Word: Who will be on the cover of Madden 12?

Word: Who will be on the cover of Madden 12?

Monday, April 4, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Madden cover tournament down to Elite Eight

This year, the lucky NFL-er who will grace the cover of Madden 2012 will be selected by a fan vote. The bracket-style voting has now reached the Elite Eight.

The eight who advanced in last week's round of voting are Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Patriots running back Danny Woodhead, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, Browns running back Peyton Hillis, Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.

This week, fans can cast their votes in four head-to-head competitions between players. The winner will be announced during the last week of April. (Pro Football Talk)

The Fridge gets his ring back

A 10-year-old boy from Pittsburgh made William "The Refrigerator" Perry a pretty happy guy.

Cliff Forrest used savings to buy The Fridge's Super Bowl XX ring from a sports memorabilia section of a sports bar in New York. Perry has never said whether he has lost, sold or auctioned off the ring to pay for medical expenses.

The boy heard of Perry's money problems and traveled to an autograph-signing in Chicago over the weekend and returned the ring to its owner. (WGN TV)
Quentin AL player of the week

Carlos Quentin has been named the first American League Player of the Week this season. CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider Brett Ballantini reports that the slugger went 6-11 in three starts over the weekend.

Through three games, Quentin leads the AL in batting average (.545) and is tied for the lead in doubles (three) and RBI (seven). (CSNChicago.com)

Castro shares NL player of the week honor

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro and Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia were named co-winners of the National League Player of the Week Award. Castro was leading the Majors with a .615 batting average and a .643 on-base percentage through the first three games of the season.

He also lead the NL with a 1.000 slugging percentage and 13 total bases.

This marks the first career NL Player of the Week Award for both Castro and Garcial. (mlb.com)

Rodman elected to HOF

Dennis Rodman is just the latest former Bull to join the ranks of the NBA's legends. The power forward joins the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2011.

Coaches Tex Winter, innovator of the Triangle offense, Stanfords Tara VanDerveer and Philadelphia Universitys Herb Magee were part of the class.

Longtime NBA and ABA star Artis Gilmore, former Portland TrailBlazers center Arvydas Sabonis and Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards also will be inducted. They are joined by Harlem Globetrotter Reece Goose Tatum and Boston Celtic Tom Satch Sanders. (AP)

Shaka Smart to stay at VCU

Shaka Smart will be staying in Virginia for a while longer. The Virginia Commonwealth coach signed a new deal with the university after it was reported that he removed his name from consideration for the head-coaching vacancy at North Carolina State.

"I'm extremely grateful for the belief that Dr. (Michael) Rao and (athletics director) Norwood Teague have shown and continue to show in our coaching staff and basketball program," Smart said in a statement issued by the school. (USA Today)

White Sox Minor League Report: Micker Adolfo tapping into power potential

White Sox Minor League Report: Micker Adolfo tapping into power potential

As part of a weekly series, presented by Ozinga, CSNChicago.com will highlight the top performances of several prospects in a weekly minor league report.

White Sox Blueprint Player of the Week: Micker Adolfo (OF), Kannapolis Intimidators

The White Sox are finally seeing the player they envisioned when they signed the No. 2 ranked international prospect in 2013.

As he still grows into his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame, Micker Adolfo has put his power potential on display in Kannapolis this season.

Adolfo has been on a tear throughout his last 10 games as he's hit .368 to go along with three home runs, seven RBI and four walks. 

On the season, Adolfo is slashing .286/.347/.493 and has already set career-highs in several categories, including home runs (8), RBI (35), hits (65), doubles (21) and runs (37).

Charlotte Knights

It looks like that nagging thumb injury is finally behind MLB's No. 1 prospect.

In his last 10 games at Charlotte, Moncada is batting .282 with a home run, six RBI and a stolen base. Moncada has also shown an impressive eye at the plate during that span, as he had a 12/11 BB/K ratio.

Birmingham Barons

It's spelled trouble for opposing hitters when Jordan Stephens has been on the mound in 2017.

The Texas-native has started three games since coming off the DL and carries an 0.98 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 18.1 innings pitched.

Stephens is currently MLB Pipeline's No. 14 White Sox prospect.

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Winston-Salem Dash

After a slow start following a promotion to Winston-Salem, the forgotten piece from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton trade has been on a tear.

In three June starts, Dane Dunning has allowed just three earned runs on 13 hits and has 23 strikeouts in 17.2 innings pitched.

DSL White Sox

Although he hasn't homered since his first game in the Dominican Summer League, Cuban outfielder Luis Robert has shown tremendous discipline in the batter's box. 

Robert has averaged one walk per game and has a .258 batting average in 10 games. He's also added four stolen bases on the season.

Great Falls Voyagers

A pair of players from the White Sox 2016 draft class have gotten off to hot starts in the Rookie League.

Anthony Villa, a 19th rounder out of St. Mary's, has a robust 1.777 OPS in his first four games and has belted two home runs and six RBI.

Infielder Luis Curbello, a sixth-round selection out of Cocoa High School in Florida, has a .429/.529/.714 slash line with a home run and two RBI.

What to make of Blackhawks blockbuster deals

What to make of Blackhawks blockbuster deals

Before the clock struck noon on a day Chicago was hosting its first ever NHL Draft, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman sent shockwaves throughout the city and hockey world by completing a pair of blockbuster trades within an hour of each other.

The first was dealing three-time Stanley Cup-winning defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to Arizona, and the second involving Artemi Panarin and Brandon Saad in a swap of talented wingers with Columbus.

This comes two days after the Blackhawks announced Marian Hossa will miss the 2017-18 campaign with a progressive skin disorder. That's three core players gone in the blink of an eye.

Who's ready for a new era in Chicago?

Rather than maximizing a championship window that was viewed as closing quickly, Bowman has elected to take a long-term approach and it might not be the worst idea.

There's no doubt the loss of Hjalmarsson, who remains one of the most underrated blue liners in the league, and Panarin, who finished in the top-10 in scoring among forwards in both of his first two NHL seasons, will sting.

But there's a good chance the Blackhawks wouldn't have been able to reward them with the pay raises they deserve after their contracts expire following the 2018-19 season, and that certainly played a huge role in the decision to head in a new direction.

In reacquiring Saad, the Blackhawks finally give Jonathan Toews that reliable left-winger they've desperately lacked since Saad was shipped out of town in 2015, providing balance throughout the top-six. Saad is also locked up for the next four years at a $6 million cap hit that will look better as time goes by.

For the last two years, the Blackhawks were known as a one-line scoring team thanks to the chemistry developed between Patrick Kane and Panarin.

The second-half emergence of Nick Schmaltz and familiarity Kane has developed with center Artem Anisimov has allowed Panarin to become expendable in their quest to solve their top-line woes. And that's not a bad consolation line, especially when you consider top prospect Alex DeBrincat could also be in the cards as early as this season.

On the back end, the Blackhawks receive a 24-year-old defenseman in Connor Murphy, who's also signed for the next four years at a $3.85 million cap hit, and carries a right-handed shot, something they've needed more of in the organization. While there will certainly be growing pains under Joel Quenneville, Murphy's ceiling is fairly high and gives the Blackhawks some speed coming out of their own zone.

In making both of these deals, the Blackhawks got younger in their attempt to keep up with a league that relies more on speed, addressing a few areas that Nashville exposed during their first-round sweep of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.

And while they may have sacrificed two key players in the short-term, the Blackhawks executed a plan that should keep the perceived championship window open longer than expected.