CSN to celebrate 'Bulls Day presented by AT&T U-Verse' on Wednesday, Oct. 24

CSN to celebrate 'Bulls Day presented by AT&T U-Verse' on Wednesday, Oct. 24

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO CELEBRATE BULLS DAY presented by AT&T U-verse ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24

Network preps for the start of the 2012-13 Chicago Bulls season with a full day of Bulls-themed programming,
including live in-studio appearances from Carlos Boozer, Rip Hamilton, Taj Gibson, Nate Robinson, Jimmy Butler, John Paxson & more!

CSNChicago.com to feature full-blown Bulls content including exclusive, live-streamed features, live interactive Q&A with Bulls center Nazr Mohammed,
plus - BullsTalk content featured throughout the day via Bulls Insider Aggrey Sam

Plus Fans are urged to visit CSNChicago.com or watch Comcast SportsNet starting at 5:30 PM for details on how to win four tickets to the homeseason opener on Oct. 31 courtesy of the Chicago Bulls!

Chicago, IL (October 23, 2012) To celebrate the start of the upcoming 2012-13 Chicago Bulls season, Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the two-time defending regular season NBA Eastern Conference champs, is celebrating the start of the new season in a big way with BULLS DAY presented by AT&T U-verse on Wednesday, October 24.

Bulls Day presented by AT&T U-verse on Comcast SportsNet is highlighted by the Chicago Tribune Live & SportsNet Central live, in-studio appearances of Bulls players Carlos Boozer, Rip Hamilton, Taj Gibson, Nate Robinson, Jimmy Butler, along with Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson, plus - the Luvabulls & Benny the Bull! In addition, fans can look forward to a Bulls Classic telecast from last season featuring a standout performance by Derrick Rose and CSNChicago.com will provide numerous digital offerings throughout the day, including live-streamed features, a live interactive Q&A with Bulls center Nazr Mohammed and much more!

Plus Fans are urged to visit CSNChicago.com during the day or watch Comcast SportsNet starting at 5:30 PM for details on how they can win four tickets to the homeseason opener on Wed, Oct. 31 vs. Sacramento (courtesy of the Chicago Bulls). Winner will announced during GMC SportsNet Central at 10:00 PM.

REMINDER: The 2012-13 Chicago Bulls regular season on Comcast SportsNet gets underway on Friday, November 2 as the Bulls visit the Central Division rival Cleveland Cavaliers at 6:30 PM (NOTE: Expanded coverage gets underway on Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan at 5:00 PM; McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live begins at 6:00 PM). Kia Bulls Post Game Live immediately follows the game featuring Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeaus post-game press conference (to also be streamed on CSNChicago.com), along with live locker room player interviews and complete post-game analysis. ALSO Comcast SportsNet will air a special Opening Night edition of Kia Bulls Post Game Live immediately following the Bulls homeseason opener on Wednesday, October 31 vs. Sacramento (approx. 9:30 PM).

Note the following on-aironline highlights from Bulls Day presented by AT&T U-verse on Comcast SportsNet coming up this Wednesday, October 24:

CHICAGO TRIBUNE LIVE presented by Captain Morgan (5:30 PM)

- It will be a star-studded Bulls edition of CTL as host David Kaplan and Tribune writers will be joined by array of Bulls onoff-court representatives including Bulls Executive Vice President Basketball Operations John Paxson, along with team members Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and Nate Robinson for a complete 2012-13 NBABulls season preview analysis.

SPORTSNET CENTRAL presented by AT&T U-Verse (6:30 PM)

- Hosts Mark Schanowski & Gail Fischer will be joined on set by Bulls guard Richard Rip Hamilton during the telecast to discuss team expectations for the upcoming season and how his role will change with Kirk Hinrich handling the point guard responsibilities during Derrick Roses absence. NOTE: The 10:00 PM & 10:30 PM editions of GMC SportsNet Central, along with the midnight edition of SportsNet Central presented by CLR, will also feature a heavy Bulls Day focus.

BULLS CLASSIC: BULLS at MILWAUKEE (from March 7, 2012) (7:00 PM)

- In one of his most impressive performances from last season, Derrick Rose poured in 30 huge points, including an incredible, game-winning buzzer-beater that stunned the crowd in Milwaukee. Rose also dished out 11 assists in the win with teammate Joakim Noah contributing with a double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds). It was the Bulls eighth-straight win at that point in the season, raising their season record to 33-8.

CHICAGO BULLS SEASON PREVIEW SPECIAL presented by AT&T U-verse (9:30 PM)

- Hosted by Comcast SportsNets Bulls PrePost Game Live tandem of Mark Schanowski & former NBABullsFighting Illini star Kendall Gill, the Chicago Bulls Season Preview Special presented by AT&T U-verse will feature interviews with Bulls playerscoaches, along with a review of all the off-season transactions from the around the league and how these moves impact the Bulls this season.

CSNCHICAGO.COM (ALL DAY)

The Bulls will have a complete take over of CSNChicago.com on Oct. 24, providing a full interactive experience for fans. Note the following highlights:
Live stream showcasing the Bulls visit to the Comcast SportsNet newsroom starting at 4:30 PM
Bulls Day takeover of CSNChicago.com home page BullsTalk content featured throughout the day via Bulls Insider Aggrey Sam (and via Twitter @CSNBullsInsider & @BullsTalkCSN); fans urged to utilize the BullsTalk hashtag throughout the day
Bulls Talk Live Live fan Q&A with Bulls center Nazr Mohammed via live stream on CSNChicago.com
Twitter takeover Q&A with Bulls players via CSNs main Twitter account @CSNChicago
Behind-the-scenes videos of Bulls interviews will be posted on CSNChicago.com during the CSN visit
Photo galleries and much more

White Sox expect Chris Sale's return to be 'fairly normal'

White Sox expect Chris Sale's return to be 'fairly normal'

It doesn’t sound as if there’s much ambivalence among the White Sox about Chris Sale’s expected return on Thursday.

Manager Robin Ventura said Wednesday he expects things to be “fairly normal” as Sale is scheduled to pitch the finale of the Crosstown series after serving a five-game suspension for insubordination and destruction of team property. Adam Eaton said teammates should have no reservations about Sale’s coming back after his actions Saturday left them in a bit of a bind. And pitching coach Don Cooper said he’s the first to forgive and that everyone has situations they might later wish they’d handled differently.

“Open arms,” Eaton said. “He’s our teammate. He’s our guy. All of the things that are swelling around about his character, who he is as a player … he’s my brother and I enjoy every second with him on and off the field. Can’t be a better person. I’ll be excited to see him and I’m sure he’ll be in the same form he’s been the entire year — go out and perform and be Chris Sale.

“I’m sure he’ll be well-rested and a clear mind for him I’m sure is going to be a good thing. We’ll welcome him back.”

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The pitching staff could use some innings from Sale without question. When he didn’t pitch Saturday, the White Sox filled those innings with a committee of relief pitchers. Prior to Tuesday’s win, the bullpen had pitched 19 1/3 innings the previous four games.

But the White Sox have handled the drama extremely well. They’re 4-0 with one game left in Sale’s suspension and they look forward to having their ace back. Cooper said he hopes to move on, sentiments that were previously echoed by Ventura and executive vice president Kenny Williams.

“Welcome back, let’s go,” Cooper said. “Let’s go to work. Let’s move on. Listen man, who would want to be held responsible for the (stuff) they did at 22, 24, 26, 27, you know what I mean? He’s way too good of a kid. I don’t think anybody would. Everybody screws up from time to time or has some missteps.”

One of the actions that has caught Sale flack is his criticism of Ventura’s handling of the situation. Neither Ventura or Williams responded to Sale’s comment on Tuesday that “Robin is the one who has to fight for us.” Ventura said he wouldn’t have done things any differently and Williams applauded how Hahn and Ventura handled a difficult, “unique” situation.

Ventura said he doesn’t expect much out of the ordinary.

“I think it’s going to be fine,” Ventura said. “Players always have their teammates’ backs, and that’s no different with our clubhouse, and it’s going to be fairly normal, as far as he’s going to be prepared to pitch and our guys are going to prepare to play and it’s going to go from there.”

White Sox C Dioner Navarro has a good story behind the best game of his career

White Sox C Dioner Navarro has a good story behind the best game of his career

There’s a good story behind the best game of Dioner Navarro’s 13-year career. 

On May 29, 2013, Navarro — then playing for the Cubs — hit three home runs and drive in six in a 9-3 Crosstown victory at Wrigley Field. Both were career highs. 

And Navarro did it without a whole lot of preparation. 

“I got to the ballpark and I didn’t see the lineup, I thought I wasn’t playing,” Navarro recalled. “So we go out for stretch and the first group is hitting and they called my name and I’m like, ‘What the hell is going on?’ And they said ‘You’re playing.’ It was already too late to get into the group so I went inside.”

Navarro only took two rounds of batting practice in his haste to get ready. But he also took those swings thinking right-hander Jake Peavy was going to start for the White Sox, so he hit left-handed during batting practice. 

The White Sox, though, were starting left-hander John Danks, so the switch-hitting Navarro wound up batting right-handed when the game started. 

The pregame mixup hardly hurt Navarro, as it turned out. He homered off Danks in his first and second at-bats, and then launched a three-run homer in the seventh off White Sox right-hander Brian Omogrosso. 

“It was one of the best experiences of my career,” Navarro said.

Navarro is one of a handful of people to play for both the Cubs and White Sox since the two teams began their annual interleague series in 1997 (others include pitchers Jeff Samardzija, Bob Howry, Edwin Jackson and Neal Cotts, among others). His perspective from playing off the Addison and Sox/35th Red Line stops is one he said he’ll cherish after his career is over. 

“I’m really fortunate to be part of it from both sides,” Navarro said. “A little bit bittersweet because the Cubbies had lost 100 games the year before and we were onto our way to lose 100 more games that year (2013). But still the rivalry against this team was something that people always talked about. Being part of it with the Cubs and now being part with the White Sox is a tremendous experience, something I look forward to share with my kids when I get older.”

White Sox happy to retain, and drink beer from, Crosstown Cup

White Sox happy to retain, and drink beer from, Crosstown Cup

The White Sox had a little fun with the Crosstown Cup trophy after securing it for the third consecutive year.

Well, at least one player did for sure: Left fielder Melky Cabrera, according to first baseman Jose Abreu, drank some beer out of the trophy after the White Sox beat the Cubs, 3-0, Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. 

The White Sox retained the Crosstown Cup by virtue of winning the season series in 2014 (three wins, one loss), splitting in 2015 (three wins, three losses), and assuring themselves of at least a split in 2016 (two wins with two games to play). 

This isn’t like a college football rivalry trophy that gets passed between campuses every year. And baseball players generally aren't keen to over-emphasize four or six games over the course of a 162-game season. 

But the Crosstown Cup is still a trophy, and it’s one White Sox right fielder Adam Eaton appreciated receiving again. 

“Any time you win an award — I don’t care if my grandma gives me an award during checkers, I’m excited,” Eaton said. “I don’t really care. But if you play for anything there’s some extra emphasis there. I definitely do think guys take pride in it for sure. But more pride in it that our side of town is happy with us in that sense that we’ve taken the cup back. 

“You don’t want to put too much emphasis on any particular series. But at the same time, if it makes our fans happy that we got the cup back then that’s what we do.”