5 Questions with...NBC 5's Allison Rosati

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5 Questions with...NBC 5's Allison Rosati

CSN Chicago Senior Director of Communications
CSNChicago.com Contributor

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 everyones favorite local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

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 weeks guest ... one of the most popular fixtures on the local news scene for over 20 years, whose passion for the city and people of Chicago is clearly evident by her 247 devotion to her job ... in addition to her multiple TV industry awards, she has also been a champion for some amazing causes throughout her stellar careeryou can catch her anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. ... here are 5 Questions withALLISON ROSATI!

BIO: Allison Rosati is anchor of the award-winning NBC 5 News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.

Rosati joined the NBC 5 family as an anchor and reporter in August 1990. Viewers first got to know Allison on "First Thing in the Morning." Five years later she began anchoring the early evening news. And in May 1997 Rosati was promoted to co-anchor of NBC 5's 10 p.m. newscast.

Originally from Pine City, Minn., Rosati started her career in Rochester, Minn., at KTTC-TV in 1985. In July of 1987, Rosati was hired by WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, N.Y., to report and anchor the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts.

In 1985, Rosati graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a double major in speech and communications and received cum laude honors. Gustavus has honored Rosati with its First Decade Award and its Distinguished Alumni award for her achievements in journalism.

Allison has been honored with numerous national and local awards for her work on stories, series and specials that impact our communities. The Emmy award winning Wednesdays Child resulted in many adoptions for children looking for forever families. The American Women in Radio and Television recognized her work on the Smart Choices, Safe Kids special with a national Gracie Award. The program educated kids and parents about child predators and how to recognize the lures they use. Additionally Rosati received the prestigious Dante Award from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans -- an annual award to journalists who are not a timid friend to truth.

So whether Allison is being honored by the local war veterans organization for her support of the troops, or out in the neighborhoods to interview women for the political pulse of our times, she is known and applauded for her integrity, passion and commitment!

Committed to community service, Rosati volunteers her time to many Chicago-area organizations. She is passionate about giving back and has a special affection for charities that benefit children in need.

Allison and her husband have four children and one puppy.

1) CSNChicago.com: Allison, thanks for taking time to spend a few minutes with us. Lets start it up. Youre approaching your 14th anniversary as primary anchor on NBC 5 News. An impressive feat to say the least since the anchor chair is commonly a revolving door for many local newscasters throughout the country. What do you think has been the key to your connection with Chicago viewers over the years?

Rosati: First, I can't believe its been 21 years since I first started working at WMAQ! How is that possible? It seems like only yesterday that I arrived here at the NBC Tower with my heart pounding; so excited to be part of such an incredible newsroom and cover a city I had long dreamed of working in. Each day when I come to work, I am still excited to bring our viewers the important, interesting and sometimes heartbreaking stories that never end in the city that is our home. I truly love what I do and I feel a tremendous responsibility to deliver the very best newscast each and every day. I think my sincere passion for what I do and the fact that I am myself on TV connects with viewers. I believe in keeping it real. Just like our viewers, I'm a working parent trying to balance it all ... concerned about schools ... gas prices ... wars ... the only difference my job happens to put me on TV every night. It is an honor and a privilege to share the news of the day with the people of this incredible city that I love so much.

2) CSNChicago.com: Speaking of your solid work at NBC 5, your Emmy award-winning Wednesdays Child segments focusing on adoption in the Chicago area has not only tugged at the heartstrings of your viewers, but also directly resulted in many of these wonderful kids finally finding a home. How did this special segment initially come to fruition and how gratifying is it to you personally when one of these terrific kids joins their new family?

Rosati: "Wednesday's Child" will always have a special place in my heart. It all started in July 1999. Under the leadership of our general manager Larry Wert, NBC 5 decided to become part of the National Wednesday Child program. The idea was to feature area foster children who had waited the longest to be adopted, which we featured each Wednesday night on our six o'clock news. The hope was to help the children find forever families. When they asked me if I would be interested in the project, I immediately thought it was a great idea to use our powerful medium of television to do some real good. But I did have some concerns.

As a teenager, I had lived in a foster home and I felt a real responsibility to make sure we treated each Wednesday's Child with dignity and respect. In telling their stories, I wanted to make sure we also didn't focus on how or why they got into foster care, but rather let each child's spirit shine. In putting together our stories, we started by finding out what each Wednesday's Child loved to do or dreamed of doing. In the process of doing what they love ... we captured the real child.

Our Wednesday's Child adventures included everything from flying on a trapeze to flying an airplane; from playing baseball with the Cubs and the Sox to playing basketball with B.J. Armstrong and Scottie Pippen. The experiences were heartwarming and heartbreaking. Each time I met a Wednesday's Child, I was touched by their uniqueness, their joy, their hopes. They all shared the same dream ... to belong ... to belong to a family that will last forever. They showed great courage. Over the years, we featured 261 children and 213 were on their way or in permanent homes when the program ended. Of all the stories I have done, Wednesday Child was the most rewarding. It showed me how telling someone's story can change lives through the power of television. I will never forget our follow up stories. The pure emotion of a child proudly saying "This is my mom and dad ... and this is my room.

3) CSNChicago.com: Lets switch to Chicago politics for this one. In your opinion, what would you say should be mayor-elect Rahm Emanuels immediate, No. 1 priority once he officially takes office on May 16?

Rosati: I love covering politics in Chicago. There is never a dull moment. Mayor-elect Emanuel has a full plate of challenges ahead. I would think his top priority would be to get the city's financial house in order and, at the same time, find the right people to lead reform in our schools. He also has to make a key hire in who will lead the Chicago Police Deptartment and find ways to make our neighborhoods safe.

4) CSNChicago.com: As with many working parents, its probably safe to assume you wish you had a little extra time to spend with your family. What advice do you have for parents out there, in particular, first time parents, to better their worklife balance?

Rosati: When it comes to balancing work and family life, there are good days and not so good days. You just have to make the best choice you can at the time. My best advice to first time parents is to hold tight to your priorities. If you put your family first, it makes your decision clear. I also believe that life doesn't come down to one big choice ... your job or your family. It is all the little choices you make along the way that define your life. If you take the time to read to your children before heading off to work ... or find a way to get to the ball game and still make the evening news... those little things add up and keep you connected to your family. I also think it is a priority to get away with just your spouse each year. You will be reminded of all the reasons why you got married and had kids.

5) CSNChicago.com: With the start of spring comes the start of baseball season. Come clean Allison ... are you a Cubs or White Sox fan? Dont worry, youre too well-liked in this city no matter which team you choose!

Rosati: To be honest, my first love when it comes to Chicago baseball is the CUBS. They were in my neighborhood when I first moved here. I loved walking to Wrigley Field, having a beer and a mustard pretzel and enjoying the little slice of heaven. But I must admit having sat next to Warner Saunders for many years, I also grew to love the White Sox. Not to mention meeting Jim Thome and Paul Konerko who were huge supporters of adoption in Illinois. I have great respect for both organizations and love to watch baseball. The Sox were magical in their World Series run. I pray the Cubs will get their chance. Maybe? ... Oh, I will just keep praying!

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: Anything you would like to promote Allison? Tell us, CSNChicago.com readers want to hear about it.

Rosati: Tune in every night to the NBC 5 News at 5, 6, and 10 pm. Love to have you with us! Please head to my fan page on Facebook for updates on stories we are working on and special events I will be attending.

Rosati LINKS:

NBC 5 News official website

Joe Maddon has not seen anything like these recent implosions from Cubs pitching staff

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AP

Joe Maddon has not seen anything like these recent implosions from Cubs pitching staff

Joe Maddon has not seen anything like these single-inning implosions lately.

At least not at the major-league level.

For the third time in the last five Wrigley Field contest, the Cubs pitching staff has allowed at least seven runs in an inning.

This time, it was nine runs before the first out was recorded in the eighth inning of Friday's 11-4 Cardinals victory.

The Cubs actually entered the inning clinging to a 3-2 lead and had their best setup guy — Carl Edwards Jr. — slated to pitch against the top of the Cardinals order.

But after taking out his teammate with a foul ball, Matt Carpenter began the wacky inning with a double off Edwards and the rout was on.

"We had a bad inning pitching," Maddon said after the game. "That's the third time in a week here at this ballpark, if you go back prior to the break. It's a seven, a nine and a 10 in an inning. 

"I've not seen that since rookie ball. That's crazy stuff. I'm saying it straight up: We played good baseball today. We just pitched badly for one inning. Some really good pitchers had a tough time.

"...That's kind of a strange day. We played well and lost because we gave up nine runs in an inning, which is really awkward to watch from the dugout."

Thirty-eight minutes after Edwards threw the first pitch of the inning, the Cubs finally retired the Cardinals and were looking up at an 11-3 score. 

Neither Edwards nor Hector Rondon recorded an out and they combined with Justin Grimm to allow six hits, six walks and nine runs.

Here's how it all went down:

That's the second straight Wrigley Field game that has featured at least nine runs in an inning but a Cubs opponent. Ace Jon Lester surrendered 10 runs in the first inning to the Pittsburgh Pirates on the day before the All-Star Break began.

And the day before that series began, Mike Montgomery and the Cubs gave up seven runs to the Milwaukee Brewers in a rain make-up game at the "Friendly Confines."

"You see it every now and again. Not often," said Jake Arrieta, Friday's starting pitcher who was in line for a win before that wild eighth inning. "You stick around this game long enough and you see some crazy things happen. And really, that was the turning point in the game. 

"A couple guys had a pretty rare outing in the 8th there. You won't see that rarely ever or ever again from those two guys. Just a tough one."

Rondon, who had entered the game having allowed just two runs in his last 13 innings, could do nothing but shake his head in trying to explain it after the game.

"That was a weird, weird inning," Rondon said. "First time I've seen something like that — nine runs with no outs. But it is what it is. They got us today and we'll see tomorrow."

Maddon has seen control issues with his bullpen all year, but still has confidence in the unit as a whole. He knows not to overreact to one game.

However, Maddon did point to the first game coming out of the All-Star Break where Montgomery and the Cubs bullpen squandered an 8-0 lead before Addison Russell's heroics to break the tie for good late in that contest.

"The bullpen has been fabulous," Maddon said. "Twice since the break, they just had tough games."

Rondon and the Cubs relievers won't overreact, either.

A year ago at this time, Rondon was the Cubs' closer and they hadn't yet traded for Aroldis Chapman. So no, one outing won't get him down. 

"Right now, I'm pissed and whatever," he said, "but tomorrow, I'll come in with a different mentality and try to win the game."

With NL Central suddenly bunched up, a reminder it won't all be sunshine, lollipops and rainbows for Cubs in second half

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AP

With NL Central suddenly bunched up, a reminder it won't all be sunshine, lollipops and rainbows for Cubs in second half

So that six-game winning streak was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?

The Cubs’ perfect second half came to a crashing halt Friday in the series opener with the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, an 11-4 drubbing low-lighted by a never-ending eighth inning in which the Cards torched the Cubs’ bullpen for nine runs.

It was a screaming reminder that the second half, even with its 6-0 start, won’t be all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows for the defending champs.

One nasty result after a six-game stretch of hot bats and hot pitching shouldn’t send Cubs fans panicking about a falling sky — even though the heavens opened up and poured a gigantic, watery metaphor down on the Friendly Confines after Friday’s bullpen implosion.

But it also looked like an indication that the troubles of a sub-.500 first half might not be totally exorcized from Wrigley Field’s home clubhouse. Not that that’s denting the team’s confidence in any way.

“I don’t think we’ve gotten too high or too low, even throughout some slumps where we weren’t very happy about the way we were playing,” starting pitcher Jake Arrieta said. “I feel like we’ve been able to maintain an even keel and stay focused. While there has been some frustration, that’s just kind of the nature of not playing up to your potential and knowing you’re better than you’re playing. But having said that, we are positive and will remain to be so throughout the near future and stretch of games we have coming up. We look forward to playing some good baseball.”

Most importantly, perhaps, Friday’s result showed that it’s not just the first-place Milwaukee Brewers that the Cubs have to be concerned with in what is suddenly a tight and crowded race in the National League Central.

The Cubs might have gotten within a game of the Brewers, but the Cardinals and the surging Pittsburgh Pirates are right there, too. After Friday’s game on the North Side went final, the four teams were within four games of each other. A Brewers loss Friday night in Philadelphia could make things even closer.

“Baseball’s crazy,” outfielder Kyle Schwarber said. “You’ve seen a lot of races, I’m sure, and this is just the way that this division’s playing out. It’s really competitive between all of us.”

[CUBS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Not dissimilarly from that up-and-down first half, Friday’s contest had signs both positive and negative for the team still on a quest to repeat as World Series champions.

Arrieta might’ve been relatively unremarkable, but he only gave up two runs in six innings, bettering numbers that were downright ugly earlier this season and perhaps signaling that his second half will be far more consistent than his first. In four July starts, he’s got a 2.13 ERA after posting ERAs above 4.50 in each of the first three months of the season.

Willson Contreras continued his torrid July with a first-inning home run. He’s batting .363 on the month with five homers and 12 RBIs in 14 games.

But the negatives were gaudier and more directly involved in the result. In addition to the offense going 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranding nine base runners, a bullpen that had been incredibly reliable fell apart in can’t-look-away fashion. Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm combined to allow the first 11 batters of the eighth inning to reach. The first nine of them scored. Five of them walked.

Theo Epstein’s front office likely won’t answer the call of fans on Twitter howling for the team to trade for relief help. There’s no need to do that. Only the seemingly unbeatable Los Angeles Dodgers have a better bullpen ERA in the NL than the Cubs’ 3.51 mark.

“I trust our guys,” Maddon said, reacting to Friday’s nightmarish eighth. “The right guys are out there. C.J. was the right guy for the moment, it didn't play out. Rondon’s been throwing the ball great, but I really put him in a no-win situation. That’s my fault. And finally, Grimmer just had to suck it up.”

Maddon’s not wrong in singing the season-long praises of the three guys who got lit up Friday. But undoubtedly those three relievers provided some evidence that the final two and a half months of the regular season might not feature the Cubs sprinting away from their division-mates.

No, this could be a knock-down, drag-out fight to the finish. And the Cubs have 26 games remaining against the Brewers, Pirates and Cardinals.

So buckle up.

“That’s what you get when you play these kinds of teams that have a shot to reach the postseason,” Arrieta said. “We’re all within a few games of each other, so in our minds it’s up for grabs, it’s ours to take and we look forward to the opportunity to do so.”