CSN has the 2012 BearsNFL season covered both on-air and online

CSN has the 2012 BearsNFL season covered both on-air and online

COMCAST SPORTSNET HAS THE 2012 CHICAGO BEARSNFL SEASON COVERED BOTH ON-AIR AND ONLINE

Pro Football Weekly (Season Premiere): Wednesday, August 29 at 11:00 PM
United Bears Recap (Season Premiere): Monday, September 3 at 4:30 PM
The Lance Briggs Show (Season Premiere): Tuesday, September 4 at 11:00 PM
Bears Huddle presented by Jimmy Johns (Season Premiere): Wednesday, September 5 at 4:30 PM
Bears Blitz presented by Jimmy Johns (Season Premiere): Thursday, September 6 at 4:30 PM
BEARS POST GAME LIVE presented by Illinois Back Institute (Season Premiere): Sun, September 9 at 4:30 PM

CSNChicago.com to deliver 247 Bears coverage all season long featuring Bears Insider John Moon Mullin

Chicago, IL (August 28, 2012) With the 2012 Chicago Bears and NFL season set to begin next week, Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com have announced a full line-up of Bears and additional pro football related programmingcoverage for the upcoming season. Please note the following on-air and online details:

BEARS POST GAME LIVE presented by Illinois Back Institute Beginning Sunday, September 9 following the Chicago Bears 2012 NFL season opener vs. Indianapolis, Bears Post Game Live presented by Illinois Back Institute returns as THE destination for fans to hear from the experts who played the game, along with their always-entertaining, no-holds-barred take on the days events. The 90-minute post-game show is hosted by SportsNet Centrals Chris Boden featuring a team of expert analysts including former Bears quarterback Jim Miller, former Bears offensive linemanveteran Chicago sports media personality Dan Jiggetts and -- a new addition to Bears PGL this season -- former Bears standout linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer. In addition to the lively and spirited banter from the stars of the show, Bears Post Game Live also features live post-game press conferences with coaches and players from both teams with SportsNet Centrals Bears beat reporter Kip Lewis and CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John Moon Mullin providing immediate post-game interviews with Bears players inside & outside the locker room. Bears Post Game Live presented by Illinois Back Institute can be seen on Comcast SportsNet following every Bears game this season with replays airing regularly throughout the season on Sunday nights and Monday afternoons. (NOTE: the season premiere on Sunday, Sept. 9 will air at approx. 4:30 PM immediately following White Sox Post Game Live presented by Orland Park Nissan).

UNITED BEARS RECAP Comcast SportsNet is the place for Bears fans to watch the official team press conference featuring head coach Lovie Smith. Hosted by Chris Boden with analyst Dan Jiggetts, United Bears Recap will go to Halas Hall each week to hear from the Bears head coach, along with additional Bears playerscoaches interviews. The show will also air game highlights and viewers can also look forward to additional United Bears Recap content on CSNChicago.com. The one-hour United Bears Recap makes its 2012 debut on Monday, September 3 at 4:30 PM with a special season preview edition and the show can be seen regularly on Mondays at 4:30 PM throughout the entire Bears season.

BEARS HUDDLE presented by Jimmy Johns Every Wednesday at 4:30 PM beginning September 5, Comcast SportsNet will provide Bears fans with a preview of the teams next opponent from an Offensive perspective on Bears Huddle. This one-hour show, hosted by Chris Boden, will feature analysis from former Bear Dan Jiggetts, along with key interviews from SportsNet Centrals Kip Lewis & CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John Moon Mullin with Bears head coach Lovie Smith and additional playercoaches interviews, plus team insightcommentary from ChicagoBears.com writer Larry Mayer. To go along with numerous game highlights, Bears Huddle will also provide a multitude of key offensive stats for all categories and will feature in-depth player match-up analysis for every upcoming game. CSNChicago.com will also provide an area to ask Jiggetts a question to possibly be read on-air, along with a new fan poll question for each show.

BEARS BLITZ presented by Jimmy Johns Every Thursday at 4:30 PM beginning September 6, Comcast SportsNet will provide Bears fans with a Defensive preview of the teams next opponent on Bears Blitz. This one-hour show, hosted by Chris Boden, will feature analysis from former Bear Dan Jiggetts, along with key interviews from SportsNet Centrals Kip Lewis & CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John Moon Mullin with Bears head coach Lovie Smith and additional playercoaches interviews, plus team insightcommentary from ChicagoBears.com writer Larry Mayer. To go along with numerous game highlights, Bears Blitz will also provide a multitude of key defensive stats for all categories and will feature in-depth player match-up analyses for every upcoming game. CSNChicago.com will also provide an area to ask Jiggetts a question to possibly be read on-air, along with a new fan poll question for each show.

THE LANCE BRIGGS SHOW Bears fans can also look forward to yet another entertaining season of The Lance Briggs Show (formerly Countdown to Kickoff), featuring host Pat Boyle, former Bears standout Tom Thayer and seven-time Chicago Bears Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs. This half-hour program provides fans with a complete preview of the Bears next game, including a discussion about all the key plays from the teams previous game. Highlighted segments from the show include a CSNChicago.com fan e-mail segment with select questions to be answered by Briggs, along with the popular, two-minute Hurry Up segment with Boyle firing off a multitude of questions to Briggs. The season premiere of The Lance Briggs Show on Comcast SportsNet airs Tuesday, September 4 at 11:00 PM. Weekly premiere airings will take place regularly on Tuesday nights at 11:00 PM with repeats to be shown on Wednesday mornings at 11:00 AM.

SPORTSNET CENTRAL Nightly at 6:30 PM on SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse, 10:00 PM & 10:30 PM on GMC SportsNet Central, along with the midnight edition of SportsNet Central presented by CLR, fans can look forward to the most in-depth coverage of the Bears every night throughout the 2012 NFL season featuring numerous interviews with key players and coaches, along with abundant statistical information and feature reports for the true die-hard gridiron fan. Plus, on Sunday nights at 10:30 PM throughout the BearsNFL season, viewers can look forward to SportsNet Central: Sunday Night Slant, a full half-hour dedicated to that days Bears game, along with full NFL highlights from all the days key match-ups. SportsNet Centrals team of anchors and reporters includes Pat Boyle, Mark Schanowski, Kip Lewis, Chris Boden, Gail Fischer, Chuck Garfien and Luke Stuckmeyer with CSNChicago.coms Bears Insider John Moon Mullin also providing the very latest BearsNFL updates.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE LIVE Comcast SportsNet sets the table with lively sports talk every Monday through Friday night at 5:30 PM on Chicago Tribune Live presented by Smirnoff. Throughout the 2012 NFL season, Chicago Tribune Live host David Kaplan and a panel of pro football experts from the Chicago Tribune will breakdown the games and preview the match-ups that lie ahead for the Bears and other key games from around the NFL. In addition, Chicago Tribune Live will also feature a number of special guests from the world of football all season long, including special guest appearances from players, coaches, celebrities and many more.

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY Entering its 25th season on television, Pro Football Weekly is a half-hour program hosted by SportsNet Centrals Pat Boyle and features an expert panel led by Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Hampton, former Bears wide receiver Tom Waddle and PFW publishereditor Hub Arkush. The programs in-depth preview analysis and unique format make the show a preferred vehicle for football fans desiring the most thorough coverage of the NFL. This hard-hitting program features the latest NFL news reports, opinions and insider information. Pro Football Weekly makes its regular season premiere on Wednesday, August 29 at 11:00 PM with regular weekly debuts airing on Fridays at 4:30 PM; replays can be seen Saturday afternoonsevenings at varied times and Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM.

CHICAGO HUDDLE Back for its third season on Comcast SportsNet, Chicago Huddle is hosted Dan Jiggetts, who will be joined each week by Bears running back Matt Forte, Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, plus additional Bears players as rotating hosts -- and Maxim cover girlChicago media personality April Rose. Taped at Chilis in Vernon Hills, Chicago Huddle provides fans with an in-depth, weekly Bears reviewpreviewinterview show throughout the entire 2012 campaign. The season premiere airs on Friday, September 21 at 9:30 PM with replay airings at varied times on Saturdays, along with Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM.

CSNCHICAGO.COM Comcast SportsNet Chicagos website, CSNChicago.com, delivers comprehensive 247 Bears and NFL coverage all season long via its Bears Talk platform featuring Bears Insiders John Moon Mullin and Kip Lewis plus expert analysis and opinion from Jim Miller and Matt Bowen. In addition, CSNChicago.com will offer an on-demand daily Bears Talk digital show, comprehensive Bears social media center and Twitter Locker Room, live game-day interactive chat, video features and player interviews. Please note the following CSNChicago.com Bears-related highlights this season:

John Moon Mullin: CSNChicago.coms resident Bears Insider returns for his fourth season providing fans with up-to-the-minute Bears breaking news and information via Bears Talk blog (http:www.csnchicago.comfootball-chicago-bears), along with 247 updates via Twitter @CSNMoonMullin. Mullin will also make regular on-air appearances throughout the NFL season on Comcast SportsNets Bears Post Game presented by Illinois Back Institute, SportsNet Central and Chicago Tribune Live and NBC Sports Networks Sports Talk and PFT Live on ProFootballTalk.com. Plus, fans can look forward to a weekly web chat with Mullin every Monday night (entitled Monday Night Moon) at 7:00 PM beginning Sept. 12 and a weekly video mailbag from Halas Hall on Wednesdays beginning Sept. 7.

Jim Miller: Former Bears quarterback and current Bears PGL analyst Jim Miller covers the offense in-depth as he will analyze every key move of Bears QB Jay Cutler and new offensive coordinator Mike Tice. Miller will offer his insight and experiences with game offense previews and post-game analysis, including breaking down Cutlers overall game-by-game performance. In addition, he will offer commentary and analysis on rival NFC North teams, plus news and opinion on all NFL topics.

Matt Bowen: Former NFL cornerback joins CSNChicago.com to offer Xs and Os, game breakdown and unique analysis via Bowens Breakdown biweekly digital video feature. In addition, Bowen will contribute a weekly column to Bears Talk as well as make on-air appearances on SportsNet Central and Chicago Tribune Live.

Bears Talk digital shows and platform: CSNChicago.com will offer on-demand daily Bears Talk digital shows: Bears Rewind (Mondays); Bowens Breakdown (Tuesdays and Fridays); 15 on 6: Miller on Cutler (Wednesdays); Bears Preview (Thursdays and Saturdays); Bears Postgame Live (Sundays). The Bears Talk page will be the hub of all CSNChicago.com Bears-related news and information.

Bears Social Media Center: CSNChicago.com to launch a Bears Social Media Center for fans to track all social media activity related to the Bears, including commentary, trends and multimedia sources across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. In addition, CSNChicago.com to launch a Bears Twitter Locker Room where fans can follow all Bears player Tweets, plus Tweets from all NFL players. The following CSN Chicago Insiders and reporters will be offer 247 coverage via Twitter: John Moon Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin), Kip Lewis (@CSNKipLewis), Jim Miller (@15Miller), Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41), Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), Bears Talk (@BearsTalkCSN) powered by Moon, Miller and Bears digital producers Jake Flannigan (@JakeFlannigan), Scott Krinch (@ScottieKrinch) and Jon Graff (@JLGProd).

@MarshallMeter: Fans can follow @MarshallMeter for a daily updates on new Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (@BMarshall) with in game commentary on game performance plus off-the-field news.

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.”