Word on the Street: Baker fears Cubs in Central

Word on the Street: Baker fears Cubs in Central
February 9, 2011, 12:39 am
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Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011CSNChicago.com
Baker fears Cubs in NL Central

After a disappointing 2010 campaign many people remain skeptical about the team's chances in 2011, even with the aquisition of a top-of-the-rotation pitcher in Matt Garza. Reds manager Dusty Baker is not one of those people.

Baker believes that the Cubs will be right in the thick of what he predicts to be a wide-open NL Central race this year.

"Our division is tougher. The Cubs are better, they have picked up some pitching, and they've got some healthy pitching coming back, and they have some new players," Baker said. "Our division is going to be one of the tougher divisions. Seems like whoever was trading somebody was trading to our division. It's going to be a tough fight; it's going to be a tough division. But, hey, that's what it's all about." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Hawks punished at practice

If there was any question as to how Blackhawks' coach Joel Quennenville felt about his team's level of play on Monday night in Calgary, it was erased at Tuesday's practice. Quennenville put his team through an intense 45-minute practice today - "punishment" for their poor effort in Monday's 3-1 loss to the Flames.

Last nights a good example. You get what you deserve, coach Joel Quenneville said of the missing competitive level. Youve got to play hard every night. With Vancouver, the way you play, even though you lost, you still have to come out again like that. (Monday night) was one of the biggest (games) of the year, the importance of it all and it was disappointing. We didnt handle it the way we shouldve. (CSNChicago)
LakersNuggets in talks for Anthony

As the NBA trade deadline creeps closer and closer, another potential suitor for Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony has come to out of the woodwork. The Los Angeles Lakers are now reported to have begun "preliminary" talks into a deal involving Anthony.

It has been speculated that the deal would revolve around the often-injured Lakers center Andrew Bynum. However, there were also some reports indicating that the Lakers would be unwilling to trade Bynum. (All Headline News)

Pujols deadline is Feb. 16

It was reported last month that Albert Pujols gave the Cardinals a spring training deadline to work out a contract extension. It was assumed that Pujols meant Feb. 19, the day he was expected to report to the Cardinals' spring training facility. As it turns out, though, he will be reporting three days earlier than was originally thought - Feb. 16.

However minor, this three day jump in his deadline is interesting because the Cardinals have still yet to make Pujols a contract offer, and now they have three fewer days than they might have previously assumed. (MSNBC)