Shorthanded Mount Carmel team rallies by Seton


Shorthanded Mount Carmel team rallies by Seton

Friday, Dec. 10, 2010
11:05 PM

By Patrick McGavin

The Mount Carmel starting five had a different look at the start Friday night against Seton in South Holland.

The most glaring difference was Tracy Abrams, the Caravans do-it-all guard was on the bench. So was Wyn Bradley, the teams normal starting center.

Tracy missed practice because of an illness Monday, and we have a team rule that if you miss practice, you have to sit the first quarter, Mount Carmel coach Mike Flaherty said. Wyn was late and thats why he was out at the start.

Despite the absence of two starters, Mount Carmel did not skip a beat. Junior guard Alex Austin scored 16 points as the team received scoring contributions from 11 different players as the Caravan rolled to the 74-57 victory.

Junior guard Malcolm Hill-Bey started quickly, scoring seven first-quarter points in propelling the Caravan to a 22-15 first quarter lead. Once Abrams did enter, it did not take him long to make his presence felt.

On the opening possession of the second quarter, Abrams nailed a long three-pointer. Seconds later, his steal and beautiful feed to Bradley jump started the Caravans 10-0 run as Mount Carmel (4-2, 2-0 Catholic East) seized a 40-28 lead at the break.

I knew once I got in there, I had to bring energy and contribute to the team, Abrams said. At the same time, Abrams was comfortable the team would have his back. Coach put a lot of emphasis on other guys having to step up because they knew I missed practice earlier this week, and I wasnt going to be there at the start.

Austin helped turn the game into a rout by sparking a third quarter closing 18-5 run. The Caravan was especially good at the start of quarters. They held the Sting scoreless the opening three minutes of the first, second and fourth quarters. Austin scored eight of his game-high total in the fourth quarter.

We got excellent contributions from different guys at the start, and then once Tracy and Wyn got in there, they just added to it, Flaherty said. We got a little sloppy at times at the end, but otherwise, we played well.

Hill-Bey scored all nine of his points in the first half. Foul trouble limited his play in the second half. Bradley recovered from his slow start to add eight points and six rebounds.

Kamal Sashi scored 11 points to lead the Sting (3-3, 0-2). Sophomore Mark Weems added 10 points.

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Why Cubs wouldn't pay the price for Andrew Miller and got Aroldis Chapman from Yankees

Why Cubs wouldn't pay the price for Andrew Miller and got Aroldis Chapman from Yankees

CLEVELAND — As the New York Yankees marketed Andrew Miller this summer and prepared for their first sell-off in a generation, their demands started at either Kyle Schwarber or Javier Baez — and the Cubs still would have been forced to throw in more talent to get the All-Star reliever.

This could be the fascinating what-if for this World Series. The Cleveland Indians paid the price, giving up a four-player package headlined by outfielder Clint Frazier (the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft) and left-hander Justus Sheffield (the No. 31 pick in the 2014 draft) to get what turned out to be the American League Championship Series MVP.

The Cubs didn’t make Schwarber untouchable because they thought he would be ready in time for the World Series, but he’s preparing to be their Game 1 designated hitter on Tuesday night at Progressive Field after a remarkable recovery from major surgery on his left knee.

“It was impossible to avoid some of the names — particularly the Cubs — (with) the year they were having,” Miller said. “Whether I wanted to avoid it or not I heard it. Guys in the clubhouse, our media was certainly bringing it to us.”

Even in other possible deals for pitching, the Cubs never came close to selling low on Baez, who broke out as the National League Championship Series co-MVP for his offensive production and defensive wizardry. 

Instead of getting Miller’s late-game dominance for three pennant races — and giving up five potential 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons with Schwarber — the Cubs closed a different blockbuster deal with the Yankees for a left-handed power arm.

The Cubs wanted Aroldis Chapman’s 100-mph fastball to get the last out of the World Series and would rationalize his 30-game suspension to begin this season under Major League Baseball’s domestic-violence policy. Already holding an age-22 All-Star shortstop in Addison Russell, the Cubs surrendered elite prospect Gleyber Torres.

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“Gleyber’s a good baseball player,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “That kid’s going to be really good. So you have to give up something to get something. But also our guys felt if we got Aroldis this year, we’d have a chance to be sitting here and answering this question. And they were right.

“It’s an entirely different thing when you get a guy out there throwing 100 miles an hour. You feel pretty good about it, regardless of who is hitting. So he’s really a big part of why we’re doing this right now.”

Chapman has saved five playoff games — and become that reassuring ninth-inning presence at Wrigley Field — but he clearly responds better to a scripted role.

Miller has been untouchable during the postseason, throwing 11 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out 21 of the 41 batters he’s faced, giving Terry Francona even more freedom to manage a lights-out Cleveland bullpen.

“To be utilized like Miller,” Maddon said, “not everybody is cut from the same cloth mentally, either, or the ability to get loose and prepare. Andrew Miller — having done a variety of different things in the big leagues as a pitcher — is probably more suited to be able to be this guy that can get up in the sixth, seventh, eighth or ninth and warm up in a manner that gets him in the game both mentally and physically.

“Whereas Aroldis — if he wanted to do that — I think that would have had to be done from spring training. He’d have to differentiate his mindset. He’d have to have a different way to get ready. I do notice he throws a heavy baseball before he actually throws a regular baseball. That’s his routine.

“Whether you agree with it or not, that’s just the way it is. So with a guy like Aroldis — to ask him to attempt to dump his routine right now (and) do something else — I think you’re looking for failure right there.

“We stretched him to five outs the other night, which is a good thing, I thought. So now going forward he knows he can do that. But to just haphazardly throw him in the sixth, seventh or ninth, I think would be very difficult to do.”

Even in a World Series featuring historic droughts, Cy Young Award winners, MVP candidates and star managers, this October could come down to the bullpens shaped by deals with the Yankees.

“Both teams made aggressive trades,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. “Both teams are still standing. There’s something to that.”