5 Questions with...The Score's Laurence Holmes

61411.jpg

5 Questions with...The Score's Laurence Holmes

By Jeff Nuich
CSN Chicago Senior Director of CommunicationsCSNChicago.com Contributor

November 4, 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 weekhighly-regarding as one of the top young personalities on Chicago sports radiohis local sports insight can be heard Monday-Friday from 6:00-10:00 PM on WSCR AM 670 The Score as host of the Me Showhere are 5 Questions withLAURENCE HOLMES!

BIO: Laurence Holmes has been a fixture at The Score since 1998. He was just 22 years old when he started producing Les Grobsteins overnight show. Hes done just about every job at the Score: Board Op, Executive Producer and now Host and Reporter. He started covering the Bears in 2003 and has made it his passion. He says hes obsessed with whats going on with the team and makes it his goal to find the truth and bring it to his listeners.

From a personal side...Holmes was born and raised on the Southside. RoselandMorgan Park to be specific. He fell in love with radio listening to Steve Dahl & Garry Meier on his parents kitchen floor. His family moved to Glenwood, so he could attend Homewood-Flossmoor High School. He had his own talk show at H-F when he was 16 and says the facilities at H-F were better than the old Score bunker on Belmont.

From there, Holmes went to DePaul and, while a student, he interned for Lou Canellis and Jeff Joniak at WMAQ radio. He got his first taste of TV working on the weekends at Channel 9 for Dan Roan and Rich King. A solid athlete as well, Holmes played baseball for the DePaul Club team and even had minor-league tryouts with the Marlins, Braves and Exposhes now the starting third baseman for the Score softball team. Such is life.

1) CSNChicago.com: Laurence, this Bears season has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride and thats probably going to continue for the rest of the season. As someone who covers the Bears so closely, right now, what are three things that are working for this team and three things that Lovie Smith and his staff should change immediately?

Holmes: Heres what's working:

1) Special Teams: Dave Toub is one of the best in the business. People used to think it was just Devin Hester, but he keeps finding returners, whether it's Danieal Manning, Johnny Knox or Earl Bennett. Robbie Gould is as quality a kicker that there is in the league (under 48 yards) and Brad Maynard has been awesome punting the ball inside the 20. The coverage teams are really solid as well.

2) Lance Briggs: What I love about Lance is that he's living up to his big-money contract. A lot of players cry about money and then when they get it, they don't produce. When you watch games, Lance is everywhere. I think people are learning that his game is just not a product of playing alongside of Brian Urlacher. Lance has elevated his game. For everyone who pines for Bernard Berrian, realize that had Berrian re-signed with the Bears, Lance would most likely be somewhere else.

3) Jay Cutler: Yes, he's struggled, but the quarterback position for the Bears has never been so solid. The best is yet to come for him and the Bears offense, but it's nice to see a QB who doesn't have limitations.

Now, what's going wrong...

1) The Offensive Line: They've really struggled. I've heard that they're still getting to know each other, but we're now seven games in and they still play like strangers. It makes me sad because you're seeing the end of two great careers (Olin Kreutz and Orlando Pace). Run-game and pass protection have been the problem. You've seen Cutler take to 7-step drops to try and get time. If they ran better, it might lead to a better pass-game.

2) Pass Rush: Things looked really promising at the beginning of the season. Wale and Alex were getting to the QB and then it just stopped. They would be helped by sustained pressure up the middle, but Tommie Harris (who unlike Lance), got the money and hasn't lived up to it.

3) The Head Coach's Attitude: I have to admit that this is MY issue. Its effect on the team is minimal. I don't mean "fire & passion. I wish that Lovie would give more freely of himself. He asked Bears fans to trust him after the Super Bowl season. As it stands, he's a .500 coach since then and he isn't going to be given the benefit of the doubt because you don't feel like you know him. And even if that's an illusion, it breeds trust. For the record, I think Lovie is a good coach and, a lot of times, he gets a rough ride, but if his team doesn't make the playoffs for a third consecutive year, people will begin to wonder if he is leading the Bears in the right direction.

2) CSNChicago.com: Speaking of Lovie Smith, the national media is now covering what has been written locally about fans becoming impatient after the teams mediocre start, especially with all the enormous pre-season hype and big expectations with the acquisition of Jay Cutler. If the Bears fail to make the playoffs this year, do you really think Lovie may be out of a job come January?
Holmes: I think, because of the money he's owed, the Bears will be hesitant to make a move, but when you consider that there are coaches out there who have won Super Bowls (Mike Holmgren, Mike Shannahan, Jon Gruden and Bill Cower), they'd be silly to not explore making a move. Especially, when you consider Shannahan's relationship with Cutler.

3) CSNChicago.com: Your success at The Score has been nothing but impressive over all these years. Youre still a young guy, but a veteran so to speak at the station. What advice do you have for aspiring broadcast journalists out there that want to break into the sports radio biz?
Holmes: Well, thank you. I would tell them to study what they're interested in if they're in college. I was Pre-Law at DePaul and finished with a History Degree. You don't have to go to school to do this. I would also advise that if you're looking to do this for a living, internships are crucial. I worked the desk at the Daily Southtown, to see what print was like. While I was producing Les Grobsteins show, I was working as an intern at Channel 9 to see what TV was like. Be varied. Realize that you're doing this job because you love it...if there is "big money" to be made, it's WAAAAAAYYY down the road. When you start out, you're gonna be poor, (I lived off of less than 25,000 for a long time), but the experiences you'll have will be worth it.

4) CSNChicago.com: Your high school alma mater, Homewood-Flossmoor, has cranked out some pretty impressive local sports talents over the years such as yourself, MLB.coms Scott Merkin and Comcast SportsNets very own Chuck Garfien to name a few. Its unfortunate that many young and talented aspiring broadcast journalists in Chicagos inner city do not have the same hands-on access and available facilities that benefited you, Scott, Chuck and so many others who attended suburban high schools. In your opinion, what can we do to change this?

Holmes: That's a great question. At H-F, you can basically "major" in broadcast journalism. I spent most of my junior and senior years working on what would later be my career. My broadcasting teachers, Mr. Comstock and Ms. Tipton, treated WHFH like a professional radio station. That's why you see me, Chuck and the Merkin brothers working in this market. And it's not just sports. Ben Bradley (Channel 7) and Jen Jameson (Q101) came out of there too.

Regarding potential future broadcasters living in the inner city, it deserves more thought than I can type. My parents have a combined 75 years in the CPS and, when I would visit them, you'd see the difference in materials, money and equipment. Kids need to know it's an option. They need to know it's something that is within they're grasp. And perhaps that means I should get off my butt and start working with all the connections I've made for equipment donations and training seminars.

5) CSNChicago.com: Name the most overrated and underrated athletes in Chicago pro sports today?

Holmes: If there's one thing that I've learned from Dan Bernstein and Terry Boers, it's that I don't know what "overrated and underrated" mean. Mainly because there's no consensus on who's doing the rating...so I'll give you someone from each team that I love watching play.

Bears: Alex Brown. His motor never stops. He is equal parts little kid and total professional when he plays. He emotes like a fan, win or lose.

Sox: John Danks. Lots of talent, even more guts. His performance in the "Blackout" game vs. Minnesota is one of my favorite personal sports memories.

Cubs: Carlos Marmol. I know he's a roller coaster ride, but when he's on, his slider is unhittable.

Bulls: Joakim Noah. I think he gets it. Everyone will remember the bow-tie and the weird hair on draft day, but last year, he grew as a player. He busts his hump every night.

Hawks: Duncan Keith. It's real easy to be enthralled with the scoring ability of Patrick Kane or the leadership of Jonathan Toews, but Duncan Keith is just a solid player. He works hard and the Hawks defensemen are pretty skilled.

Fire: Marco Pappa. It's so much fun to watch him run.

Holmes LINKS:

WSCR AM 670 The Score website

Laurence Holmes Chicago Football Blog
Laurence Holmes on Facebook

Mild-mannered Kris Bryant ejected from a game for the first time ever

kris_bryant_ejected_cubs_slide_photo.jpg
AP

Mild-mannered Kris Bryant ejected from a game for the first time ever

Here's something you don't see every day:

Kris Bryant, one of the most mild-mannered people on the entire planet, was just ejected from Tuesday's Cubs-Sox game in the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes:

Bryant immediately spun and argued with home plate umpire Lance Barksdale and as the reigning MVP turned to walk back to the dugout, got one last line in that did the trick.

It was Bryant's third strikeout of the game in three at-bats against Carlos Rodon and both Cubs and Sox players took exception with Barksdale's zone throughout the game. 

Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and Sox third baseman Matt Davidson all argued with Barksdale after being caught looking within the first few innings of the ballgame.

Bryant had a point, however. The pitch was more than four inches outside, according to the Cubs Strike Zone Twitter account:

Bryant has never been ejected from a big-league game in his career. He was ejected once in the minors back in 2014, also for arguing balls and strikes.

The pitch before Bryant was rung up, he fouled a ball off his knee and crumbled in pain. A rough two-pitch stretch for the MVP there.

CSN to provide alternative Spanish-language telecasts for upcoming White Sox & Cubs games on CSN+

csn_generic_slide.jpg

CSN to provide alternative Spanish-language telecasts for upcoming White Sox & Cubs games on CSN+

MONDAY, JULY 31 at 7:00 PM CT (White Sox vs. Toronto) – featuring game analyst OZZIE GUILLEN

TUESDAY, AUGUST 1 at 7:00 PM CT (Cubs vs. Arizona) – featuring game analyst CARLOS ZAMBRANO

Chicago, IL (July 25, 2017) For the first time in network history, CSN Chicago (CSN), the home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs, will be providing an alternative Spanish-language telecast for each team that will air exclusively on CSN+ (also streaming live on CSNChicago.com and via the NBC Sports app).  CSN’s upcoming pair of alternative Spanish-language telecasts will also feature game analysis provided by two Chicago baseball icons: 2005 White Sox World Series manager Ozzie Guillen (on Monday, July 31) and three-time Cubs All-Star starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano (on Tuesday, August 1).

On Monday, July 31, CSN will carry the first of its two Spanish-language telecasts as the White Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:00 PM CT (White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships begins at 6:30 PM).  Calling the game on CSN+ will be Noticiero Telemundo Chicago’s lead sports anchor/veteran play-by-play announcer Rodrigo Arana, who will be joined in the booth by the always-candid and entertaining Ozzie Guillen, who led the White Sox to their first World Series title in 88 years, earning the 2005 American League “Manager of the Year” honor.  CSN’s primary White Sox announcing team of Jason Benetti and Steve Stone will provide the call of the game on the main CSN channel location. 

Then, on Tuesday, August 1, CSN will head to the north side of town for its second alternative Spanish-language telecast when the Cubs host the Arizona Diamondbacks at 7:00 PM CT (Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group gets underway at 6:30 PM).  Arana will once again handle play-by-play duties on CSN+, but will be joined in the booth this time by former Cubs standout pitcher (and hitter) Carlos Zambrano. In his 11 seasons with the Cubs, Zambrano made the National League All-Star team three times, earned three Silver Slugger awards, and finished in the NL’s top ten in ERA four-straight years (2003-06).  The primary call of the game on the main CSN channel location will be handled by CSN’s Cubs announcing duo of Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies

“With a diverse and dedicated Chicago baseball fan base throughout the entire Chicago market, we are excited to provide these Spanish-language White Sox and Cubs telecasts, showcasing the standout play-by-play call from Rodrigo and the in-depth and entertaining analysis from both Ozzie and Carlos,” said Greg Bowman, VP of Programming for CSN Chicago.

The alternative Spanish-language White Sox & Cubs telecasts will be televised exclusively on CSN+, which is available in high-definition on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 201 in the Chicago area/South Bend, IN & on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 285 in the Peoria, Springfield, Rockford and Champaign markets, along with being made available in DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, RCN, and WOW! homes among others; viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER for complete channel location details. 

In addition, the English and Spanish versions of the White Sox game on July 31 and the Cubs game on August 1 will BOTH be accessible live via CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports app to authenticated CSN Chicago subscribers.  The live streaming service is currently available to customers of Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Mediacom, RCN, WOW!, Time Warner Cable and Charter among numerous other carriers.  For a full list of carriers and more information about CSN Chicago’s live streaming service of White Sox games, viewers are urged to visit the following link: http://www.csnchicago.com/live-faq .  The live stream of CSN’s White Sox & Cubs telecasts is presented by State Farm

Throughout the season, fans are also urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s “WhiteSoxTalk” (CSNChicago.com/white-sox) and “CubsTalk” (CSNChicago.com/cubs) sections for complete game previews/recaps, the latest news & rumors, feature reports, videos, and much more.  Fans can also follow the network’s dedicated team-specific Twitter handles (@CSNWhiteSox and @CSNCubs) for the latest news and up-to-the-minute team/player reports 24/7.  In addition, fans can look forward to new editions of CSN’s popular White Sox & Cubs PODCASTS (presented by Wintrust) featuring the network’s roster of baseball experts, along with numerous special guests.  All of CSN’s podcasts can be downloaded at CSNChicago.com/podcasts and by simply subscribing to them via Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher.  The podcasts can be played on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer.