CSN to provide expanded, live White Sox-Tigers coverage Sept. 11-13!

CSN to provide expanded, live White Sox-Tigers coverage Sept. 11-13!

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO PROVIDE EXPANDED, LIVE WHITE SOX vs. TIGERS COVERAGE SEPTEMBER 11-13!

Live coverage includes remote U.S. Cellular Field editions of Chicago Tribune Live, SportsNet Central, White Sox Pre-Game Live & White Sox Post Game Live

The Big Hurt Frank Thomas to takeover CSN Chicagos White Sox Talk Twitter!

Plus - expanded CSNChicago.com coverage highlighted by feature stories, talent blogs, in-game Twitter messages from Insiders & on-air talent and much more!

Chicago, IL (September 10, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the AL Central Division 1st place Chicago White Sox, will deliver expanded U.S. Cellular Field remote coverage for the teams BIGGEST SERIES OF THE SEASON -- this weeks huge showdown against the division rival Detroit Tigers. Comcast SportsNet will carry live game and expanded surrounding coverage of the final three games of the series on September 11-13.

Note the following programming line-up from Comcast SportsNets expanded live, U.S. Cellular Field remote coverage beginning at 5:00 PM tomorrow (Tuesday, September 11):

5:00 PM Chicago Tribune Live presented by Smirnoff - LIVE from U.S. Cellular Field! Hosted by David Kaplan, program will preview the huge White Sox-Tigers series, including analysis from Tribune writers, along with special guests from U.S. Cellular Field and much more!

6:00 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse - LIVE from U.S. Cellular Field! Pat Boyle and Mark Schanowski continue the live pre-game coverage from the ballpark featuring live guests and an extended preview of the evenings big game.

6:30 PM White Sox Pre-Game Live presented by Honda City LIVE from U.S. Cellular Field! - Hosted by Chuck Garfien, Bill Melton and The Big Hurt Frank Thomas, this special remote edition of White Sox Pre-Game Live will preview the evenings game and overall series, along with providing a detailed pitching analysis and position breakdown, plus commentary from CSNChicago.com White Sox Insider Dan Hayes and other special guests.

7:00 PM WHITE SOX vs. DETROIT (L) Featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson & Steve Stone with the game call.

9:45 PM White Sox Post Game Live presented by Orland Park Nissan (time approx.) LIVE from U.S. Cellular Field! Complete post-game analysis from Garfien, Melton & Thomas, including the LIVE post-game press conference featuring White Sox manager Robin Ventura, along with numerous player interviews and much more.

10:00 PM & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central Comprehensive White Sox-Tigers recap, highlights, interviews and more from the entire day in sports.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For its White Sox-Tigers telecasts on Wed, September 12 & Thu, September 13, Comcast SportsNet will once again provide viewers with live, remote editions of White Sox Pre-Game Live presented by Honda City and White Sox Post Game Live presented by Orland Park Nissan featuring Garfien, Melton & Thomas live from U.S. Cellular Field beginning at 6:30 PM.

Also, fans are in for a BIG treat as The Big Hurt Frank Thomas will takeover CSN Chicagos White Sox Talk Twitter handle during Tuesday & Thursday nights games. Thomas will provide his thoughts, insights and answer fan questions via @WhiteSoxTalk or twitter.comwhitesoxtalkcsn.

In addition to even more extensive White Sox-Tigers coverage throughout the big series via its White Sox Talk section, including feature stories, talent blogs, videos, etc., fans and viewers can interact with Thomas via a live blog on CSNChicago.com that will include game commentary from White Sox Insider Dan Hayes (@DanHayesCSN), Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) and White Sox Talk producerblogger J.J. Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz).

Joe Maddon’s messaging to Cubs before the 2017 campaign

Joe Maddon’s messaging to Cubs before the 2017 campaign

Joe Maddon's Washington itinerary didn't include an hour-long sit-down with Chuck Todd for NBC's "Meet the Press." There would be no rehashing the manager's Game 7 decisions as he stood outside the West Wing, though the second question during the media stakeout involved "last year's team" and how the 2017 Cubs are prepared to defend a World Series title.

"You're already there, huh?" Maddon said to a CNN reporter, minutes after President Barack Obama's final official White House event ended on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

But last year's team is gone — preserved now in highlight films and the hearts and minds of generations of Cub fans — even if so many familiar faces will be in Mesa when pitchers and catchers officially report to Arizona on Valentine's Day.

It would be impossible to replicate everything that made the 2016 Cubs so special. Baseball has its own relentless pace and the dynamics are constantly shifting. (Remember when players were passive-aggressively complaining about Maddon's spring-training approach during the final week of a 103-win regular season?) The clubhouse chemistry will inevitably feel different after climbing a Mount Everest of professional sports.

"A mind once stretched has a very difficult time going back to its original form," Maddon said. "We're motivated by it. We want to do it again, of course. There's no question we're trying to do that.

"I'm really leaning on the phrase or the thought of being uncomfortable. I want us to be uncomfortable. I think the moment you get into your comfort zone after having such a significant moment in your life like that, the threat is that you're going to stop growing.

"So I really want us to be uncomfortable. I really want to continue (to see) a pattern of growth and really try to get at them very quickly again."

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Can Jason Heyward recover from one of the worst offensive seasons in the majors last year? Is Willson Contreras ready to be a frontline catcher? Will Javier Baez have to adjust back to being a role player after becoming a playoff superstar? Does Kyle Schwarber in the leadoff spot and Albert Almora Jr. and Jon Jay in a center-field timeshare represent an upgrade over Dexter Fowler?

If healthy, Wade Davis should be a trusted, lower-maintenance closer than Aroldis Chapman, with an advanced approach to pitching and more clubhouse presence. As a staff, the Cubs will have to bounce back from pitching into early November (or not, in the case of the relievers Maddon didn't trust during the playoffs).

As it stands, Jon Lester (33) and John Lackey (38) have already combined to throw almost 5,000 innings in The Show (including the postseason). Jake Arrieta will have to deal with the pressure of playing for his megadeal in his final season before becoming a free agent.

The drop-off after Mike Montgomery — and it's still mostly projected potential with the No. 5 starter — appears to be very steep in an organization that doesn't have any high-end pitching prospects in the upper levels of the farm system.

After painting the bull's-eye on the chest and turning "Embrace The Target" and "Try Not To Suck" into viral T-shirts, a guy who hates meetings is still working on his themes for this campaign.

"I'm really rotating around the thought of authenticity," Maddon said. "I talked about it a lot last year, the fact that I think authenticity has a chance to repeat itself without even trying. It's part of who you are. It's not fabricated. It's real.

"I've talked about our guys a lot the last couple years. I think one of our strongest qualities is the authentic component of our players. So I'm really focusing on that word right now. Again, that's a great word to bring an entire message from (when) you get in front of the group that first day in spring training.

"I kind of just think like authenticity happens. And let's work it from there."

The costumes should be in midseason form with Maddon planning a house party around Tampa's Gasparilla Pirate Festival before driving his RV from Florida to Arizona.

Maddon will turn 63 on Feb. 8 and have to keep evolving, just like his players, who might outgrow some of those gimmicks. But the Cubs are still a reflection of their future Hall of Fame manager.

Amid all the uncertainty in Washington, Maddon wouldn't touch a question about what advice he would give Donald Trump before Friday's inauguration.

"I'm not even going to go anywhere close to that," Maddon said. "I will say this: I have a lot of respect of the office.

"At the end of the day, just have a lot of respect for the office, regardless of your political persuasion. My point would be to encourage people to really respect the office and let's see what we get done here over the next four years."

Bulls' Jimmy Butler voted All-Star Game starter

Bulls' Jimmy Butler voted All-Star Game starter

Jimmy Butler is heading to his third straight All-Star Game, and for the first time he'll be in the Eastern Conference's starting lineup.

CSNChicago.com Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill reported that Butler was voted an All-Star starter.

Butler has been sensational this season, averaging a career-best 24.8 points (tied for the 10th-best mark in the league entering Thursday's games), 6.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per contest through 41 games. He's shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from 3-point range.

Butler previously made Eastern Conference All-Star squads in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, though this is his first time in the starting five.