Mutual support reflected in Urlacher award


Mutual support reflected in Urlacher award

Brian Urlacher has been a Bear longer than any teammate other than long snapper Patrick Mannelly, coming in the first round of the 2000 draft.

He also has been a team captain since early in his career, an honor reflecting what players and coaches think of his leadership and persona.

That honor took the form of the teams annual Ed Block Courage Award on Tuesday, an award voted on by players and given to Urlacher who had to cope with the death of his mother Lavoyda Lenard last September.

Ive always appreciated my teammates and the organization always being there, Urlacher said. Its a family organization and it shows when something like that happened to me. They were there for me and the same goes for the locker room; the guys were there for me.

Lovie Smith inherited Urlacher when he succeeded Dick Jauron as Bears coach in 2004 and has seen Urlachers character in action both on and off the field.

You could give Brian some type of award every year and no one would be surprised, Smith said. Hes been a captain every year Ive been here, and Ive made the statement that hes the best superstar youll ever have a chance to be around... Hes not just a captain who goes out there for the coin toss.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls welcome Cavaliers to town


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls welcome Cavaliers to town

In the latest installment of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, the panel previews the Bulls' matchup against the Cavaliers. 

Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by Mark Carman (WGN Radio), David Schuster (670 The Score) and Kendall Gill to break down the keys to a Bulls win. Later, Vincent Goodwill ( joins Luke to discuss the team's progress. 

Finally, LeBron James pays off his World Series bet and the entire media world is there to see it. 

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below: 

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.

The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.

The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.

Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.

Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.

He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to and earned $4.125 million in 2016.

Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.

The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.

The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.