CSN celebrates the holidays with a full line-up of classic games & special shows!

CSN celebrates the holidays with a full line-up of classic games & special shows!

COMCAST SPORTSNET CELEBRATES THE HOLIDAY SEASON

WITH A FULL LINE-UP OF CLASSIC GAMES & SPECIAL SHOWS ON DEC. 24 & 25!
Chicago, IL (December 20, 2011) -- Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, is celebrating the holiday season in a big way with two, full daysnights of thrilling Classic game telecasts, brand new specials, live post-game programming, up-to-the-minute local sports news & highlights and much more on Christmas Eve (Sat, Dec. 24) and Christmas Day (Sun, Dec. 25). Check out the following action-packed line-uponly on Comcast SportsNet!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24

3:00 PM White Sox Classics (from July 31, 1991) Down 8-6 with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, new White Sox manager Robin Ventura blasted a walk-off grand slam against the visiting Texas Rangers in one his finest on-field performances; Ventura went 4-6 w5 RBI.
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse (L) The latest news, interviews and highlights from the Chicago sports scene and from around the nation.
7:00 PM Blackhawks TV Brand new episode of this Emmy award-winning series featuring the latest behind-the-scenes coverage of the NHLs hottest team!

7:30 PM Bulls Classics presented by Honda (NBA Playoffs - E. Conf. FinalsGm. 4 from May 31, 1993) Michael Jordan shined brightly once again with a dominant 54-point performance against the NY Knicks that tied this series at 2-2.

10:00 & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central (L) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports.

11:00 PM The Making of the Luvabulls Re-airing of the final two episodes from Comcast SportsNets acclaimed behind-the-scenes look at one of the NBAs most talented dance teams.

12:00 AM SportsNet Central (L) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25

1:00 PM Cubs Classics (from Apr. 23, 2011) Cubs storm back to score five runs in the bottom of the 8th to post a solid 10-8 victory against the visiting LA Dodgers.

4:30 PM Inside Look: Tom Ricketts presented by Cadillac Premiere airing featuring the exclusive one-on-one interview with Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, conducted by Cubs PrePost Game Live host David Kaplan.
5:00 PM Kendall vs. Kustok presented by Chicago Home Fitness Its former NBA standoutcurrent Comcast SportsNet Bulls PrePost Game Live studio analyst Kendall Gill vs. former prepscollegiate star athlete, now current SportsNet Central reporteranchor Sarah Kustok, along with their respective teams, taking on the Chicago Fitness Challenge. Tune in to see whose team wins!

6:00 PM Blackhawks TV (see Dec. 24 at 7:00 PM)

6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse (L) The latest news, interviews and highlights from the Chicago sports scene and from around the nation.
7:00 PM White Sox Classics (from June 3, 2011) The White Sox battled the visiting Detroit Tigers and pulled off a thrilling 6-4 win, thanks in part to homers from Quentin, Lillibridge & Pierre, along with a pair of defensive gems from Pierre and Morel.

10:00 PM GMC SportsNet Central (L) Complete game recaphighlights & more from the day in sports.

10:30 PM Bears Post Game Live presented by Illinois Back Institute (L) Immediately following the Bears-Packers game, be sure to tune into this 90-minute, live post-game show, featuring analysis from host Pat Boyle and a team of experts including Jim Miller, Dan Jiggetts and Howard Griffith. Bears Post Game Live also features live post-game press conferences with coaches and players from both teams with SportsNet Centrals Bears beat reporter Kip Lewis and CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John Moon Mullin providing immediate post-game interviews with Bears players inside & outside the locker room.

12:00 AM SportsNet Central: Sunday Night Slant (L) Complete game recaphighlights from the weekends NFL match-ups, along with a complete wrap-up of the entire day in sports.

PLUS Coming up on Comcast SportsNet next week

CHICAGO BULLS REGULAR SEASON OPENER on Thu, Dec. 29 as the Bulls face the host Sacramento Kings in Comcast SportsNets first regular season Bulls telecast of the season (McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live begins at 8:30 PM, tip-off at 9:00 PM)

CHICAGO BULLS HOME OPENER is on Comcast SportsNet on New Years DaySun, Jan. 1 as the Bulls face the Memphis Grizzlies (special one-hour edition of McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live will take place from the United Center beginning at 6:00 PM, tip-off at 7:00 PM)

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS action, featuring three live match-ups from the United Center: Mon, Dec. 26 vs. Columbus Wed, Dec. 28 vs. Los Angeles Fri, Dec. 30 vs. Detroit (Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live coverage begins at 7:00 PM each night)

In addition, viewers are also urged to visit Comcast SportsNets newly-enhanced website, CSNChicago.com, for the very latest BullsBlackhawksCubsWhite SoxBears news, game previewsrecaps, Insider reports, talent blogs, videos and much more, available 247.

Bears need to find solidarity on revamped offensive line

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Bears need to find solidarity on revamped offensive line

Overshadowed in the aftershocks of the Bears’ release of veteran guard Matt Slauson (and safety Antrel Rolle) was another roster trim this offseason that went largely ignored because four days earlier, the Matt Forte non-return had gone down. That was the release of Jermon Bushrod, as much a fixture for two years at left tackle as Slauson was at left guard.

Probably because Bushrod had been replaced by Charles Leno Jr. last season as the starter, Bushrod’s exit had been expected since mid-year as he struggled with injuries. Bushrod had voiced his own farewell address late in the season.

But Bushrod, as with Slauson, was a core member of a group that arguably needs to be closer-knit than any other position group. Bushrod and Slauson were mentors to Kyle Long and to even Leno as he was replacing Bushrod, if anyone needs a character testimonial.

While coaches and GM Ryan Pace are on record stating that the best five offensive linemen will start, which points to positions for each being determined through this offseason, that also demands cohesion, which the group had with Bushrod and Slauson.

Bears history is replete with solid centers who anchored and fused lines together: Jay Hilgenberg, Jerry Fontenot, Olin Kreutz, Roberto Garza, even Bulldog Turner and Mike Pyle, looking further back. One key was that each was the best lineman in the group, or close to the best. That makes leading easier, when you’re secure and very good.

Hroniss Grasu is neither at this point of his career. Manny Ramirez is a new guy and on a one-year deal at age 33. Meaning: Who is the linchpin of an offensive line on whom the healths of Jay Cutler, Jeremy Langford and others rest? Kyle Long is the Bears’ best offensive lineman and a force in more ways that just talent-wise.

The challenge for the Bears projects to be less finding talent to replace Slauson in particular, but finding the individual and collective character to make the whole thing work. This is about more than just the 2016 season.

Preview: White Sox aim for 20th win in series finale vs. Red Sox on CSN+

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Preview: White Sox aim for 20th win in series finale vs. Red Sox on CSN+

The White Sox aim for win No. 20 in their series finale against the Boston Red Sox tonight on Comcast SportsNet Plus. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Henry Owens (0-0) vs. Erik Johnson (0-0)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get your White Sox gear right here]

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with White Sox Pulse.

David Ortiz paces Red Sox past Carlos Rodon, White Sox

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David Ortiz paces Red Sox past Carlos Rodon, White Sox

Carlos Rodon hasn’t been too far off the mark in his outings early in 2016.

His April 18 start aside, the team’s 2014 first-round pick has thrown the ball very well. Yet six starts into his sophomore campaign, Rodon has a 1-4 record.

The young White Sox left-hander made only one big mistake on Wednesday night and Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz took advantage. Ortiz’s fifth-inning home run off a Rodon fastball got the Red Sox on track and they tacked on several runs late to snap a three-game winning streak for the White Sox, who fell 5-2 in front of 14,383 at U.S. Cellular Field. Jose Abreu homered, but that was all for the 19-9 White Sox, who were stymied by seven sharp innings from Clay Buchholz.

“Just one pitch, and that’s the name of this game I guess,” Rodon said. “One pitch changes the game pretty dramatically. That’s why people love baseball I guess.”

Rodon has discovered the importance of one pitch several times this season.

He threw an outstanding game in his first start at Oakland on April 6 only to be felled by an opposite-field homer by Mark Canha. In his last turn in Baltimore, Rodon was on cruise control before his defense did him in. Later in the contest, Rodon allowed another opposite-field blast to Nolan Reimold, which sealed the southpaw’s fate.

On Wednesday, Ortiz taught him a lesson after Rodon issued a two-out walk to Xander Bogaerts with the White Sox leading 2-1 in the fifth. Rodon left a 1-1 fastball over the plate and Ortiz turned on it and drove it 397 feet to right on a windy, cold night.

“Don’t throw a fastball down the middle to Big Papi,” Rodon said.

It was the sixth homer of the season and 509th of his career for Ortiz, who is set to retire after the season ends.

But Big Papi wasn’t done yet.

He followed a pair of one-out singles in the seventh inning with one of his own against Zach Duke. Ortiz beat a White Sox shift and dribbled a single through an open spot on the left side of the infield to drive in run No. 22 on the season and put Boston ahead 4-2. The Red Sox added another run in the eighth.

Ortiz, 40, is hitting .311/.404/.633.

“He comes up big in certain situations,” White Sox leadoff man Adam Eaton said. “Ortiz is a heck of a hitter, and he’s gonna make you pay.”

The White Sox couldn’t do the same with Buchholz, who entered the game 0-3 with a 6.51 ERA. Eaton said the right-hander kept them off-balance by using all five of his pitches. Buchholz appeared to have trouble keeping the ball down in the first as Eaton flew out deep to left ahead of a Jimmy Rollins single and Abreu’s two-run homer, his first since April 19. Abreu’s fourth homer snapped a 61-plate appearance drought and put the White Sox ahead 2-0.

But Buchholz settled in and retired 19 of the last 22 batters he faced, including 10 in a row.

He limited the White Sox to two runs and three hits while striking out six.

“We got off well there, Jimmy getting on and Jose hitting a homer, but we can’t stop there,” Eaton said. “You know as an offense you can’t stop there.”

A lack of run support has also been an early theme in Rodon’s starts.

The team has scored a total of 10 runs with Rodon on the mound in six starts. Entering Wednesday, his 2.1 run support average per nine innings ranked 67th among 73 qualified starters, according to baseball-reference.com.

The limited backing has often left Rodon -- who minus his April 18 start against the Los Angeles Angels has a 3.03 ERA -- susceptible to one mistake costing him the game.

“I think he learns something every time out there,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “There's something to be gained from it and for him, he's going to be better for it. He's got great stuff, a competitor and all that, but you always learn stuff as you're going through this. Even looking at Sale or Quintana, they're still doing things and you learn something every time you're out there. Carlos is no different.

“We know he's a good pitcher, but even the good ones run through tough stretches.”