Word on the Street: Urlacher fined; gingerbread Cubs

Word on the Street: Urlacher fined; gingerbread Cubs

Friday, Dec. 24, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Cubs on losing end of gingerbread game

In 1965, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs. Now, 45 years later, a group of Koufax admirers in Toronto chose to pay tribute to the historic event. And given the holiday season, decided to do so by building a gingerbread stadium and players.

The project began in August and required 20 pounds of sugar and nearly 10 pounds of flour to complete. The stadium is 30 by 40 inches complete with concession stand, scoreboard, players and fans. The human imitations are made of Gummy Bears and chocolate Santas. (thestar.com)
Rose, Bulls excited to be featured on Christmas

While one NBA superstar, LeBron James, was critical of the NBA for scheduling Christmas Day games while other sports take the holiday off, the Bulls are grateful to be playing on the holiday.

"I'm going to miss my family, and I hate being away from home," Derrick Rose said, "but this is my job and it's an honor to be playing on Christmas. People will see us all around the world. And we're playing in like the best arena in the league."

The Bulls have not played on Christmas since winning, 90-80, over the Miami Heat at the United Center back in 1997.

"It's for the fans," Carlos Boozer said. "We take great pride in being one of the teams that's featured." (chicagobreakingsports.com)

NFL fines Urlacher 10,000

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was fined 10,000 for hitting a defenseless receiver in the headneck area during Monday night's game vs. the Vikings in Minnesota.

Urlacher hit Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe too high during the Bears 40-14 victory and the league noted that it was his second offense this season.

In addition, safety Major Wright was fined 10,000 for leading with his helmet against Vikings QB Joe Webb and Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams received a 7,500 fine for a late hit on Jay Cutler. (chicagobreakingsports.com)

New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez will start vs. Bears...

...barring any late setbacks to his right shoulder. Sanchez has a slight cartilage tear in his throwing shoulder but took all of the first-team snaps in practice Friday. While Sanchez was confident he would start all week, Jets head coach Rex Ryan wasn't exactly sure on Thursday.

Of course, if Brett Favre can go from being listed as "out" on the injury report roughly five hours before kickoff to starting the game, anything is possible.

If Sanchez cannot play, veteran lefty Mark Brunell would start in his place. (nydailynews.com)

Clausen already out in Carolina?

Former Notre Dame and current Panthers quarterback is 1-8 as a starter in his rookie season and shows no signs of improvement as his first NFL campaign winds down. In Thursday night's 27-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Clausen went 10 of 23 for 72 yards with one interception and a passing rating of 33.2.

The Panthers will have one of the top-3 picks in the NFL Draft and a quarterback such as Stanford's Andrew Luck or Washington's Jake Locker might be too good to pass up. This certainly isn't the way Clausen and many Fighting Irish fans envisioned his career starting. (chicagobreakingsports.com)

Wake-up Call: Miggy gets the boot; Rodon's rocky debut; More bad news for Cubs?

miguel_montero_cubbies.jpg
AP

Wake-up Call: Miggy gets the boot; Rodon's rocky debut; More bad news for Cubs?

Where it all went wrong for Cubs and Miguel Montero

White Sox willing to overlook 'rough' patches as healthy Carlos Rodon returns

Kris Bryant’s sprained ankle is more bad news for Cubs: ‘You can’t cry about it’

Can Leonard Floyd break out in 2017? The Bears like the early signs

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What's next for Blackhawks as free agency looms?

Preview: Cubs wrap up series with Nationals today on CSN

Preview: White Sox host Yankees tonight on CSN

Bulls Talk Podcast: An NBA gone wild and Zach LaVine sit down interview

How Rick Renteria has tried to help White Sox players combat travel fatigue

What pushed Theo Epstein over the edge in making Miguel Montero decision: ‘It screamed out’

 

White Sox willing to overlook 'rough' patches as healthy Carlos Rodon returns

White Sox willing to overlook 'rough' patches as healthy Carlos Rodon returns

The two fastballs that soared to the backstop on Wednesday night should give you a strong indication that Carlos Rodon was far from perfect.

But in making his first start of the 2017 season, the White Sox pitcher also offered his team plenty of signals that his health isn’t going to be an issue.

Rodon returned to the mound for the first time since last September and brought the goods that made him one of baseball’s top pitching prospects several years ago. Given he’d missed three months with bursitis in the left shoulder and the potential value he offers to a franchise only half a season into its first rebuild in 20 years, that was plenty for the White Sox to overlook the rust Rodon showed in a 12-3 White Sox loss to the New York Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“He started a little rough early obviously, got some high pitch counts,” manager Rick Renteria said. “And then he kind of settled down.

“Having him back in the rotation and getting him back out there on the big league field, coming out of there feeling good, healthy. I'm sure he will continue to get better as he continues to get out there and move forward.”

Renteria said he wasn’t surprised that Rodon struggled with his command as much as he did against the Yankees. The issues the pitcher displayed in uncorking a pair of wild pitches, walking six batters and throwing strikes on only 41 of 94 pitches were also present during Rodon’s four rehab starts in the minors.

But as long as the stuff was there, the White Sox would be OK with any issues that accompanied the performance. Rodon began to alleviate those concerns immediately when he earned a called strike on the game’s first pitch with a 93-mph fastball to Brett Gardner. Featuring a four-seamer with an absurd amount of movement and a nasty slider he struggled to control, Rodon checked all the boxes the White Sox hoped for from a pitcher they believe will be a frontline starter for years to come. Rodon also was pleased by how he felt before, during and after the contest.

“I was pretty excited,” Rodon said. “I was going a little fast in the first. But it was good to be out there. Next time out, it’ll hopefully be a little better. Arm feels good, body feels good, all you can ask for.”

Well, it’s not ALL you can ask for, but it’s pretty damn good out of the gate given how slow Rodon’s return took. His four-seam fastball averaged 94.9 mph according to BrooksBaseball.Net and touched 97 mph. His two-seamer averaged 94.4 mph and touched 95. And his slider, though he couldn’t control it, nor locate it for a strike, averaged 86 mph.

“You could see (Omar Narvaez) going over to try to catch some balls that were having tremendous run,” Renteria said. “That's (Rodon). He's got some tremendous life, he's just trying to harness it the best that he can and being able to execute where he wants to get as many strikes as possible.”

[VIVID SEATS: Get your White Sox tickets here]

The strikes were about the only thing Rodon didn’t bring with him. He walked Gardner to start the game and issued two more free passes after a Tim Anderson error allowed a run to score and extended the first inning. Rodon threw 37 pitches in the first, only 15 for strikes.

He also reached a full count to each of the batters he faced in the second inning. Rodon walked two more with two outs in the third inning after he’d retired six batters in a row.

And there were those pesky first-inning wild pitches that resembled something out of ‘Bull Durham.’

But all in all, Rodon and the White Sox ultimately saw enough in the first outing to be pleased.

“Great stuff, great life, but the goal is to put it in the zone and let them swing it to get guys out early,” Rodon said. “That’s not what happened. I’ll get back to that.”

“It’s a tough loss, but it’s better to be with the guys out on the field grinding than sitting on the couch and watching, for sure.”