Word on the Street: Francona joins Ozzie-Jenks war

Word on the Street: Francona joins Ozzie-Jenks war

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011

Red Sox manager gets involved in Ozzie-Jenks war

Terry Francona, the manager of the Boston Red Sox--Bobby Jenks' current team, got himself involved in the Jenks-Ozzie Guillen war of words Sunday.

Jenks was recently very outspoken over Ozzie's use of the bullpen during the tail end of the 2010 season when the husky pitcher was a part of the White Sox, and also took a shot at Ozzie's son, Oney, who called Jenks out via Twitter a couple months ago. Never one to shy away from controversial statements, Ozzie responded with comments to Jenks through the media and a war of words was started.

Francona attempted to halt that Sunday.

"That's over," Francona told the Boston Globe. "Spoke to Bobby. Went back and forth with Ozzie, not speaking, but just messages. I'm confident that will be over. I don't care if they like each other. But Bobby's a Red Sox and you need to move on. I think he understands that." (Chicago Tribune)

Danieal Manning rejected Bears contract offer?

The Bears offered Danieal Manning an extension during the season worth 6 million over three years, according to NFL Sources. Manning rejected that offer.

With no salary cap and CBA, Manning is now technically a restricted free agent. Any team that signs Manning would owe the Bears a second-round pick. That could all change once the new CBA and salary cap come to fruition.

Manning was drafted by the Bears in the second round in 2006. In his five-year career with the Bears, Manning has registered 346 tackles, 2 sacks, 7 INT and a return TD. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

How the Oscars are like Rose's MVP run

With the Oscars Sunday night, ProBasketballTalk.com discussed the impact the Academy Awards could have on the NBA MVP race, especially since Chicago's own Derrick Rose is one of the leading candidates for the award.

As Matt Moore writes in the blog, if Rose doesn't win the MVP, he shouldn't be considered a lesser player because of it. (ProBasketballTalk.com)
Does the Seabrook extension hurt the Hawks?

On Sunday, the Blackhawks inked defenseman Brent Seabrook to a five-year extension. According to Joe Yerdon at ProHockeyTalk.com, that move might put the Hawks back in the same salary cap bind that cost them after the Stanley Cup victory last May. (ProHockeyTalk.com)

Are Cubs fans the worst in baseball?

IvyReport.com attempts to answer this question with a resounding "yes." But, not for reasons you might think. The Cubs' futility has led this blogger to realize being a Cubs fan may not be the smartest option. (IvyReport.com)

Bowman losing his voice?

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has reportedly been talking so much regarding potential trade deals before the deadline Monday afternoon that he might be losing his voice.

Im losing my voice here a little. Ive been on the phone all day, he said. ...Theres a lot of talking still but its probably one of those thingswhere the first domino has to fall and then I think itll spur otherthings. If we end up with the group we have now, Im verycomfortable with that. But were aggressively trying to improve theteam. (CSNChicago.com)

Andrew Miller's outstanding postseason continues with escape to beat Cubs

Andrew Miller's outstanding postseason continues with escape to beat Cubs

CLEVELAND — Andrew Miller added another impressive chapter to an already legendary postseason performance on Tuesday night.

The Cleveland Indians reliever pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh inning to preserve a three-run lead and help his team achieve a 6-0 victory over the Cubs in Game 1 of the World Series in front of 38,091 at Progressive Field.

Despite putting four men on base, Miller added two more scoreless innings to his 2016 playoff résumé. Miller also struck out more three batters, giving him 24 in 13 2/3 innings this postseason, the second most by any reliever in playoff history. Critical to the effort was the strikeout of Cubs veteran David Ross with a checked swing on a 3-2 slider to strand the bases loaded in the seventh.

“You’re just trying to see the ball as long as you can and stay up the middle,” Ross said. “The 3-1, that’s the one that kinda messed me up. It didn’t break as much, so now you’re like ‘OK, let’s protect and just battle.’ ... Looking back at it, I wish I just stood there and not swung at all. If I could rewind. If it were that easy. I wish it was. And then he’d throw one right down the middle and America hates me.”

Ross has had his share of success against Miller before, though it all came when the left-hander was still a struggling starting pitcher. The veteran catcher is 3-for-5 with a walk against Miller in his career. But that wasn’t the reason Cubs manager Joe Maddon opted to stay with Ross instead of pinch hit for him with either Jorge Soler or Albert Almora Jr. with two outs in the seventh inning and Miller struggling for the first time all postseason.

With a man on and nobody out, Miller took over for Corey Kluber and walked Kyle Schwarber — only Miller’s third free pass of the postseason. Javy Baez followed with a single to load the bases.

But Miller rebounded quickly and retired Willson Contreras on a fly out to shallow center before he struck out Addison Russell. Based on his experience, Maddon thought Ross was the right man for the spot.

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

“I thought David could hit him or David would accept his walk more than the other guys,” Maddon said. “David works good at-bats in that moment. So I felt good about him, actually. I felt better about him.

“I think with Soler coming off the bench or Albert they had less of a chance than David because I thought there was a two-fold opportunity to either get the hit or draw the walk.”

Ross worked the count to his favor quickly as he took a fastball for a ball, and after swinging and missing a slider, took two more balls to get ahead 3-1. But Miller dropped a slider in for a called strike and then turned to it once again, getting Ross to commit just enough for the third strike. The strikeout improved the Indians’ chances of winning by 26.5 percent, up to 94.7, according to fangraphs.com.

“I was trying to throw a really good one because if he hits it, it goes a long way,” Miller said. “That’s David Ross. I think even he would say, you can pitch to him, but if you throw something in his wheelhouse it’s going to go a long way and do some damage. Fortunate that it worked out. I threw a good one that was in a spot that he went after in the situation.”

Miller struggled again in the eighth inning as he walked Kris Bryant and allowed a Ben Zobrist single with two outs. But Miller — who allowed two hits and two walks for the first time all season in 77 appearances — struck out Kyle Schwarber to strand the pair.

The Indians’ key acquisition before the July 31 trade deadline threw 46 pitches, the most he’s thrown in a game since Sept. 8, 2011, when he was still a starter.

Indians manager Terry Francona wouldn’t commit to whether or not he’d use Miller in Game 2 on Wednesday. Francona cited how Miller bounced back after throwing 40 pitches in a Game 1 victory over Boston in the American League Division Series and would have been ready if needed. But any number of factors could keep Miller from pitching, and Francona is happy to have a 1-0 series lead in his pocket.

“I don’t know,” Francona said. “He was ready to come back and pitch the next night. I just think there’s a lot that can happen.

“But we won tonight. I think when you have a lead, you try to win.”

Morning Update: Cubs shut out by Indians in Game 1 of World Series

Morning Update: Cubs shut out by Indians in Game 1 of World Series

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