Word on the Street: Cubs to consider Cliff Lee?

Word on the Street: Cubs to consider Cliff Lee?

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Cliff Lee to the Cubs?

It may be unlikely, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote Friday that the Cubs could be among the three or four potential suitors for the lefty this offseason. Over the last two seasons, Lee has led two different clubs through the difficult final months of the regular season and deep into the playoffs. Sherman speculates that his success in leading the Phillies and Rangers deep into the postseason could spur more teams into the hunt for Lee this winter - including the Cubs. (NYPost)

Blackhawks recall Brophey

The Chicago Blackhawks have recalled forward Evan Brophey from the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs.

Brophey, 23, has appeared in all six of Rockford's regular-season contests this season, scoring two goals and pacing the IceHogs with a 4 rating. Chicago's fourth selection (68th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, the Kitchener, Ontario, native has registered 36 goals and 56 assists over the course of 238 career regular-season AHL tilts with Rockford from 2007-10. (sbnation.com)
NBA looks to cut salary by 800 million

Sports fans may find themselves in a strange predicament in 2011 as both the NBA and NFL seem to be heading towards lockouts. The NBA, which currently spends 2.1 billion per year on player salaries and benefits, wants to cut player salaries by around 800 million to help make the league profitable once again. The league claims it lost 400 million last year and expects to lose about 350 million this year.

"We would like to get profitable, have a return on investment," NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday. "There's a swing of somewhere in the neighborhood of 750 to 800 million that we would like to change." (NY Daily News)

NFL: Favre investigation ongoing

The NFL says it is still investigating allegations that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre sent inappropriate photos and text messages to former New York Jets game hostess Jenn Sterger in 2008 when Favre played for the team. Sterger's manager told the Associated Press that she is "strongly considering" talking to the NFL officials conducting the investigation. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Sox's Hahn not going to New York

The New York Mets said Friday that they have narrowed their search for a new general manager to two names; Sandy Alderson and Josh Byrnes. White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn had previously been rumored to be a candidate for the job but is now apparently out of the running. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Briggs likely to play vs. Redskins

Though he was limited in practice on Thursday, it looks like Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs will be healthy enough to play in Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins. Briggs was held out of last week's game against Seattle with a sprained ankle.
(NationalFootballPost.com)

Ex-Rams WR: Martz can be too stubborn

Ex-Rams wide receiver Ricky Proehl played under Mike Martz for five years in St. Louis, including the 1999 "Greatest Show on Turf" Super Bowl championship season. Proehl, no doubt, benefited from Martz's pass-heavy offensive mindset, but as he told "The Danny Mac Show" on WSCR-AM 670, he believes Martz is sometimes too stubborn for his own good.

Proehl pointed to something Martz told the Rams during their 20-17 Super Bowl XXXVI loss to the New England Patriots.

"New England did a great job game-planning our offense and they showed blitz and dropped into zone," Proehl said. "They basically rushed three and dropped eight. His comment was, "We're going to throw the football anyway," and that kind of upset us as players." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

More ex-Hawks get their rings

Blackhawks vice president Alan Maclsacc flew to Atlanta on Friday to personally deliver Dusting Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Andrew Ladd, John Torchetti and Ben Eager their 2009 championship rings. (Chicago.SBNation.com)

Cubs to sign Adam Dunn?

Baseball agent Matt Sosnick said in an interview that he believes the Cubs are the most likely destination for free agent outfielderfirst baseman Adam Dunn. Dunn played for the Nationals in 2010 and put up a .260 batting average with 38 homers and 103 runs batted in.

"If I was going to guess, I would say Adam Dunn is probably going to the Cubs, and he'll probably get, you know, 3 years and 40 million bucks," said Sosnick. (ChicagoNow)

Chris Sale ties career-high 17 wins as White Sox power past Rays

Chris Sale ties career-high 17 wins as White Sox power past Rays

Chris Sale had no trouble earning his 17th win of the season, tying his career-high set in 2012.

The White Sox offense powered past the Tampa Bay Rays 13-6 on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, improving their record to 76-81 on the season.

Sale pitched seven innings and recorded seven strikeouts. He also allowed three earned runs on eight hits. It was Sale’s 16th career game with at least seven strikeouts and no walks, according to CSN’s stat guru Chris Kamka.

“I think the whole team and organization takes him for granted, to be sure. I think he’s a heck of a competitor,” Adam Eaton said of Sale prior to Tuesday’s game. “He’s one of the best in the game of baseball and I think we should look at him as such. And when I say take for granted, it’s not a slander on anybody. You just get used to him going seven, eight innings, throwing 115 pitches and giving his best effort day in and day out. He’s definitely not the usual, for sure.”

The White Sox extended their winning streak to four games. The last time they won four consecutive games was July 23-26 against the Cleveland Indians and Cubs. The White Sox had winning streaks of at least four games three times in their first 33 games of the season.

Eaton went 2-for-5 with two runs, an RBI and a double in his return to the lineup after missing three games with an injury.

[SHOP: Get your White Sox gear right here]

Tim Anderson got things started with an RBI single in the first and RBI double in the second. Anderson also added a solo homer in the eighth inning.

Melky Cabrera hit his 14th homer of the season in the first, bumping his RBI total to 82 on the year, five shy from his career-high.

In the third, Leury Garcia smacked his first homer of the year, a three-run shot to left-center field to extend the White Sox lead to 8-2. Two more runs were scored in the fifth on a fielder’s choice and an error. Jason Coats, pinch-hitting for Justin Morneau, and Todd Frazier each had an RBI single in the eighth.

Sale issued a two-run double to former White Sox infielder Alexei Ramirez in the second and a homer to Curt Casali in the fourth.

With five games left, Ventura hasn’t decided if Sale will make one final start before the 2016 campaign ends.

However, Ventura believes that tying his 17 wins in a season is well-deserving.

“You're looking at a guy that's one of the elite pitchers in the game,” Ventura said. “You always want him to match or best his past performances. I think part of that is motivation at this point to be able to go out there and do it.

“His numbers, you look at them and they stack up with anybody. But you want him to continue to win games and you want him to surpass previous accomplishments. Every guy's trying to do that.”

Cubs keep cruising vs. Pirates as future playoff foes battle injuries

Cubs keep cruising vs. Pirates as future playoff foes battle injuries

PITTSBURGH — The Cubs have so much going for them, all this blue-chip talent, a clubhouse mix of young players and grizzled veterans, arguably the best manager in the game, an impactful coaching staff and a front office that blends scouting and analytics as well as anyone.

But to win the World Series, you still need some luck, good health and the guts to perform in the biggest moments of your life. That reality of randomness and matchups made the pregame announcement some 250 miles away from PNC Park more telling than anything that happened during Tuesday night’s 6-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos tore the ACL in his right knee, ending his MVP-caliber season. The National League East champions will lose a .307 hitter with 22-homer power from the middle of their lineup and a veteran presence for a playoff rotation that will likely be without injured ace Stephen Strasburg (right elbow) in the first round.

“That’s a tough one when you lose your catcher, a guy who’s that significant for the pitching staff,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Think about the pitching staff. It’s so different when you know the guy back there is your guy and he knows what’s going on. The communication’s different. The trust factor, all that stuff is different.”

[SHOP CUBS: Get your NL Central champions gear right here]

Within that big-picture context, the Cubs survived their 101st victory, watching John Lackey (11-8, 3.35 ERA) tune up for the Big Boy Games by throwing five innings of one-run ball. Chris Coghlan looked like a solid role player for October, hammering a Ryan Vogelsong pitch off the center-field wall for a three-run triple in the second inning. Maddon used six different relievers — staying away from Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman — on a night that felt more like the Cactus League.

Now survey the rest of the potential playoff field, with the amazing New York Mets losing three of the frontline starters — Matt Harvey (thoracic outlet syndrome), Jacob deGrom (nerve damage in his right elbow) and Steven Matz (bone spur in his left elbow) — who shut down the Cubs during last year’s NL Championship Series ... and still holding onto the first wild-card spot.

This doesn’t guarantee anything in October, but the Cubs are just about as close to full strength as they could reasonably hope and not in crisis mode after losing an irreplaceable player like Ramos.

“That’s tough,” Maddon said. “Yeah, we lost Dexter (Fowler) for a bit. We lost (Kyle) Schwarber all year. Otherwise, when a couple pitchers got banged up, whether you’re talking about Rondon or Strop, I don’t think that our injuries have been as magnified because we’ve covered them pretty well.

“We still had our moments, like everybody else has. But when you get to right now, we’re getting well, and hopefully that trend continues. But to lose somebody of that magnitude for them, that’s got to be difficult.”