Rose unhappy about Villanueva 'cheap shot'

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Rose unhappy about Villanueva 'cheap shot'

AUBURN HILLS, Mich.Sporting a cut over the bridge of his nose, Derrick Rose looked like he had been in boxing match Sunday night. In fact, he called the overtime win over the Pistons a brawl, though he didnt mean it in a literal sense.

However, Rose didnt find the flagrant foul committed on him by Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva to be simply in the spirit of the game. The veteran reserve hacked the reigning league MVP in transition with 4:31 left in the contest, something Rose took exception to.

Its basketball. Hit me in my face. I think he didnt go for the ball. Whatever they called it, they called it for a reason, he said. I was mad. Sick and tired of people trying to take cheap shots at me. Ive got to say something.

I really dont know why he gets cheap-shotted by opponents. Probably because I dont say anything, but Im a man. Situations like that, you have to say something, he continued. Youve got to. He didnt even aim for the ball. At least aim for the ball. I felt like he didnt and thats the reason why I got mad a little bit.

After the play, Rose and Villanueva got into it verbally, resulting in a technical foul for the Piston. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau wasnt necessarily happy with the play, but accepted the referees explanation.

I thought he was getting to the rim, and he didnt get the calls, but he was getting hit, so hes got to keep going, he said. These guys, theyre great officials, so he said that it appeared to be worse than it actually was. Thats what he said to me. Usually, when they say that, they know that theyve gotten a pretty good look at it, so I dropped it right there. I thought the five-second count against Luol Deng with under a minute left in regulation was a little quick, but I guess sometimes on the road, thats to be expected. We were out of timeouts in that situation. Otherwise, we would have been able to use it, but we have to clean that up. We cant put ourselves in those situations.

Villanueva, who had been in first-year Pistons head coach Lawrence Franks doghouse and had only played 40 total minutes entering the game19 of which occurred in Detroits game against Orlando last weekscored a season-high 13 points on the evening, keying a second-quarter run by the home team. Ironically, he was also the high school teammate of Deng, Roses current teammate.

I hate that he played well against us, Deng told CSNChicago.com, while teammates Carlos Boozer and Ronnie Brewer joked about his love for Villanueva, who reportedly was defiant about the incident afterwards, in the background. But Im happy for Charlie.

Hes not a bad guy. He fouled Derrick pretty hard, he continued about the forward, who, along with former Bulls guard Ben Gordon, has been a major disappointment for the Pistons since signing as a free agent three summers ago. Charlie, hes not going to fight anybody. Its heat of the moment. Hes not that type of player.

Cubs not worrying about a thing after split with Marlins: 'We're right there'

Cubs not worrying about a thing after split with Marlins: 'We're right there'

MIAMI – Jon Jay walked into a quiet clubhouse late Sunday morning, turned right and headed directly toward the sound system in one corner of the room, plugging his phone into the sound system and playing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.”

The Cubs outfielder whistled as he changed into his work clothes at Marlins Park, singing along to the lyrics with Anthony Rizzo a few lockers over: “Don’t worry, about a thing, ‘cause every little thing gonna be all right.” 

That’s what the Cubs keep telling themselves, because most of them have World Series rings and the National League Central is such a bad division.

“The biggest thing is to keep the floaties on until we get this thing right,” manager Joe Maddon said before a 4-2 loss left the Cubs treading water again at 38-37. “We’re solvent. We’re right there. We’re right next to first place.”

The Cubs will leave this tropical environment and jump into the deep end on Monday night for the start of a four-game showdown against the Washington Nationals in the nation’s capital.

Miami sunk the Cubs in the first inning when Addison Russell made a costly error on the routine groundball Miami leadoff guy Ichiro Suzuki chopped to shortstop, a mistake that helped create three unearned runs. Martin Prado drilled Mike Montgomery’s first-pitch fastball off the left-center field wall for a two-out double and a 3-0 lead. Montgomery (1-4, 2.03 ERA) lasted six innings and retired the last 10 batters he faced.

“Keep The Floaties On” sounds like an idea for Maddon’s next T-shirt. The 2017 Cubs haven’t been more than four games over .500 or two games under .500 at any point this season. The 2016 Cubs didn’t lose their 37th game until July 19 and spent 180 days in first place.

“That’s what was so special about it,” Rizzo said. “We boat-raced from Game 1 to Game 7 with a couple bumps in the road, but this is baseball. It’s not going to be all smooth-sailing every day. You got to work through things.”

As MLB addresses long game times, why Mark Buehrle’s zippy pace is worth highlighting

As MLB addresses long game times, why Mark Buehrle’s zippy pace is worth highlighting

Sometime in the future, near or far, Major League Baseball will probably begin using a pitch clock to penalize sluggish hitters and pitchers.

The sport without a clock will, someday, have a clock. ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian offered that as one of his predictions for what baseball could look like 20 years from now, which would be one of Rob Manfred’s signature reforms as commissioner. 

This kind of change wouldn’t be necessary, though, if more pitchers were like Mark Buehrle. 

“Buehrle was hyper,” pitching coach Don Cooper said. “He wanted to go, go, go.”

No pitcher since 2007 — when Pitch F/X began calculating “pace” — worked faster than Buehrle, who averaged 16.7 seconds between pitches. Only 56 qualified pitchers since 2007 can be considered to work “fast,” i.e. with an average time between pitches of 20 seconds or fewer (it’s a list that includes fellow former White Sox left-handers John Danks and Chris Sale). And that’s only 12 percent of the 473 qualified pitchers in the last decade.

Buehrle’s 99-minute complete game against the Seattle Mariners in 2005 still is the only nine-inning contest to be completed in fewer than 100 minutes since 1984. There was that memorable 1:53 duel with Mark Mulder and the Oakland A’s in 2003, and both Buehrle’s perfect game and no hitter lasted 2:03. 

Of course, Buehrle didn’t just work quick, he pitched well while zipping through innings. Buehrle finished his career with a 3.81 ERA, made four All-Star teams and threw at least 200 innings every year from 2001-2014. He had a .572 career winning percentage, too, so Cooper knew about Buehrle would give the White Sox a chance to win in about six out of every 10 starts.

“But you also know it’s going to be about two hours and 10 minutes, too,” Cooper added. 

A given game’s length isn’t all about the pace of the pitcher, of course. Batters can slow things down by stepping out of the box and calling for time, and games can feel like a slog with replay delays and mid-inning pitching changes. 

Still, how quickly a pitcher works usually dictates the pace of a game and how long it takes to be completed. Cooper wondered why hitters didn’t step out more against Buehrle to disrupt his rhythm, but perhaps the answer is that everyone on the field gets caught up in the quick pace set by the pitcher. 

“Everybody tells me they were so happy when I pitched for a quick game, but every time I was on the bench in between my starts, it was a 3, 3 1/2 hour game and it wasn't very much fun,” Buehrle said. “I think some of these games do get too long. Pitchers take their time, hitters get out of the box. I don't get all that but that's just the way I worked. I just grabbed the ball and went.”

Maybe adding a pitch clock with penalties affecting the count will force pitchers and hitters to find a quicker rhythm. That was one of the hallmarks of Buehrle’s career, and those snappy starts are one of the reasons why No. 56 was such a popular player on 35th and Shields. 

Former manager Ozzie Guillen, in summing up Buehrle's mentality, also offered some free advice for fixing baseball's pace-of-play problem: “Just throw the ball, get people out and have fun.”