Word on the Street: Baker fears Cubs in Central

Word on the Street: Baker fears Cubs in Central

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)

Road Ahead: Can the White Sox turn things around?

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Road Ahead: Can the White Sox turn things around?

CSN's Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton talk about what's next for the White Sox, presented by Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana Honda dealers.

The White Sox are struggling lately as the team has lost six consecutive games and 14 of their last 18.

It doesn't get much easier for the South Siders as they stay on the road to face the New York Mets and Detroit Tigers this week.

After once leading the American League Central and looking like a complete team, the bullpen is struggling and the team is in a freefall.

Can the team fix things to stay in the division race?

Find out what Garfien and Melton had to say in the video above.

 

Quintana takes the hill as White Sox face the Mets on CSN

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Quintana takes the hill as White Sox face the Mets on CSN

The White Sox take on the New York Mets on Monday, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 11:30 a.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Monday’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana vs. Matt Harvey

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with White Sox Pulse.

White Sox outfielder Austin Jackson sidelined with turf toe

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White Sox outfielder Austin Jackson sidelined with turf toe

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Austin Jackson exited Sunday’s game after battling turf toe on his left foot, according to a club official.

When he’ll return to the White Sox lineup isn’t yet certain. The injury comes at a time when Jackson is red hot at the plate and continuing to make big plays in the outfield.

Jackson, who finished 1-for-3 Sunday with a sac fly and two RBIs, has produced a .464/.500/.607 slash line in his last eight games.

The center fielder has been so good at the plate that White Sox manager Robin Ventura has batted him in the second spot in the lineup two days in a row. With Melky Cabrera needed for the middle of the lineup, Jackson has been Ventura’s best option. He entered Sunday with a team-high .697 OPS hitting second.

“I like Melky there, too,” Ventura said. “But (Jackson’s) at-bats have been better. Walking, fouling pitches off, getting on, he’s looked good up there.”

Jackson also turned in a sterling defensive play in the first inning as he made an over-the-shoulder catch to rob Kendrys Morales of extra bases. Jackson then fired a perfect strike to Tyler Saladino, whose relay to first doubled off Eric Hosmer.

Outfielder Adam Eaton has credited much of Jackson’s communication and defensive skills to his own improvement in right field.