Word on the Street: Garcia agrees with Yankees

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Word on the Street: Garcia agrees with Yankees

Monday, Jan. 31, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Freddy Garcia reaches agreement with Yankees

Despite recent reports that the White Sox are still considering him, Freddy Garcia had indicated he wanted to move on, going as far to say that, "I would love to stay in Chicago because I like the city and I have friends there, but I don't think I'm going to come back. In any case, I appreciate them for trusting me last year," Garcia said in the interview. "However, a team like New York would be ideal, and would match up with this stage of my career."

Garcia backed that up by officially agreeing to a minor-league deal with the Yankees according to multiple sources with knowledge of the contract. (mlbtraderumors.com)

Tiger's Dubai golf course on hold

Another major project launched during Dubai's economic boom years has been compromised by the country's financial downturn. The Chicago Tribune reports that plans for a Tiger Woods signature golf estate have been shelved.

"It's been put on hold for right now. It's still there," Tiger said after he finished his season debut at Torrey Pines. "We've got six completed holes and a few that were about to be grassed before construction was halted. Everything is on hold."

The estate was planned to include a boutique hotel and sheik-style palaces. (Chicago Tribune)
Eagles interview Bears' assistant Hoke

The Philadelphia Eagles interviewed Bears secondary coach Jon Hoke for their defensive coordinator vacancy. Since Hoke is under contract with the Bears, the Eagles had to request permission to speak with him.

Hoke came to the Bears in 2009 after spending seven seasons with the Houston Texans. (csnphilly.com)

U.S. soccer cancels exhibition game against Egypt

Because of the political turmoil in Cairo, The U.S. national soccer team canceled its Feb. 9 exhibition game against Egypt. The international friendly was planned Dec. 13, but in the last week, street protests aiming for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak have caused disruption in Cairo and Alexandria.

The U.S. State Department has recommended American citizens to avoid travel to Egypt. U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati said "due to the current situation all parties agreed it was best to cancel the match. We appreciate the efforts of the Egyptian Football Association and the U.S. State Department as we worked through this situation." (Tribune News Services)

Krause named baseball "Scout of the Year"

The former general manager of the Chicago Bulls, Jerry Krause, oversaw the franchise's six NBA titles. But Sunday night, he earned the Nick Kamzic Award as "Scout of the Year" in baseball at the 65th annual Pitch & Hit Banquet in Rosemont.

Now the Director of International Scouting for the White Sox, Krause began his baseball scouting career with the Cleveland Indians. After stints with the A's and Mariners, Krause joined the White Sox from 1978 through 1984. In the early 90's, Jerry Reinsdorf wanted Krause to run the Bulls. Eighteen years and six Championships later, Krause returned to baseball in 2004, scouting for the Yankees and Mets before coming back to the White Sox in 2010. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

DePaul women's basketball No. 9 in new AP poll

Coming off a huge win over No. 8 West Virginia, the DePaul women's basketball team reached a new milestone when the Associated Press Poll ranked the Blue Demons ranked No. 9.

"Reaching our highest ranking in school history is a definite testament to this team and the character of our young women," DePaul head coach Doug Bruno said after learning of his team's ranking.

Last week DePaul became the first Division I team to reach the 20-win mark. (depaulbluedemons.com)

Barkley, Strahan join Wild rookie dinner in Chicago

Last Sunday, the Minnesota Wild hosted their annual rookie dinner at the Chicago Cut Steakhouse while in town to play the Chicago Blackhawks. Former NBA star Charles Barkley and former NFL star Michael Strahan were dining at the steakhouse and made a guest appearance at the rookie dinner.

Former Blackhawks center John Madden knew Strahan from his time playing in New York, and invited the two to their dining room, where they stayed for two hours.

According to Wild rookie defenseman Jared Spurgeon, "Charles started getting all these crazy ideas in his head" about the rookie hazing that ensued. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Pro Bowl earns best TV ratings in a decade

Sunday night, the NFC's sloppy 55-41 victory over the AFC drew a 7.7 rating and 12 share on Fox, earning the Pro Bowl's highest television rating since 2000. The ratings were up 8 percent from last year.

Bears defensive end Julius Peppers recorded the only sack for the NFC in the game. (Chicago Tribune)

How Tim Anderson's new glasses could benefit him at the plate

How Tim Anderson's new glasses could benefit him at the plate

Though he only has worn them for one game, Tim Anderson had been preparing to break in his new glasses for several weeks.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday evening that Anderson recently purchased new corrective lenses after he asked for additional testing beyond what teams normally offer. Though he’d recently worn the glasses around the clubhouse and in batting practice, Anderson didn’t break them in until Monday night. The second-year shortstop homered for the first time in nearly a month Monday and finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs in the club’s loss to the New York Yankees.

If the glasses help Anderson’s vision at the plate, the White Sox are all for it. Anderson entered Tuesday’s game hitting .253/.278/.377 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs in 285 plate appearances.

“The ball can travel anywhere from Shields' 69 miles per hour curveball to Chapman's 100 miles per hour fastball,” Renteria said. “It's very important to be able to see the baseball. It's obviously a split-second decision. It's very dangerous to be in there and not be able to see the ball. If that helps him, if that's a part of continuing to move forward, I hope that's part of what helps clear him up.”

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Anderson said after Monday’s game he plans to wear the lenses the rest of the season, though he didn’t think the glasses make a huge difference. Still, the fact he homered after going 96 plate appearances in between round-trippers didn’t escape third baseman Todd Frazier, who made a joke suggesting Anderson downplayed the significance. Anderson said he’s spent several days recently adjusting to the glasses in preparation for the game and wears them at bat and in the field.

“I’ve been using them in BP,” Anderson said. “Trying to get used to them.”

Renteria said players get their vision checked every spring. Anderson’s request for additional screening isn’t out of the ordinary, Renteria said.

“Timmy just told us he wanted to get his eyes checked, so he did,” Renteria said. “Obviously, he's wearing the glasses that he wears now. He's trying to get comfortable with them. He'd had them for at least 2 1/2 weeks, 3 weeks. But he's kind of been hesitant to put them on. I know (Todd Steverson) spoke to him. He's going to use them, feel comfortable with them, start using them in the workouts and BP.”

Last-place White Sox ready to trade, but only if the right offer arises

Last-place White Sox ready to trade, but only if the right offer arises

That the White Sox lost their fourth consecutive game doesn’t change the big picture plans of the franchise, which probably — but not definitely — will involve making at least one trade before the end of July.

Before the White Sox lost, 6-5, to the New York Yankees Monday at Guaranteed Rate Field, general manager Rick Hahn met with the media and delivered the same message he’s had since trading away Chris Sale and Adam Eaton in December. The White Sox are open for business, and would like to make a number of moves to further bolster their farm system, but won’t make a trade if they don’t receive what they view to be a fair return.

“Would I be surprised (if we didn’t make a trade)? No, because I try not to be surprised by the dynamics of this market,” Hahn said. “Would I be mildly disappointed? Sure. We are here to try to improve this club.

“We feel we have certain first and desirable players that would help other clubs and may fit better on their competitive windows then they do on ours right now. And we intend to be active each day in trying to further accomplish what we set out to do a year ago at this time.

“But do we have to do it? No. That would be using an artificial spot on the calendar to force decision-making. That would be the last thing we need to do. We need to take a long term view of what we are trying to accomplish.”

Hahn didn’t name names, but Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, David Robertson could be short-term fixes for contending clubs. Jose Quintana, who will start Tuesday against the Yankees, remains the team’s most valuable trade chip despite a 4.69 ERA that sits over run higher than his career average.

Frazier homered Monday and entered the game hitting .262/.351/.524 since Memorial Day. Cabrera similarly has found success after a slow start, slashing a healthy .324/.375/.482 in his previous 34 games before picking up two hits in four at-bats Monday. And Robertson, who’s been linked to the relief-starved Washington Nationals for months, has 41 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings with 11 saves.

“We want to be able to do as much as we can in our power to get this team to where it needs to be,” Hahn said. “Yes, there’s an element of competitiveness involved in that. There’s an element of patience involved in that. But at the end of the day, we have to — we get paid to be prudent in our decision making. We have to make the right decision.”

In the meantime, the White Sox looked the part of a rebuilding team with the worst record in the American League on Monday. Starter David Holmberg struggled, allowing six runs on five hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings — but only two of those runs were earned thanks to errors by Holmberg, Frazier and Matt Davidson.

As the Yankees took advantage of those miscues with three runs in both the fourth and sixth innings, Jordan Montgomery retired nine consecutive White Sox batters and went on to cruise with eight strikeouts over seven innings. The White Sox – as they’ve done quite a bit this year – still showed fight late, battling back in the ninth inning.

Tim Anderson ripped a three-run home run in the ninth inning off Yankees left-hander Chasen Shreve to bring the White Sox within two. Joe Girardi quickly turned to Aroldis Chapman, who allowed a run when Jose Abreu doubled home Melky Cabrera. But the tying run was stranded on second when Avisail Garcia grounded out and Frazier flew out to end the game.