CSN, CSNChicago.com to deliver comprehensive White Sox & Cubs 2012 'Opening Week' coverage

CSN, CSNChicago.com to deliver comprehensive White Sox & Cubs 2012 'Opening Week' coverage

COMCAST SPORTSNET & CSNCHICAGO.COM TO DELIVER COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE FOR ITS 2012 WHITE SOX & CUBS OPENING WEEK TELECASTS

Expanded Coverage for White Sox SeasonRoad Opener on Apr. 6 & Home Opener on Apr. 13;
Expanded Coverage for Comcast SportsNets first Cubs telecast at Home on Apr. 7;

CSNChicago.com coverage highlighted by Opening Day prepost-game video reports, exclusive behind-the-scenes video, Plus - feature stories, talent blogs, in-game Twitter messages from Insiders & on-air talent and much more!

Chicago, IL (April 3, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs, will deliver expanded coverage for the 2012 White Sox seasonroad opener on Friday, April 6 featuring an expanded, one-hour, Opening Day edition of White Sox Pre-Game Live, an expanded edition of White Sox Post Game Live, along with complete coverage of MLBs Opening Day on Chicago Tribune Live & SportsNet Central! Comcast SportsNet will also have expanded coverage for its first Cubs game of the season on Saturday, April 7 and the White Sox Home Opener on Friday, April 13. Plus, Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, will provide fans with even more extensive Opening Week coverage, including exclusive behind-the-scenes Opening Week video from U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field, along with feature stories, talent blogs, videos, game previewsrecaps and much more. Also, every White Sox and Cubs home and road telecast on Comcast SportsNet will once again presented in high-definition (HD) all season long.

For the White Sox seasonroad opener on Friday, April 6, Comcast SportsNet will begin its marathon White Sox coverage beginning at 11:30 AM with an encore edition of its popular one-on-one interview series, Inside Look, featuring White Sox and Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. Following Inside Look, Comcast SportsNet will air a special one-hour Opening Day remote edition of White Sox Pre-Game Live from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX, beginning at 12 NOON. Then at 1:00 PM, the White Sox face the two-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers in the season opener featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone with the call. The game will be immediately followed by an expanded edition of White Sox Post Game Live, also live from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Note the following highlights from Comcast SportsNets White Sox Opening Day coverage on April 6:

FRIDAY, APRIL 6 on COMCAST SPORTSNET WHITE SOX OPENING DAY!

11:30 AM Inside Look: Jerry Reinsdorf Encore edition featuring the White Sox & Bulls Chairman
12:00 PM White Sox Pre-Game Live Expanded one-hour, pre-game coverage featuring Comcast SportsNets Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton LIVE from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX. Special Opening Day pre-game features include a scheduled live interview with White Sox GM Kenny Williams and new manager Robin Ventura, numerous interviews with White Sox players and coaches, a complete 2012 season preview focusing on the teams line-up and overall offensive roster, the pitching staff, team defense and much more.
1:00 PM WHITE SOX at TEXAS (L) Featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson & Steve Stone on the call
4:00 PM White Sox Post Game Live (time approx.) Hosted by Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton featuring the LIVE post-game press conference featuring new White Sox manager Robin Ventura, along with player interviews and complete post-game analysis.
4:30 PM Inside Look: Jerry Reinsdorf Encore edition featuring the White Sox & Bulls Chairman
5:30 PM Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan Hosted by David Kaplan; program will feature a thorough recap and analysis of the White Sox season opener
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse Complete game recap, highlights, interviews and more
7:00 PM White Sox at Texas (game replay)
10:00 PM & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central Comprehensive White Sox Opening Day local recap and national Opening Day recaps from around Major League Baseball

On Saturday, April 7, Comcast SportsNet will provide fans with extensive coverage of its first Chicago Cubs telecast of the 2012 season. Live coverage begins at 11:00 AM with an expanded, one-hour edition of Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live, which will take place remotely from Wrigley Field. At 12 NOON, the Cubs face the Washington Nationals with the game being immediately followed by an expanded edition of Cubs Post Game Live, presented by Horseshoe Casino. Note the following highlights from Comcast SportsNets first Cubs telecast of the 2012 season on April 7:

SATURDAY, APRIL 7 on COMCAST SPORTSNET CUBS vs. NATIONALS!

11:00 AM Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live Expanded pre-game coverage featuring Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan, Todd Hollandsworth and Gail Fischer LIVE from Wrigley Field. Special pre-game features include interviews with Cubs players and coaches on the upcoming season, along with Cubs front office exec interviews discussing their expectations for the season, plus - a special Whats New at Wrigley Field? segment with focus on the teams new bleacher set-up in right field, a complete offensivepitchingdefensive preview of the 2012 season and much more.
12:00 PM CUBS vs. WASHINGTON (L) Featuring Len Kasper & Bob Brenly on the call
3:00 PM Cubs Post Game Live, presented by Horseshoe Casino (time approx.) Hosted by David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth from the Comcast SportsNet studios featuring the LIVE post-game press conference featuring new Cubs manager Dale Sveum, player interviews and complete game analysis.
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse Comprehensive Cubs game recap, along with a complete recap of the day in sports.
7:00 PM Cubs vs. Washington (game replay)
10:00 PM & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central Comprehensive Cubs and White Sox game recaps, along with a complete recap of the day in sports.

Finally, viewers can also look forward to extensive coverage of the 2012 White Sox HOME OPENER on Friday, April 13. Comcast SportsNet will begin its Opening Day festivities coverage live from U.S. Cellular Field beginning at 12 NOON with a special, one-hour Home Opener edition of White Sox Pre-Game Live. Then at 1:00 PM, the White Sox face the defending AL Central champion Detroit Tigers featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone with the call. The game will be immediately followed by an expanded edition of White Sox Post Game Live. Note the following highlights from Comcast SportsNets White Sox Home Opener coverage on April 13:

FRIDAY, APRIL 13 on COMCAST SPORTSNET WHITE SOX HOME OPENER!

12:00 PM White Sox Pre-Game Live Expanded one-hour, pre-game coverage featuring Comcast SportsNets Chuck Garfien, Bill Melton and Sarah Kustok LIVE from U.S. Cellular Field. Coverage to include special Opening Day pre-game interviews with coaches, players and VIPs in attendance, a Whats New at U.S. Cellular Field? segment featuring the latest in-stadium highlights and offerings for Sox fans this season, plus Comcast SportsNet will carry the player and coaches introductions LIVE prior to the start of the game and much more.
1:00 PM WHITE SOX vs. DETROIT (L) Featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson & Steve Stone on the call
4:00 PM White Sox Post Game Live (time approx.) Hosted by Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton from the Comcast SportsNet studios highlighted by the LIVE post-game press conference featuring White Sox manager Robin Ventura, along with player interviews and complete post-game analysis.
5:30 PM Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan Hosted by David Kaplan; program will feature a thorough recap and analysis of the White Sox home opener
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse Complete game recap, highlights, interviews and more
7:00 PM White Sox vs. Detroit (game replay)
10:00 PM & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central Comprehensive White Sox Opening Day recap and more!

From an online perspective, Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, will deliver extensive Opening Week coverage and comprehensive 247 White Sox and Cubs coverage throughout the season, including the following highlights:

Live stream of Robin Ventura & Dale Sveums post-game press conferences from U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field
New-look White Sox & Cubs team pages offer the latest news, enhanced articles, player interviews, video, stats and more around the clock.
Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) will filing daily stories and video from Wrigley Field, as well as provide up-to-the-minute news via Twitter to bring fans closer to the game.
Cubs Talk blog will offer news, views and analysis from Cubs blogger Tony Andracki, Mooney, Cubs PrePost Game Live host David Kaplan (@thekapman) and Cubs analyst Todd Hollandsworth. Cubs fans can also follow key Twitter accounts, including @TonyAndracki23 and @CubsTalkCSN for news and updates.
White Sox Talk blog will offer news, analysis and features from White Sox blogger J.J. Stankevitz, Garfien and Bill Melton. White Sox fans can also follow key Twitter accounts, including @ChuckGarfien, @JJStankevitz and @WhiteSoxTalkCSN for news and updates.
Chuck Garfien will offer reports and insight via his wildly-popular Sox Drawer blog.
CSNChicago.coms White Sox & Cubs content will be featured on NBCSports.com and Hardball Talk throughout the week and throughout the 2012 MLB season.

Bears great Jay Hilgenberg to new C Cornelius Edison: “You deserve to be there”

Bears great Jay Hilgenberg to new C Cornelius Edison: “You deserve to be there”

The storyline has already been formed: If the Bears are forced to go with undrafted Cornelius Edison as their center, the 2016 season is lost.

“I mean, how ridiculous to think that an undrafted free agent could be the starting center for the Chicago Bears, and they win,” deadpanned Jay Hilgenberg, making less than no attempt to mask the irony in his voice.

With very good reason.

Because Hilgenberg himself came into the NFL as an afterthought, undrafted out of Iowa in 1981 and then going on to an 11-year career with the Bears, capped by a Super Bowl ring in 1985. Seven Pro Bowls, five All-Pro selections.

Ridiculous.

Edison may come nowhere near the heights reached by Hall of Fame nominee Hilgenberg. Or of Hall of Fame Miami center Jim Langer, also undrafted. But Hilgenberg has a strong bit of advice for Edison, who started Saturday in the Bears preseason game vs. Kansas City and could be their starter on Opening Day, depending on health elsewhere on the interior of the Bears offensive line.

“I would say to him, ‘You’re in an NFL camp because you can play football,’” Hilgenberg told CSNChicago.com. “Don’t let how you entered that camp take anything away from you. You deserve to be there. You just need to prove it a little bit more than the first-rounders.’”

[SHOP: Get your Bears gear right here]

It may not always be easy, of course.

Hilgenberg, who fought his way onto the final roster in 1981, once famously turned to then-teammate Revie Sorey on the bench during a blowout of the Bears in Hilgenberg’s first season, and said, “Revie, we’re the worst team in the NFL.”

Sorey, never one to duck the truth, nodded.

Hilgenberg added, “And I’m the worst player on this team.”

Again, no disagreement from Sorey.

“So that makes me the worst player in the NFL, doesn’t it?” Hilgenberg concluded.

Silence from Sorey.

Hilgenberg turned out to not be the worst player in the NFL, but not without epic struggles, and he knows what Edison will be going through. And how the young center can make it.

[MORE BEARS: Rookie class making much-needed impact]

“To be honest there is always a little insecurity in you,” Hilgenberg recalled. “I had confidence that I belonged but I had to fight every day. And the truth is, I wanted it more than anything else in the world. I was going to make it.

“I didn’t have Plan B. I didn’t want to go back to Iowa then, so I didn’t have Plan B.

Hilgenberg used teams’ not drafting him as motivation, and Bears teammates recalled him savoring facing supposed elite defensive linemen, No. 1 picks, and handling them. Beyond his attitude, however, was a method.

“I played against a lot of big, strong guys in the NFL, and I wasn’t going to back down from anybody,” Hilgenberg said. “As soon as you learn how to play with the right fundamentals, you learn that there’s no Supermen out there. If you can play fundamentally and with good technique, you can block anybody… .

“Offensive line play is honestly all about how bad you want it. How much are you willing to do? How important is it to you? What does it mean to you?”

Edison is in the process of answering those exact questions.

Dwyane Wade's cousin shot and killed in Chicago

Dwyane Wade's cousin shot and killed in Chicago

On Thursday, Dwyane Wade appeared on an ESPN special for The Undefeated to talk about gun violence. The next day, Wade's cousin was shot and killed in Chicago.

Nykea Aldridge was pushing a baby stroller in the Chicago neighborhood of Parkway Gardens when she was shot and killed. Aldridge was 32 and a mother of four.

Police said she was not the intended target and one person was taken into custody as a result of the incident.

Wade's words during his appearance on the ESPN panel took on extra meaning after Friday's shooting.

"It's important for all of us to help each other, to go back and say 'You know what, where did this start, how did this start? Let's see how we can change there,'" Wade said on ESPN. "It's deep-rooted and this is something that didn't start today. This is something that's not going to end tomorrow. But this is something that we can start a conversation, we can start the work today and hopefully eventually we can stop it."

Wade tweeted after the shooting.

Kris Bryant’s MVP performance leads Cubs to comeback win at Dodger Stadium

Kris Bryant’s MVP performance leads Cubs to comeback win at Dodger Stadium

LOS ANGELES – The “MVP! MVP! MVP!” chants started at Dodger Stadium late Friday night, Cubs fans celebrating Kris Bryant’s two-run homer in the 10th inning and cheering on this entertaining comeback win.

Until Clayton Kershaw returns to full strength, stares down hitters from 60 feet, six inches and unleashes his entire arsenal, it’s impossible to know how the Cubs would stack up against Los Angeles in October. But it’s still safe to say this would be an epic playoff matchup between two big-market, star-studded franchises, with two iconic ballparks becoming the backdrop, celebrity row after celebrity row.

As a quiet homebody who happens to have his own billboards and marketing deals – but doesn’t do bulletin-board quotes or brag about his game – Bryant is not exactly a Hollywood personality. But this is also a goal-oriented individual who doesn’t shy away from the pressure and the expectations and absolutely wants to be the best at his craft.

The Cubs won this round with Bryant, who launched his 34th and 35th home runs in a 6-4 victory, an MVP-worthy season becoming the sequel to his Rookie of the Year campaign.

“It’s humbling,” Bryant said. “You grow up hearing that kind of stuff on TV. To experience it in real life is pretty cool.”

It became hard to hear Bryant inside the visiting clubhouse, because teammates chanted “MVP!” and sung along with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre as “Nuthin But a G Thang” played on the sound system. But for most of the night, it looked like it would be a silent room postgame as the resilient Dodgers took 3-1 and 4-2 leads.

Until the eighth inning, when Bryant launched a home run off Joe Blanton that landed in the center-field seats blocked off for the batter’s eye. And then the ninth inning showed why manager Joe Maddon will want Gold Glove outfielder Jason Heyward in a playoff lineup.

In the middle of a frustrating offensive season where he’s felt the weight of a $184 million contract, Heyward led off by ripping a double into the right-field corner off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. Heyward hustled to third base when new Dodgers catcher Carlos Ruiz couldn’t handle strike three against Jorge Soler. Heyward ran home to score the game-tying run when a Jansen wild pitch sailed toward the backstop.

That set the stage for Bryant, who brought up the fielding error he made in the fifth inning during his postgame interview on Channel 7 after hitting the game-winning homer off lefty Adam Liberatore. All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo may set the tone in the clubhouse, but Bryant already brings tunnel vision and a high degree of professionalism to an 82-45 team, even at the age of 24. 

“He just doesn’t quit,” Heyward said. “He wants to be in every spot. He goes up there and has his at-bat – and that’s it.

“You can talk about why he’s been hitting the ball well, this and that, but he has a good approach. It’s that simple. Other than that, he works his tail off every day to try and go out there and help us win.

“When you have that gift – and you have that work ethic – the bottom line is a lot of good things can happen.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

A resourceful $250 million team won’t fade away, even with Kershaw (back) not pitching for two months, one of 27 players the Dodgers have stashed on the disabled list, tying a major-league record. Los Angeles has cycled through 14 different starting pitchers, relying on depth, a powerful lineup and a strong bullpen to surge into first place and hold onto a one-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League West.

“How about last year?” Maddon said. “We beat up on the Mets during the season, we go (into the playoffs) and we can’t even touch them. It’s such a different animal. People get hot or people get cold.

“I’m not going to diminish the fact I’m going to be paying attention. But things change. Trends can be so trendy, to quote Yogi. So I don’t get too far ahead, because things can change very quickly.”

Like Bryant going from a promising player with a few holes in his swing who looked worn down at times last season – to an MVP frontrunner with a .303 average, 89 RBI, 107 runs scored, a .982 OPS and the versatility to play third base, defensively shift across the infield and move to the outfield.

Kershaw vs. Bryant would be must-see TV in October.