5 Questions with...The Score's David Schuster

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5 Questions with...The Score's David Schuster

CSN Chicago Senior Director of Communications
CSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the city's most popular personalities on the spot with everyone's favorite local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

On Wednesdays, exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guest .. a guy who has pretty much seen it all in his 30-plus years of covering the Chicago sports scene ... his trust and rapport with athletes and team executives has paid major dividends in a career that most sports journalists will would die for ... calling him a sports nut is a fair assessment, but hes also one of the nicest guys around ... from WSCR 670 The Score, here are 5 Questions with ... DAVID SCHUSTER!

BIO: David Schuster has been covering the local sports scene for over 30 years and, in that time, he has seen more games and events then just about anybody. Hes covered nine local championships (six by the Bulls, and one each by the Bears, White Sox & Blackhawks), along with three no-hitters and one perfect game. Plus he had the honor of covering the best basketball player ever on a daily basis. In addition to covering numerous teams and events in and around Chicago, hes also an active sports participant in basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, you name it. Hes also a huge movie buff, a frequent traveler and even owns a piece of a local minor league baseball team and a local restaurant.

1) CSNChicago.com: David, first up, you're back in Arizona once again covering the start of spring training for Chicago's baseball teams. Tell us your top 3 hopeful predictions that will have White Sox fans excited for the upcoming campaign -- and three as well for the Cubs.

Schuster: Hope is ever eternal at Spring Training and this year is no different for both our baseball teams. The following are hopeful predictions (maybe even beyond hope) for the Sox & Cubs.

On the south side: 1) Jake Peavy returns to his Cy Young award winning form with no repercussions from his shoulder surgery to win 20 plus games, 2) Paul Konerko & Adam Dunn combine for 90 home runs and 3) the Sox win the World Series.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town: 1) Carlos Zambrano is like a choir boy and wins 20 for the first time, 2) Carlos Marmol saves 45 games and 3) Carlos Pena hits 40 HRs and drives in a 115 runs as the Cubs get back into the playoffs. Like I said, hope is eternal (if not realistic) at this time of the year.

2) CSNChicago.com: As someone who has covered spring training for years, what are your favorite and least favorite elements during your extended stay in sunny AZ?

Schuster: You have to love covering Spring Training if for nothing else the weather. Tell me many other jobs where you get transported from the snow and the cold to 80 degrees and sunny, while reporting on teams that don't even have any losses yet. Plus, all the players are in such good moods this time of the year. Five months later maybe not so much, but they certainly are affable in February.

As for the drawbacks there aren't many, but I certainly get jealous when I see the fans gulping down their beers while catching rays....hey that should be me! And, even though I love baseball, I miss covering hoops. I'm a basketball junkie and Derrick Rose is the best player I have had the pleasure of covering since Michael Jordan. He has really livened the city with his greatness.

3) CSNChicago.com: Your popular ChicagoNow.com Booth Reviews film blog does a solid job of reviewing new and classic movies, without taking yourself or the movies too seriously. Since its Oscar season and you've pretty much seen them all, is The Kings Speech the Best Picture winner this year or do you see a dark horse in The Social Network winning the big prize?

Schuster: In my mind, there is no question that "The King's Speech" was hands down the best movie of the year. I definitely liked "The Social Network" and "The Fighter," but you just get that certain feeling when you walk out of a theater after seeing certain movies and I was hit with that feeling after seeing "The King's Speech." The writing was fabulous and the chemistry between Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush was outstanding -- both should win acting nods for their portrayals.

4) CSNChicago.com: How is it possible with everything else you have going on that you also own a piece of a minor league baseball team and a restaurant!? Tell us about how you got yourself involved in those endeavors.

Schuster: I got involved as a minor league baseball owner and part owner of a restaurant through associations with close friends. After being on the other side of the ledger in baseball, I kidded Jerry Reinsdorf that I would never question him again when it came to ownership. He laughed at me. As for the restaurant, it's not normally a good investment, but I have faith in the main proprietor (Jeff Shapiro). The restaurant's name is Rural Urban Barbeque in Highland Park and the food is really good. Jeff knows the business inside and out and his cooking and sauces are out of this world.

5) CSNChicago.com: Credit has to be given when its due. Your social media following is off-the-charts impressive. It seems like every time you send out a sentence or two -- on anything -- you immediately get 20-30 replies from your friends and followers. Whats your personal secret and do you think social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter have leveled off in popularity or are they on the verge of becoming even bigger?

Schuster: I think we have just scratched the surface when it comes to social media outlets. It's truly amazing how effective they are and how all the old time media use them to their advantage. If you work at a radio or TV station or at a newspaper, you have to keep track of various Twitter or Facebook accounts. We constantly are getting stories from both and often get breaking news from these sources.

As for my own page, I love just putting out certain opinions or facts and then having all my followers make comments. Some are intelligent and some are off the wall. But I'm constantly amazed at how many comments I'll get and when it comes to baseball -- Cubs and Sox fans often go at each other. In fact, I can put up quotes from the Gettysburg Address or something so far away from baseball and yet those Cubs and Sox folks will spew their venom towards each other. It blows me away sometimes, but it also tells me of the passion that both teams enjoy from their fandom.

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: Any finals words or comments David?

Schuster: I appreciate having the forum here to answer the above 5 Questions and will continue to say that I am truly a lucky guy. I am doing what I have always wanted, which is to cover sports in my hometown. I'm on the front line of history every day and I wouldn't trade that in for anything....except maybe a winning (100 million) Power Ball ticket.

Schuster LINKS

David Schuster sectionblog on WSCRs official web site

Schusters ChicagoNow.com Booth Reviews blog

David Schuster on Facebook

Todd Frazier's late single lifts White Sox over Mariners

Todd Frazier's late single lifts White Sox over Mariners

The White Sox offense showed a bunch of late life on Thursday night.

Todd Frazier had two hits with runners in scoring position, including the game-winner, as the White Sox topped the Seattle Mariners 7-6 at U.S. Cellular Field. Frazier’s one-out single in the ninth inning off Nick Vincent scored Adam Eaton as the White Sox won for the fourth time in five games. Frazier’s game-winning hit was his first since June 2015 and the fifth of his career. It and a game-tying, two-out, two-run single in the seventh helped Frazier shake off a game in which he struck out three times in his first three at-bats.

“You learn something,” Frazier said. “You take the last at-bat and throw it away and just keep on going. Unfortunately, it took me three times to do that. To come up clutch today felt pretty good.”

Frazier leads the club in home runs and RBIs.

Similar to his teammates, however, Frazier has lefty plenty of chances for more damage on the table. He entered Thursday hitting .159 with runners in scoring position for a team that ranks 18th with runners in scoring position (.255).

While Frazier struck out with runners on the corners in the first inning, he succeeded in his next two tries. He picked up Jose Abreu in the seventh after the slugger struck out against Steve Cishek. Frazier sat on a slider and ripped a 2-0 pitch into left field to drive in Eaton and Tim Anderson, whose one-out RBI double made it a 6-4 game.

Then in the ninth, Frazier came through again. Eaton’s bloop single to center got things going before Anderson bunted him over. Vincent walked Abreu to get to Frazier, who singled to left again.

Frazier was previously 17-for-17 with five doubles, four homers and 42 RBIs with runners in scoring position.

“These are the best ones,” manager Robin Ventura said. “You can't rely just on the homer. There's more to his game than that. You have to be able to knock in runs when you're not hitting them over the fence. He can use the other side of the field. I think he can level it out somewhat and get some hits. Just put it in play more because you don't know know what's going to happen.”

[MORE: Rick Hahn denies rift in White Sox front office, holds off on plans for 2017]

David Robertson found that out in the top of the ninth inning when his outing was delayed for several minutes by a trio of fans who ran onto the field. Robertson worked around the delay and a one-out walk to keep the score tied at 6.

Down 2-0, the White Sox scored three times in the first inning to briefly take the lead.

Abreu and Avisail Garcia both singled in runs and Dioner Navarro had a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.

White Sox starter Anthony Ranaudo pitched well after a slow start and then ran into bad luck in the sixth inning. What looked to be a surefire double play ball kicked off Ranaudo’s glove and combined with an Anderson throwing error led to a three-run inning that put Seattle ahead 6-3.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Ranaudo allowed six earned runs in 5.1 innings.

The White Sox were 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

“That’s just part of it,” Robertson said. “I guess that happens some times.

“Everybody played hard. They didn’t give up at all tonight. We pitched well enough to win and had timely hitting. A few things went our way, a couple errors that really ended up giving us a few runs. A few things went our way and it was great to pick up a win.”

Jay Cutler, Dowell Loggains face deepest test yet in Bears' third preseason game

Jay Cutler, Dowell Loggains face deepest test yet in Bears' third preseason game

Third preseason games come with added significance simply because it is the one practice game in which the starters play the closest to a full game prior to the start of the regular season. But for the Bears, Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs is potentially far more important for another reason.

The Kansas City game looms as something of a new tipping point in the one relationship that must function above all others for immediate success of the franchise:

The working relationship/bond between offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and quarterback Jay Cutler.

The two-plus quarters that Cutler is expected to play will be the longest yet trial by fire for his trust in Loggains. The latter has been a coordinator previously in his career, but with less time and success in the position that most of Cutler’s previous list of coordinators.

And few of those relationships survived, let alone flourished once Cutler lost faith or belief in their messages, whether under an avalanche of sacks, poor play selection or design, or whatever.

Cutler put up the best season of his eight-year career in 2015 with Loggains as his position coach. Adam Gase was the coordinator, Gase came in with credibility from having worked with Peyton Manning in Denver. The credibility traced to not necessarily what Gase might have taught Manning, but rather because of what Gase undoubtedly LEARNED from Manning.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Saturday’s test will be far short of the ones the regular season holds, when Loggains’ offense has been scouted and schemed for. But after a stretch of “quizzes” for Cutler-Loggains, this is a “test.”

Buy-in with Loggains?

Loggains has traction with Cutler – for now. Cutler was consistent in his compliments of Loggains last year, but it was Gase ultimately in his ear on game days. Indeed, the entire offense believed in Gase: “When I’m in the huddle…and we get a play call,” offensive lineman Kyle Long said at the time, “there’s never a time where we look at each other and think, ‘Oh [darn].’”

The NFL reality is that Loggains, who has stressed an even stronger commitment to running the football (Long and associates love that), has to earn, or re-earn that gut-level trust.

Most of all, from Cutler.

The lurching start to the preseason – the Bears’ 22-0 home loss to Denver, in which the offense with Cutler netted 13 yards in 10 plays, two of them ending in sacks of Cutler – was test No. 1. The Cutler-Loggains relationship appeared to emerge intact.

“We talked,” Cutler said. “We talked a lot about that game. I think the major point for us was, ‘Let’s not panic. Let’s not hit the fire alarm and put guys in a panic.’

“Because it was the first preseason game and we watched the film and a lot of the stuff that went wrong was because of mistakes… . So it was a matter of just kind of cleaning that stuff up and just going back to work. Which I thought we did a really good job of offensively [at New England]. Hopefully we can do that this week, too.”

Tough warm-ups

NFL schedule-makers did Loggains and the Bears no favors. Their first three preseason opponents – Denver, New England, Kansas City – were all top-10 run defenses. Meaning: The Bears are working to establish Loggains’ run-based offense right into the teeth of three of the NFL’s best at stopping that.

[RELATED: Rookie class making much-needed impact from Bears]

The Bears want to run. But just consider: What if they can’t run against a monster Chiefs front that includes Jaye Howard and Dontari Poe and which held the Bears to 3.3 yards per carry, tied for their second-lowest of 2015, in their meeting last season?

Which then tasks Loggains with getting the offense to the right solutions, and those traditionally have not been – and should not be – solely found in Cutler’s right arm. The Bears streamlined and simplified Cutler’s decision-making last year, by design, and it was the right strategy, minimizing a Cutler weakness.

But now Loggains is front-and-center in those decisions. And Cutler has never appeared to suffer from an excess of patience through his career, even the new, more mature Cutler.

And not only WHAT Loggains tells Cutler, but also HOW he tells him, will matter. Gase was generally quiet; that worked. Loggains is very expressive, which Cutler said he now appreciates.

“He sets the tone every day,” Cutler said. “There’s never a gray area. He sets the tone, sets the standard, and if you don’t live up to that, meet those expectations, he’s going to be vocal, he’s going to let you know.

“As a player, that’s all you can ask for: A coach telling you how to do it, and when you don’t do it, you expect him to push you and help you achieve those goals.”

Preseason game No. 3 will be the biggest test yet for the synchronicity that is there now but needs to stand up to inevitable failures.

Illinois lands Huntley DE Olalere Oladipo

Illinois lands Huntley DE Olalere Oladipo

Illinois added another important in-state piece as Huntley three-star ranked defensive end Olalere Oladipo (6-foot-4, 235 pounds) announced his college decision Thursday night to the Fighting Illini.

"Illinois has a great staff, is close to home," according to Oladipo. "Illinois felt like a nice fit for me."

Oladipo is also the second verbal commitment Illinois added Thursday as the Fighting Illini added a commitment from Miami (Fla.) Central four-star ranked wide receiver Carmoni Green (6-foot-1, 178 pounds).

Oladipo is now the sixth in-state verbal commitment for the Fighting Illini Class of 2017. Oladipo joins St. Rita OLB Marc Mondesir, Auburn OT Verderian Lowe, Marian Catholic QB Cameron Thomas, Chicago Brother Rice WR Ricky Smalling and Bolingbrook ATH Kendall Smith.

Illinois now has 11 known verbal commitments total in the Class of 2017.