Chicago Cubs

Stan Mikita to be the next featured guest on CSN's Inside Look (debuts Fri, Feb. 3 at 7:00 PM)

Stan Mikita to be the next featured guest on CSN's Inside Look (debuts Fri, Feb. 3 at 7:00 PM)

BLACKHAWKS AMBASSADORHOCKEY HALL OF FAMER STAN MIKITA TO BE THE NEXT FEATURED GUEST ONCOMCAST SPORTSNETS MONTHLY INTERVIEW SERIES, INSIDE LOOK
Inside Look presented by Cadillac, hosted by Comcast SportsNets Chris Boden, featuring Stan Mikitato debut Friday, February 3 at 7:00 PMCSNChicago.com to provide additional web-exclusive coverage of Inside Look, including extended video clips
Chicago, IL (January 26, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, continues to delve into the lives of some of the biggest names in Chicago sports with its candid, monthly, one-on-one interview series Inside Look presented by Cadillac.

Debuting Friday, February 3 at 7:00 PM, Comcast SportsNets Chris Boden hosts an exclusive one-on-one interview with Chicago Blackhawks AmbassadorHockey Hall of Famer STAN MIKITA. Mikita discusses everything from his youth growing up in Czechoslovakia, memories of his first NHL goal with the Blackhawks, the 1961 Stanley Cup championship team, his reaction to teammate Bobby Hull leaving to join the WHA, his bout with oral cancer and much more.

In addition, viewers are urged to check out Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, for additional interview content never before seen on TV. Fans will also be able to watch every Inside Look guest interview online after it debuts on Comcast SportsNet. Comcast SportsNet will also re-air Inside Look with Stan Mikita on the following datestimes: Tue, Feb. 7 at 7pm - Thu, Feb. 9 at 11am - Sat, Feb. 11 at 9pm - Mon, Feb. 13 at 9pm - Sat, Feb. 18 at 12 noon - Sat, Feb. 25 at 6pm & Wed, Feb. 29 at 7pm.

Note the following quotes from Inside Look with Stan Mikita presented by Cadillac premiering Friday, February 3 on Comcast SportsNet:

MIKITA on his youth growing up in Czechoslovakia:

Well, I didnt have much of a life there. I was only eight-years-old when I left. So eight years and probably half of that understanding what I was all about. First of all, I didnt know the English languagethats number one against you. But the big thing was that it was going to be a change (moving to Canada) and I didnt think that they were going to go through with this adoption the more I thought about it after the fact. The first thought was what are they talking about adoption to Canada and so on, I thought well jeez, this could be fun.

MIKITA on his first NHL goal with the Blackhawks:

This was probably the greatest goal scored in the history of hockey. Ted Lindsay was my first left winger, and I learned an awful lot of things from Ted, including some things I shouldnt be doing, but the play was that we shot it in the corner and I went for the net, and all of a sudden, somebody spun me around and I feel something on my left cheek (motions to his behind), who in the hell hit me with that stick?! Now the place is going crazy, pucks in the netwhat happened? I said. They said you just scored, I said I got hit in the ass with a puck! Well, it went from there and in the net. So that scenario goes boy, there must be a God up there.

MIKITA on his most vivid memory of the 1961 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks:

The thing that stood out to me was Glenn Hall. I've never seen a man play goal that fast and that quick; he might've developed the flap. Stop and flap and he's ready to go again, so he was never out of position. When a guy like him can pitch a shutout against a team, especially that team, the Montreal Canadiens (in the first round), and he did it twice in a row, which was the fifth and sixth games, and then we went on against Detroit. But that series thereever since then, I've never seen a goalie play better.
MIKITA on being remembered & loved by old fans and the respect earned by a new generation of fans:

I don't know how a life can be better when you sit backyou have your moments, as we all doI have my moments, as you all do. The point iswe're here. She's (his wife Jill) still herethe kids are happy, or at least they look happyand.it's a good life.

With or without Justin Verlander, Jake Arrieta expects Cubs to stay in first place: ‘We have the pieces’

With or without Justin Verlander, Jake Arrieta expects Cubs to stay in first place: ‘We have the pieces’

The Cubs already have a Cy Young Award winner, someone who was transforming into the hottest pitcher on the planet around this time in 2015, and then beat the Cleveland Indians twice on the road in last year’s World Series.

So the Cubs can keep discussing Justin Verlander and trying to figure out the price point where it makes sense, what caliber prospects they would have to give up and how much money the Detroit Tigers would have to kick in to cover a bill that could soar toward $90 million. 

But Jake Arrieta showed why the Cubs might finally start to run away from the division and become a very dangerous team in October, dominating the White Sox on Wednesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field during an 8-3 win that vaulted them into first place in the National League Central.          

“We expect to remain in first place,” Arrieta said. “We know it’s going to be a tough task, but that’s kind of what you deal with at the highest level of sports. You expect to have really good competition from teams that are either equal with you or close behind.

“We feel like we have the group to separate ourselves at this point in time and remain in first place for the remainder of the way.”

The Cubs probably don’t have the blue-chip prospects – and the appetite to raid their farm system again – to blow away the Oakland A’s and win a bidding war for Sonny Gray. The Cubs kick the tires on everything, but Yu Darvish would be a rental and the Texas Rangers are torn over what to do with their Japanese star. 

This is another reason why the Cubs are focusing on adding a veteran backup catcher and strengthening the bullpen before the July 31 trade deadline: Arrieta Watch is back, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning in front of a sellout crowd of 38,517 before Omar Narvaez drilled a ground-rule double into the right-center field seats.  

The Cubs are 10-2 since trading for Jose Quintana during the All-Star break, erasing a 5.5-game deficit against the Milwaukee Brewers heading into this weekend’s showdown at Miller Park. At 53-47, the Cubs are a season-high six games over .500, and it all starts with pitching.  

“I think we’ve got the pieces to get it done,” Arrieta said. “If there’s a situation where we can get another guy and not lose any key players, it might work in our favor.

“Obviously, when we traded for Quintana, that’s a huge addition to our ballclub. This guy’s really good. He works his butt off. And just seeing how he carries himself in between starts is a really great sign. To have a guy like that who works extremely hard and cares about the team winning ballgames – you can’t replace that.

“That trade right there in itself is one that’s going to pay huge dividends for this ballclub, not only for this year, but for the next couple years. But we’re a great team right now, and I think we have the pieces to get it done.”  

Arrieta was on cruise control until Yoan Moncada launched his 98th and final pitch – an 0-2 curveball – 409 feet over the center-field wall with two outs in the seventh inning. Arrieta only allowed those two hits, giving up two runs and finishing with five strikeouts against two walks, continuing the correction super-agent Scott Boras predicted when the Chicago media and Cubs fans wondered about his flashes of diminished velocity and spikes in hard contact during a free-agency push.

Arrieta has methodically put together 10 wins and three straight quality starts after the All-Star break, chopping his ERA down from 5.44 in the middle of May to 4.03. Ricky Renteria’s White Sox are obviously tanking for the future and there are a lot of conditions attached to this statement: 

But if Arrieta pitches like this, Jon Lester continues to be one of the best big-game pitchers of his generation, Quintana excels in a pennant race and Kyle Hendricks regains his feel and rhythm after six-plus weeks on the disabled list, then the Cubs might have a better playoff rotation than the one that ended the 108-year drought.     

“We’re feelin’ it,” Arrieta said, thinking back to last summer, when Theo Epstein’s front office added 100-mph closer Aroldis Chapman to a team with close to a 99-percent chance of making the playoffs. “I remember last year we were in this clubhouse around this same time, and it’s no different.” 

Look at the competition: The Washington Nationals might be forced into adding a frontline starter now that Stephen Strasburg is headed to the 10-day disabled list with a nerve impingement in his right forearm. The Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping a strained lower back won’t stop Clayton Kershaw from making a few tune-up starts in September before becoming their Game 1 starter in October.

With or without Verlander, the Cubs are ramping up to defend their title.

“I’m going to continue to get stronger as the year progresses,” Arrieta said. “I feel like my best baseball, my best pitching, is still ahead of me. And I’m ready for it.”

Wake-up Call: Cubs best Sox in Game 3; Fox, Pace feeling the heat?

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USA TODAY

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