Other Sports

Word on the Street: Cubs looking to the bleachers

Word on the Street: Cubs looking to the bleachers

Friday, Sept. 9, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Cubs drop prices on bleacher seats

Even with a 62-81 record, the Cubs have managed to bring in 2.8 million fans this year, showing definite promise to hit the 3 million mark by the end of the season. However, attendance hasnt been as hot in the bleachers, worrying the franchise about how the crowd will appear on television. The team is planning on lowering the cost of the bleacher seats next season, hoping to raise the 500 person-per-game drop the section is experiencing. The new cost for tickets has not been released yet. (HardballTalk)

Jordan: Best team in NBA 2K12?

Michael Jordan shows off quite a bit of bling and the success of the Bulls throughout the years. In his latest commercial for NBA 2K12, Jordan challenges fans to find a more successful team to take to the court. Will you go with the 96 Chicago Bulls? (YouTube)

Barber out for Sunday

The Bears have confirmed that Marion Barber will be out for Sundays game opener against the Atlanta Falcons due to his calf injury. Cory Wootton is listed as questionable, but is unlikely to play. Wootton was injured in a preseason game and is recovering from knee surgery. (ChicagoTribune)

LaHair back in the lineup

The Cubs are giving Bryan LaHair another chance to show what hes got. Hell be playing tonight at Citi Field, taking the place of Tyler Colvin who has been playing against right-handers.

Casey Coleman will be on the mound tonight, shooting to get his first win. Darwin Barney is back in the lineup after missing Wednesdays game for the birth of his daughter. (ChicagoTribune)

Canucks responsible for rioting costs?

As if losing game 7 of the Stanley Cup Championships wasnt difficult enough, the Canucks are now taking heat from the mayor of Vancouver for riots that broke out after their loss to Boston. Due to the citys large bills for the clean up and repair of buildings, mayor Gregor Robertson has asked the team to cover part of the cost. The city hopes to meet with the team and NHL to discuss a possible outcome that everyone can agree on. (ProHockeyTalk)
Dodgers bid called a publicity stunt

The shocking 1.2 billion offer for the LA Dodgers was called a publicity stunt by Frank McCourts lawyer. It is believed that McCourt has not responded to the bid in any way. He claims he still has no intentions to sell his team. (HardballTalk)

Nerds in Sports Podcast: Being a 'professional nerd' and Star Wars theories about Rey's parents

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Nerds in Sports Podcast: Being a 'professional nerd' and Star Wars theories about Rey's parents

On this edition of Nerds in Sports, we talk with io9.com senior editor Rob Bricken.

Rob explains how he juggles being a fan with being a ‘professional’ nerd, how he came to run io9.com, plus his theory on why Rey’s parents are in Star Wars may shock you.

Kevin Anderson and Michael Piff co-host. We are Nerds. In sports.

Listen to the Nerds in Sports Podcast here.

Blackhawks Camp Synopsis: Roster starting to take shape

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Camp Synopsis: Roster starting to take shape

One week down, roughly one week to go.

Some things have fallen into place during the Blackhawks’ first seven days of training camp but this week is when it really gets interesting. The roster will continue to take shape and the competition for the few vacancies will intensify. Here’s a look at what we’ve already seen in Week 1 and questions for Week 2.

Stock Rising

Jordan Oesterle. We could put a few of the young forwards here, but we’ve talked about them quite a bit and will continue to do so. So right now let’s look at Oesterle, who coach Joel Quenneville liked “a lot” in Thursday’s game against the Red Wings. A puck moving defenseman, Oesterle said he played on the right side with the Edmonton Oilers but could also play on the left. If Oesterle has another good week of camp, that and his versatility might get him a chance on a Blackhawks defense still looking for the right pieces.  

Stock Falling

Tomas Jurco. Please realize where we’re coming from with this assessment: where does he fit in this lineup? He didn’t get a lot of opportunities last season but when he did play there wasn’t anything that made him stand out. Stan Bowman likes him and much like with David Rundblad, the Blackhawks want to give the Jurco a chance to justify the draft pick they gave up for him (a third-round selection from the 2017 draft). Several young guys are pushing hard for roster spots. Can Jurco be an every-day player or do the Blackhawks have a decision to make in favor of some of those up-and-coming players? Just very interested to see how this turns out.

Biggest surprise

Nick Schmaltz’s second-line center opportunity. Maybe we should’ve been more open minded to this happening but considering how little that line changed last year you figured Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane would stay together even after the Artemi Panarin trade. But given the strides Schmaltz has made in his own game and the skating work he and Kane did together this offseason, Quenneville wants to see what Schmaltz can do in the middle. There’s always tinkering with this team; we really should have seen the possibility coming but we didn’t.

Some Remaining Questions

- If there’s one forward spot vacant out of training camp, which young player wins it? John Hayden. Here’s why: even if Alex DeBrincat doesn’t make this team out of camp, the Blackhawks’ top six is looking pretty good. Meanwhile the bottom six, especially that fourth line, has some holes. Getting a young player with some size, speed, skill and sandpaper that Quenneville likes and trusts (and he likes and trusts Hayden) would be a great addition to the bottom six.

- Will there be any surprises on defense? Maybe. Part of it depends on what the Blackhawks do about the Michal Rozsival situation. Rozsival didn’t pass his physical (upper body injury) and is not participating in camp. You hate to see someone go out like this, but it may be the end for the veteran. If so, the seventh defensive spot opens up and so do the Blackhawks options. After Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Connor Murphy you have Cody Franson (if the Blackhawks sign him), Oesterle and Jan Rutta who have made good preseason impacts. Michal Kempny’s in the mix, too. Gustav Forsling is on the bubble. He had a great camp last fall but didn’t improve off it; that has to change this season.

- Will the top line combination work? There’s no doubt the Blackhawks missed Brandon Saad. He may not have been facing the sturdiest Red Wings team on Thursday but Saad’s powerful game was nevertheless impressive and a reminder of how much the Blackhawks missed that element the last two seasons. But the Saad-Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik combo hasn’t gotten a great look yet — Toews missed Thursday’s game due to illness. Saturday should be the first chance to see if these three can really click.