Insults of Conte, Jennings 'just Steve Smith being Steve Smith'

927245.png

Insults of Conte, Jennings 'just Steve Smith being Steve Smith'

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith lit up the Bears for 118 receiving yards on seven catches basically about the norm for Smith vs. the Bears over his four career games against them.

Afterwards he told CSNChicago.com that Conte wasnt at my level and that he has been kicking Jennings ass.

Jennings wasnt showing any signs of tender spots, especially the only place it mattered.

I was surprised he didnt to a lot of talking during the game, more after the game, after the loss, Jennings said, although Smith appeared to be yapping at Conte on multiple occasions. Thats just the guy that he is. You cant say too much about it

Just that we won and they lost, again.

The smile said it all. Smith may be doing anatomical damage to Jennings but the Panthers have lost three of the four Bears games with him and he didnt get into the end zone on Sunday. Smith has yet to score in 2012.

And while Smith may hold a decibel edge, his team is 1-6 whereas Contes and Jennings is 6-1.

Thats just Steve Smith being Steve Smith, Jennings said.

Not taking anything from Steve hes a great All-Pro receiver, a tough guy to defend all game, I can tell you that because theyre going to go to him each and every pass play, 15 or 20 times if they get a chance.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton needed to target Smith on 16 passes for the wideout to get those seven catches. Smith had one highlight catch for 47 yards against tight coverage but nothing else longer than 18 yards and just two of those.

You just want to kind of limit his playmaking ability after he catches the ball, Jennings said. Hes going to catch a few balls but youre going to have to be there when he catches it. With this style of defense we have to minimize big plays.

It wasnt like we mand him up the whole game. We gave him different looks because we know hes going to find the holes in the defense and catch the ball. We wanted to minimize the big play and keep him out of the end zone, and we were able to do that.

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana was pleased with his final warmup before Opening Day.

The White Sox Opening Day starter threw 48 pitches (30 strikes) against a Milwaukee Brewers minor league team at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. Quintana allowed two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out three in three-plus innings. He next pitches at home on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

"I finished my preparation on a high note," Quintana said. "I'm heading to the season with good energy and satisfied with all the worked and effort that I put in my preparation.

"I'm absolutely ready for the season to start."

A tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday suggested Quintana will start the season as a member of the White Sox despite myriad rumors. Nightengale noted that the Houston Astros refuse budge on what they're willing to pay for the 2016 All-Star. The White Sox have also held firm on their asking price and haven't been motivated by any of the offers they've received to move Quintana.

The team reduced the number of players still in camp to 34 on Tuesday with the trade of Peter Bourjos and by cutting nonroster invitees Cory Luebke and Matt Purke. Luebke, who has been sidelined for six days after he tweaked his hamstring, finished the spring with a 0.96 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. He can opt out of his minor-league deal in May. Purke struck out eight in eight innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA. 

Both had been in the mix for one of two open bullpen spots.

Fellow reliever Jake Petricka looked much calmer on Tuesday than he did after taking a comebacker off his hand Monday. X-rays were negative and Petricka played catch. He hopes to pitch as scheduled this weekend in Milwaukee. 

"This is just one of those you do everything you can do to stay healthy, and its part of the game you can't control," Petricka said. "You never want that to happen, especially this late in camp. "But we dodged a bullet and we're good to go."

The White Sox also had a close call with second baseman Tyler Saladino, who was hit by a pitch in the left wrist in minor league action on Monday. Saladino received treatment and could return to action on Wednesday.

"He's doing good, we're just holding him back today for my well being," Renteria said.

[Buy White Sox tickets right here]

Renteria said reliever Juan Minaya is improving but still likely to start the season on the DL. Minaya suffered an abdominal tear in mid-March. 

"He has been improving solidly and responding to the treatments," Renteria said.

Yolmer Sanchez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz. 

Michael Ynoa allowed an unearned run and a hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. 

Zack Burdi struck out three in a scoreless inning.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs wrapping up spring training

usatsi_9977845.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs wrapping up spring training

Today on the Sports Talk Live podcast, David Kaplan, Seth Gruen, Teddy Greenstein, and Mark Grote discussed Addison Russell’s injury, if Szczur or La Stella should get the Cubs final roster spot, if the Bulls would be better off facing the Celtics or Cavs in the first round of the playoffs, and Jay Cutler’s butt all over the internet.