doesn't have ace stuff vs. Mariners

MLB The Show sim: Lucas Giolito doesn't have ace stuff vs. Mariners

NBC Sports Chicago is simulating the 2020 White Sox season via MLB The Show during the postponement of play. The White Sox, stocked with young talent and veteran offseason acquisitions, were expected to take a big step forward in their rebuild this season. Follow along as we play out the first few months of the season.

As the ace of the White Sox, Lucas Giolito looked to right the ship against the Mariners after the South Siders dropped the opener on Monday. Unfortunately for Chicago, Giolito did not have his top-of-the-rotation stuff.

The Mariners broke the seal vs. Giolito in the second. With two outs in the inning, J.P. Crawford lined a two-out double over the head of Edwin Encarnacion to drive in a pair and give Seattle a 2-1 lead. In the third, Daniel Vogelbach absolutely demolished a middle-of-the-zone fastball 444 feet to center field for a two-run blast, putting the Mariners ahead 4-1.

Giolito could not stop the bleeding in the fourth. Mitch Haniger slapped an RBI-double down the left field line to extend the lead to 6-1 and that was all she wrote for the White Sox ace. The run scored on Vogelbach’s bloop single later in the inning was also attributed to Giolito, who finished the day allowing seven earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings of work.

Meanwhile, the White Sox potent offense was largely quieted once again by Mariners pitching. Eloy Jimenez and Yasmani Grandal extended their hit streaks to 10 and 8 games, respectively. Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson and Edwin Encarnacion all collected solo homers but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback.

Result: Mariners def. White Sox 7-4

Record: 6-5, third in AL Central (0.5 GB of Indians)

W: Taijuan Walker (1-1)

L: Lucas Giolito (1-1)

SV: Yoshihisa Hurano (2)

White Sox lineup

  1. Tim Anderson: 1-5, HR (2), RBI (.354 BA)

  2. Yoan Moncada: 0-5 (.292 BA)

  3. Jose Abreu: 1-5, HR (3), RBI (.260 BA)

  4. Edwin Encarnacion: 3-4, HR (3), RBI (.289 BA)

  5. Yasmani Grandal: 1-4 (.326 BA)

  6. Eloy Jimenez: 1-4 (.268 BA)

  7. Luis Robert: 0-2, 2 BB (.167 BA)

  8. Nomar Mazara: 1-4, RBI (.200 BA)

  9. Leury Garcia: 1-4 (.217 BA)

Scoring summary

Bottom first

  • Jose Abreu homered to right. 1-0 CHW.

Top second

  • J.P. Crawford doubled to right. Carlos Gonzalez scored. Dom Thompson-Williams scored. 2-1 SEA.

Top third

  • Daniel Vogelbach homered to center. Mallex Smith scored. 4-1 SEA.

Top fourth

  • Mallex Smith grounded out to shortstop. J.P. Crawford scored. 5-1 SEA

  • Mitch Haniger doubled to left. Dylan Moore scored. 6-1 SEA

  • Daniel Vogelbach singled to left. Mitch Haniger scored. 7-1 SEA

Bottom fifth

  • Tim Anderson homered to left. 7-2 SEA

Bottom sixth

  • Edwin Encarnacion homered to left. 7-3 SEA

Bottom eighth

  • Nomar Mazara singled to left. Edwin Encarnacion scored. 7-4 SEA

Notable performance: At this stage in Encarnacion’s career, the 37-year-old wasn’t expected to be a centerpiece of the White Sox offense. However, through 11 games, there doesn’t seem to be much dropoff in Encarnacion’s play. After a three-hit day vs. the Mariners, the vet has three home runs and five RBIs with a .437 on-base percentage this season.

Next game: Wednesday, April 8 - Game 12: Mariners at White Sox (Yusei Kikuchi, 0-0, 11.00 ERA vs. Dallas Keuchel, 0-1, 10.80 ERA)

How the Utah Jazz provide precedent for the Bulls' front office revamp

How the Utah Jazz provide precedent for the Bulls' front office revamp

In 2012, the Utah Jazz hired Dennis Lindsey as general manager, moving Kevin O’Connor into the executive vice president of basketball operations role.

O’Connor ran basketball operations for the Jazz for 13 seasons, making the playoffs nine times and ranking among the league leaders in home attendance throughout his run.

Lindsey took over seamlessly, using O'Connor as a resource when needed but possessing full autonomy while consistently wringing maximum production out of a small market franchise. He executed a similar succession plan in 2019 when he promoted Justin Zanik to general manager while assuming the title of executive vice president of basketball operations himself. 

The coincidence in the Bulls’ search for a new head of basketball operations isn’t as much that Zanik interviewed Monday and is considered a finalist for the job. It’s that Paxson and O’Connor enjoy a respectful professional relationship, and the family ownership structures and philosophies of the Jazz and Bulls are similar.

The Reinsdorfs, like the leaguewide perception of Jazz ownership, are known for running the business side and letting basketball operations do their jobs. 

No matter how many times it gets reported that Paxson is fine with moving into a senior advisory role like O’Connor did, a portion of a disgruntled fan base remains skeptical. It’s understandable. The Reinsdorfs are known for their loyalty and Paxson, along with Gar Forman, who has held the general manager title since 2009, has headed basketball operations for 17 years. 

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But the perception that Paxson will be some hovering presence, going kicking and screaming into the night, is simply wrong. Early this season, Paxson communicated his vision to ownership for a new-look, more modern front office. He initiated some of this need for change.

Michael Reinsdorf likely would have arrived at the same conclusion anyway and has taken the reins on addressing the issue. Well before news broke over All-Star weekend, he began performing due diligence and background on a wide variety of candidates.

What is getting lost sometimes in this story — but is perhaps is the most significant aspect to it — is the fact the Bulls are going outside their organization to hire a new head of basketball operations. This is unprecedented. 

Jerry Krause actually briefly served as Bulls director of player personnel in the 1970s and knew Jerry Reinsdorf well from baseball scouting circles when Reinsdorf tabbed him to run basketball operations in 1985. And Reinsdorf promoted Paxson from the radio booth to succeed Krause in 2003. 

Neither Zanik, nor Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas, nor any of the other targeted names on Reinsdorf’s list —  some of whom are staying with their current franchises — have ties to the Bulls. Only Magic assistant general manager Matt Lloyd does, and if he is hired, it will likely be by the new basketball operations head as that person builds out his infrastructure.

Paxson knows the organizational history. He knows the city. He knows how to communicate with the Reinsdorfs. His goal, simply, will be to help whomever the Reinsdorfs hire succeed.

Zanik, in his days as a player agent, worked with Paxson and general manager Gar Forman and almost certainly would view Paxson as a resource, not a roadblock. 

Paxson already holds the title of executive vice president, basketball operations. So whatever his new title is will represent one difference between when O’Connor hired Lindsey.

This new Bulls’ hire isn’t being hired as a general manager like Lindsey originally was. He’s being hired to run basketball operations and will be given authority to make additional hires if he sees fit as he builds out the organizational infrastructure. In fact, in his new role, Paxson wouldn’t even likely be at the Advocate Center daily.

The Jazz’s succession plan worked then, and it works now. O’Connor, who now owns a senior advisor title, offers whatever input is needed on major decisions.

Paxson will, too — if this new hire wants to use him. If he doesn’t, Paxson cares enough about the organization and the Reinsdorfs to take as small a role as the new hire wants. 

It’s as simple as that.

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