Word on the Street: Ballparks get a thumbs down

Word on the Street: Ballparks get a thumbs down

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Health violations at Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular

The Cubs and White Sox didnt have a very successful season, and neither did their concession stands. Health inspectors at both stadiums discovered dozens of violations from incorrect storage temperatures to mold and hygienic issues. Teams officials say they will work with the vendors to get their standards back up to par in preparation for next season. (ChicagoTribune)

Ontario fan throws banana at Simmonds

In what is being described by the NHL as a stupid and ignorant racist act, at least one fan in Ontario threw a banana at Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds in last nights shootout against the Red Wings. Simmonds still managed to score the Flyers' only shootout goal despite being rattled by the incident.

Simmonds is going about the problem in a classy manner, shaking off the issue and dealing with any racism quietly. (ProHockeyTalk)

Buehrle pitching in the NL?

Impending free agent Mark Buehrle has discussed his uncertainty concerning a future with the White Sox and mentioned a desire to pitch for the National League. A Missouri native, Buehrle has gotten the attention of his hometown Cardinals. The Cards appear set for starters in 2012, but it is thought they may find space if the opportunity presents itself. (HardballTalk)

Thome will get a statue

During a touching pregame tribute, the Cleveland Indians unveiled plans to erect a bronze statue of Thome, the team's career home run leader, beyond the wall in center field. The post will be classic Thome, pointing his bat toward the pitcher. An emotional Thome was genuinely surprised and moved by the gesture. It appears likely Thome will retire following the season, and even if he chooses to play, likely won't be back with the Indians, who acquired him from the Minnesota Twins after the July 31 trade deadline. (yahoo.com)

Modanos officially retired

Mike Modano officially announced his retirement in a press conference this afternoon. A ceremony took place, highlighting Modanos best career moments and transformation to an NHL elite two-way center.

The Stars presented Modano with a one-day contract where he wore the number 9 one last time. The crowd gave him a standing ovation, thanking him for a great 21 years. (ProHockeyTalk)

Kobe gets offer from Italy

Kobe Bryant has a big decision to make. Virtus Bologna contacted the Lakers agent last night, offering 4 different contract options to play in Italy. Bryants received a 6.7 million offer, along with one-month, two-month, and per-game options equaling out to nearly 800,000 per game.

There is an NBA out clause in case differences are settled before his contract would end. Now itll just depend on money, location, and injury risks for Kobe. (ProBasketballTalk)

CSN's Dan Hayes meets the White Sox Dan Hayes

CSN's Dan Hayes meets the White Sox Dan Hayes

Is the White Sox clubhouse big enough for two Dan Hayeses?

We're about to find out this spring training as CSN White Sox Insider Dan Hayes covers the team, which includes first base prospect Danny Hayes.

The Sox prospect Hayes battled .250 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs in 55 games for Charlotte last season.

The big-league hopeful and White Sox beat reporter spoke with CSN's Chuck Garfien about the similarities the two (don't) have.

No word yet on whether they'll battle the two Rougned Odors and Geovani/Geovany Sotos to an Anchoman-style duel.

Check it all out in the hilarious video above.

Ryan Hartman defends teammate, but fight proves to be turning point in Blackhawks loss to Oilers

Ryan Hartman defends teammate, but fight proves to be turning point in Blackhawks loss to Oilers

The NHL implemented the bye week for the first time this season in an effort to give teams a five-day break before the stretch run of the regular season.

Entering Saturday's game, teams were 3-10-3 coming out of those games with many of those losses coming in convincing fashion.

Despite a 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night, the Blackhawks weren't one of those teams. They appeared to be reenergized more than rusty, and it showed in the opening 20 minutes of the game when they fired off 30 shot attempts (12 on goal) compared to the Oilers' 10 (four on goal).

But early in the second period, momentum shifted after Ryan Hartman came to the defense of teammate Tanner Kero, who was leveled by Oilers defenseman Eric Gryba in the neutral zone.

Hartman skated over to Gryba and dropped the gloves near the goal line, afterwards getting tagged with a two-minute penalty for instigating, five minutes for fighting and another 10 for a misconduct.

"It's kind of a no-brainer for me," Hartman said of sticking up for Kero. "I tried waiting long enough so it wasn't an instigator but it's kind of a judgment call I guess, some refs call it different ways. Unfortunately it ended up in a power play for them, but it's something you've got to do."

Hartman said he and the official had a discussion about the instigator penalty for clarity, which was handed to him due to the distance traveled after the hit.

Hartman said after the game that he respects the decision, but teammates and coaches didn't necessarily agree with the call.

"Thought they both had an agreement," Jonathan Toews said of the fight. "It looked like they were both going to go at it. Don’t think Hartsy jumped him by any means. But I guess just because there’s a previous hit immediately before that, then he got the instigator there."

Said Joel Quenneville: "I don't necessarily know that he was going to start the fight. I think he went over there to talk to the guy, so you lose Hartsy there."

And it proved to be the turning point.

Less than two minutes later, the Oilers capitalized on the power play after Matt Benning's shot ricocheted off Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk's skate and into the net, putting Edmonton out in front first.

They wouldn't look back, hanging on to beat the Blackhawks 3-1, and getting revenge on a team that beat them last week 5-1 in their first game out of the bye.

While it may not have been an opportune time to do it, the Blackhawks appreciate Hartman's game and know more times than not, his energy will result in a positive outcome.

"We haven’t seen a lot of fights this year so, no matter what, it always gets us going, especially in our own building," Toews said. "I think the fans love that sort of thing, too, and Hartsy’s been going after guys who are a lot bigger than him this year. We love that fearless play and definitely helps our guys feed off it."

"Hartsy's a competitive guy," Quenneville said. "We like him to have that a little bit of abrasiveness and unpredictably so there's nothing wrong with that. We like the way he competes and what he brings us."