Intensifies the effects?

Intensifies the effects?

By Frankie O
CSNChicago.com

Once again the big fella is out of commission with back woes, but no worries, it only gives me more time to lie around and think. Of course Im doing the thinking in the haze induced by my doctor prescribed pain medication (Is there any other kind?!) so no worries there either, right? On second thought, yikes!

One thing the meds do though is limit the attention span quite a bit. Double yikes!!

So hop on board as I share a few things and scuse me while I kiss the sky.

Fantasy football is the root of all evil. I say this while Im 0-8. Are you freaking kidding me? I couldnt be this bad if I tried. And the scary part is, IM TRYING. I have no shot at all and Im still scouring the waiver wire for the one guy that can make the difference. Whatever! And dont think for one second youre getting off easy here. I can feel about 2000 words in your future to explain the sheer misery Im living with!

As the mess at Penn State approaches the official one-year mark, Im still dealing with the waves of emotions that it has caused. With anger still being the prevalent one, I was relieved to hear that former president Graham Spanier was finally charged. I of course say this knowing the upcoming trials (CurleySchultz) are only going to make me feel worse. Im also left wondering if Joe would have been arrested also if he was still alive. I guess the trials will give us that answer.

In the testament of all-time greatness, I have always thought that it is the second title that bestows that honor. And they dont have to be consecutive, although that helps greatly. Its always something that I wrestle with concerning the 85 Bears. One-hit wonders? That was a great team, no doubt, but only 1 title? And now, in less than a year, Im left to contemplate the football and baseball Giants. The New York football Giants won titles following the 2007 and 2011 seasons. Are they an all-time great team? How many teams have done that? Are they as good as the Giants team that won following the 1987 and 1990 seasons? Those were great teams. And with the San Francisco Giants now having won 2 World Series in 3 years, how will they be measured? Better than the Red Sox of 04 and 07? Why or why not? The Braves were demeaned for years because the only won one. Two in three years is hard to deny, but this team? Really

I have a hard time understanding running a marathon in New York this weekend. I understand the get back up your feet thing, but doesnt this feel awkward and forced? I know there will be basketball and football games played in the NY metro area this weekend, but those are in controlled environs without there being the amount of outside (read: taxpayer provided) support that Im sure a 26 mile race through five boroughs requires. I would love to know Gov. Chris Christie thinks about it. Im sure we know what he would do. Speaking of Christie, say what you want about his politics, but you cant help but be impressed by his passion for what he does. This is not the last we hear of him Im sure.

I know the bubble has already burst for this seasons Bulls due to D-Roses injury, but Im not ready to go completely negative on them as I felt my fellow panelists on CTL were last Friday. I agree that this years squad is suffering from a talent deficit, relatively, but during the regular season talent isnt the only reason teams win. Watch any Knicks games lately? As I look at the east, its the Heat then there is everybody else. Indiana has nice balance, but can you name me three guys on the team without looking? Two? The thing I like about the Bulls is because of their coach, they show up every night. During the regular season over the last two years they own the leagues best record. Last year, when Rose missed 27 games, they were 18-9 in those games. Can their two veteran starting guards stay healthy? Good question. Will their 2nd-five evolve to the level of the last two? Even better question. But two things Ive learned about a Tom Thibodeau coached team is that: They are going to show up every night. And he is going to get the most out of every player on his roster. In a mediocre eastern conference, that should be good enough to be very competitive even if it is a tough watch.

Dont know about you, but Im convinced there wont be hockey until January at the earliest. This is a one-sided battle but the ones on the wrong end dont seem to get that. I agree with them that any contract that is currently in effect should be honored. That seems fair. But life isnt always fair. Life is about knowing when to cut your losses. In this case, it whether or not you want to give up a year of salary to make a point that wont be made. The owners hold the cards and are intent on playing them. It appears to me that the players might be getting some bad advice from the guy steering their ship. This isnt baseball and in case you havent noticed there doesnt seem to be any public outcry that games arent being played. In fact I havent heard anything at all. Your move Donald.
But fans need to fill the void, especially the deranged, bartending ones. So for the very first time, Im doing something Ive mocked forever and never dreamed Id ever do. Im almost ashamed to admit it. Almost. For I, Frankie O (Drink!) am now participating in a fantasy basketball league. I have no clue what Im doing and half way through the draft, had no idea who I, or anyone else for that matter, was selecting. But it was kind of cool doing something new. And, its actually made me excited, for once, about the start of the NBA season. Best yet, I cant do any worse than in football, can I? (I heard that!) For now, its my shiny, new, sports passion. This is going to be fun. Well, at least until the pain meds wear off, or the Eagles win another game, whichever comes first. Ugh. The Eagles. Talk about pain inducing. Time for another dose! It will be back to reality soon enough.

PS. I must be on some good ones. I didnt mention Jay Cutler once.

White Sox recall Matt Davidson from Triple-A Charlotte

White Sox recall Matt Davidson from Triple-A Charlotte

Matt Davidson is finally joining the big league team.

The White Sox announced ahead of Thursday afternoon's game against the Minnesota Twins that they recalled Davidson from Triple-A Charlotte, his first promotion to the major leagues since he was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks following the 2013 season.

Davidson appeared in 31 major league games with the D-backs during the 2013 campaign, posting a .237/.333/.434 slash line with three homers and 12 RBIs. The White Sox sent Addison Reed to Arizona in exchange for Davidson the ensuing December.

Davidson has played in Charlotte ever since, struggling mightily in his first two seasons there with a .199/.283/.362 line in 130 games in 2014 and a .203/.293/.375 line in 2015. In 75 games this season, Davidson has fared far better, posting a .268/.349/.444 line with 10 home runs and 46 RBIs. He made the Triple-A All-Star team, leading the International League with 20 doubles and ranking fifth in RBIs.

Primarily a third baseman, Davidson has appeared at three different infield positions this season in Triple-A.

Davidson takes the roster spot of relief pitcher Matt Purke, who was optioned to Charlotte following Wednesday's game.

Reports: Joakim Noah likely to join Derrick Rose, sign with Knicks

Reports: Joakim Noah likely to join Derrick Rose, sign with Knicks

Multiple reports indicated that former Bulls center Joakim Noah will join Derrick Rose and sign with the New York Knicks.

Both the Washington Post and ESPN report that Noah is very likely to sign in New York, his hometown. ESPN's Marc Stein went so far as to say that other teams have already accepted that Noah is all but a done deal to sign with the Knicks.

And according to Tim Bontemps from the Washington Post, Noah's deal with the Knicks will have "a starting salary somewhere in the $18 million per year range," a large but not insane number considering the league's salary cap explosion this summer.

The Vertical's Shams Charania added that Noah will meet with Phil Jackson and the Knicks when free agency begins Friday night.

Noah would fill a void at center left by the Knicks' trade for Rose, which shipped center Robin Lopez back to Chicago. Noah averaged 4.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 29 games last season before season-ending shoulder surgery in January. Noah spent the first nine seasons of his NBA career with the Bulls and was named Defensive Player of the Year just three short years ago.

But he fell out of grace with Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg, who opted to bring Noah off the bench for the first time in his career. It was largely assumed that both Noah and Pau Gasol would not return to a Bulls team that missed the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.

Teams can start negotiating with free agents on July 1, and can sign free agents beginning July 6.

James Shields earns first victory as White Sox top Twins

James Shields earns first victory as White Sox top Twins

James Shields received his first standing ovation of the season at U.S. Cellular Field as he headed to the dugout on Wednesday night.

The White Sox starter settled in after another shaky start and his offense kicked it into high gear in a 9-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins in front of 18,571. Shields limited the Twins to a leadoff solo homer in the first inning and pitched into the seventh to earn his first win for the White Sox.

Brett Lawrie, Tyler Saladino and Todd Frazier all homered for the White Sox, who had to pitch themselves out of trouble in a wild ninth to win for the sixth time in nine games. Nate Jones earned a one-out save after Matt Purke and Dan Jennings combined to allow five runs. Purke was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte after the game. A corresponding move will be announced on Thursday morning.

“(Shields) got back into a rhythm,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I think this is the best that he looked as far as just feeling comfortable. He was getting ahead. He started really using his fastball and he located it. I think after that, there was some offspeed stuff and he got guys swinging through it. This was a nice little thing to see. I'm sure it's a breath of fresh air for him.”

For a second it looked as if another stinker was in the cards.

Two pitches into the contest, Shields trailed by a run when Eduardo Nunez ripped an 0-1 changeup for a solo homer.

Shields, who had a 21.81 ERA in his first three starts with the White Sox, two of which resulted in him being booed off the mound at home, found even more trouble. He recorded a pair of outs, but walked Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe singled him to third. But similar to his last start in Boston, Shields took another big step forward and got out of trouble.

Two innings later, Shields made his biggest pitch of the night when he induced a double play off Joe Mauer’s bat after allowing consecutive singles to start the third. Dozier’s bunt attempt resulted in a comebacker and Shields escaped unharmed.

Adam Eaton assisted Shields in a big way in the fifth inning when he easily threw out Kurt Suzuki at home. Suzuki, who started the play on first, was forced home as Nunez nearly caught him speeding into third after hitting a liner off the right-field fence.

But Shields stranded Nunez in scoring position as well as another runner in the sixth. He recorded two more outs before giving way after a Byron Buxton double.

“We know what type of pitcher he is and he went out and did what he’s supposed to do,” Eaton said. “I think the proof is in the pudding. He goes out and throws well. We hit and we are going to be pretty good.”

As he exited, Shields was showered with applause from the appreciative crowd.

He allowed a run and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking one. Shields threw strikes on 61 of 93 pitches to earn his first victory since May 12th.

“It feels good,” Shields said. “It’s something to build off of.

“It was a tough stretch. It’s nice to get off the schneid there and get a win, but I don’t really focus on that kind of stuff. I’ve been around this game for a long time. My main focus is to win games for this team right now.”

One night after they couldn’t provide for Jose Quintana, the White Sox offense went overboard for Shields. Lawrie’s opposite-field solo homer with two outs in the second inning off Ricky Nolasco tied the game at 1. J.B. Shuck then singled, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Avisail Garcia.

The White Sox never looked back as Saladino’s solo shot in the fifth made it a 3-1 game.

Frazier started a five-run sixth inning with a solo homer -- the team’s 13th consecutive solo homer. Saladino singled in a run with two outs to chase Nolasco and make it 5-1. Tim Anderson’s two-run single made it a blowout and Eaton singled him in to make it 8-1. Shuck added a sac fly in the seventh for the White Sox, who went 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

“It was nice,” Frazier said. “It was a little different. (Shields) got out there not worrying about anything. Gave up the homer in the first batter. Nothing really fazed him after that. He has to understand, he’s going to give up runs here and there, and just relax from whatever happens from there. He pitched an exceptional game today.”