Sundays 1-1 tie with the Houston Dynamo was like no other Fire game over the past 15 years. This one didnt last the full 90 minutes, and settling for only a draw and one standings point might well haunt the Fire down the road.Heavy rains and lightning around Toyota Park led to referee Geoff Gamble calling the match after 66 minutes. Gamble stopped play twice, the second time coming at 8:37 p.m. and the decision to call the match a draw was made moments later. The Fire players accepted the decision but didnt like it -- especially the two most prominent foreign stars."In Europe wed play the whole 90 minutes," said German defender Arne Friedrich, who made his Major League Soccer debut. "The pitch was perfect. We would have had no problem (playing), but it was up to the referees.""I never saw this in my life," said Mexican midfielder Pavel Pardo. "Its like theyre taking two points from us. Its hard for us to accept this, but these are the rules."Soccer matches are rarely delayed and even more rarely called because of the weather. Sundays was believed to be the first shortened match in MLS history, but it wasnt the first delayed by weather problems. FC Dallas and Los Angeles Galaxy players were taken off the field for an hour following a lightning attack in a match last season, but play was resumed and game eventually finished.New rules, and the use of lightning detectors, played a part in Sundays shortened match. MLS matches can now be declared final if one half is played, though every effort will be made to bring a match to its completion. Fire assistant coach Mike Matkovich, handling post-game interview duties after head man Frank Klopas left quickly to tend to a family matter, didnt dispute the decision to call the match. It was made after Gamble consulted with other match officials, stadium officials and MLS officials."If you looked at the radar, there was nothing we could do. It was probably the right decision," Matkovich said.Like Pardo, Friedrich never played in a game like Sundays and hes in his 12th professional season. Fire captain Logan Pause, in his 10th MLS campaign, had played in one -- a U.S. Open Cup match vs. the Kansas City Wizards in 2006 at Toyota Park."That match was called, but we replayed it," Pause said.The Fire did dominate play against a Houston club that was without three of its starting midfielders, two sidelined by suspensions and the other by injury. But, the Fire had one horrendous defensive breakdown, which resulted in Will Bruins goal in the 24th minute. Playing against the wind in the first half, the Fire scored on Pauses fluke goal off Pardos free kick three minutes later and had the wind at its back in the second half when the game was called."We were very aggressive. If we had kept going with this game I think we would have won," said assistant coach Leo Percovich."As players, especially playing at home, we would have loved to have the 25 minutes that were left," said Pause. His goal, only the third of his 231-game MLS career, was hardly a thing of beauty."Pavel hit a free kick that I actually tried to get out of the way of," said Pause. "Chalk it up to old age, not being quick enough. It hit me square in the back, went up in the air (then off the crossbar) and into the back of the net. It was funny how it happened, but that sums up my goal-scoring
When it comes to hitting homers and driving in runs for the Chicago White Sox in 2016, Todd Frazier is No. 1.
But ask the third baseman for a favorite story about being a baseball player, and he won’t hesitate.
It’s the time he was on the field in a middle of a game---and he went No. 2.
“It was a 10-year-old tournament. Final game. Winner goes to the sectionals. I’m at shortstop,” Frazier explained to CSN Chicago. “I don’t know what I ate. I had the bubble guts all day long. The next thing I knew, I was in trouble.”
Before we get to the dirty details of the Frazier detonation, the original goal of this story was to ask White Sox players about their memories growing up playing baseball.
As the hero of the Toms River East All-Star team that won the 1998 Little League World Series, Frazier probably has enough memories to fill a book.
In the championship game alone, he went 4-for-4 with a leadoff home run. He started that day at shortstop, came on to pitch in relief and threw the game-winning strikeout that gave Toms River a 12-9 victory over Japan for the title.
All the great stories from that magical season have already been told. This is one from two years earlier that Frazier has been saving for years.
“I s— in my uniform," Frazier said. "I’m not ashamed to admit it."
With quotes like that, I think I speak for every Chicago media member that the White Sox should sign Frazier to a lifetime contract.
And it only gets better. Or in Frazier’s case, much worse.
“We had a bases loaded jam, and the next thing you know, I couldn’t hold it in,” Frazier recalled. “I didn’t know what to do, to either run off the field or not. So I just let it go, man. Diarrhea all through.”
Frazier’s messy situation came at a terrible time: They were in the final inning of a huge playoff game. Winners move on, losers go home.
Suddenly, Frazier didn’t care about any of that. He needed to go to the nearest bathroom, quickly.
But instead of escaping the field with a victory and his dignity, Frazier’s internal crisis was about to be magnified.
“Coach actually said, ‘Todd, let’s go. It’s your turn to pitch.’ So I’m like, ‘Oh, my God.’ I walk up there gingerly. I get to the mound," he said. "I took one warm-up pitch and that was it. The umpire came out and said, ‘Dude, there’s some kind of stench going on here.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I smelled the same thing when I came out.’ We’re all laughing.”
Not for long.
Thrust into this pressure situation as a relief pitcher who ironically had already relieved himself, with the fate of his team resting in both his pitching hand and his soiled underwear, the proverbial s— was about to hit the fan.
“First pitch, the guy hits a bases clearing triple (to win the game). I was elated. Everybody else was crying,” Frazier said. “I run to the Porta John. My dad is laughing at me.”
Cackling as his son raced to the facilities after a heart-breaking little league game speaks to the offbeat sense of humor embedded in the Frazier DNA.
And yet, this ludicrous moment was almost topped by what happened next.
“I had to ask my dad if he had an extra pair of clothing. Lo and behold, I’m wearing my 6-foot-8 dad’s jeans going home.”
Little Frazier was about 5-feet at the time.
‘I’m like, ‘Dad, let’s get out of here. Let’s not even shake hands. I don’t care about the (second place) trophy. Let’s get out of here.”
It might come as a surprise, but Frazier is not the first baseball player to pollute his baseball pants during a game. A well known major leaguer who will remain nameless said he once did it during an actual major league game.
It’s so embarrassing, who would let the world know about it, especially in today’s age of athletes being so guarded with the media, trying to control the message (and bowels), in the attempt to hide their imperfections?
Clearly not Todd Frazier. We applaud him for it.
“It’s a classic,” he said laughing. “Now it’s out of the bag, so we’ll see what happens."
In the 20 years since that fateful day, Frazier has made sure this never happens again.
“I’ve always had a bottle of Pepto (Bismol) with me just in case. We've even got them inside the clubhouse here, so I'm good to go.”
Welcome back, college football. We missed you.
With the 2016 college football season officially upon us, we come to the culmination of CSNChicago.com's outrageously comprehensive Big Ten football preview.
Take a look at some of the big-picture pieces previewing and attempting to predict what will happen in the conference this season, and go team-by-team for the biggest storylines on all 14 of the campuses throughout Big Ten Country.
Games start this week, so be sure to get your reading in now. You'll be an expert by kickoff.
Illinois Fighting Illini
Michigan State Spartans
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Ohio State Buckeyes
Penn State Nittany Lions
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Who wants it more?
We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of area football fans in our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @CSNPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights of that game will appear on that night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00pm—just after White Sox baseball. The show also live streams at csnchicago.com. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30am and 8:30am the following Saturday. This week, we head back out to “The Region,” as fans will choose between the following Northwest Indiana games:
Crown Point at Merrillville, 7 p.m.
Lake Central at Portage, 7 p.m.
Polls open Monday at noon and close Thursday at 4 p.m. Fans are encouraged to vote more than once! Vote now right here.
Be sure to follow @CSNPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the week,” along with other football news, scores and highlights this season.
Rules: official votes are tabulated exclusively on Twitter and Facebook via the link above. “Re-Tweets” and “Likes” do not count. Also, the original wording of the Twitter/Facebook voting prompt (including hashtags) cannot be manipulated in any fashion. However, feel free to add emojis, numbers, etc. at the end of an official vote’s text, provided there is a space after the final hashtag. Automatically timed-interval (“bot”) votes will also not count.