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)

Late runs push White Sox past Tigers as winning streak hits five

Late runs push White Sox past Tigers as winning streak hits five

DETROIT — Geovany Soto broke open a tie game with a two-run single in the eighth inning, helping the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 on Friday night at Comerica Park.

Anthony Swarzak pitched two scoreless innings for the White Sox, who won their fifth straight.

Tigers reliever Alex Wilson allowed two hits and two unearned runs in the eighth. Detroit third baseman Nick Castellanos committed two errors in the inning, and three in the game, leading to Soto's go-ahead hit.

Former Tigers pitcher Mike Pelfrey started for the White Sox and went 4 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out two.

Detroit got to Pelfrey early, jumping out to a 2-0 first-inning lead on Justin Upton's bases loaded, two-run single. The Tigers loaded the bases again that inning, but Jim Adduci grounded into a double play to end the threat.

The White Sox answered in the top of the second, getting back-to-back home runs from Todd Frazier and Avisail Garcia off Detroit starter Matt Boyd to tie the score at 2.

The White Sox took a 3-2 advantage in the third on Garcia's RBI single, and the Tigers tied it on Victor Martinez's RBI single in the fifth.

Melky Cabrera began the top of the eighth with a single, and Frazier reached base on Castellanos' first error of the inning. Garcia followed with a hard hit ball to third, which Castellanos could not handle, loading the bases.

After Wilson induced a double play, with the runner being forced out at home, Yolmer Sanchez received an intention walk to reload the bases. Soto then delivered the big hit.

Tim Anderson added a two-run homer in the ninth to extend the lead to 7-3.

Boyd pitched seven innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits. He stuck out five and walked two.

White Sox prospect Luis Basabe adjusts to new organization, playing without his twin

White Sox prospect Luis Basabe adjusts to new organization, playing without his twin

Luis Alexander Basabe’s roommate received a phone call on the road on July 9 in which he learned he had been traded by the Boston Red Sox. What would be a strange experience for most teammates was even more difficult for Basabe and his.

The player traded was his identical twin brother, Luis Alejandro Basabe.

“I was like, ‘Man, I don’t believe that,’ ” Luis Alexander Basabe said.

Nearly five months later, Luis Alexander received a similar call from the Red Sox to inform him he was included in a four-player package headed to the White Sox in exchange for five-time All-Star Chris Sale. Having already experienced the trade of a brother he describes as younger (by five minutes), shorter and weaker, Basabe wasn’t rattled.

While he later found that acclimating to a new organization was "weird" at first, Basabe said he already feels at home with the White Sox. The center fielder currently has a 10-game hitting streak and is slashing .260/.351/.400 with four stolen bases in 58 plate appearances for Single-A Winston-Salem.

“So far everything has been very good,” Basabe said. “When (my trade) first happened it didn’t feel weird or anything because it was in the offseason.

“I felt a little more comfortable because I had been through it with my brother. But I know it’s a business and no matter where I go I’ve got to do my job and play the way I do.

“ ‘Yeah, that’s all right. I don’t care because I’m here with a chance.’ ”

Plentiful opportunity is potentially there with the White Sox.

The No. 8-ranked prospect in the organization, according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, Basabe, 20, has all the tools needed to be a top-notch defensive outfielder. His speed and arm are both graded at 60 on the 20-80 scout scale and his fielding rates at 55. Basabe’s manager thinks he has everything necessary to play a critical spot.

“He’s a true center fielder to me,” Winston-Salem manager Willie Harris said. “Speed, arm. It’s still a little early to tell if he’s going to hit. Who knows? But from the defensive side of the game, he knows what’s going on. He’s going to learn as he goes on and he’s going to be very, very good.”

Everything may come down to whether or not the switch-hitting Basabe performs at the plate. His hit tool grades at 45, according to MLB Pipeline, which is more in line with the bat of a fourth outfielder.

But so far the White Sox are optimistic Basabe can make the proper adjustment.

“He’s got a sweet swing,” White Sox hitting coordinator Mike Gellinger said. “He’s got a timing thing to handle. But he’ll get it and it should be very helpful.”

The biggest help will be repetitions. Basabe spent almost the entire 2016 season at Single-A Greenville in the South Atlantic League. Only at the end of the season was he promoted to Advanced-A Salem in the Carolina League, the same league he’s in now.

“He’s got a little bit of everything,” player development director Chris Getz said. “He can run, he has the ability to hit and he’s aggressive on the bases.

“He’s still only 20 and he’s had some success. But we feel the more at-bats he gets he’s going to be successful.”

Despite that young age, Basabe, whom his parents call “Chande”, and his twin, “Jandro”, have already learned about the harsh realities of baseball. They had just arrived at the ballpark to play the Lexington Legends that night when Greenville manager Darren Fenster summoned Luis Alejandro to his office with the news of his trade to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He would be assigned to Single-A Kane County.

“It was at 2 p.m. and the manager called my brother outside to come talk to him,” Luis Alexander said. “And then he told me ‘They traded me.’ ‘Really?’

“But then, (you learn) it really was a business and he got more chance over there.”