Word On the Street: Peppers fined 10k

Word On the Street: Peppers fined 10k

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Peppers fined 10K

Bears defensive end Julius Peppers was fined 10,000 by the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Sunday's NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field. The hit (pictured right) resulted in a 15-yard penalty. (ChicagoBreakingSports)
James Johnson to D-League
Despite an impressive pre-season showing, Bulls forward James Johnson received minimal playing time in the first half of the season. Johnson has been rumored to be on the trading block, but because he has only played in 12 games with limited success this season, teams seem hesitant to pull the trigger on a deal. As a result, Johnson is expected to be assigned to the Iowa Energy of the D-League, by his own request, where he can receive more playing time and showcase his talents.

When the Bulls do make the move official, it will be the first time that the Bulls have made use of the D-League since assigning Shannon Brown, Cedric Simmons, Demetris Nichols and JamesOn Curry to the Energy during the 2007-08 season. (CSNChicago.com)

IHSA suspends 7 area high schools

The Illinois High School Association suspended seven chicago-area high schools from state competition on Thursday for failing to attend town hallprincipal rules meetings for two consecutive years. The suspended schools are Chicago's Orr, Academy of Scholastic Achievement, Best Practice, Henry Ford Power House Charter and Las Casas, Plainfield's Christ Lutheran Academy and Rockford's Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

These schools were put on probation after failing to appear last year, and after missing this school year's meetings in November, they were given the chance to attend a pair of make up meetings this month. (Chicago Tribune)

NASCAR changing scoring system

NASCAR chairman Brian France announced on Wednesday that the racing league will be scraping the scoring system they have used since 1975 for a simpler format. The system will still be point-based, but the values of wins and finishing positions have been changed.

"Now everyone will know, when a driver is down by 10 points, that he needs to pass 11 more cars to take the lead in the point standings," France said. "We (had) a point system that's hard to describe for ourselves. We just thought this was the perfect time ... (to) simplify it so people can follow." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Noah getting closer to return

Noah and his Bulls teammates are beginning to get excited at the prospect of an early return. Noah is approaching the six-week mark after a surgery that was expected to keep him out of action for 8-12 weeks and though he is not yet ready to return, head coach Tom Thibodeau says he is ahead of schedule.

"The next step will be getting him on the court to do non-contact stuff," Thibodeau said. "He's probably a week or two away from that. Once he can get through the non-contact part of practice, then the next step will be contact in practice. When he gets through that, then he plays. He's still two steps away." (Chicago Tribune)

Morning Update: Bulls prep for Game 4; Cubs won; Sox lost

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AP

Morning Update: Bulls prep for Game 4; Cubs won; Sox lost

Here are some of Saturday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Five Things to Watch: Bulls battle Celtics in Game 4 today on CSN

Preview: Cubs look to sweep Reds on CSN

White Sox scoreless streak hits 23 innings in loss to Indians

No clear options for Fred Hoiberg at point guard

Two days later, Blackhawks still stunned, 'embarrassed' by quick exit

Cubs offense explodes with three home runs in victory over Reds

Stan Bowman 'completely, completely disappointed' with Blackhawks

White Sox prospect Carson Fulmer: 'Our time is coming soon'

Still in mourning, Isaiah Thomas dictates pace, delivers for Celtics

Jacob May gets 'Harambe' off his back with first career hit

Jacob May gets 'Harambe' off his back with first career hit

Jacob May gets 'Harambe' off his back with first career hit

Jacob May earned his first career hit on Saturday night when he singled up in the middle against Cleveland Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco, ending an 0-for-26 start to his major league career. That lengthy stretch without a hit put a weight on May's back heavier than a monkey, as the cliché usually goes.

Instead, that weight felt like America's favorite deceased silverback gorilla. 

"It was kind of like having Harambe on my back," May, a Cincinnati native, said. "I was in a chokehold because I couldn't breathe as well. Now that he's gone, hopefully I can have a lot of success and help this team win.

In all seriousness, May felt an extraordinary relief when he reached first base. He said first base coach Daryl Boston looked at him and said, "Finally," when he reached first base, and when he got back to the dugout, he was mobbed by his teammates and hugged by manager Rick Renteria.

Before anyone could congratulate him in the dugout, though, May let out a cathartic scream into his helmet.

"I was just like oh, man, I let loose a little bit," May said. "This locker room, every'one has kind of helped me out and brought me aside, and told me to just relax. It's a tough situation when you are trying to impress instead of going out there and having fun. Just kind of got to release all that tension built up."

May only had the opportunity to hit because left fielder Melky Cabrera injured his left wrist in the top of the seventh inning (X-Rays came back negative and Cabrera said he should be able to play Sunday). May didn't have much time to think about having to pinch hit for Cabrera, who was due to lead off the bottom of the seventh, which Renteria figured worked in his favor.

"When we hit for Melky, I was talking to (bench coach Joe McEwing), I said, 'He's not going to have anytime to think about it. He's going to get into the box and keep it probably as simple as possible,'" Renteria said. "I don't think he even had enough time to put his guard on his shin. He just got a pitch out over the middle of the plate and stayed within himself and just drove it up the middle, which was nice to see. Obviously very excited for him."

When May reached first base, he received a standing ovation from the crowd at Guaranteed Rate Field, too, even with the White Sox well on their way to a 7-0 loss to the Indians. It's a moment May certainly won't forget anytime soon, especially now that he got Harambe off his back.

"I kind of soaked it all in," May said. "It was probably one of the most surreal, best experiences of my life."