Chicago Cubs

Word on the Street: Francona joins Ozzie-Jenks war

Word on the Street: Francona joins Ozzie-Jenks war

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Red Sox manager gets involved in Ozzie-Jenks war

Terry Francona, the manager of the Boston Red Sox--Bobby Jenks' current team, got himself involved in the Jenks-Ozzie Guillen war of words Sunday.

Jenks was recently very outspoken over Ozzie's use of the bullpen during the tail end of the 2010 season when the husky pitcher was a part of the White Sox, and also took a shot at Ozzie's son, Oney, who called Jenks out via Twitter a couple months ago. Never one to shy away from controversial statements, Ozzie responded with comments to Jenks through the media and a war of words was started.

Francona attempted to halt that Sunday.

"That's over," Francona told the Boston Globe. "Spoke to Bobby. Went back and forth with Ozzie, not speaking, but just messages. I'm confident that will be over. I don't care if they like each other. But Bobby's a Red Sox and you need to move on. I think he understands that." (Chicago Tribune)

Danieal Manning rejected Bears contract offer?

The Bears offered Danieal Manning an extension during the season worth 6 million over three years, according to NFL Sources. Manning rejected that offer.

With no salary cap and CBA, Manning is now technically a restricted free agent. Any team that signs Manning would owe the Bears a second-round pick. That could all change once the new CBA and salary cap come to fruition.

Manning was drafted by the Bears in the second round in 2006. In his five-year career with the Bears, Manning has registered 346 tackles, 2 sacks, 7 INT and a return TD. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

How the Oscars are like Rose's MVP run

With the Oscars Sunday night, ProBasketballTalk.com discussed the impact the Academy Awards could have on the NBA MVP race, especially since Chicago's own Derrick Rose is one of the leading candidates for the award.

As Matt Moore writes in the blog, if Rose doesn't win the MVP, he shouldn't be considered a lesser player because of it. (ProBasketballTalk.com)
Does the Seabrook extension hurt the Hawks?

On Sunday, the Blackhawks inked defenseman Brent Seabrook to a five-year extension. According to Joe Yerdon at ProHockeyTalk.com, that move might put the Hawks back in the same salary cap bind that cost them after the Stanley Cup victory last May. (ProHockeyTalk.com)

Are Cubs fans the worst in baseball?

IvyReport.com attempts to answer this question with a resounding "yes." But, not for reasons you might think. The Cubs' futility has led this blogger to realize being a Cubs fan may not be the smartest option. (IvyReport.com)

Bowman losing his voice?

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has reportedly been talking so much regarding potential trade deals before the deadline Monday afternoon that he might be losing his voice.

Im losing my voice here a little. Ive been on the phone all day, he said. ...Theres a lot of talking still but its probably one of those thingswhere the first domino has to fall and then I think itll spur otherthings. If we end up with the group we have now, Im verycomfortable with that. But were aggressively trying to improve theteam. (CSNChicago.com)

If Kyle Schwarber's back, the rest of the National League will have another reason to worry about the second-half Cubs

If Kyle Schwarber's back, the rest of the National League will have another reason to worry about the second-half Cubs

Kyle Schwarber’s proper introduction to the Cubs-Sox rivalry came in the summer of 2015 when a fan on the South Side threw a half-empty “tall boy” at him in left field. A little more than a year removed from college, Schwarber didn’t understand why someone wouldn’t finish all the beer first.  

David Ross chimed in, raising his voice loud enough so Schwarber and a group of reporters could hear him inside the visiting clubhouse: “You should have shotgunned it and then went over there and found him.

“I tell you what: I’d hate to try to wrap up Kyle Schwarber. I guarantee you that whoever threw that beer doesn’t want (any) part of Kyle Schwarber. I promise you that one.”

That was the rookie orientation before Schwarber: blasted five playoff home runs that October; suffered a devastating knee injury that almost wiped out his entire 2016 season; made a dramatic return to the World Series; and experienced newfound fame and fortune that would change his life forever.

Mess with Schwarber? That aura of invincibility is gone after his detour to Triple-A Iowa before the All-Star break. But the first-place Cubs will take Thursday night’s 6-3 win over the White Sox as another sign that he is almost back, yet another reason why the defending champs look ready to continue this second-half surge. 

“I told him that if he had a couple more push-ups in there, he would have had three homers tonight, but we’ll take a triple,” winning pitcher Jon Lester said afterward. “Schwarber’s been swinging the bat great since he’s been back.”

No doubt, the Cubs caught the sell-mode White Sox at the right time during the final days leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. Even in going 3-for-4 and blasting his 16th and 17th home runs – which traveled 814 feet combined at Guaranteed Rate Field – Schwarber is still only hitting .191 with 90 strikeouts in 79 games this season.     

But the Cubs have always given Schwarber the benefit of the doubt and will point to his big personality and encouraging numbers since his Triple-A reset ended on July 6, getting on base almost 37 percent of the time and hitting safely in 10 of 13 games with five homers, three doubles and that triple.

“Retrospectively, we should not have expected that much,” manager Joe Maddon admitted. “I’m guilty of that kind of a narrative or a dialogue also, because I was really eager to watch him play a full season of Major League Baseball.

“But the guy missed the whole season and did really well in a small window of time at the end of the year. So maybe my expectations exceeded what they should have been.

“I do believe he is that good. I do believe you’re going to come back and see him play at the level we anticipated. But he might have just needed more time. And we just didn’t recognize that.

“I might have been as guilty as anybody regarding the promotion of that. But I believe in him fully. I know it’s going to happen. There’s been some really good major-league hitters that have gone through the same thing.” 

At this point, the Cubs (54-47) would love to see what kind of wrecking ball Schwarber could be for a half-season. To his credit, Schwarber has been the same throughout all the ups and downs, someone who looks and sounds like a guy you would drink tall boys with.

“I just want to worry about putting the barrel on the ball,” Schwarber said. “I’m just trying to stay within myself, be short (with my swing) and it’s paying off.”

Wake-up Call: Cubs take Crosstown Cup; Breakout season for Kevin White?

cubs_sox_wake-up_call.jpg
USA TODAY

Wake-up Call: Cubs take Crosstown Cup; Breakout season for Kevin White?

If Kyle Schwarber's back, the rest of the National League will have another reason to worry about the second-half Cubs

Kevin White is starting small to answer the big question: Can he break out in 2017?

White Sox continue dealing, trade Dan Jennings to Rays for prospect

NBA economic reality could speed up Bulls rebuild

Brewers whiffing on Jose Quintana may have changed everything for Cubs

Shunning hypotheticals, Bears aren’t setting a timetable for Pernell McPhee

Recovering from injury and switching positions, there's a lot on Kyle Long's plate at Bears training camp

Aaron Bummer on what it's like to get called up to the majors

Anthony Rizzo: More than talent needed for successful rebuild

Are Dabo Swinney and Joe Maddon BFF's?