Chicago White Sox

Cora, Sandberg to interview for Jays' opening?

Cora, Sandberg to interview for Jays' opening?

Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Sandberg, Cora 'to be interviewed' for Blue Jays

Ryne Sandberg and Joey Cora are among those "to be interviewed" for the Blue Jays' managing vacancy, according to the Toronto Sun.

Sandberg, the Cubs' Triple-A manager, also is a finalist' for the Cubs' opening, and Cora, third base coach for the White Sox, has interviewed for several openings in recent years.

Citing sources and telephone calls with candidates, the paper listed 14 candidates who already have gone through an interview process, although it is not known how formal some of those talks were. Among those names is Don Baylor, the former Cubs manager and recently freed as hitting coach by the Rockies.

Seven names are on the "to be interviewed" list, including Sandberg and Cora, as well as Tampa Bay bench coach Davey Martinez, the former Cub, (ChicagoBreakingSports).

Ted Lilly re-signs with Dodgers

Former Cubs starting pitcher Ted Lilly has agreed to terms on a new contract with the Dodgers, according to a baseball source. Lilly went 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts with the Dodgers after the Cubs traded him to Los Angeles on the July 31 trade deadline. (latimes.com)
Jordan: I could have scored 100 points"

USA Todays Game Hunters blog focused on Michael Jordan being featured in the NBA 2K11 video game.

During the interview, Jordan was asked how the game has changed since his playing days and said, It's less physical and the rules have changed, obviously. Based on these rules, if I had to play with my style of play, I'm pretty sure I would have fouled out or I would have been at the free throw line pretty often and I could have scored 100 points, (USA Today).

Possibility for Cubs to make managerial announcement before World Series

The Cubs are about to approach three months since Lou Piniella first announced his retirement and general manager Jim Hendry is under no obligation to wait until Joe Girardis season is over. According to CSNChicago.coms Patrick Mooney, it is a possibility that the Cubs will make an announcement before the World Series, (CSNChicago.com).
U.S. withdraws from 2018 World Cup bid

The United States has withdrawn its bid to host the 2018 World Cup and will focus entirely on the bid for the 2022 tournament, the country's bid committee said on Friday.

"For some time we have been in conversations with FIFA and UEFA about the possibility of focusing only on the 2022 bidding process, an option we have made reference to many times," said Sunil Gulati, Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. "We are confident this is in the best interests of the USA Bid," he said, (ChicagoBreakingSports).
Carmelo deal waiting until December?

Talk of a rumored deal for Carmelo Anthony has certainly died down from the roar it was at just before training camp started but that doesn't mean the folks in the Denver Nuggets front office aren't interested in making it happen.

A league source tells Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears that Denver "could eventually revive the (Derrick) Favors talks, but, for now, they prefer to shop for a better offer."

Spears notes that the team is likely to wait to make any kind of deal with Anthony till after December 15. At that point, free agents that signed this summer are eligible to be traded, (Scoop Du Jour, Yahoo! Sports).

Former Blue Demon, NBA veteran joins staff

Former Blue Demon and NBA veteran Kevin Edwards joins the DePaul men's basketball staff as the program's director of community, corporate and professional relations. Edwards played two seasons for the Blue Demons from 1986-88 before an 11-year NBA career. In his new role with the program, Edwards will work as a liaison to members of the university community and Chicago's corporate community while also handling the program's relationships with professional basketball franchises in the United States and overseas. (depaulbluedemons.com)

How Alec Hansen's methodical path through minors has turned him into a top prospect

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Winston-Salem Dash

How Alec Hansen's methodical path through minors has turned him into a top prospect

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — He didn’t totally lose it, but the White Sox intended to restore Alec Hansen’s confidence with a methodical minor league program after drafting the right-hander.

Hansen, 22, admits that a junior season at the University of Oklahoma in which his stock fell sharply when he was moved in and out of the team’s starting rotation was difficult.

Still, the 6-foot-7-inch pitcher never gave in and found a team that believed in him enough to take him in the second round. Fourteen months later, the Single-A Winston-Salem starter feels good enough about his prospects to have recently suggested he thinks he can be a No. 1 or 2 in the majors.

“It’s tough, especially when you work so hard basically your whole life to achieve your goal of being a first-round pick or a top-10 pick and it kind of wastes away throughout the season,” Hansen said. “I think the White Sox had faith in me. They saw what I can do and understood my situation there at OU and took me a chance on me and I’m just trying to make sure they get their money’s worth.”

Hansen has been everything the White Sox hoped and more since they selected him with the 49th pick in the 2016 draft. Once viewed as a potential first overall pick, Hansen was viewed as a project by the end of a rough 2016 season. Though he could hit 99 mph on the gun, Hansen’s mechanics were off and he was deemed inconsistent throughout a season in which he posted a 5.40 ERA and walked 39 hitters in 51 2/3 innings for the Sooners.

But the White Sox liked what they saw. Hansen struck out 185 batters in 145 innings at Oklahoma. Their plan for the right-hander included a quick trip to Arizona to work with now-bullpen coach Curt Hasler on mechanics before he’d spend the bulk of the season at Rookie League Great Falls.

“He was a little bit out of whack,” said third-base coach and ex-farm director Nick Capra. “I think confidence played a big part in what he was doing early and to what he’s doing now. He didn’t have the confidence in what he was doing. Once he got into sync with what he was doing with his mechanics it took off on him.”

Hansen said the mechanical adjustments were related to better posture — sometimes he leaned back toward first base in his delivery — and keeping his head still. While he deems the changes as minor, the impact they’ve had on him has been great. After seven innings pitched in Arizona, Hansen moved to Great Falls and struck out 59 batters with only 12 walks in 36 2/3 innings and a 1.23 ERA. That performance earned him a late-season promotion to Kannapolis.

“The difference outing to outing is just mentally,” Hansen said. “It’s just mental and having the confidence and the poise and being relaxed and the right attitude to go out and be successful.”

[RELATED: White Sox Talk Podcast: Alec Hansen wants to be a future ace and don't piss off Dane Dunning]

The White Sox started Hansen at Kannapolis this season and he was dominant again. He produced a 2.48 ERA with 92 strikeouts and only 23 walks in 72 2/3 innings. Hansen — who’s rated the No. 9 prospect in the organization by MLB Pipeline and 10th by Baseball America — has continued to excel since a promotion to Winston-Salem 10 starts ago. He struck out 11 in seven innings on Wednesday night and allowed only a run in seven innings. Hansen is second in the minors this season with 166 strikeouts (he’s walked 43 in 126 innings).

Player development director Chris Getz said Hansen has the stuff to throw his fastball up in the zone and get swings and misses and combines it with good offspeed pitches. Throw in the confidence and Hansen has strong potential.

“Even though he’s a large guy he’s fairly athletic, he can repeat his delivery,” Getz said. “It’s really, with him, it’s staying over the rubber and not rushing out there so his arm can go out on time and on top of the ball. Those are the keys and he’s been able to take to that.”

“Since he’s really gotten into professional baseball and more comfortable with who he is as a pitcher he’s been consistent. We look forward to what else he can bring to the table.”

Hansen does, too.

He insists this belief in himself was never lost because Hansen suspected the consequences of doubt would ruin him. But Hansen didn’t downplay how the uncertainty of his junior season affected his mindset.

Hansen said he’s glad at how he handled the experience and has moved on from the disappointment of dropping 48 places. He also more than pleased to have found an organization that has the same belief in him that he does.

“It was kind of hard to go through that but it’s over now,” Hansen said. “I believe in myself more than anyone. I think you need to as a professional athlete. If you don’t have confidence then you’re done as an athlete no matter who you are at what level.

“It’s just being more relaxed and comfortable and confidence because the people I’m around have confidence in me.”

How Michael Kopech reminds the Birmingham Barons of Michael Jordan

How Michael Kopech reminds the Birmingham Barons of Michael Jordan

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — No player has impacted the Double-A Birmingham Barons the way Michael Kopech has since … Michael Jordan?

That’s the belief of long-time Barons play-by-play man Curt Bloom, who said Kopech has garnered more attention than almost every player he’s covered during 26 seasons in the booth.

Bloom acknowledges that nobody will ever surpass Air Jordan’s 127 games with the Barons in 1994. But the advent of social media has made Kopech an extremely popular attraction this season. Whenever he takes the mound, the team’s social media accounts see a significant increase in page views, engagement and impressions.

“Jordan-esque,” Bloom said. “Nothing will beat Jordan. LeBron could come down. But this reminds me of it. It triggers it. A jolt.

“Nothing stirred like this guy has and I do say, and I think Kopech will tell you the same thing, a big chunk of the reason is we have social media. We didn’t have that for Jordan. We did not have that for Aaron Rowand. There’s always a ying for a yang.

“That being said, it’s still gone beyond anything I’ve ever seen.”

It’s unavoidable to miss the Barons’ remembrance of Jordan’s season when he reportedly paid $350,000 to buy the club a luxury bus “The Jordan Cruiser and the Barons set records for attendance. The team drew 467,867 at their old stadium, Hoover Met, and Southern League attendance was more than 2.5 million.

Jordan’s image wearing a Barons No. 45 jersey can be found throughout Regions Field, including a massive banner near the home-plate entrance.

Kopech has been a focal point for White Sox fans since he was acquired in December.

Whether it’s his 100-mph fastball, his lofty prospect status or simply the fact he came over in the Chris Sale deal, eye balls have been drawn to Kopech all season. The right-hander has only increased the awareness with his steady presence on social media, including giving away game-used items to fans.

Throw in his recent dominance on the mound — Kopech has a 0.66 ERA and 54 strikeouts with only seven walks in his last 41 innings — and the hysteria is real.

The Barons determined early on this season that they would follow in the steps of several major league clubs and anoint the day he pitched at home Kopech Day. The White Sox, Seattle Mariners and Miami Marlins have all recently done the same for Sale, Felix Hernandez and Jose Fernandez.

Kopech has only lived up to the hype.

“He’s answering the bell,” Bloom said. “There’s definitely awareness in the city, in our followers, the Twitter universe.

“My daughter Chloe who has no idea about baseball, she asks me, ‘Is Kopech pitching?’

"That’s what has been created.”