Word on the Street: Sandberg to Philly?

Word on the Street: Sandberg to Philly?

Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Sandberg to Philly?

After striking out in his quest to become the Cubs next manager, Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg may be returning to the triple-A level to manage; but not here. The Daily Herald reports that both the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies have openings at the triple-A level. Sandberg refused to discuss which teams have contacted him, but said that there are a number of major and minor league teams are interested.

Additionally, MLB.com is reporting that the Phillies are interested in Sandberg for their vacant managerial spot with the triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (The Daily Herald, MLB.com)

NHL All-Star captains pick rosters

Changes to the all-star game will be announced in the next couple of days. The NHL and the players association have been kicking around ideas to try and make the game fun. It appears they will still have fans vote for the top six starters, then put together a master list of players to fill out the roster and have the captains make the selections. Beyond that, they want to find a way to make the game more competitive, but still fun.The idea of a coach's challenge to have a missed call on the ice reviewed one-time in a game was presented by former Blackhawks and current Florida GM Dale Tallon, but was quickly dismissed. (cbc.ca)
Former Bull Quintin Dailey dead at 49

Former Chicago Bull Quintin Dailey died on Monday in Las Vegas. He was 49. Dailey died in his sleep at his home, according to the Las Vegas Journal Review. A cause of death has not been confirmed.

Dailey, who remains the all-time single-season scoring leader in Bay Area Division I history, was also one of the reasons why USF stunned the sports world by shutting down its basketball program.

Dailey had a tumultuous 10-year NBA career after being drafted No. 7 overall by the Chicago Bulls in 1982. Dailey averaged 14.1 points per game during his pro career, but had off-court troubles that included violating the NBA's drug policy twice for cocaine use. (mercurynews.com)

Polamalu: NFL needs a committee for fines

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said Tuesday morning that the NFL needs to create a committee to deal with fining players for illegal hits. The current system, he says, is flawed and unfair.

The other problem is that when I appeal a fine, or anybody appeals a fine, we appeal it to the same person who gave you the fine." said Polamalu during his appearance on the Dan Patrick Show. "So its like a police officer pulling you over for speeding and you telling him I didnt speed; you get the fine, you know?" (CSNChicago.com)

Stafford out for the season?

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has been plagued by injuries throughout his short NFL career, may be out for the season after separating his shoulder in the Lions' 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. Stafford underwent and MRI on Monday and will seek a second opinion, but preliminary tests reportedly show a "Grade 3" separation.

"I've got to talk some more with these doctors and kind of figure out what they're thinking,'' Stafford said Monday evening on a Detroit radio program. "It's kind of frustrating to be coming back and, two games later, be knocked out again. We'll take it day by day and figure out what the plan is.'' (Mlive.com)
Packers' Collins fined for hit

Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins was fined 50,000 by the NFL on Monday for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams on Sunday. The league said that Collins "violently and unnecessarily struck a defenseless receiver" and that the hit was a "flagrant violation of player safety rules."

Despite what the NFL thinks, though, Williams doesn't think there was anything wrong with the hit. "Commissioner Goodell, don't fine the guy," Williams said after the game on Sunday. "It wasn't that bad of a deal, he shouldn't get fined. It was a football play, a football player making a football play. No injury, no harm." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Kyle Hendricks is back, but Cubs will likely have to wait for their next shot at Yu Darvish

Kyle Hendricks is back, but Cubs will likely have to wait for their next shot at Yu Darvish

Within the first several weeks of the Theo Epstein administration, the Cubs finished second in the Yu Darvish sweepstakes, though nowhere close to the $51.7 million the Texas Rangers bid for the exclusive rights to negotiate a six-year, $60 million deal with the Japanese superstar.

The Cubs will probably have to wait a few more months for their next shot at Darvish, who is “unlikely to move” before the July 31 trade deadline, a source monitoring the situation said Monday. Darvish means enough to the franchise’s bottom line as a box-office draw and magnet for corporate sponsors that the Rangers would be reluctant to trade a player with global appeal and potentially jeopardize that relationship heading into free agency this winter.

Beyond the possible impact on re-signing Darvish, that would also mean foreclosing on a season where Texas is only 2.5 games out of an American League wild-card spot, making this final week critical to the buy-or-sell decision.

The Cubs would obviously prefer to stay out of the rental market after shipping two top prospects to the White Sox in the Jose Quintana deal. Quintana’s reasonable contract – almost $31 million between next season and 2020 once two team options are picked up – creates financial flexibility for a free-agent megadeal (Darvish?) or the next big-time international player.

But the cost of doing business with the White Sox probably means the Cubs wouldn’t have the super-elite prospect to anchor a trade for Darvish, anyway. That would be another obstacle in any possible deal for Sonny Gray, with an AL source saying the New York Yankees are going hard after the Oakland A’s right-hander (and have a deeper farm system and a greater sense of urgency after missing on Quintana).

All that means Kyle Hendricks could function as the trade-deadline addition for the rotation, with the Cubs instead trying to shorten games and deepen their bullpen by July 31.

After spending more than six weeks on the disabled list, the Cubs activated Hendricks for the start of this week’s crosstown series, watching him pitch into the fifth inning of Monday’s 3-1 loss to a White Sox team that had lost nine straight games.

[Willson Contreras may be ‘the f------ Energizer Bunny,’ but Cubs still need to get another catcher before trade deadline]

Hendricks is a rhythm/feel pitcher who blossomed from an overlooked prospect in the Texas system into a piece in the buzzer-beater Ryan Dempster deal at the 2012 deadline into last year’s major-league ERA leader.

Hendricks clearly isn’t locked in yet. He gave up eight hits, but minimized the damage against the White Sox, allowing only one run while putting up five strikeouts against zero walks.

“He wasn’t as normal,” manager Joe Maddon said. “The velocity was still down a little bit. There was not a whole lot of difference between his pitches. He was not what you would call ‘on.’ He would be the first one to tell you that. He looked fine delivery-wise, but the ball just wasn’t coming out as normal.”

Hendricks described his fastball command as “terrible,” called his secondary pitches “OK” and ultimately came to this conclusion: “Health-wise, everything felt great, so we’ll take that. Just got to get back (to my routine).”

The biggest takeaway is Hendricks didn’t feel any lingering effects from the right hand tendinitis that was initially classified as a minor injury in early June. Meaning the Cubs (51-47) are just about at full strength and have another week left to upgrade the defending World Series champs.

Notes from the rewatch: Why can't the Fire score against bunkering defenses?

Notes from the rewatch: Why can't the Fire score against bunkering defenses?

It’s no secret that the Chicago Fire have struggled against teams that bunker in defensively and wait for the Fire to come to them.

Saturday’s loss at New York City FC was another example of that. The hosts were at full strength for less than 11 minutes and still outscored the Fire after Yangel Herrera was sent off for a second yellow card.

Coach Veljko Paunovic is well aware of his team’s struggles against the defensive strategy New York utilized. He has spoken about it, but there hasn’t been any improvement.

Here’s a look at what went wrong for the Fire in The Bronx.

How the game played at full strength

This game was yet another missed opportunity to see how the Fire stack up against a quality opponent. Add this game to that list along with the time FC Dallas sent its B-team to Toyota Park and when Orlando suffered two red cards when the Fire played in Florida.

The Fire looked a bit sluggish to start. NYCFC had the early possession edge and should have had a penalty kick called after Bastian Schweinsteiger was stripped of the ball and Johan Kappelhof tackled Herrera in the box, but got away with it. It would have been interesting to see if the Fire could adjust, but things obviously changed after the red card.

The rest of the first half

Despite turning the man advantage into solid control of the possession battle, the Fire weren’t turning the possession into shots in the first half.

The Fire managed just three shots in the first half and all three were from well outside the box. One of them probably wasn’t even a shot. Johan Kappelhof took a low drive just before halftime that was deflected by a defender and forced Sean Johnson into a tough save.


The Fire spent too much time cycling the ball around and not making an incisive pass. As has been the case in the two previous games that were similar to this (at Orlando and the Open Cup loss in Cincinnati), Dax McCarty was not there for the Fire. McCarty’s ability to quickly push the ball forward via a pass is something the team has continued to miss without him. The Fire have looked competitive, and at times good, without him, but the dropoff from how the Fire play with him as opposed to without him builds a strong argument that McCarty is the team MVP.

The Fire settled for too many crosses without McCarty’s forward passing ability. They are credited with completing just one cross in seven attempts in the first half. It didn’t help that Brandon Vincent picked up an injury in warmups and was replaced by Michael Harrington in the lineup. On top of that, Schweinsteiger was uncharacteristically sloppy.

Things changed when David Accam entered

It’s not clear why David Accam didn’t start for the Fire, but they definitely played better once he entered as a halftime sub for Luis Solignac.

Of course, Accam’s entrance also coincided with the Fire’s defense going AWOL for the first five minutes of the half, but he did bring the team back into the game with a miraculous long-range strike that went in off the bottom of the crossbar.

Accam didn’t complete many passes (9 for 14), but he was credited with five successful dribbles. That was more than the rest of the team combined in the second half.

His ability to take players on in one-on-one situations was an important asset with NYCFC defending with numbers and conceding possession to the Fire. Paunovic brought on young players Djordje Mihailovic and Daniel Johnson, both offensively-minded players who are willing to take risks to create chances.

The Fire cranked up the heat with 20 shots in the second half, including 11 from the 76th minute on, but it wasn’t enough to break down NYCFC’s defense.

Paunovic and Co. will have to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to score against teams that play the way New York did on Saturday.