CSN, CSNChicago.com to deliver comprehensive White Sox & Cubs 2012 'Opening Week' coverage

CSN, CSNChicago.com to deliver comprehensive White Sox & Cubs 2012 'Opening Week' coverage

COMCAST SPORTSNET & CSNCHICAGO.COM TO DELIVER COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE FOR ITS 2012 WHITE SOX & CUBS OPENING WEEK TELECASTS

Expanded Coverage for White Sox SeasonRoad Opener on Apr. 6 & Home Opener on Apr. 13;
Expanded Coverage for Comcast SportsNets first Cubs telecast at Home on Apr. 7;

CSNChicago.com coverage highlighted by Opening Day prepost-game video reports, exclusive behind-the-scenes video, Plus - feature stories, talent blogs, in-game Twitter messages from Insiders & on-air talent and much more!

Chicago, IL (April 3, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs, will deliver expanded coverage for the 2012 White Sox seasonroad opener on Friday, April 6 featuring an expanded, one-hour, Opening Day edition of White Sox Pre-Game Live, an expanded edition of White Sox Post Game Live, along with complete coverage of MLBs Opening Day on Chicago Tribune Live & SportsNet Central! Comcast SportsNet will also have expanded coverage for its first Cubs game of the season on Saturday, April 7 and the White Sox Home Opener on Friday, April 13. Plus, Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, will provide fans with even more extensive Opening Week coverage, including exclusive behind-the-scenes Opening Week video from U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field, along with feature stories, talent blogs, videos, game previewsrecaps and much more. Also, every White Sox and Cubs home and road telecast on Comcast SportsNet will once again presented in high-definition (HD) all season long.

For the White Sox seasonroad opener on Friday, April 6, Comcast SportsNet will begin its marathon White Sox coverage beginning at 11:30 AM with an encore edition of its popular one-on-one interview series, Inside Look, featuring White Sox and Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. Following Inside Look, Comcast SportsNet will air a special one-hour Opening Day remote edition of White Sox Pre-Game Live from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX, beginning at 12 NOON. Then at 1:00 PM, the White Sox face the two-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers in the season opener featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone with the call. The game will be immediately followed by an expanded edition of White Sox Post Game Live, also live from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Note the following highlights from Comcast SportsNets White Sox Opening Day coverage on April 6:

FRIDAY, APRIL 6 on COMCAST SPORTSNET WHITE SOX OPENING DAY!

11:30 AM Inside Look: Jerry Reinsdorf Encore edition featuring the White Sox & Bulls Chairman
12:00 PM White Sox Pre-Game Live Expanded one-hour, pre-game coverage featuring Comcast SportsNets Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton LIVE from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX. Special Opening Day pre-game features include a scheduled live interview with White Sox GM Kenny Williams and new manager Robin Ventura, numerous interviews with White Sox players and coaches, a complete 2012 season preview focusing on the teams line-up and overall offensive roster, the pitching staff, team defense and much more.
1:00 PM WHITE SOX at TEXAS (L) Featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson & Steve Stone on the call
4:00 PM White Sox Post Game Live (time approx.) Hosted by Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton featuring the LIVE post-game press conference featuring new White Sox manager Robin Ventura, along with player interviews and complete post-game analysis.
4:30 PM Inside Look: Jerry Reinsdorf Encore edition featuring the White Sox & Bulls Chairman
5:30 PM Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan Hosted by David Kaplan; program will feature a thorough recap and analysis of the White Sox season opener
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse Complete game recap, highlights, interviews and more
7:00 PM White Sox at Texas (game replay)
10:00 PM & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central Comprehensive White Sox Opening Day local recap and national Opening Day recaps from around Major League Baseball

On Saturday, April 7, Comcast SportsNet will provide fans with extensive coverage of its first Chicago Cubs telecast of the 2012 season. Live coverage begins at 11:00 AM with an expanded, one-hour edition of Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live, which will take place remotely from Wrigley Field. At 12 NOON, the Cubs face the Washington Nationals with the game being immediately followed by an expanded edition of Cubs Post Game Live, presented by Horseshoe Casino. Note the following highlights from Comcast SportsNets first Cubs telecast of the 2012 season on April 7:

SATURDAY, APRIL 7 on COMCAST SPORTSNET CUBS vs. NATIONALS!

11:00 AM Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live Expanded pre-game coverage featuring Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan, Todd Hollandsworth and Gail Fischer LIVE from Wrigley Field. Special pre-game features include interviews with Cubs players and coaches on the upcoming season, along with Cubs front office exec interviews discussing their expectations for the season, plus - a special Whats New at Wrigley Field? segment with focus on the teams new bleacher set-up in right field, a complete offensivepitchingdefensive preview of the 2012 season and much more.
12:00 PM CUBS vs. WASHINGTON (L) Featuring Len Kasper & Bob Brenly on the call
3:00 PM Cubs Post Game Live, presented by Horseshoe Casino (time approx.) Hosted by David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth from the Comcast SportsNet studios featuring the LIVE post-game press conference featuring new Cubs manager Dale Sveum, player interviews and complete game analysis.
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse Comprehensive Cubs game recap, along with a complete recap of the day in sports.
7:00 PM Cubs vs. Washington (game replay)
10:00 PM & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central Comprehensive Cubs and White Sox game recaps, along with a complete recap of the day in sports.

Finally, viewers can also look forward to extensive coverage of the 2012 White Sox HOME OPENER on Friday, April 13. Comcast SportsNet will begin its Opening Day festivities coverage live from U.S. Cellular Field beginning at 12 NOON with a special, one-hour Home Opener edition of White Sox Pre-Game Live. Then at 1:00 PM, the White Sox face the defending AL Central champion Detroit Tigers featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone with the call. The game will be immediately followed by an expanded edition of White Sox Post Game Live. Note the following highlights from Comcast SportsNets White Sox Home Opener coverage on April 13:

FRIDAY, APRIL 13 on COMCAST SPORTSNET WHITE SOX HOME OPENER!

12:00 PM White Sox Pre-Game Live Expanded one-hour, pre-game coverage featuring Comcast SportsNets Chuck Garfien, Bill Melton and Sarah Kustok LIVE from U.S. Cellular Field. Coverage to include special Opening Day pre-game interviews with coaches, players and VIPs in attendance, a Whats New at U.S. Cellular Field? segment featuring the latest in-stadium highlights and offerings for Sox fans this season, plus Comcast SportsNet will carry the player and coaches introductions LIVE prior to the start of the game and much more.
1:00 PM WHITE SOX vs. DETROIT (L) Featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson & Steve Stone on the call
4:00 PM White Sox Post Game Live (time approx.) Hosted by Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton from the Comcast SportsNet studios highlighted by the LIVE post-game press conference featuring White Sox manager Robin Ventura, along with player interviews and complete post-game analysis.
5:30 PM Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan Hosted by David Kaplan; program will feature a thorough recap and analysis of the White Sox home opener
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse Complete game recap, highlights, interviews and more
7:00 PM White Sox vs. Detroit (game replay)
10:00 PM & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central Comprehensive White Sox Opening Day recap and more!

From an online perspective, Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, will deliver extensive Opening Week coverage and comprehensive 247 White Sox and Cubs coverage throughout the season, including the following highlights:

Live stream of Robin Ventura & Dale Sveums post-game press conferences from U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field
New-look White Sox & Cubs team pages offer the latest news, enhanced articles, player interviews, video, stats and more around the clock.
Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) will filing daily stories and video from Wrigley Field, as well as provide up-to-the-minute news via Twitter to bring fans closer to the game.
Cubs Talk blog will offer news, views and analysis from Cubs blogger Tony Andracki, Mooney, Cubs PrePost Game Live host David Kaplan (@thekapman) and Cubs analyst Todd Hollandsworth. Cubs fans can also follow key Twitter accounts, including @TonyAndracki23 and @CubsTalkCSN for news and updates.
White Sox Talk blog will offer news, analysis and features from White Sox blogger J.J. Stankevitz, Garfien and Bill Melton. White Sox fans can also follow key Twitter accounts, including @ChuckGarfien, @JJStankevitz and @WhiteSoxTalkCSN for news and updates.
Chuck Garfien will offer reports and insight via his wildly-popular Sox Drawer blog.
CSNChicago.coms White Sox & Cubs content will be featured on NBCSports.com and Hardball Talk throughout the week and throughout the 2012 MLB season.

'Yay me!': Cubs celebrate David Ross' 100th career homer

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'Yay me!': Cubs celebrate David Ross' 100th career homer

"Yay me!"

That's how David Ross announced his presence to the Chicago media Friday afternoon, almost four hours after hitting his 100th career homer.

Ross' three-run blast in the fourth inning (before a pair of rain delays lasting 93 minutes) helped lead the Cubs and Jon Lester to a 6-2 victory Friday.

"It was just my personal thing," Ross said. "It was nice to have a nice, round number. One hundred in The Show is pretty cool for me. But it affected the game and impacted the game, so it's even better. It wasn't just a blowout or a meaningless homer when you're down a bunch."

The Cubs have been counting down to 100 since last season and finally got to celebrate with "Grandpa Rossy," who sported a Papa Bear T-shirt after the game.

Joe Maddon gave Ross a bottle of wine and Lester gifted his personal catcher a bottle of champagne in a box signed by everybody on the roster.

"The boys were excited. I was excited," Ross said. "I think my favorite part while all this has been going on is rounding second base and looking in the dugout. Makes me smile every time seeing everybody so happy for me and counting down for me.

"They're as happy as I am, so that makes me feel good."

As soon as Ross made contact, he knew it was gone, slowly walking a few steps and uncharacteristically admiring it a bit before beginning his trot.

He got a curtain call, too, and he acknowledged hitting his 100th blast was extra special coming in front of the Cubs fanbase.

"I run down in the outfield before the game and ever since I hit 99, that's all I hear: 'Hit a homer, Grandpa,' I mean, nobody even knows my first name anymore," Ross joked.

"It was cool. There was even a David Ross sign a little girl had today. I mean, who doesn't like seeing that? Stuff like that is just really cool."

It was Ross' fourth homer of the season and he now has 17 RBI and an .828 OPS. Compare that to the 39-year-old's one homer, nine RBI and .519 OPS last season.

"It's awesome," Lester said. "Obviously, going into last year, we all knew where he was. I did. He'll admit: He didn't swing the bat like he wanted to last year.

"It's just nice to see him feel comfortable and be the old Rossy. I'm glad he did it. It's kinda nice he did it the day I was pitching to add a little bit to it."

Ross' 100th homer ball wound up glancing off the Nuveen sign in left field and wound up on Waveland. The fan that ended up with it only asked for a photo with Ross in return.

"Who wants a picture of me?!" Ross laughed. "I'm surprised he didn't ask for [Kris Bryant] or [Anthony Rizzo] or something like that. Again, yay me!"

White Sox change their minds, Chris Sale to start Sunday

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White Sox change their minds, Chris Sale to start Sunday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Robin Ventura changed his mind and Chris Sale will now face the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon.

The White Sox manager announced his decision Friday afternoon, a little less than 24 hours after the club said it would keep its rotation in order following Thursday’s rainout. Rather than face Kansas City, the choice meant that Sale would have been pushed back and faced the New York Mets on Monday instead.

But as Ventura and his coaching staff discussed their options (he had five pages full of potential rotation options on Thursday), ultimately it made the most sense for Sale to face a divisional opponent. Sale is set to face Edinson Volquez in the series finale at 1:15 p.m.

“This is the better play,” Ventura said. “(Sale) didn’t throw very much the other day. We have a division team. A lot of things going into it. Just keep him on schedule and keep him pitching. It’s that simple.

“You play these guys a lot. They’re in your division. You have a chance for (Sale) to still go out there. You look at it with what he did the other day. It made a little more sense to have him go Sunday.”

Sale lost for the first time in 10 starts all season on Tuesday. He threw only 89 pitches against the Cleveland Indians, which has the White Sox comfortable with keeping him on schedule and working on a normal four days of rest instead of needing another.

“He was out of the game quicker than usual last time so we can do it,” pitching coach Don Cooper said. “We feel good about Sale against anybody. Division team, that might have had something to do with it.”

The White Sox said Jose Quintana would start Monday against the Mets with Mat Latos on Tuesday and Friday’s starter, Miguel Gonzalez, throwing on Wednesday.

No matter what happens in Friday’s game, Ventura said he likely plans to stick with Carlos Rodon against the Royals on Saturday and Sale on Sunday.

Jorge Soler's power shines through rainy Cubs victory

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Jorge Soler's power shines through rainy Cubs victory

Jorge Soler picked the perfect walk-up song for 90s Music Day at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs outfielder strolled up to Snap's "I've Got the Power" and promptly delivered on that claim by driving in the first two runs of an eventual 6-2 Cubs victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday at Wrigley Field that included a 56-minute rain delay in the seventh inning and another delay in the ninth lasting 37 minutes.

In the first inning, Soler muscled a ball through the dampened infield to drive home Ben Zobrist and then crushed a 1-2 pitch 461 feet in the fourth, becoming the second player ever (see: Bryant, Kris) to hit the left-field scoreboard in a game at Wrigley.

Four batters later, David Ross crushed his 100th career home run out onto Waveland Ave., a three-run shot that broke the game open for the Cubs.

Bryant followed with another blast onto Waveland in the fifth inning, providing all the offense Jon Lester and the Cubs bullpen needed on the afternoon.

Lester allowed only two runs (one earned) in 6 1/3 innings, striking out seven and surrendering six hits and a pair of walks.

The unearned tally against Lester came on a sacrifice fly from Maikel Franco immediately after Dexter Fowler and Javy Baez each made an error on the same play, setting up runners at second and third and one out in the third inning.

Lester's second run came in the seventh after he exited the ballgame following a double from Odubel Herrera. Trevor Cahill allowed two straight singles to plate Herrera before getting out of the inning with back-to-back strikeouts.

Lester improved to 5-3 and lowered his ERA to 2.48 in the process, rebounding nicely from a rough start (five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched) in San Francisco last weekend.

Soler's game Friday continued his recent hot streak. He's gone 9-for-26 over the last nine games with two doubles, three homers, six RBIs, eight runs and four walks.

In that time, Soler has raised his average 40 points from .174 to .214 and his OPS 162 points to .692 on the season.