Word on the Street: Pappa wins MLS Player of the Week

Word on the Street: Pappa wins MLS Player of the Week

Monday, Sept. 3, 2011

Pappa wins MLS Player of the Week

As the Fire stands only three points out of the playoffs, they need all the on-field power the team can bring. Marco Pappa delivered just that, awarding him his first Player of the Week award. Pappa came out ready to fight, producing a hat trick, including one goal that nominated him for an AT&T Goal of the Week award. (chicago-fire.com)

Forte: contract situation is a distraction

The Bears can attribute much of their 34-29 win over the Panthers on Sunday to Matt Forte, but the running back has more than just a single game on his mind. With only one year left on his contract, the Bears have not continued talks of an extension.

Forte mentioned an earlier assertion that the Bears don't consider him to be an elite running back. He currently averages more total yards per game than any other running back in the league and wants to be treated by his team as a valuable player. (ProFootballTalk)

Illini's Brown suspended for unsportsmanlike conduct

Illini linebacker Jonathan Brown has been suspended for Saturday's game at Indiana after his unsportsmanlike conduct against Northwestern. Cameras caught Brown kneeing Wildcats offensive lineman Patrick Ward in the groin.

The Big Ten has released a public statement that supports the suspension and Brown has since apologized for his action. He will most likely be replaced by linebacker Houston Bates this weekend. (CSNChicago)

Pierzynski to join World Series coverage

Fox has announced the addition of White Sox A.J. Pierzynski to be part of their World Series coverage. He'll be joining Chris Rose and Eric Karros to help host studio shows, shocking many fans since he was also voted 'least favorite player in all of baseball'. (HardballTalk)

NBA: All or nothing on Tuesday

The countdown begins to finalize the fate of the NBA season everyone so anxiously awaits for. Tuesday's meeting in New York is expected to attract around ten owners and multiple players. If things don't go well, you can say 'adios' to the rest of the preseason and expect the regular season to be postponed as well. (ProBasketballTalk)

Sights and Sounds from Cubs visit to Donald Trump's White House

Sights and Sounds from Cubs visit to Donald Trump's White House

The 45th President of the United States Donald Trump welcomed the 2016 World Series champion Cubs to The White House on Wednesday afternoon.

While attendance was optional due to the Cubs already holding a formal ceremony with former President Barack Obama last January, several Cubs players and manager Joe Maddon attended Wednesday's gathering. 

Check out some of the sights and sounds from the Cubs busy day in D.C.

Vice President Mike Pence gets his own Cubs jersey.

Trump wants to know who the best hitter on the Cubs is so he can pick them up for his fantasy baseball team (we made up that last part).

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert crashes the party.

The Cubs display a card displaying No. 45 for President Trump.

Who is the Cubs owner in this picture?

Who is Victor Caratini? Breaking down the Cubs' new catcher

Who is Victor Caratini? Breaking down the Cubs' new catcher

Miguel Montero is out and Victor Caratini is in.

The Cubs made a shakeup at catcher Wednesday and will have to forge the last half of the 2017 season without the presence of veteran Montero, who has 1,149 MLB games under his belt and was hitting .286 with an .805 OPS this year.

But Montero talked his way out of town and Caratini is the immediate choice for a replacement behind starting backstop Willson Contreras.

[Where it all went wrong with Miguel Montero and the Cubs]

Caratini is a 23-year-old switch-hitter whom the Cubs acquired from the Atlanta Braves in 2014 as part of the Emilio Bonifacio/James Russell deadline deal. The Braves initially selected Caratini in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Miami-Dade College.

The Puerto Rican native has mostly played catcher (297 games) in his minor-league career, but has also seen time at first base (76 games) and third base (57 games). 

Caratini got his first taste of big-league spring training action this season, impressing with a .379 average and 1.175 OPS in 16 games (29 at-bats).

He is enjoying the best offensive season of his career in Triple-A Iowa, hitting .343 with a .384 on-base percentage and .923 OPS.

Caratini has already set a career high with eight home runs while clubbing 20 doubles and driving in 54 runs in 68 games. He also has only 40 strikeouts in 245 at-bats.

The Cubs named Caratini the organization's minor league player of the month in May after he drove in 17 runs in 24 games while hitting .366 with a .573 slugging percentage.

Caratini also should help the Cubs running game — an area where Montero was 0-for-31 in throwing out baserunners. Caratini has nabbed 28 percent of would-be basestealers in Iowa, a mark that is directly even with the MLB average.

Contreras is throwing out 34 percent of would-be basestealers in 2017.

Caratini figures to be the short-term answer for the Cubs at catcher given the organzation doesn't have many other options. Kyle Schwarber has not been a viable option behind the plate after recovering from major knee surgery that sapped almost his entire 2016 season. Taylor Davis — a 27-year-old catcher/infielder — is currently on the disabled list and has yet to make his MLB debut.