Bears prepared for 'dirty' Lions


Bears prepared for 'dirty' Lions

Forget Bears-Packers as far as a blood feud. Rivalry, yes. True feud? Thats Bears-Detroit Lions.

Affable defensive tackle Henry Melton, for instance, really didnt want to talk on Wednesday about the hard feelings that flow between Detroit and Chicago.

I dont want to say anything, Melton said, because I dont like Detroit.

But he really couldnt help himself. Reminded that Bears dont truly like Packers a rule, Melton conceded that at least with the Packers in position to help the Bears into the playoffs with a win over the Minnesota Vikings, I like Green Bay this week, he said with a laugh. But I really dont like Detroit.

The reason is simple, right there in the kind of game the Bears expect from the Lions:

Dirty, Melton said, bluntly. Theyre dirty. Theyve always been a dirty team since Ive been here. I dont like them.

The flags, fines and tempers have been flying more since Jim Schwartz came in as head coach in 2009. He has heard the accusations, seen the penalties against players on both sides of the football in Bears-Lions games, but he has always defended some say enabled his team.

I dont know about the dirty charges, Schwartz said on Wednesday. The focus is on the game on Sunday, and I think that when youre in the division, teams know each other very well. They play against each other a lot.

The one thing thats going to matter when we get to Sunday is the guys that are on the field and playing, and I think well just leave it there.

Coach Lovie Smith may use antagonisms for motivation of his team but its typically in private. He downplays dirty in public.

Its like that all weeks, Smith said. Every week is like that for us. Were not normally a team that gets into that type

I dont know why there would be any more. Again, we know each other. Its normally a hard-fought game and thats all were expecting from them.

One perspective would be that the Lions in fact already have accomplished something the Bears are worried about what the Lions do outside the rules instead of what they do inside the confines of plays.

Theyre going to be looking for cheap shots and all that mess, Melton said. Weve just got to hold our composure and play the game we know

They just try and do all this extra stuff talking, little cheap shots. If you look at the tape, theyve always thrown cheap shots. We had a brawl I think last year. So, it is what it is. Im ready.

Lucas Giolito striving to contribute to White Sox 'as soon as possible'

Lucas Giolito striving to contribute to White Sox 'as soon as possible'

At one point, it was looking like Lucas Giolito could be headed to the White Sox in exchange for Chris Sale.

But when Sale was dealt to the Boston Red Sox, Giolito's name was in the clear of rumors — until 29 hours later, when the Nationals' top prospect would be headed to Chicago in a different trade, which sent outfielder Adam Eaton to Washington.

“It’s kind of like the world we live in now. Social media is always out there and everything is on Twitter,” Giolito said in a conference call Friday. “I saw my name being mentioned on Twitter for Chris Sale. I know with the winter meetings all sorts of stuff being thrown around. I was just trying to focus on what I’m doing in this offseason which is lifting and all my workouts. Kind of just whatever happens, happens. 

“It’s funny that Sale ended up going to the Red Sox and something else happens that I’m going to the White Sox now with a couple teammates. It’s really interesting stuff but I’m super excited.”

The move for Rick Hahn & Co. to acquire Giolito was the second major trade to begin the White Sox rebuilding process. But Giolito didn't come alone.

In addition, the White Sox received Reynaldo Lopez — who Giolito has played with since 2014 — and the Nationals' 2016 first-round pick Dane Dunning.

"I definitely think it’s amazing to be coming over to the White Sox with a bunch of young talent," Giolito said. "I think it’s a great opportunity for us to all develop and get better and hopefully put a really good team together in Chicago. Definitely excited to be coming over with a couple guys from my previous organization."

[MORE: Rick Hahn, White Sox prepared to make more 'painful decisions' if the price is right]

Giolito went 6-5 with a 2.97 ERA and 1.28 WHIP across three minor-league levels this past season. He admitted his mechanics weren't quite in sync and is looking to improve on that.

"Sometimes things get out of whack. I believe I let too much get out of whack last year," Giolito said. "So this year with my training program I have in this offseason — lifting and Pilates and everything — I’m just trying to make sure that I can stay as athletic as possible so I’m able to repeat the right delivery more often. Once I start playing catch and doing bullpens and everything these next few weeks, right before spring training, I’m going to make sure I put that all together so I can repeat my delivery as best as possible."

His struggles continued when he got to The Show.

In his major-league debut on June 28, Giolito held the New York Mets to just one hit over four scoreless innings before a rain delay cut his night short. That turned out to be his most effective outing of the season as he finished the year with an 0-1 record, 6.75 ERA and 1.78 WHIP in six games with the Nationals, four of them being starts.

"(My MLB debut) didn’t go as well as I would’ve liked it to go, obviously, as you look at the numbers and everything," he said, "but I feel that with the White Sox now (and) getting traded and everything, it’s kind of like a fresh opportunity and a new start to get up to the big leagues again and contribute and do everything I can to stay there as well."

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Despite his low numbers, the 22-year-old Giolito believes he's ready to play on the White Sox main roster as soon as next season.

"I’ve had some experience in the big leagues last year," Giolito said. "Especially last year, I took a lot positives away because I did experience such a good amount of failure in a lot of I’d say like hardship when I made it up and didn’t perform up to what I believe is my best capabilities.

"I’ve pitched a good amount of innings in the minor leagues and I’ve had a little experience in the big leagues so I’m just really looking forward to making it up in the big leagues with the White Sox and contributing as soon as possible."

WATCH: Blackhawks play Blues in NHL 17 ahead of Winter Classic showdown

WATCH: Blackhawks play Blues in NHL 17 ahead of Winter Classic showdown

For the third time since the event was created, the Blackhawks will participate in the Winter Classic, facing the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 2, 2017.

To build some hype for the Central Division showdown, which will feature two teams that find themselves battling for the top seed in the Western Conference, Ryan Hartman and Trevor van Riemsdyk of the Blackhawks squared off with Joel Edmundson and Robby Fabbri of the Blues in EA Sports' NHL 17.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Edmunson and Fabbri jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but the finish would be determined in 3-on-3 overtime.

Check out who came out on top in the video below: