Word on the Street: Payton biography means nothing to Urlacher

Word on the Street: Payton biography means nothing to Urlacher

Friday, Sept. 30, 2011
CSNChicago.com
Payton biography means nothing to Urlacher

Bear's Brian Urlacher hit the web and made his feelings known by posting a Facebook status about the recent unauthorized Walter Payton biography.

"For the record, the new Walter Payton unauthorized biography doesn't change my view on what 34 was or is. From one Bear to another - no matter what some jackass says in some book - I have the utmost respect for 34." (Facebook)

Red Wing suspended for hit on Ben Smith

An eight game suspension was given to Detroits Brendan Smith after Wednesday nights illegal hit to the head on Blackhawks forward Ben Smith. The tough punishment came after the NHL ruled the collision could have happened shoulder to shoulder, rather than the shoulder to head check that left Chicagos Smith unconscious. (ProHockeyTalk)

Brendan Shanahan explains the hit and suspension here:

Kings, Doughty finally agree on 8-year contract

Drew Doughty said it was only a matter of time until contract negotiation were finalized as he reassured fans and the media that he always planned to stay in LA. Doughtys new 8-year, 56 million contract now makes him the highest paid player on the Kings' roster.

Its a win-win for both sides the Kings got the longer contract they were looking for and Doughty received the pay raise he was fighting for. (ProHockeyTalk)
Dan Johnson left off Rays postseason roster

Dan Johnson shocked baseball fans after his big game-winning homer that saved the Rays season, but that apparently wasnt enough to get his name on the teams postseason roster. The Rays instead opted to keep three catchers on board and placed Elliot Johnson over the recent hero. (HardballTalk)

Hit on Cutler costs Packer 15,000

The NFL is charging Packers linebacker Eric Walden 15,000 for a shot to the head of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. The fourth quarter hit resulted in a roughing the passer penalty, wiping out an interception by cornerback Tramon Williams.

Walden has the right to appeal the fine and claims he did not land on Cutler or send him to the ground. (ChicagoTribune)

Kobe shows strong possibility of signing in Italy

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has reportedly reached a 3 million deal with Italian basketball team Virtus Bologna. The contract covers the first 40 days of the season, beginning on Oct. 9.

Although the deal hasnt been finalized, Bryant is set to get his work visa and return to Italy sometime next week to sign the contract. (ChicagoTribune)

The ‘friendly rivalry’ between Theo Epstein and Andrew Friedman with Cubs, Dodgers becoming NL superpowers

The ‘friendly rivalry’ between Theo Epstein and Andrew Friedman with Cubs, Dodgers becoming NL superpowers

LOS ANGELES – A man stepped to the microphone during a Q&A session at Cubs Convention and called Theo Epstein and Andrew Friedman “the two boy geniuses.” The fan told Epstein how his friends used to call the Dodgers baseball boss “your Mini-Me,” asking about their personal rivalry and if beating L.A. in the playoffs had any extra meaning.

“We have a friendly rivalry,” Epstein told a packed hotel ballroom in downtown Chicago in January. “First off, didn’t he interview for an internship with us and we turned him down way back in the day?

“And then like nine months later, he was GM of the Rays. When he was with Tampa and I was with Boston, we never spoke, because we were in the same division. It was kind of a heated rivalry. We literally never called each other on trades or anything like that.”

But where it’s so difficult for the small-market Rays to keep up with the ultra-rich Red Sox – and replace Friedman’s vision and Joe Maddon’s star power and survive a string of wasted first-round draft picks and find a long-term stadium solution – the Cubs and Dodgers are positioned to be superpowers for years to come.

That’s what makes this Memorial Day weekend showdown at Dodger Stadium so compelling beyond the National League Championship Series rematch. It’s not just upcoming free agent Jake Arrieta returning to the site of his onesie no-hitter on Friday night, a reigning MVP (Kris Bryant) and Rookie of the Year (Corey Seager), two of the best closers on the planet (Wade Davis and Kenley Jansen) and a classic Jon Lester vs. Clayton Kershaw matchup on Sunday afternoon.

The Cubs eliminated the Dodgers less than a month after Epstein finalized a five-year contract worth in the neighborhood of $50 million, likely surpassing Friedman as the game’s highest-paid personnel executive.

“Jed developed a pretty good relationship with him, because I didn’t like talking to him,” Epstein said, referencing GM Jed Hoyer, another Boston transplant on the Cubs Convention panel that day. “But then when I came out here with the Cubs, a different league and everything, I developed a much better relationship with Andrew and we became friends, so now it’s much more of a friendly rivalry.

“I will say that losing to the Dodgers would have been a bitter pill to swallow on a number of fronts, including that one. But they’re developing a powerhouse out there.

“We see them as a team we have to go through each year to get where we want to be.”

[MORE CUBS: Summing up the Cubs' impressive, potentially season-altering homestand]

Backed by Guggenheim Partners’ financial muscle and flush with new TV money, the Dodgers have won four straight division titles and 90-plus games each season while ramping up a farm system that’s now ranked fourth, fifth or sixth by Baseball America, ESPN and MLB.com.

“Everyone’s got their own style and their own approach,” Epstein said. “Ours was more kind of bottom-up (where) they needed to keep it rolling at a high level in the big leagues while retooling their system and nurturing the talent that was already there.

“We had to go out and transact and bring some stuff in. We were at different points of the success cycle. They’ve done a really nice job of winning while kind of establishing something new at the same time.”

The blue-blooded franchise that produced 17 Rookie of the Year winners last month rolled out Cody Bellinger, a 21-year-old, left-handed first baseman with nine homers in his first 28 games in The Show. Julio Urias – who might be the next Fernando Valenzuela – is supposed to be conserving some innings at Triple-A Oklahoma City for another October where the Cubs could be standing in the way of the Dodgers’ first World Series title since 1988.

“They’ve been producing great young talent for a long period of time,” Epstein said. “If you go back and look at some of the young studs they have in the big leagues that (former scouting director) Logan White and (the previous regime) brought in, some of the guys are still coming.

“They’re stocked and the Dodger tradition runs really deep. With Andrew and his front office, we know they’re going to be dynamic. They’re going to have more resources than anyone. And they’re a big threat to the whole league for a long period of time.”

Could Derrick Rose reunite with Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota?

Could Derrick Rose reunite with Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota?

Tom Thibodeau was without Derrick Rose for the first time in his head-coaching career last season, coaching the Timberwolves while Rose suited up for the New York Knicks.

But a reunion may be on the horizon. Rose is an unrestricted free agent and the Timberwolves, though they don't have a real need at point guard, are showing interest in the Chicago native. We'll have to wait until July 1, when free agency begins, to see what happens.

See what special guest Nick Friedell, Bulls beat reporter for ESPN, had to say about the topic on SportsTalk Live in the video above.