Word on the Street: Cavallari a jinx on Bears?

Word on the Street: Cavallari a jinx on Bears?

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Cavallari a jinx on the Bears?

If Bears fans aren't worried about the Sports Illustrated jinx for their beloved Monsters of the Midway, there may be another factor tipping the luck scales in the Packers' favor. Reality TV celebrity Kristen Cavallari may provide the infamous "Jessica Simpson" factor on her quarterback beau, Jay Cutler.

Simpson, the famed singersongwriteractress, was famously the girlfriend of Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo and brought nothing but misfortune to her boyfriend and his teammates on the season's biggest stage--the playoffs.

However, even with Cavallari in tow, the Bears have already done something those Cowboys teams failed to do--win a playoff game. And according to reports, Cavallari wants Cutler to focus on winning as much as any diehard Bears fan. (Toronto Sun)

Clark to suit up for Bears?

Desmond Clark, the Bears' veteran tight end who has been on the inactive list for much of the 2010 season, has Tweeted that he will be suiting up and on the field Sunday against the Packers. Clark has not appeared in a game since the Bears' Week 3 win over the Packers at Soldier Field. (Twitter)

Fire show their support for Bears

The Chicago Fire declared Friday Bears Day at Toyota Park. Participating staff members donned their best Bears apparel and then posed for a picture inside the Fire locker room (See photo above right). (Chicago Fire)

Dent honorary captain Sunday

Richard Dent, the Bears all-time sack leader and MVP of Super Bowl XX, will be an honorary captain for Sunday's NFC Championship game at Soldier Field. Dent recorded 124.5 sacks in his 12 year career with the Bears and is a Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011 finalist. (CSNChicago.com)

Minnesota bar to roast bear Sunday

A sports bar owner in St. Paul, Minn., will support the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Championship game Sunday afternoon by roasting a 180-pound bear.

Blake Montpetit, the co-owner of Tiffany Sports Lounge, says he will cook the black bear in a pig-roaster over hickory and charcoal on Sunday. He says his cousin shot and killed it in northern Wisconsin during bear hunting season and then froze it. (Washington Post)
Referee retains position in Bears-Packers game at Soldier Field

Terry McAulay has been annouced as the referee in Chicago on Sunday. That may not mean much to some people, but McAulay was the referee in Week 3 when the Packers were flagged 18 times for 152 yards.

However, this will not be a repeat of Week 3, according to Mike Pereira of FoxSports.com. McAulay is the only one from his crew that was involved in that Week 3 game. As Pereira says, "from this point on in the playoffs, the crews are made up of the top three officials at each position." (Fox Sports)

Boozer set to make return Saturday for Bulls

Carlos Boozer, the Bulls' star power forward, looks to be on the fast track to recovery. After missing the last three games due to an ankle injury suffered in the waning seconds of Chicago's thrilling 99-96 victory over the Miami Heat last Saturday, Boozer has been announced as a go for Saturday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center. (CSNChicago.com)

Bulls don't need Melo?

According to ChicagoNow.com, the Bulls are doing just fine without Carmelo Anthony and despite the superstar's scoring prowess, Chicago can do just fine in the Eastern Conference without having to mortgage Joakim Noah or a surplus of picks or bench players to acquire the services of the superstar forward. (ChicagoNow)

Could Sox have had Papelbon?

Jonathan Papelbon, the star closer for the Boston Red Sox, was reportedly shopped to multiple teams over the offseason, mainly the Oakland Athletics and the Chicago White Sox, according to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated. Heyman cites the high price tag arbitration was likely to bring kept the teams at bay (OverTheMonster.com)

Ozzie launches new website

Ozzie Guillen, the enigmatic and outspoken manager of the Chicago White Sox, celebrated his 47th birthday in style, after having his 2012 option picked up with the team and launching his own website www.ozzieguillen.com. The site features news, photographs and videos of Guillen in addition to promoting his charity foundation that has been around since 1998. (Chicago Tribune)

Manny signs with Rays
Manny Ramirez signed with the Tampa Bay Rays Friday on a one-year deal. Ramirez, who played the last month-plus of the 2010 season with the Chicago White Sox, signed for a reported 2 million. He hit .298 with nine home runs in 265 at-bats last season. (Sports Illustrated)

Former Cubs prospect gives it another go as a pro

Ryan Harvey, the Cubs' first-round pick in 2003, is attempting a comeback at Major League Baseball. Harvey was drafted as the sixth player overall as an outfielder with some major power potential, but never quite cut it. In eight minor league seasons, Harvey never rose above Double-A level and hit just .244 with 711 strikeouts and 158 walks in 2,372 at-bats.

Now, however, Harvey is attempting to make it as a pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization, signing with the club this offseason. (Fox Sports)

Honda Road Ahead: Cubs offense looks to build off showing against Clayton Kershaw

Honda Road Ahead: Cubs offense looks to build off showing against Clayton Kershaw

CSN's Kelly Crull and analyst Dave Otto discuss the upcoming matchups and Kyle Schwarber's slump in this edition of the Cubs Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & NW Indiana Honda Dealers.

The Cubs haven't received any California love so far on their six-game road trip. 

At Dodger Stadium this weekend, the North Siders were swept away in three games that were never really close. And, now, Joe Maddon's club must regroup on the fly as they head to San Diego to open a three-game set with the Padres on Monday. 

If it's any consolation prize, the Cubs' bats did show signs of life against three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on Sunday. They roughed him up for 11 hits and four earned runs. 

"I liked the at-bats that the Cubs had against Kershaw and the Dodgers today," Dave Otto said following the Cubs' 9-4 loss in the series finale. 

To salvage a decent road trip, the offense has to find some sort of consistent groove. The lineup was shutout twice in Los Angeles. 

Watch the video above to hear Kelly Crull and Dave Otto break down the upcoming series and the slumping order. 

 

Jon Lester vs. Clayton Kershaw doesn’t live up to expectations as Dodgers sweep Cubs

Jon Lester vs. Clayton Kershaw doesn’t live up to expectations as Dodgers sweep Cubs

LOS ANGELES – In a Cubs season that has already gone off script – or at least not followed the dynasty-in-waiting narrative – it made perfect sense that a Jon Lester vs. Clayton Kershaw matchup at Dodger Stadium would devolve into a slugfest and a bullpen battle.

Randy Newman’s voice – “I Love L.A.” – blasted from the sound system late Sunday afternoon as the Dodgers put the finishing touches on a three-game sweep of the defending World Series champs. The Cubs led for one half-inning during this entire weekend and will wake up in San Diego on Memorial Day as a 25-24 team.

This 9-4 blowout again showed that the Dodgers should be a force in October. Forget about the way forward-thinking manager Dave Roberts basically tried to MacGyver his way through last year’s National League Championship Series with three pitchers – Kershaw, lefty curveball specialist Rich Hill and star closer Kenley Jansen.

“That’s the big separator between what I saw last year and right now – how they’re pitching,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.

It didn’t matter that Kershaw got knocked out in the middle of the fifth inning after Willson Contreras, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo launched home runs and the Cubs generated 11 hits off the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

Kershaw still outlasted Lester, who dropped his head, stared at the grass and walked off the mound with one out and two runners on in the fourth inning. The Cubs had earlier fallen into a 6-1 deficit after Lester gave up two three-run homers to Cody Bellinger and Kike Hernandez.

In back-to-back shutouts, the Dodgers (31-20) had already beaten a Cy Young Award winner dealing with questions about his velocity and looming free agency (Jake Arrieta) and a three-time World Series champion who’s 38 years old and now has a 5.18 ERA (John Lackey).

“It’s always tougher the second time, because everybody’s gunning for you,” said Ben Zobrist, who should be back in the lineup on Monday after missing two games with a sore left wrist. “Your expectations are even higher than they were before.

“But this team is definitely equal to the task. That’s not the problem as much as we just got to get back to the fundamentals and execution of the little details in the game. And everything else kind of takes care of itself.”