Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts to be next featured guest on CSN's "Inside Look"

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts to be next featured guest on CSN's "Inside Look"

CHICAGO CUBS CHAIRMAN TOM RICKETTS TO BE THE NEXT FEATURED GUEST ONCOMCAST SPORTSNETS MONTHLY INTERVIEW SERIES, INSIDE LOOK

Inside Look presented by Cadillac, hosted by Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan -- featuring Tom Ricketts to debut Christmas DaySunday, December 25 at 4:30 PM

CSNChicago.com to provide additional web-exclusive coverage of Inside Look, including extended video clips

Chicago, IL (December 20, 2011) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, continues to delve into the lives of some of the biggest names in Chicago sports with its candid, monthly, one-on-one interview series Inside Look presented by Cadillac.

Debuting Christmas DaySunday, December 25 at 4:30 PM, Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan hosts an exclusive one-on-one interview with Chicago business mogullifelong Cubs fan and now Chicago Cubs Chairman TOM RICKETTS. Ricketts discusses everything from his days of rooting for the Cubs as a fan, to becoming the owner and chairman of one of pro sports most popular franchises, bringing Theo Epstein to the northside to run the baseball operations, his thoughts on the 2012 Cubs and much more.

In addition, viewers are urged to check out Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, for additional interview content never before seen on TV. Fans will also be able to watch every Inside Look guest interview online after it debuts on Comcast SportsNet. Comcast SportsNet will also re-air Inside Look with Tom Ricketts on the following datestimes: Sun, Jan. 1 at 5:30pm; Sun, Jan. 8 at 9:30pm; Fri, Jan. 13 at 11:30pm; Sat, Jan. 14 at 7pm; Thu, Jan. 19 at 8:30pm; Sat, Jan. 28 at 7:30pm and Mon, Jan. 30 at 7pm

Note the following quotes from Inside Look with Tom Ricketts presented by Cadillac, premiering Christmas DaySun, Dec. 25 at 4:30 PM exclusively on Comcast SportsNet:

RICKETTS on if he would have changed anything when he became Cubs chairmanwith the knowledge he has now:

I dont think we wouldve done much differently. If you go back to those first couple of days, a lot of people wanted some quick decisions, particularly with baseball. I think they expected an owner to come in and change out the GM and go in this new direction and have some kind of bold plan, and in our case, it was my decision that I think whats best for us is to really get to understand what our strengths are in a baseball organization, what our weaknesses are, be fair to the people that are here, and really get to know the baseball organization better.

RICKETTS on the much-publicized Theo Watch, in particular, the Starbucks sighting:

Well, the funny part is that it was part of our Secret Agent Man-type stuff. He (new Cubs President, Baseball Operations Theo Epstein) was sneaking in for the weekend, and we were very careful about who picked him up from the airport and all these things, and, of course, no plan survives that much secrecy. His wife wants an ice coffee and he hops out to get it and, of course, bumps into someone who recognizes him, so I guess we didnt have to be that secret because everybody found out anyway. Thats just the way it happens, just kind of a funny thing.

RICKETTS on his public perception and staying true to his goals:

I dont really follow too closely what the perception is. All along, we started off with this day one is square one for everybody in the organization. Jim (Hendry) had that ruleCrane (Kenney), whos running the business side had that ruleon the business side, weve done well. Im talking to Crane about extending his contract. Were going to have him as part of the organization for a long time, locking down our business side. On the baseball side, we werent getting it done. We think we gave Jim a fair shot, but when it looked like it wasnt going to be where we needed it to be, we had a great conversation and just decided to part ways and that got the process started.

The period between when Jim left and when Theo came in was a little awkward, because you couldnt really tell people what you were doing, but there was never a moment where I didnt really feel like we had it under control. I think the only moment when I was a little nervous was when if we could ask the Red Sox for permission, and its entirely likely, its possible they could say no, and then wed have to go on and look for another candidate, and thats embarrassing because that candidate obviously wouldnt be the first choice and you cant keep those kind of requests secret. But we just hung tough, consistentand played through it, and I think wed done as best as we could.

RICKETTS on if he believes the 2012 Cubs will be competitive:

Well, absolutely. You look at a lot of the turnarounds in baseball over the last few years. Teams that have lost 90 games and have come back and won 90 games. You get the right 25 guys in that clubhouse with the right manager and everyone stays healthybaseball, its a lot of parity, you come back and you stay healthy, you get off to a good startthen absolutely were back in the hunt.

White Sox officially announce signing of Luis Robert

White Sox officially announce signing of Luis Robert

The worst kept secret is finally out of the bag.

The White Sox officially announced the signing of free agent Cuban outfielder Luis Robert to a minor-league contract, which includes a $26-million signing bonus.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

“We are excited to add Luis — another young, extremely talented and impactful prospect — to the White Sox organization,” White Sox senior vice president/general manager Rick Hahn said. “Luis has the potential to be a dynamic, five-tool player at the major-league level, and we look forward to watching him develop in our system over coming seasons. Luis will immediately be viewed as one of the top prospects in baseball, and his signing adds to the growing depth of quality young players within our organization.”

The 19-year-old Robert played in 210 career games (including postseason) with Ciego de Ávila in the Cuban Serie Nacional and had a .315/.402/.467 slash line with 20 home runs, 92 RBI and 29 stolen bases.

Robert slides into the No. 2 spot on the White Sox Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Michal Kempny was in and out of the Blackhawks lineup last season but he’ll likely get a bigger opportunity this coming season. On Saturday, he was assured of coming back to get that chance.

Kempny and the Blackhawks agreed to a one-year extension, the team announced on Saturday morning.

“Michal’s style of play is an asset to our defense,” general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He is the type of player who will continue to improve now that he has transitioned to the National Hockey League. We look forward to his continued development on the ice for the Blackhawks.”

Kempny was part of a very crowded blue line last season — he was one of eight defensemen at the start of it — and played 50 regular-season games. He recorded two goals and six assists in those contests but did not play in the Blackhawks’ four postseason contests. With Johnny Oduya and Brian Campbell likely not returning, however, Kempny should get a bigger opportunity this season.

The 26-year-old Kempny also had two goals and an assist in eight games for the Czech Republic team at the 2017 World Championship.