Word on the Street: Pacers' Granger talking trash

Word on the Street: Pacers' Granger talking trash

Sunday, April 10, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Pacers' Granger talks trash

Danny Granger has is looking ahead to the Bulls-Pacers first-round playoff series, making a comment that will make him a marked man.

"Boston's a different monster," Granger told the Indianapolis Star. "They don't have the best record in the East, but they won championships. They know how to do it. They have four, five guys you have to worry about, from (Paul) Pierce, (Rajon) Rondo, (Kevin) Garnett and (Ray) Allen.

"Chicago, they go as Derrick Rose goes. If you make a concerted effort to stop Derrick Rose, you have a better chance to beat them." (chicagotribune.com)
Cubs sign veteran pitcher Ortiz

The Cubs have signed veteran right-hander Ramon Ortiz to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Iowa.

Ortiz spent the 2010 season with three different organizations - the Dodgers, Mets and Rays - and finished with a 6.30 ERA over 16 major league appearances (two starts).

The 37-year-old will serve as starting rotation depth for the Cubs, who lost both Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells to injuries this past week.

Ortiz has a 4.93 career ERA and 1.42 career WHIP over 274 total appearances. He spent 2008 in Japan. (hardballtalk.com)

Yankees ink Silva to minor-league deal

According to SI's Jon Heyman, the New York Yankees signed Carlos Silva to a minor league deal Saturday.

The Yankees have been searching for starting pitching help all season and also have another former Cub Mark Prior in their minor leagues.

Silva was released by the Cubs just before the regular season started after the right-hander had some choice words to say about the organization. (Twitter--SI_JonHeyman)

Turco likely to change uniforms?

NHL free agency 2011 is not too far away. For goaltenders, there is a strong crop of high-profile free agents. According to the Bleacher Report, Marty Turco ranks on the top 11 goaltenders who are most likely to change uniforms.

Turco signed a one-year deal before this season, but quickly lost the job to rookie goalie Corey Crawford. And more and more, it's looking like Crawford is in the position of being the Blackhawks starter for a long time.

Turco is a free agent this summer, and could sign with a club that needs a starting goaltender. (Bleacher Report)

Manny Ramirez retiring

Major League Baseball has announced that Manny Ramirez has retired and that the announcement came after he was told of another issue with the drug treatment and prevention program.

Ramirez was 1 for 17 with the Tampa Bay Rays this season. In 24 games with the White Sox in 2010, Ramirez hit .261 with one home run and two RBIs. (hardballtalk.com)

Peyton Manning is a dad!

Congratulations are in order for Peyton Manning. The QB missed Wednesday morning's antitrust hearing because his wife Ashley gave birth to twins. Mom and the little boy and girl (Marshall Williams and Mosley Thompson) are all doing well. (Pro Football Talk)

Agreement reached for Detroit Pistons sale

Michigan native and billionaire financier Tom Gores has reached a deal to purchase the Detroit Pistions. After months of negotiations, the Pistons have confirmed the sale has been agreed to. The terms of the deal remain unknown, but it does include The Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Energy Music Theatre.

We are pleased to welcome Tom Gores as the new owner of the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment, owner Karen Davidson said in a statement. Just as my late husband, Bill Davidson, was the face of the Pistons, I am confident that Tom will bring the same energy, dedication and love to this organization. I look forward to seeing Tom follow in Bills footsteps, and carry on his legacy. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Joe Maddon’s messaging to Cubs before the 2017 campaign

Joe Maddon’s messaging to Cubs before the 2017 campaign

Joe Maddon's Washington itinerary didn't include an hour-long sit-down with Chuck Todd for NBC's "Meet the Press." There would be no rehashing the manager's Game 7 decisions as he stood outside the West Wing, though the second question during the media stakeout involved "last year's team" and how the 2017 Cubs are prepared to defend a World Series title.

"You're already there, huh?" Maddon said to a CNN reporter, minutes after President Barack Obama's final official White House event ended on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

But last year's team is gone — preserved now in highlight films and the hearts and minds of generations of Cub fans — even if so many familiar faces will be in Mesa when pitchers and catchers officially report to Arizona on Valentine's Day.

It would be impossible to replicate everything that made the 2016 Cubs so special. Baseball has its own relentless pace and the dynamics are constantly shifting. (Remember when players were passive-aggressively complaining about Maddon's spring-training approach during the final week of a 103-win regular season?) The clubhouse chemistry will inevitably feel different after climbing a Mount Everest of professional sports.

"A mind once stretched has a very difficult time going back to its original form," Maddon said. "We're motivated by it. We want to do it again, of course. There's no question we're trying to do that.

"I'm really leaning on the phrase or the thought of being uncomfortable. I want us to be uncomfortable. I think the moment you get into your comfort zone after having such a significant moment in your life like that, the threat is that you're going to stop growing.

"So I really want us to be uncomfortable. I really want to continue (to see) a pattern of growth and really try to get at them very quickly again."

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Can Jason Heyward recover from one of the worst offensive seasons in the majors last year? Is Willson Contreras ready to be a frontline catcher? Will Javier Baez have to adjust back to being a role player after becoming a playoff superstar? Does Kyle Schwarber in the leadoff spot and Albert Almora Jr. and Jon Jay in a center-field timeshare represent an upgrade over Dexter Fowler?

If healthy, Wade Davis should be a trusted, lower-maintenance closer than Aroldis Chapman, with an advanced approach to pitching and more clubhouse presence. As a staff, the Cubs will have to bounce back from pitching into early November (or not, in the case of the relievers Maddon didn't trust during the playoffs).

As it stands, Jon Lester (33) and John Lackey (38) have already combined to throw almost 5,000 innings in The Show (including the postseason). Jake Arrieta will have to deal with the pressure of playing for his megadeal in his final season before becoming a free agent.

The drop-off after Mike Montgomery — and it's still mostly projected potential with the No. 5 starter — appears to be very steep in an organization that doesn't have any high-end pitching prospects in the upper levels of the farm system.

After painting the bull's-eye on the chest and turning "Embrace The Target" and "Try Not To Suck" into viral T-shirts, a guy who hates meetings is still working on his themes for this campaign.

"I'm really rotating around the thought of authenticity," Maddon said. "I talked about it a lot last year, the fact that I think authenticity has a chance to repeat itself without even trying. It's part of who you are. It's not fabricated. It's real.

"I've talked about our guys a lot the last couple years. I think one of our strongest qualities is the authentic component of our players. So I'm really focusing on that word right now. Again, that's a great word to bring an entire message from (when) you get in front of the group that first day in spring training.

"I kind of just think like authenticity happens. And let's work it from there."

The costumes should be in midseason form with Maddon planning a house party around Tampa's Gasparilla Pirate Festival before driving his RV from Florida to Arizona.

Maddon will turn 63 on Feb. 8 and have to keep evolving, just like his players, who might outgrow some of those gimmicks. But the Cubs are still a reflection of their future Hall of Fame manager.

Amid all the uncertainty in Washington, Maddon wouldn't touch a question about what advice he would give Donald Trump before Friday's inauguration.

"I'm not even going to go anywhere close to that," Maddon said. "I will say this: I have a lot of respect of the office.

"At the end of the day, just have a lot of respect for the office, regardless of your political persuasion. My point would be to encourage people to really respect the office and let's see what we get done here over the next four years."

CSN Chicago will live stream Cubs, White Sox games in 2017

CSN Chicago will live stream Cubs, White Sox games in 2017

CSN will live stream Cubs and White Sox games plus pre and postgame shows throughout the 2017 season.

This is thrilling news for all Chicago baseball fans and comes at an absolutely perfect time for a Cubs fanbase that will spend the rest of the year reveling in the 2016 World Series championship.

White Sox fans will also gain more opportunities to get up-close looks at the future as the South Siders continue on with their rebuild.

Both teams and the pre and post shows will be streamed on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports app.

CSN already streams Bulls and Blackhawks games and pre/post shows.

"We are thrilled to launch live streaming of our Chicago White Sox and Cubs telecasts beginning this MLB season," said Phil Bedella, Vice President/General Manager of CSN Chicago. "With live streaming currently offered for our Bulls and Blackhawks telecasts, the addition of MLB streaming further illustrates our commitment to provide our viewers with the most in-depth and compelling Cubs and White Sox content in and out of the home and on any device."

The complete CSN broadcasting schedules for Cubs and White Sox telecasts will be released over the next couple weeks.

"We are very pleased that our partners at CSN will be able to provide fans with the opportunity to watch the White Sox anywhere," White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said. "Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for fans to watch their White Sox, regardless of where they are or what they are doing.  Sports fans deserve to see all the action all season long."

"After such a historic season, we are thrilled Cubs fans will be able to stream games on their choice of device, either inside or outside the home," Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney said. "This access has been years in the making for our fans, but the timing is awfully good given the excitement around the 2017 campaign."

For more information, check out the complete press release.