Robinson discusses Bulls' (lack of) rookie hazing

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Robinson discusses Bulls' (lack of) rookie hazing

CLEVELANDBulls rookie Marquis Teague must feel lucky that he wasnt drafted by Cleveland. Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott is forcing his teams rookiesstarter Dion Waiters, reserve big man Tyler Zeller and recent D-League call-up Kevin Jonesto tote around baby dolls in carriages, a step up from the trend of pink backpacks.

Backup point guard Nate Robinson talked about his own experiences as an NBA rookie before the game, as well as the Bulls treatment of youngsters, with Teague quietly listening alongside him.

I didnt have to do the baby stuff. We make our rook do some stuff, like bring soap and make sure guys have deodorant, and washing stuff, stuff like that. He doesnt have to wear any pink backpack because at the end of the day, hes a grown man like everybody else. Theres just some things that some rookies have to do. Theyve got to pay home, not just to us, but all the players that played in the league before us, he said. Our rookie does a great job. We ask him to do something, he does it. He doesnt rebel. Its not like, Oh, no. you go do it. Then, thats when the pink backpacks and stuff like that come in, when they rebel on stuff we ask them to do.

I had to do a lot. I had a lot of vets that were big on the rookie hazing, but guys here are pretty laid back with it and just ask him to do light stuff. But I had to do a lot of stuff, Robinson recounted. The worst thing I probably I had to dobecause me, I was a clown, so I didnt really mind all the funny stuff we had to dobut I think one of the things I didnt like was one day at a practice, a couple times at practice and shootaround, the guys would kick the ball all the way up to the top of the stadium and we had to go get the balls. That sucked.

Don Cooper remembers what made Mark Buehrle so special 

Don Cooper remembers what made Mark Buehrle so special 

Mark Buehrle didn’t have the kind of attributes found in most of the dominant pitchers of the post-steroid era. He was a 38th-round draft pick with a fastball that, on a good day, would scrap the upper 80’s. 

On Saturday, Buehrle will become the third pitcher to have his number retired in White Sox history, joining Ted Lyons (No. 16) and Billy Pierce (No. 19). For Don Cooper, who was Buehrle’s pitching coach from 2002-2011, it’s not hard to see why the St. Charles, Mo. native’s name will forever be a part of White Sox history. 

“Reliable, consistent, dependable, winner, good guy, unflappable, these are words that come to mind when I think about him,” Cooper said. 

Cooper was flooded with plenty of memories of Buehrle during the dozen minutes he spent chatting with the media on Friday. He said he learned a lot from working with Buehrle, watching him fill up the strike zone and induce early, weak contact while working at a brisk pace. One of Cooper's memories that stood out was this one:

“I can remember in the bullpen, he’d be warming up, he’d throw about 10 pitches,” Cooper said. “He’d look at me, I’d look at him. He wasn’t throwing very good. He turned to me and said, ‘Come on, let’s go, this isn’t going to get me any better.’”

But that was Buehrle — “In many ways, you could just wind him up and you’re throwing him out there every five days,” Cooper said. He battled through days where he didn’t have his best stuff — not that his stuff was electric to begin with — and turned in 14 consecutive years with 200 or more innings. 

Buehrle, of course, threw a no-hitter in 2007 and a perfect game in 2009, and along with save in Game 3 of the World Series represent some of the crowning achievements of his career. Cooper was happy to have been a part of it from his perch on the White Sox bench. 

“I think he was blessed,” Cooper said. “He was given a lot of gifts. The sinking fastball, the changeup, the cutter. His curveball, by scouts’ assessments, would probably be rated an average curveball. But as time went and as his stuff went down, we started to use that more. When he was at his best, we would throw about 8-10 of those. But as he started losing his stuff we had to mix more of those in. And listen, the career he had, his number being retired, the kids, his family — blessed. He’s been a blessed guy.” 

Cubs' bats go silent in shutout loss to Marlins

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USA TODAY

Cubs' bats go silent in shutout loss to Marlins

MIAMI – This is a 37-36 team dealing with injuries near the front of the rotation (Kyle Hendricks), the middle of the lineup (Ben Zobrist) and the heart of the defense (Jason Heyward) while a World Series legend (Kyle Schwarber) gets a few days to clear his head before reporting to Triple-A Iowa.

The Cubs are the defending champs, but they really don’t have much of an identity beyond that, unsure what they’re going to get from one night to the next and still searching for that sense of rhythm 45 percent into the season.

Friday’s 2-0 loss to the Miami Marlins followed a familiar pattern for a team that’s been at the .500 mark at 15 different points this season and has been shut out six times already. 

Pitching and defense became the backbone for a World Series team, but the Marlins needed only three hits to score two runs (one earned). John Lackey gave up his 21st home run – he allowed 23 in almost 190 innings last year – in the third inning when Giancarlo Stanton launched an 83-mph pitch 458 feet beyond Marlins Park’s garish pink-flamingos-and-palm-trees sculpture.   

The night after blitzing Miami and scoring 11 runs, the Cubs managed only six hits against right-hander Jose Urena and three different relievers.