Chicago Cubs

5 Questions with...Crain's Chicago's Ed Sherman

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5 Questions with...Crain's Chicago's Ed Sherman

By Jeff Nuich
CSN Chicago Senior Director of CommunicationsCSNChicago.com Contributor
September 30, 2009

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the citys most popular personalities on the spot with a new weekly feature entitled 5 Questions with...

Every Wednesday exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weekveteran Chicago sports journalist who pens the popular Business of Sports and Golf blogs for Crains Chicago Business, not to mention a weekly hosting gig on WSCR AM 670s Chicagoland Golf Show (Saturdays mornings at 6:00 AM)here are 5 Questions withED SHERMAN!

BIO: Ed Sherman spent 27 years at the Chicago Tribune covering everything from the girls high school badminton to the 1985 Bears Super Bowl team. For 12 years, Sherman has covered golf on a regular basis. He now is a featured contributor to Crains Chicago Business and its online counterpart ChicagoBusiness.com. He also worked with Dan McNeil on a new book entitled "The Great Book of Chicago Sports Lists. Sherman grew up in Wilmette and attended the University of Illinois. He resides in the north suburbs with his wife, Ilene, and two boys, Matthew and Sam.

1) CSNChicago.com: Ed, with the big 2016 Summer Olympics announcement coming up on October 2nd, if Chicago does indeed get the nod, explain the pros and cons of having the Summer Games here in our fine city from a business perspective?

Sherman: Let's put business aside for a minute. The best event I covered in my years at the Tribune was the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. The atmosphere was incredible. You truly feel like you are walking with the entire world when you enter an Olympic venue. It would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience if the Games came here. I am all for Chicago getting the Olympics assuming all the finances are in order.

However, that's a big if. The Chicago organizers keep telling us that they have a solid plan to make sure everything comes in at budget. Really, does anyone truly believe them? I'm remodeling our house and all I can say is that we've blown past our starting budget. That'll be the Olympics times a zillion. I would hate to see Chicago get in over its head and leave a deficit that will hinder the town for generations.

2) CSNChicago.com: You enjoyed a solid career run at the Chicago Tribune for over two decades, and have now thrived in your career move to the digital side with Crains Chicago Business. In your opinion, do you think print newspapers still have a shot at succeeding or has todays younger generation completely crushed that hope due to todays new media technology?

Sherman: A couple of years ago, I spoke to a high school class. I asked how many kids read the newspaper, and maybe 4 kids out of 50 raised their hands. Obviously, that doesn't bode well for the future of newspapers. The younger crowd is completely into new media, and the older crowd is moving in that direction too. The coverage is immediate and, in many respects, more comprehensive than what you see in newspapers.

I'm still a newspaper guy at heart, but I am troubled by all the cuts that are taking place. You're seeing dramatically reduced sports sections with fewer writers. I can't see how you can attract new readers by giving people less. I hope newspapers survive, but I'm not so sure they will.

3) CSNChicago.com: CSNChicago.com readers may not know that you covered the White Sox as a Tribune beat writer in the late 80s. Most sports fans believe that would be the best job in the world (going to all the games, traveling, eating in the press box, etc.). Set the record straight Ed, it isnt all fun and games, right?

Sherman: I think you need a special personality to cover baseball. My good friend Joe Goddard did it for 27 years at the Sun-Times. I don't know how he survived that long.

I just felt like I never had a life when I was covering baseball. The travel was relentless. You barely got your bags unpacked before you had to go on the road again. Then, virtually all of the games were at night, requiring you to do a deadline dance on a daily basis. The every day grind wears you down quickly. People used to ask if I was rooting for the Sox? My standard reply was that I rooted for fast games.

Don't get me wrong, from a professional standpoint, covering baseball was a terrific experience. It greatly enhanced my reporting skills and definitely taught me how to write on deadline. Also, even though the Sox of 1986-88 were terrible, I got to hang out with some incredible baseball people. Tony LaRussa, Carlton Fisk, Tom Seaver, Don Drysdale, Jim Fregosi, just to name a few. I got to know Ozzie Guillen when he was just a rookie. Great memories.

Looking back, I'm glad I put in three years covering baseball. Im also glad I didn't have to do a fourth.

4) CSNChicago.com: Now that the Chicago area golf season is slowly winding down, any off-season local indoor facility recommendations you can pass along to help us keep our swings in tact?

Sherman: "Winding down? Hey, I'll be out there playing golf into November. I've got to make up for all the days we lost from what they allegedly called summer.

We are blessed with several good indoor and outdoor facilities during the winter. I am a big fan of TopGolf in Wood Dale. The place is unlike any driving range you have ever seen. The balls have computer chips embedded in them and you hit to targets that record information. It is all displayed at a video monitor at your station. You can play games, etc. Very cool.

As for domes, the White Pines Golf Dome in Bensenville is among the best anywhere. Mike Munro runs a first-class operation. Be sure to say to hello. He's there 247.

5) CSNChicago.com: As a father with two sons (one being a Sox fan, the other a Cubs fan), how in the world do you keep peace in your house, especially during any crosstown series?

Sherman: I never thought I would allow anything with a Cubs logo in my house. I'm one of those people who thinks the perfect day is when the Sox win and the Cubs lose.

We truly are a house divided. My youngest, Sam, and I are Sox fans. My wife, Ilene, and my oldest, Matthew, are Cubs fans. In regards to my kids, I think it is a case of sibling rivalry. There's no way they were going to root for the same team.

Actually, it is a lot of fun, especially during the Cubs-Sox series. We usually try to go to a game or two, and things can get quite spirited. I remember one year the Cubs were on the verge of beating the Sox when A.J. hit a booming homer in the ninth to give the Sox the victory. My son Matt was crushed.

I remember thinking that as a father, I felt bad for him. You want your kids to be happy.

However, I have my priorities. The Sox just beat the Cubs. Let the kid suffer.

Seriously, I am just glad my kids are baseball fans. They already have been to many Major League parks, and this year I took them to the All-Star Game in St. Louis. Getting to share baseball with them has been one of the great thrills of my life.

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: Ed, you have a new book coming out that you wrote with The Scores Dan McNeil, tell us about it and where can we pick one up?

Sherman: Our new book "The Great Book of Chicago Sports Lists" should be in stores in a few weeks. Dan and I basically ranked anything and everything in Chicago sports and beyond. I did lists on Walter Payton's best games, best-and-worst trades, most forgettable Bears quarterbacks, worst Cubs all-time meltdowns (couldn't resist that one), and the top 100 athletes in Chicago sports history. One guess on who is No. 1.

Dan provided his own distinct viewpoint on not just sports, but also some pop culture related to Chicago. For instance, he ranks top actors and bands from our town. However, the list that I am sure will get Dan the most attention is titled: Guys who never got teased in the shower. The preface for that list makes it clear that Dan is the author.

In addition to our lists, we also had guest contributors. Shortly before he died, Norm Van Lier ranked the toughest Bulls. Hawk Harrelson ranked the toughest White Sox. Other contributors include Dick Butkus, Dan Jiggetts, Mike North, Len Kasper, Pat Hughes, John McDonough, and CSN's Jim Corno.

Our goal is to stir the debate about a bit. We hope people enjoy it.

Sherman LINKS:

Crains Chicago BusinessBusiness of Sports blog

Crains Chicago BusinessGolf blog

Ed Sherman on Facebook

Ed Sherman on Twitter

If Kyle Schwarber's back, the rest of the National League will have another reason to worry about the second-half Cubs

If Kyle Schwarber's back, the rest of the National League will have another reason to worry about the second-half Cubs

Kyle Schwarber’s proper introduction to the Cubs-Sox rivalry came in the summer of 2015 when a fan on the South Side threw a half-empty “tall boy” at him in left field. A little more than a year removed from college, Schwarber didn’t understand why someone wouldn’t finish all the beer first.  

David Ross chimed in, raising his voice loud enough so Schwarber and a group of reporters could hear him inside the visiting clubhouse: “You should have shotgunned it and then went over there and found him.

“I tell you what: I’d hate to try to wrap up Kyle Schwarber. I guarantee you that whoever threw that beer doesn’t want (any) part of Kyle Schwarber. I promise you that one.”

That was the rookie orientation before Schwarber: blasted five playoff home runs that October; suffered a devastating knee injury that almost wiped out his entire 2016 season; made a dramatic return to the World Series; and experienced newfound fame and fortune that would change his life forever.

Mess with Schwarber? That aura of invincibility is gone after his detour to Triple-A Iowa before the All-Star break. But the first-place Cubs will take Thursday night’s 6-3 win over the White Sox as another sign that he is almost back, yet another reason why the defending champs look ready to continue this second-half surge. 

“I told him that if he had a couple more push-ups in there, he would have had three homers tonight, but we’ll take a triple,” winning pitcher Jon Lester said afterward. “Schwarber’s been swinging the bat great since he’s been back.”

No doubt, the Cubs caught the sell-mode White Sox at the right time during the final days leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. Even in going 3-for-4 and blasting his 16th and 17th home runs – which traveled 814 feet combined at Guaranteed Rate Field – Schwarber is still only hitting .191 with 90 strikeouts in 79 games this season.     

But the Cubs have always given Schwarber the benefit of the doubt and will point to his big personality and encouraging numbers since his Triple-A reset ended on July 6, getting on base almost 37 percent of the time and hitting safely in 10 of 13 games with five homers, three doubles and that triple.

“Retrospectively, we should not have expected that much,” manager Joe Maddon admitted. “I’m guilty of that kind of a narrative or a dialogue also, because I was really eager to watch him play a full season of Major League Baseball.

“But the guy missed the whole season and did really well in a small window of time at the end of the year. So maybe my expectations exceeded what they should have been.

“I do believe he is that good. I do believe you’re going to come back and see him play at the level we anticipated. But he might have just needed more time. And we just didn’t recognize that.

“I might have been as guilty as anybody regarding the promotion of that. But I believe in him fully. I know it’s going to happen. There’s been some really good major-league hitters that have gone through the same thing.” 

At this point, the Cubs (54-47) would love to see what kind of wrecking ball Schwarber could be for a half-season. To his credit, Schwarber has been the same throughout all the ups and downs, someone who looks and sounds like a guy you would drink tall boys with.

“I just want to worry about putting the barrel on the ball,” Schwarber said. “I’m just trying to stay within myself, be short (with my swing) and it’s paying off.”

Wake-up Call: Cubs take Crosstown Cup; Breakout season for Kevin White?

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USA TODAY

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