Dan Hayes joins CSN as White Sox insider

Dan Hayes joins CSN as White Sox insider

DAN HAYES JOINS COMCAST SPORTSNET AS WHITE SOX INSIDERVeteran San Diego Padres beat reporter to provide White Sox coverage across the networks multiple platformsCSNChicago.com also announces significant year-to-year web traffic increases

Chicago, IL (June 22, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, has named veteran baseball beat reporter Dan Hayes as its White Sox Insider effective immediately. In this position, Hayes will lead the Comcast SportsNets coverage of the White Sox across the networks growing list of multiplatforms, highlighted by CSNChicago.coms WhiteSoxTalk franchise, and will serve as an on-air White Sox contributor on White Sox Pre-Game Live, SportsNet Central and Chicago Tribune Live and on digital shows including Sports Fix and Look Ahead. Hayes can be followed on Twitter @DanHayesCSN.

Dan comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience covering Major League Baseball over the years and his passion for the game will most certainly be felt by our television viewers, web and mobile visitors and social media audience immediately, said T.K. Gore, Sr. Director of Digital Media for Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Dans hiring is another perfect example of our commitment in providing fans with the most in-depth, local coverage of their favorite teams and confirms Comcast SportsNet as the regions leading source for comprehensive multiplatform coverage.

Hayes, a native of Northern California, comes to Comcast SportsNet after spending six seasons as the San Diego Padres beat reporter for the North County Times in San Diego, CA. Along with earning an Associate Press Sports Editors (APSE) award for his coverage of the Padres, Hayes also spent the past three seasons as the publications beat writer for the top-ranked San Diego State mens basketball team. In addition, he was a general assignment reporter covering NASCAR, UFC, high school sports and the Little League World Series.

A graduate of San Diego State, Hayes joined the North County Times in 2004 from the Vallejo (CA) Times-Herald, where he covered preps sports for two years.

Hayes joins a talented team that provides multiplatform coverage of the White Sox for Comcast SportsNet, which includes Chuck Garfien, Bill Melton, Frank Thomas and WhiteSoxTalk blogger J.J. Stankevitz. Garfien, an Emmy Award-winning reporter who has covered the White Sox for the past eight seasons for the network, also serves as a daily digital contributor via his Sox Drawer blog, news, features and player interviews for CSNChicago.com.

WhiteSoxTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBCs successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBasketballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk, GolfTalkCentral and ProSoccerTalk. SportsTalk was recently extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of WhiteSoxTalk, CubsTalk, BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk and BearsTalk, which contain interactive content and continually updated insights from the networks team of digital producers and on-air talent.

WEBSITE TRAFFIC INCREASES

Comcast SportsNet Chicago is experiencing significant audience growth with the networks commitment to enhanced digital content, as well as ongoing investments and innovations such as: hiring team-specific Insider correspondents; the launch of a mobile app; and developing exclusive local online shows and other content. In addition to the recently launched CSN Chicago Sports app on the iPhone and CSN Local Sports app available on iPad and Android, CSNChicago.com launched a new mobile website featuring real-time video, breaking news, Insider reports and Chicago SportsTalk blogs. With these and other initiatives, CSNChicago.com has delivered substantial year-to-year traffic increases, including visits (up 114), page views (up 72), unique visitors (up 82) and video views (up 47).

Hayes is the latest addition to a rapidly growing digital media department that operates CSNChicago.com, and a portfolio of successful mobile and social media platforms. These platforms feature exclusive written, video and interactive content from several multiplatform sportswriters, including Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney, Bulls Insider Aggrey Sam, Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers and Bears Insider John Moon Mullin, as well as a stable of digital media and television reporters and producers.

No Bears move yet on CB Deiondre' Hall except maybe to safety

No Bears move yet on CB Deiondre' Hall except maybe to safety

PHOENIX – If the Bears intend to cut ties with Deiondre' Hall after the first-year cornerback become involved in an ugly police incident last weekend, they have not indicated their decision yet. They have, however, begun looking at a possible position change for Hall as they gather information on events of last Saturday night.

Hall was tasered by police in Cedar Falls, Ia., after he and a former Northern Iowa University teammate were allegedly involved in a fight at a bar. Hall was arrested and cited for disorderly conduct, public intoxication and interference. Hall allegedly spit in the officers' faces, according to an affidavit, police saying that an officer used a Taser on Hall's legs in order to get him into a squad car.

GM Ryan Pace confirmed that the team is still gathering information and said, "it's just [that] the circumstances are a little disappointing, to be honest with you. We're aware of it, it's just kind of gathering more facts as we go forward."

Pace has spoken to Hall and said that the team wanted to investigate thoroughly, "but the circumstances surrounding it are obviously disappointing."

In the meantime, the 2016 fourth-round draft choice is slated to be tried at safety when the team convenes for the start of offseason work. Hall played the position in college, and has traits that the Bears value at the safety position.

"One of Deiondre's best traits is his ball skills, his ball clock, the ability to time the pass breakup," Pace said. "He's very natural at playing safety and that's one of the reasons we drafted him, because he has the versatility to do both. That's something we're going to talk about this offseason and he could start taking some reps there in the offseason program."

Cornerback Kyle Fuller, who missed all of last season following arthroscopic knee surgery in mid-August, will stay at cornerback.

Is Addison Russell still on track for Opening Night?

Is Addison Russell still on track for Opening Night?

MESA, Ariz. – Addison Russell believes he will be ready for Opening Night. Right now, Cubs manager Joe Maddon says his All-Star shortstop starting the season on the disabled list is an option that "I'm not considering."

But Russell hasn't played in a Cactus League game since March 22 and the Cubs have only three exhibitions left before facing the St. Louis Cardinals on national TV. The new 10-day disabled list would also allow the Cubs to backdate Russell's injury (stiff back) to March 30 and create a degree of roster flexibility. 

"We're trying to start the season out on a good note and definitely in St. Louis," Russell said Tuesday. "That's kind of the goal, but if the back doesn't feel well until then, maybe that's something that we'll have to do. With the way that I'm feeling, I don't think that's necessary."

The Cubs did get Ben Zobrist (stiff neck) back into the lineup that afternoon against the San Francisco Giants at Sloan Park. Russell estimated he's around "95 percent" and hoped to play Wednesday before the Cubs leave Arizona and fly out for two exhibition games against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.      

"We're not trying to take it too quick," Russell said. "Missing a few games here in the spring is a lot better than a few games in the season. I've talked to Joe and there's no hurry back."

Five days out from what should be an electric atmosphere at Busch Stadium, Maddon said athletic trainer PJ Mainville didn't sound concerned about Russell's back issue.

"PJ felt very strongly that he's going to be fine over the next couple days," Maddon said. "From Addison's perspective, knowing baseball players who've been doing so well, you take a couple days off, you're concerned that you're going to lose it. 

"I'm certain he's going to be fine. Actually, I'm OK with him getting some rest right now. The biggest thing is: Medically, is he going to be fine? Everybody thinks that he is, so I'm not concerned."