'The Batter's Box' to debut Sunday, July 1 on CSN

'The Batter's Box' to debut Sunday, July 1 on CSN

THE BATTERS BOX, COMCAST SPORTSNETS BRAND NEW CHICAGO BASEBALL TRIVIA GAME SHOW, TO DEBUT SUNDAY, JULY 1

16 Chicago-area baseball trivia experts (8 Cubs, 8 White Sox) to test their wits as they vie for the ultimate Game Day Experience of a Lifetime

Fans at home can visit CSNChicago.com to participate in the Midas Trivia Question of the Week for their chance to win a number of great prizes

Chicago, IL (June 18, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs and White Sox, along with StarPilot Productions, is bringing a brand new Chicago baseball trivia game show to the network as The Batters Box presented by Midas will officially debut on Sunday, July 1 at 5:00 PM (time approx. following Cubs Post Game Live). The show is hosted by Comcast SportsNets Luke Stuckmeyer.

Beginning July 1 and, over the course of 15 weeks, 16 Chicago-area contestants, who auditioned for spots on The Batters Box in May, will be competing against one another as eight Cubs trivia experts & eight White Sox trivia experts battle it out to represent their respective, favorite team, which will ultimately lead to a thrilling Cubs vs. White Sox trivia expert finale this fall.

The Batters Box is the first show of its kind in Chicago to pit passionate and knowledgeable White Sox and Cubs fans against each other in a fun, competitive baseball trivia game show, said Greg Bowman, Vice President of Programming for Comcast SportsNet Chicago. This is truly a unique, local, original programming venture for us that definitely caters to both old and new Chicago baseball fans. Plus, viewers at home will also enjoy playing along to see how much they know about these two historic baseball franchises.

The basis of the game in this half-hour weekly show is simple as contestants must answer multiple-choice questions, while applying baseball logic to move runners around the bases and score runs. The level of difficulty of the questions ranges from a Single (for easier questions) to a Home Run (for the most challenging questions). The player with the most runs at the end of three innings wins. When a player wins, they will advance to the next round.

The Batters Box grand prize winner will receive the ultimate Game Day Experience of a Lifetime, which includes a luxury suite for the winner & their guests at either U.S. Cellular Field or Wrigley Field for a to-be-determined game in 2013, along with a visit to the broadcast booth to the meet the announcers, a visit to the CSN production truck, the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and much more.

In addition, viewers at home can also participate for their chance to win some great Batters Box prizes by visiting CSNChicago.com and correctly answering the Midas Trivia Question of the Week. One random winner among all the correct entries will be chosen each week.

Note the following scheduled first run air datestimes for The Batters Box presented by Midas, along with the Chicago-area contestants participating in the first round (PLEASE NOTE: additional replay airings take place throughout the week; visit CSNChicago.com for The Batters Box TV listings information):

FIRST ROUND
Sun, July 1 at 5:00 PM (Cubs round) Brian Bosley vs. Will Cook
Sun, July 8 at 3:30 PM (White Sox round) Mike Medley vs. Ned Mulka
Sun, July 15 at 4:30 PM (Cubs round) Kristin Lee vs. Beau Thalheimer
Sun, July 22 at 3:30 PM (White Sox round) Milo Berrera vs. Patrick OMalley
Sun, July 29 at 9:30 PM (Cubs round) Monty Childs vs. David Sellars
Sun, Aug. 5 at 4:30 PM (White Sox round) Julie Farby vs. Tony Paink
Sun, Aug. 12 at 4:30 PM (Cubs round) John Dooley vs. Anthony Hoffman
Sun, Aug. 19 at 4:30 PM (White Sox round) Antonio Barrentez vs. Tom Pauly

QUARTERFINALS
Sun, Aug. 26 at 4:00 PM (Cubs quarterfinals, contestants TBD)
Sun, Sept. 2 at 4:00 PM (White Sox quarterfinals, contestants TBD)
Sun, Sept. 9 at 6:00 PM (Cubs quarterfinals, contestants TBD)
Sun, Sept. 16 at 4:30 PM (White Sox quarterfinals, contestants TBD)

SEMIFINALS
Sun, Sept. 23 at 7:30 PM (Cubs semifinals, contestants TBD)
Sun, Sept. 30 at 4:30 PM (White Sox semifinals, contestants TBD)

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Sun, Oct. 7 at 7:30 PM (White Sox champion vs. Cubs champion, contestants TBD)

Connor McDavid believes Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat will succeed in NHL: 'He's a special player'

Connor McDavid believes Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat will succeed in NHL: 'He's a special player'

Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat is putting up video-game numbers in the Ontario Hockey League.

He ranks first among all players with 49 goals and 104 points, and has done so in only 50 games. That's an average of more than two points per game.

DeBrincat, the Blackhawks' second-round draft pick (No. 39 overall) in 2015 thanks to the Andrew Shaw trade, became the Erie Otters' all-time leading goal scorer earlier this year and on Saturday, he tied Brad Boyes for second on the team's all-time points list with 309. The only player he's chasing now is teammate Dylan Strome, who has 329 and counting.

Connor McDavid, who ranks fourth in Otters history with 285 points, was there for DeBrincat's rookie season when he scored 51 goals and 50 assists. The 20-year-old Oilers captain very much still pays attention to the Otters, and isn't surprised by the heightened success of his former teammate.

"He’s having another amazing season," McDavid said. "No surprise there."

It was easy to suggest DeBrincat's numbers were inflated because he benefited from having a player like McDavid centering his line. But McDavid insists that wasn't the case.

"Honestly, we helped each other," McDavid said. "It was not a one-way street by any means. He finds a way to score goals. My year they were saying, 'Oh, he was just playing with me.' Then the other year, he’s playing with (Strome). He’s playing with Stromer again. To score 50 three seasons in a row is absolutely incredible no matter who you’re playing with or what you’re doing. Absolute credit to him."

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The numbers back it up, too.

DeBrincat's points per game average has increased in each of the last three seasons: 1.53, 1.68 and 2.08, a significant jump from his second to third season. It's especially impressive when you factor in that he's scored only eight of his 49 goals on the power play this year after combining for 34 goals on the man advantage in his first two. 

Initially, McDavid was a little skeptical when informed that newly-signed winger DeBrincat, who's now listed as 5-7, 170 pounds, would be his new linemate. It didn't take long for that to change.

"He kind of just came out of nowhere," McDavid said. "I remember us signing (him) and looking, and it said he was 5-2, 140 pounds, whatever. The GM at the time, Sherry Bassin, said 'I found you a new winger.' I’m like, ‘That guy is going to play with me?’ Sure enough, he comes in and we kind of have that chemistry right away.

"He knows where the net is. He finds a way to score basically every night. He’s got a great shot. He’s one of the feistiest guys I’ve ever played with. It’s really remarkable about what he’s been able to do."

Size is surely to be the biggest concern for DeBrincat at the NHL level, but players such as Cam Atkinson (5-7), Johnny Gaudreau (5-8) and Mats Zuccarello (5-7) are proving that you can be among the league's best despite being undersized. And the game is evolving into more of an up-tempo style where teams built on speed is becoming the new norm.

DeBrincat's willingness to stick his nose into dirty areas combined with his offensively-gifted ability is a big reason why McDavid believes his former linemate will succeed at the highest level.

"I think well," McDavid said when asked how DeBrincat's game will translate into the NHL. "He’s just got such a drive and such a nose for the net that I don’t think he’s going to be stopped. He takes on guys much bigger. I don’t really know how he does it.

"Especially when he was a rookie and I was playing with him, he’s going into scrums against guys that are 6-5, and you’re on the ice thinking, ‘How the hell am I going to help you?’ He definitely picks his fights. He’s a special person and special player."

CSN's Dan Hayes meets the White Sox Dan Hayes

CSN's Dan Hayes meets the White Sox Dan Hayes

Is the White Sox clubhouse big enough for two Dan Hayeses?

We're about to find out this spring training as CSN White Sox Insider Dan Hayes covers the team, which includes first base prospect Danny Hayes.

The Sox prospect Hayes battled .250 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs in 55 games for Charlotte last season.

The big-league hopeful and White Sox beat reporter spoke with CSN's Chuck Garfien about the similarities the two (don't) have.

No word yet on whether they'll battle the two Rougned Odors and Geovani/Geovany Sotos to an Anchoman-style duel.

Check it all out in the hilarious video above.