Word on the Street: Gibson to start v. Clippers?

Word on the Street: Gibson to start v. Clippers?

Friday, Dec. 17, 2010
Gibson likely to start v. Clippers

With Bulls' center Joakim Noah out for between eight and 10 weeks, Taj Gibson will be called on to pick up much of the slack. Coach Tom Thibodeau said, though it's not yet definitive, Gibson will likely start on Saturday night against the Clippers. Gibson, of course, started the majority of last year as well as earlier this year while Boozer was out with his hand injury.

"The one thing I do like about Taj is his shot-blocking is terrific. He protects the front of the rim. His team defense is excellent," said Thibodeau. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Harvin to start v. Bears

When the Bears and Vikings take the frozen field at TCF Bank Stadium on Monday night, Percy Harvin will be there. Harvin has missed the last two games for the Vikings due to migraines that have plagued him for the majority of the season, however he now says he expects to play on Monday night against the Bears.

"Feeling great now," Harvin said Friday in the locker room before practice. "I had a bad two weeks. I think the last week was more precautionary, seeing how I react to a lot of the new medicines I was on." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Briggs unhappy with venue
Lance Briggs voiced his displeasure with the league's choice of venues for the upcoming Monday night game between the Bears and Vikings after practice on Friday.

"I really hope that the representatives from the NFLPA voice our concerns about playing there...Some of the things that make me scratch my head all the time," Briggs said. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Blackhawks sign Johnson

The Blackhawks have signed center Ryan Johnson to a one-year contract. Johnson, who had been with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League on a tryout basis, will wear No. 17 and may play Friday night against the Red Wings. Prior to playing in the AHL, Johnson played with the Panthers, Lightning, Blues, and Canucks in the NHL. (Blackhawks.nhl.com)

Greinke fires agent; wants out of KC

Former Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke fired his agent on Friday, the clearest sign to date that he wants out of Kansas City. Frustrated with losing, Greinke became disengaged from his team at multiple points throughout the 2010 season. Through his now-seven full seasons with the Royals, his team has yet to muster even a single winning season. In fact, he has only experienced one season in which his team lost less than 90 games. (FoxSports)

Yoan Moncada 'relieved' to get first White Sox hit out of way

Yoan Moncada 'relieved' to get first White Sox hit out of way

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Yoan Moncada can’t complain much about his first hit with the White Sox.

Given all the elements, it rates about a 9 1/ 2 out of 10. Only a homer would have been better.

Baseball’s top prospect continues to look comfortable at the plate and in the field. Two days after he made his team debut, Moncada earned his first hit when he ripped a two-out, bases-loaded triple early in Friday night’s 7-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Moncada finished 1-for-4 with four RBIs.

“Once I got that first hit, I felt relieved,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “First, because it was the first one. And second because of the situation. It was a three RBIs triple. It was a very big moment of the game. I think that from now on I’m going to feel more relaxed and comfortable.”

Moncada has put together a series of good plate appearances in his first two games. He’s looked at ease while in the box and hasn’t panicked even when he gets behind in the count. Moncada said he felt even more comfortable when he stepped in to face Royals starter Ian Kennedy in the third inning. Not only was it his second time facing Kennedy, but Moncada sat in the on-deck circle as Matt Davidson drew a 10-pitch walk to load the bases with two outs.

Hitting left-handed, Moncada fell behind 0-2 in the count but Kennedy hung a 78-mph knuckle curve and the rookie lined it deep into the left-center field gap to clear the bases. Moncada not only showed his power, he also showed off his wheels: his 11.24 seconds from home to third was the fastest time by a White Sox player this season, according to MLB Statcast.

“He's seeing the ball,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He seems pretty calm, composed out there. It's just a couple of days, but in terms of how he's carrying himself, his body language, he seems to be transitioning pretty well up to this point, first couple of days.”

Moncada said Friday was much calmer than his Wednesday debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he drew a walk and went 0-for-2. The switch-hitting second baseman had an RBI groundout in his first at-bat Friday to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. Then he stood in and tracked Kennedy with Davidson at the plate.

All in all, Moncada’s happy with how he’s executed his plan at the plate thus far. He said he choked up on the 0-2 pitch and put a good swing on it.

“That at-bat gave me more time to see in real life his pitches,” Moncada said. “I’ve been feeling very comfortable. In Chicago, that first game, it was a little bit nervous. But overall I feel very comfortable hitting and with my defense.”

Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez rings NASDAQ closing bell

Chicago Fire

Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez rings NASDAQ closing bell

As part of the hype for the MLS All-Star Game, Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez and a handful of Major League Soccer cohorts made a trip to New York on Friday.

Rodriguez rang NASDAQ's closing bell. The MLS All-Star Game will take place at Soldier Field on Aug. 2.

Check out the photos from the occasion.