Despite loss, Wolverines will be fine

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Despite loss, Wolverines will be fine

If youre worried about Jabari Parker and the Simeon Wolverines after Thursday nights nationally televised loss to DeSoto, dont be. It looks bad that the No. 1 team in the nation has already fallen, but its not nearly as bad when considering the circumstances behind it.
Simeon hasnt played a game since Dec. 1, a stretch of 11 days without any serious competition. But for DeSoto, it was their 15th contest of the 2012-13 season. It was obvious the Wolverines weren't in sync as a team because they dont have many games under their belt.
Simeon trailed 27-24 at halftime, but scored just five points and shot 1-of-15 from the field in the third quarter. The inability to put the ball in the basket allowed DeSoto to jump out to a 43-29 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Name the last time that has happened to a team coached by Robert Smith.
Early in the final quarter, the Wolverines 2-2-1 full-court zone press turned DeSoto over to get them back in the game. It also had Simeon looking like a team that has won three consecutive Illinois State Championships and features four players going to high-major college programs next season, one of which is an All-American and the No. 2 player in the country.
So what appeared to be missing on Thursday night is actually there; its just going to take more games to put it together. 
Also consider that the DeSoto game was Jabari Parkers second in the last five months.
Parker is still a ways away from being the player he was last year, all the way up until his foot injury in late July. It will take time to shake off the rust and the weight and become the superstar fans are used to seeing on the court.
The good thing is the Wolverines wont have another layoff of that length, as their schedule picks up with enough games in succession to help them get their rhythm back as a team. On Saturday they play a game in Memphis and then come back to Chicago for games next week.
On Monday theyll face off against Carver on the road, then its back home for a game on Wednesday against Larry Hawkins, and Friday they host Brooks. That caps a stretch of five games in eight days that should be enough to have Parker looking like more like the All-American that he is and, as a group, have the Wolverines ready for the 2012 Pontiac Holiday Tournament taking place Dec. 27 though 29.
This early season loss isnt the end of the world for Simeon. It's just an unfortunate bump in the road to a potential national championship due to scheduling that has them trying to catch up with teams whose seasons have already started and who have a better sense of continuity on the court.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria 'surprised' Melky Cabrera hasn't been traded

White Sox manager Rick Renteria 'surprised' Melky Cabrera hasn't been traded

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The White Sox have offloaded more pieces in the past eight months than that furniture store that always seems to be going out of business.

Everything. Must. Go.

Even so, the team hasn’t found any takers for veteran outfielder Melky Cabrera, who finished with four hits in Saturday night’s 7-2 White Sox loss to the Kansas City Royals. Cabrera finished a triple shy of the cycle and drove in two runs. That Cabrera still resides on the South Side is a surprise to White Sox manager Rick Renteria.

“Honestly yeah, to be honest,” Renteria said. “To me he’s a premier Major League baseball player who has been playing outstanding defense. And he has been for us one of the two or three guys who has been timing his hitting in terms of driving in runs when we need them, putting together really good at-bats when we need them. Just playing the game. Yeah, kind of surprised.”

Despite making their intentions known that everyone short of Tim Anderson and Carlos Rodon are available, Cabrera’s name has barely registered a blip on the radar when it comes to trade rumors.

Several factors have probably prevented Cabrera from being dealt, the biggest being his salary. Cabrera is still owed roughly $6.3 million of his $15 million salary, which makes him an expensive option.

Defensive metrics also don’t have much love for Cabrera despite his eight outfield assists. Cabrera’s lack of range has produced minus-6 Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-4.7 Ultimate Zone Rating.

Those figures likely would like have teams lean toward making Cabrera a designated hitter. While he’s been one of the team’s most consistent and prominent offensive performers, Cabrera’s .786 ranks only about 38th in the American League.

As FanRag’s Jon Heyman noted earlier Saturday, to trade Cabrera the White Sox would likely have to eat most of the outfielder’s remaining salary.

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