Mark Strotman

The White Sox avoided being no-hit in the ninth inning again


The White Sox avoided being no-hit in the ninth inning again

The White Sox have no intention of being no-hit this season. They just so happen to wait until the ninth inning to show it.

For the second time this season, in Sunday's 12-0 loss to the Tigers, Rick Renteria's group was no-hit through eight innings. And for the second time they avoided becoming the second team to be no-hit this season with a hit in their final frame.

Tim Anderson delivered a double to the right-center gap with no outs in the ninth inning to break up Matt Boyd's chance at history. Boyd had retired 26 White Sox batters to that point, with a Rob Brantly walk in the third inning their only base runner.

On July 9 the White Sox had been no-hit through eight innings in Colorado, and rookie starter Kyle Freeland retired the first batter he faced in the ninth. But a Melky Cabrera single to left broke up that almost-no-no.

The Sox still haven't been no-hit since May 3, 2011, when Francisco Liriano did at U.S. Cellular Field.

Ricky's boys truly don't quit.

More scheduling drama: Brewers give the Cubs a reason to complain


More scheduling drama: Brewers give the Cubs a reason to complain

The Cubs and Brewers haven't been too happy with each other this season as far as scheduling is concerned.

It began when the Cubs postponed their May 20 game against the Brewers because they expected rains to come in the late afternoon. That rain never came, and the Brewers were none too pleased.

Then last week the Cubs changed their start time againt the Brewers on Friday to 7:05 p.m. to accomodate the North Siders' travel schedule coming from Pittsburgh. The Brewers, yet again, were unhappy with the change.

Now there's more controversy. Because of the effect Hurricane Irma has had on the Southeast, Major League Baseball and the Miami Marlins have agreed to move their three-game series against the Brewers this weekend to Miller Park in Milwaukee.

A statement from Marlins president David Samson said that Marlins Park "stood ready to host the games, but we all agreed that burdening publis service resources was not the proper course of action." The Marlins are expected to return home Monday to begin a series against the Mets.

This certainly helps the Brewers, who are 40-33 at home compared to 36-36 on the road. It also makes life more difficult on the Marlins, who are above .500 in Miami and just 32-41 on the road. They'll be traveling from Philadelphia after their series with the Phillies concludes Thursday night.

Will Brian Urlacher be a first ballot NFL Hall-of-Famer?

Will Brian Urlacher be a first ballot NFL Hall-of-Famer?

On Tuesday night Brian Urlacher was among the 108 players nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2018. Joining the Bears legend as first-time nominees were names such as Randy Moss, Ray Lewis, Steve Hutchinson and Ronde Barber.

Urlacher eventually will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame, that's without a doubt. But whether Urlacher gets in on his first try is another story.

Looking at the raw numbers, in 13 seasons Urlacher amassed 1,353 tackles, 41.5 sacks and 22 interceptions. He was named a Pro Bowler eight times, earned First Team All-Pro honors four times, won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2000 and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. In 2010 he was named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, and he led the Bears to Super Bowl XLI, where they were defeated by Peyton Manning and the Colts.

A maximum of five modern day players can be enshrined each season, and it's safe to say Lewis and Moss will be among those players. That leaves three slots for players such as Urlacher, Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber, as well as the players who missed out last season such as John Lynch, Terrell Owens, Brian Dawkins and Hines Ward.

Here's a list of linebackers who gained entry on their first try:

2015: Junior Seau
2014: Derrick Brooks
1999: Lawrence Taylor
1998: Mike Singletary
1990: Jack Lambert
1988: Jack Ham
1979: Dick Butkus
1978: Ray Nitschke

Along with Singletary and Butkus, first ballot Bears included Gale Sayers, Walter Payton and George Blanda.

Will Urlacher be next?

The nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and to 15 finalists in December.