Notre Dame QB pleads not guilty

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Notre Dame QB pleads not guilty

From Comcast SportsNet
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges stemming from ani ncident in which police used pepper spray to subdue him after an off-campus party. Rees, who turns 20 next week, is charged with one count of battery, two counts of resisting law enforcement and one count of illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. South Bend police say Rees kneed a police officer in the chest after he ran from the party early May 3 after officers arrived. The court appearance was brief, lasting less than a minute. Rees arrived shortly after 8:20 a.m., sat in the front row for several minutes before his attorney, George Horn, summoned him to appear before Magistrate Brian Steinke without his name being called. Rees didn't speak during his appearance. He met briefly with Horn afterward in a room next to the court and they then left together without speaking to reporters. Rees, who remains free on 250 bond, is due back in court July 17. Linebacker Carlo Calabrese did not appear before Steinke as scheduled Thursday. Assistant prosecutor Andrew White said sometimes defendants e are allowed to have their attorneys appear in their place. He said he didn't know why Calabrese didn't appear. A telephone message seeking comment was left at the office of his attorney, Jeffrey Stesiak, by The Associated Press. White said no plea was entered on Calabrese's behalf. He is scheduled to be in court June 21. Rees, who is from Lake Forest, Ill., is one of four quarterbacks vying for the starters' job next season. He started 12 of 13 games as the Irish went 8-5 last season. Calabrese, who is from Verona, N.J., was a backup linebacker who played in every game last season after starting eight games as a sophomore during the 2010 season Police said they went to the party several blocks from campus on the night classes ended after receiving complaints about a loud party. Police said Rees was among about five people who jumped a backyard fence and ran after officers arrived. Police say an officer pursued Rees, continually telling him to stop, but Rees refused. Police say when Rees ran out into the street, a passing taxi driver maneuvered his car to block Rees' path. Police say when the officer caught up, Rees used his right knee to hit the officer in the chest, knocking the wind out of him. Police say the taxi driver held Rees until the officer caught his breath. Police said Rees continued to struggle even after being knocked down and the officer used pepper spray to help subdue him. Police say Calabrese became upset when he saw Rees was being arrested, ignored warnings to stay out of the street and twice old an officer: "My people will get you." Brian Hardin, Notre Dame's director of football media relations, said football coach Brian Kelly would have no comment on Thursday's court appearance. Kelly previously said he would withhold judgment until he could collect all the facts.

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Grab the first goal.

The Blackhawks have scored the game's first goal in seven of the last eight games, and of those seven, they've won six of them. Meanwhile, the Lightning have scored the first goal only 17 times in 48 games this season, and are 12-5-1 in those games. They're 9-17-4 when they allow the first goal, so getting out to a lead first will be important against a struggling Lightning team looking for signs of life.

2. Will the floodgates open for Jonathan Toews?

After a four-point game in a 4-2 win over Vancouver, the Blackhawks captain matched his point total over his previous nine games. He's up to 26 points on the season, which is now fifth among Chicago forwards. When Toews has offensive droughts, they usually last longer than they should. But when he gets hot, he gets extremely hot. Perhaps we'll see the floodgates open offensively.

3. A chance for the team lead in scoring.

With an empty-net goal on Sunday, Marian Hossa tied Artem Anisimov for the team-lead with 18 goals. Artemi Panarin is right behind with 17, and Patrick Kane isn't far either at 15. The Blackhawks had four 20-goal scorers last season, and haven't had more than that since the 2013-14 season. They're definitely on pace to hit four, but could they surprass that? Richard Panik, who scored another goal Sunday as well, is fifth with 11 goals while Ryan Hartman has 10. Toews is at eight, but a flurry after a drought could make things interesting.

4. The triplets reunited?

In an effort to jumpstart a struggling offense, Lightning coach Jon Cooper reunited the triplets line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat that was so successful during their 2015 playoff run in their latest game, a 5-3 loss to Arizona. It's unclear whether they will begin tonight's game on the same line, but if not, it's worth watching throughout the game whether they do. The Blackhawks have been coming at opponents in waves lately, so Cooper could look to separate the three to distribute the scoring.

5. Take advantage on special teams.

The Lightning have racked up the fifth-most penalty minutes in the league, and own a bottom-10 penalty kill unit at 80.1 percent. The Blackhawks are the second-least penalized team, and have converted on 17.9 percent of their power plays, which sits at 16th. But they haven't scored one on the man advantage in five straight games, going 0-for-9 during that span. Here's a chance to change that.

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Report: Cubs preparing to roll the dice with Brett Anderson

Report: Cubs preparing to roll the dice with Brett Anderson

The Cubs are preparing to roll the dice with Brett Anderson, hoping the talented, frequently injured pitcher can stay healthy and provide insurance for their rotation.

Anderson posted a telling message on his Twitter account on Monday night, hinting at what would be another offseason check mark for the defending World Series champs.

The physical for the agreement — first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and MLB Network — won't just be a formality as Anderson underwent back surgery last March and appeared in only four games for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.

But Anderson fits on paper as a left-hander who will turn only 29 on Feb. 1 and won't have to carry front-of-the-rotation responsibilities or feel Opening Day urgency on a team with five projected starters.

The Cubs had been willing to gamble around $6 million on Tyson Ross, who recently signed a similarly structured one-year deal with the Texas Rangers as he recovers from surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome.

The calculus would essentially be the same with Anderson. The Cubs have to factor in last year's grueling playoff run into early November, this season's sky-high expectations, the organization's lack of high-end, upper-level pitching prospects and the uncertainty surrounding the 2018 rotation.

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Anderson finished sixth in the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year voting with the Oakland A's, but he's reached the 30-start mark only one other time and never accounted for 200 innings in a single season.

Anderson underwent Tommy John surgery in the middle of the 2011 season, and the injuries piled up from there, dealing with a strained right oblique, a stress fracture in his right foot and a broken left index finger.

Anderson had such a fragile reputation that he accepted the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Dodgers after a strong platform year in 2015 (10-9, 3.69 ERA). The Dodgers only got 11 1/3 innings out of Anderson, who didn't pitch during a playoff run that ended at Wrigley Field in the National League Championship Series.

The Cubs stayed exceptionally healthy while winning 200 games across the last two seasons and need to be prepared in case John Lackey sharply declines at the age of 38 or Mike Montgomery experiences growing pains while transitioning from the bullpen.

Whether or not Anderson is ultimately the answer, the Cubs will be looking to place a sixth starter into their plans.

"I don't know if a six-man rotation on a permanent basis is the wave of the future," team president Theo Epstein said earlier this winter. "But we certainly endorse it on a temporary basis as a nice way to pace guys for the whole season.

"We can get them some rest, whether you do it in April to preserve depth and ease guys into the season, especially after a deep October and November run. Or after the All-Star break in the summer to kind of get through the dog days and give guys a little bit of a breather as you ramp up for the stretch run.

"I think it would be tough to pull off all season long. But it's something that (could certainly work) in the right spot."