Word on the Street: Cora to interview for Brewers job


Word on the Street: Cora to interview for Brewers job

Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010

Cora to interview for Brewers job

White Sox bench coach Joey Cora will interview for the Brewers' vacant managerial position.

Cora is part of a larger group of candidates to replace the fired Ken Macha. Fox Sports reported that the Brewers have already interviewed Tim Wallach, manager of the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate, and former Indians manager Eric Wedge.

Cora has yet to manage in the major leagues but has been a coach under Ozzie Guillen dating back to 2003. (The Sporting News)

Butkus 'offended' by Musburger's comments on steroids

Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus told the Chicago Tribune he "personally was offended" by recent comments made by sportscaster Brent Musburger. Musburger told a college journalism class at the University of Montana that medically monitored steroid use by professional athletes should be allowed. Butkus took major exception to Musburger's viewpoint.

"The problem with the whole thing ... he's just uninformed," Butkus told the Tribune on Wednesday. "When Brent says something, a lot of people listen. And, unfortunately, in this case, a lot of young people are watching him and listening to him. When he makes a statement that if the pros get a prescription, he doesn't see a problem with it ... so now the kids are going to be thinking, 'Well, if the pros can do it, I can do it. What's the big deal?' And the problem with getting the prescription ... I'd like to see the doctors who give those prescriptions because it's totally illegal." (chicagobreakingsports.com)

Dorsey suspended for actions during preseason game vs. Bulls

Toronto Raptors forward Joey Dorsey was suspended one game by the NBA for swinging his arm at the head of Bulls forward Brian Scalabrine on Tuesday night. Dorsey will serve his suspension in the first game of the regular season for Toronto, which will be at home against the New York Knicks on Oct. 27. (tsn.ca)

Williams knows losing Hahn will hurt

One day after assistant general manager Rick Hahn interviewed for the Mets GM job, White Sox GM Kenny Williams discussed the possibility of losing his valued assistant.

"I know I'm gonna lose him, and it's gonna be a heavy blow," Williams said.

Williams said Hahn is ready to run a team.

"Nothing is going to surprise him," Williams said. "He's handled the pressure of this market, and I've leaned on him a lot. I don't think he could be any more prepared to take the next step." (nypost.com)

Predators still struggle with playoff loss to Blackhawks

A Stanley Cup erases bad memories for those getting their names engraved, but the eventual champions claim casualties along the way. The first Blackhawks victim of the playoffs was Wednesday night's opponent - the Nashville Predators - who were just 13.6 seconds away from eliminating the favored Hawks before Patrick Kane scored to force overtime and Marian Hossa scored the game-winner to change momentum in the series.

Now almost six months later and in a new season, the loss still weighs heavily on the Predators.

"It was bad luck against us," Nashville forward Steve Sullivan said. "It (stunk) that they scored to tie the hockey game, but that we have to learn that there was still an opportunity for us to win the hockey game, and we didn't take advantage of that." (tennessean.com)

White Sox win the DL Crown

The White Sox spent 27 days in first place, eventually finished with 88 wins for a second place finish in the American League Central division. But they can lay claim to one championship: the DL Crown.

A recent study by Fangraphs indicates White Sox players spent the fewest number of days on the disabled list and tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks as having reported the fewest trips to the DL. (sbnation.com)

Favre's consecutive game streak could end

Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre suggested on Wednesday that he would consider sitting out a start - something he hasn't done since 1992 - if his arm pain continues to linger. Favre has been dealing with tendinitis in his throwing arm and was holding it at several points in Monday's loss to the New York Jets.

"You're not going to make every throw but I would have made some of those throws," Favre said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "From that standpoint, I don't want to play just to play." (usatoday.com)

Jenn Sterger cancels Chicago appearance

Jenn Sterger, the sports television personality at the center of a scandal surrounding Brett Favre's inappropriate text messages has decided to stay out of the public spotlight for a while. After agreeing to host a party at Chicago's Bull & Bear on Saturday, Sterger announced she will no longer be attending. (guyism.com)

What White Sox 'fireman' Anthony Swarzak has done to increase trade value

What White Sox 'fireman' Anthony Swarzak has done to increase trade value

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Anthony Swarzak held a high-leverage audition for a potential contender on Sunday long before the Kansas City Royals walked off the White Sox.

The nonroster invitee to big league camp continued a stellar campaign as he took over in a critical spot midgame and helped the White Sox escape with the lead. The White Sox bullpen ultimately relinquished the lead and Brandon Moss sent them to their ninth straight loss — Kansas City won 5-4 — with an RBI double in the ninth inning.

But Swarzak continues to thrive in the opportunities handed to him and could make for an interesting trade chip before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.

“He’s been excellent,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He’s become for us, with (Nate Jones) going down and (Jake Petricka) going down he’s actually become a fireman. He’s come in in some of the highest-leverage situations we could possibly get. And then we use him for multiple innings.”

A free agent after the season, Swarzak has 50 strikeouts and a 2.30 ERA in 47 innings for the White Sox this season. He also has only allowed nine of 33 inherited runners to score (27.2 percent), including two on Sunday. The American League average for inherited runners scoring entering Sunday was 30 percent, according to baseball-reference.com.

All this has come in a season where Swarzak went to camp with the White Sox with no certainty of making the 25-man roster. The right-hander not only thrived in camp, he came out strong in April with 19 2/3 scoreless innings to start the season. Combined with early injuries to Jones and Zach Putnam, Swarzak’s performance helped him climb the totem pole in the White Sox bullpen from the outset. His stature has grown even more of late with the injury to Petricka as well as the trades of Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson.

“As far personal expectations, I’m right where I want to be,” Swarzak said. “More to accomplish for this year, absolutely. But I like what I’ve done so far and I like the opportunity that I have to accomplish even more.

“That’s the situation we all work so hard. That’s the situation we want and it’s why we all work so hard in the offseason in general is for situations like that.”

Swarzak took over for starter Derek Holland in the fifth inning with the White Sox ahead 4-3 and runners on the corners. He threw three straight sliders to Jorge Bonifacio and struck him out to strand the pair.

“It was huge, what he did coming in right there,” Holland said.

As significant as it was, it only held off the Royals for the time being. And as much as Swarzak has enjoyed things on a personal level, it isn’t making what the thinned-out White Sox roster is experiencing any easier to handle.

“Everything going on around here right now is pretty hard to swallow,” Swarzak said. “We’re going out there losing 8-0, 6-0, we’re up 6-0 and we end up losing. We lost a 1-0 game against the Dodgers and the next night we lose 10-1. We’re kind of losing all types of ways right now, which is really hard to swallow because as a bullpen guy we take pride in holding the lead and right now it seems like we’re not getting it done at all, any aspect of it, as a group.”

With eight more shopping days left before the deadline, chances are high that Swarzak may not be part of the current group much longer. He has already seen the departures of Robertson and Kahnle and knows his impending free agency could result in a trade elsewhere. But the veteran reliever is doing his best to keep his focus on the mound.

“It all comes back to quality pitches and getting guys out,” Swarzak said. “If you’re getting guys out, you’re going to get some attention from the league and if you’re not they’re going to close the book on you. It’s very straight forward for a pitcher, for a major league baseball player in general: Do better. Get it done and you’re going to play for a long time and you’re going to have the success that goes along with getting it done. That’s really all I’m worried about is continuing to make good pitches and hopefully get the results I’m looking for.”

White Sox: The big-picture reasoning behind Rick Renteria and bunting

White Sox: The big-picture reasoning behind Rick Renteria and bunting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Rick Renteria wants his players to be able to execute a bunt regardless of how much it drives White Sox fans crazy.

The White Sox manager wants to win now, but he’s also looking at the big picture.

Even though he knows how much a team’s chance of scoring decreases when an out is surrendered via the sacrifice bunt, Renteria is using the opportunity to see what abilities his players have. He wants to know what they can do.

Renteria is well aware that his calls for sacrifice bunts aren’t popular with fans (see: Twitter’s reaction to Yoan Moncada’s bunt tries on Saturday). But he also thinks there’s no better time to work on bunts than during a game. So as much fury as it brings, Renteria will continue to ask his players to work on a skill he’d like to see remain part of the game.

“Listen, (Moncada’s) a plus runner,” Renteria said. “He’s going to be able to use that as a part of his arsenal. I see a whole lot of home run hitters dropping bunts right now against shifts and things of that nature. I don’t think that art should disappear. We’re in the era of quote-unquote the long ball, but like I’ve said, sometimes you need to do certain things to kind of put your club in a better position.

"If you think that’s one of the things that’s available to you, you use it. I don’t think you’re necessarily giving it up in terms of an out, because when you’ve got guys who can run anything is possible. You end up loading the bases possibly. I know our guys are very cognizant of just playing the game. If they feel like they want to get two guys in scoring position on their own, they do it. It’s not something I want to take away from them. I think they read the defenses. Sometimes we talk about other ways of dealing with the defenses, but I think they’re understanding that we’re going to want that to be a part of all their abilities.”

As for the team’s execution, Renteria isn’t satisfied with the results. That means you can expect to see more bunts the rest of the way.

“It’s still a work-in-progress,” Renteria said. “I think that would be a falsehood to say we’re at the point where I go, I’m very, very happy with the way we lay down bunts. It’s still a work-in-progress, something that we’re going to continue to emphasize. Something we’re going to continue to work on. And then again, the only opportunities you get in real time are games, and that’s when you need ‘em.”