Word on the Street: Burleson guarantees Lions win

Word on the Street: Burleson guarantees Lions win

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Nate Burleson guarantees Lions' win

Sure, the Lions will be starting their third string quarterback against a Bears defense that has been dominant as of late, but that hasn't phased Nate Burleson. Burleson has guaranteed a Lions win over the surging 8-3 Bears.

"Yeah, I said we're going to win," Burleson said. "I am not saying the Chicago Bears aren't good, they are a very good football team. They can take this as bulletin board material if they want, but we play to win the game." (The Detroit News)

Jordan, UCF upset No. 18 Florida

Marcus Jordan, son of NBA-legend Michael Jordan, led the University of Central Florida to an impressive 57-54 upset of the No. 18 Flordia Gators on Wednesday. Jordan scored 18 points on 6 of 11 from the field and played tight defense, shutting down Florida's big scorers. (Orlando Sentinel)

Sox prospect Phegley recovering after surgery

White Sox catching prospect Josh Phegley is reportedly making a strong recovery after having his spleen removed on Nov. 5 in Chicago. Phegley suffers from Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a condition that results in low blood platelets. The Sox's medical staff consulted with several experts who concluded that the surgery was Phegley's best chance to overcome the condition.

Since the surgery, Phegley has returned to working out and says his platelet counts are "real good." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Lions' Stanton less than fond of Martz

Detroit Lions quarterback Drew Stanton, who will start this Sunday against the Bears, spent the early years of his career with Mike Martz as his offensive coordinator during Martz's time in Detroit. And while Martz may be known by many around the league as an offensive genius, Stanton was apparently less than impressed.

Stanton says Martz attempted to change his throwing motion, an endeavor that left both men frustrated.

"Obviously, with some of the stuff that he was doing with my mechanics and what-not just wasn't natural for me," said Stanton. Asked if he retained any fundamental changes from his time with Martz, Stanton said "Not a single one." (Mlive.com)

Forbes: Blackhawks seventh most valuable NHL team

After winning the Stanley Cup championship last year, the Blackhawks were forced to cut salaries to keep themselves within the boundaries of the NHL salary cap. However, the rest of their financial operation seems to be doing quite well. Forbes magazine listed the Blackhawks as the seventh most valuable team in the NHL, worth 300 million dollars - a 16 percent increase over last year's value.

The Hawks are still far behind the NHL's most valuable team, the Toronto Maple leafs, who are valued at 505 million. (ChicagoBreakingSports)
Favre to retire after this season... No, really

Apparently it's that time of year again. No, not the holiday season; it's time for Brett Favre's yearly retirement. This time, he says, it's for real. He told the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Wednesday that he feels like he's accomplished everything he could possibly accomplish in his career and this time he's done for good.

Asked if he had any second thoughts, Favre said, "I'm done, I'm done." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

'85 Bears a "failed dynasty?"

After the Bears' nearly-perfect 1985 Super Bowl season it seemed as though the Bears were a blossoming dynasty. They had it all; a shut-down defense, a great coach, and one of the greatest running back's of all time. Unfortunately, that never happened. Just three years later they found themselves dominated 28-3 by the San Francisco 49ers in a frigid NFC title game at Soldier Field.

This disappointing fall from greatness earned the Bears the No. 5 spot on Sports Illustrated's Top 10 Failed Dynasties list. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Rose named Bulls player of the month

Derrick Rose and the Bulls are fresh off their first successful west-coast circus trip since the final season His Airness was in Chicago, and Rose is being rewarded for his leadership on the trip. On Wednesday he was named the team's player of the month for November.

The NBA will announce the league's player of the month on Friday and Rose has a great shot at that award as well. He averaged 26.6 points, 8.2 assists, and 4.6 rebounds during the month of November. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

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

cubs.jpg
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.