Chicago Cubs

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts to be next featured guest on CSN's "Inside Look"

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts to be next featured guest on CSN's "Inside Look"

CHICAGO CUBS CHAIRMAN TOM RICKETTS TO BE THE NEXT FEATURED GUEST ONCOMCAST SPORTSNETS MONTHLY INTERVIEW SERIES, INSIDE LOOK

Inside Look presented by Cadillac, hosted by Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan -- featuring Tom Ricketts to debut Christmas DaySunday, December 25 at 4:30 PM

CSNChicago.com to provide additional web-exclusive coverage of Inside Look, including extended video clips

Chicago, IL (December 20, 2011) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, continues to delve into the lives of some of the biggest names in Chicago sports with its candid, monthly, one-on-one interview series Inside Look presented by Cadillac.

Debuting Christmas DaySunday, December 25 at 4:30 PM, Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan hosts an exclusive one-on-one interview with Chicago business mogullifelong Cubs fan and now Chicago Cubs Chairman TOM RICKETTS. Ricketts discusses everything from his days of rooting for the Cubs as a fan, to becoming the owner and chairman of one of pro sports most popular franchises, bringing Theo Epstein to the northside to run the baseball operations, his thoughts on the 2012 Cubs and much more.

In addition, viewers are urged to check out Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, for additional interview content never before seen on TV. Fans will also be able to watch every Inside Look guest interview online after it debuts on Comcast SportsNet. Comcast SportsNet will also re-air Inside Look with Tom Ricketts on the following datestimes: Sun, Jan. 1 at 5:30pm; Sun, Jan. 8 at 9:30pm; Fri, Jan. 13 at 11:30pm; Sat, Jan. 14 at 7pm; Thu, Jan. 19 at 8:30pm; Sat, Jan. 28 at 7:30pm and Mon, Jan. 30 at 7pm

Note the following quotes from Inside Look with Tom Ricketts presented by Cadillac, premiering Christmas DaySun, Dec. 25 at 4:30 PM exclusively on Comcast SportsNet:

RICKETTS on if he would have changed anything when he became Cubs chairmanwith the knowledge he has now:

I dont think we wouldve done much differently. If you go back to those first couple of days, a lot of people wanted some quick decisions, particularly with baseball. I think they expected an owner to come in and change out the GM and go in this new direction and have some kind of bold plan, and in our case, it was my decision that I think whats best for us is to really get to understand what our strengths are in a baseball organization, what our weaknesses are, be fair to the people that are here, and really get to know the baseball organization better.

RICKETTS on the much-publicized Theo Watch, in particular, the Starbucks sighting:

Well, the funny part is that it was part of our Secret Agent Man-type stuff. He (new Cubs President, Baseball Operations Theo Epstein) was sneaking in for the weekend, and we were very careful about who picked him up from the airport and all these things, and, of course, no plan survives that much secrecy. His wife wants an ice coffee and he hops out to get it and, of course, bumps into someone who recognizes him, so I guess we didnt have to be that secret because everybody found out anyway. Thats just the way it happens, just kind of a funny thing.

RICKETTS on his public perception and staying true to his goals:

I dont really follow too closely what the perception is. All along, we started off with this day one is square one for everybody in the organization. Jim (Hendry) had that ruleCrane (Kenney), whos running the business side had that ruleon the business side, weve done well. Im talking to Crane about extending his contract. Were going to have him as part of the organization for a long time, locking down our business side. On the baseball side, we werent getting it done. We think we gave Jim a fair shot, but when it looked like it wasnt going to be where we needed it to be, we had a great conversation and just decided to part ways and that got the process started.

The period between when Jim left and when Theo came in was a little awkward, because you couldnt really tell people what you were doing, but there was never a moment where I didnt really feel like we had it under control. I think the only moment when I was a little nervous was when if we could ask the Red Sox for permission, and its entirely likely, its possible they could say no, and then wed have to go on and look for another candidate, and thats embarrassing because that candidate obviously wouldnt be the first choice and you cant keep those kind of requests secret. But we just hung tough, consistentand played through it, and I think wed done as best as we could.

RICKETTS on if he believes the 2012 Cubs will be competitive:

Well, absolutely. You look at a lot of the turnarounds in baseball over the last few years. Teams that have lost 90 games and have come back and won 90 games. You get the right 25 guys in that clubhouse with the right manager and everyone stays healthybaseball, its a lot of parity, you come back and you stay healthy, you get off to a good startthen absolutely were back in the hunt.

The Streak ends as Cubs watch Wade Davis finally blow a save: ‘It’s definitely on me’

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USA TODAY

The Streak ends as Cubs watch Wade Davis finally blow a save: ‘It’s definitely on me’

MILWAUKEE – The efficient, emotionless way Wade Davis did his job helped the Cubs stay afloat during the disappointing first half of this season, a time when late-inning losses could have really damaged the clubhouse and the defending World Series champs might have collapsed.  

Standing at his locker, Davis had the same stone-faced expression on his bearded face after Saturday afternoon’s 4-3 walk-off loss, the third straight 10-inning game the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers have played at Miller Park. Because Davis had been 32-for-32 in save chances this year, the Cubs could appreciate all the heart-pounding action and how this compared to October.  

“We 100 percent won that game today, it seemed like,” Davis said in his monotone voice. “The offense and everything was incredible, coming back twice. It’s definitely on me.”

It was jarring to watch Travis Shaw drive a hanging curveball over the fence in left-center field and into the Milwaukee bullpen. Teammates waited for Shaw at home plate with Gatorade buckets after that game-winning two-run homer, showering him and tearing his jersey apart amid the mosh pit, the Brewers still clinging to their hopes in the National League wild-card race.

The perfect season already ended for Davis in the ninth inning, when Orlando Arcia hammered a misplaced 92-mph fastball that stayed just inside the left-field foul pole and landed in the second deck.

The crowd of 44,067 watched Davis blow his first save since Sept. 2, 2016, which also happened to be his first game back in the Kansas City Royals bullpen after spending more than a month on the disabled list with a flexor strain in his right elbow.

“There’s nothing to lament right there,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Another intensely good baseball game. And they got us at the end. But there’s no way, shape or form to point a finger at Wade.”

Davis wasn’t pointing a finger at Maddon and doing an Aroldis Chapman impression, but the All-Star closer did admit: “My arm was dragging a little bit.”

The Cubs had used Davis five times within the last eight days, including a back-to-back-to-back last weekend against the St. Louis Cardinals and then asking him to get five outs in Thursday night’s 10-inning comeback win over Milwaukee. Until Saturday’s comeback, the Brewers had been 0-54 when trailing after eight innings.  

“I just made a lot of bad pitches,” Davis said, who had converted his last 38 save chances and set a new franchise record to begin his Cubs career/set him up for a big contract this winter as a free agent.

Maddon, who will face another round of bullpen-management questions when the playoffs begin, had Hector Rondon warming up in the 10th inning, but the right-hander threw a scoreless inning on Friday night, his first appearance since Sept. 8 after getting treated for a sore elbow.

“If we did not score when we scored, I would have brought Rondon into the game,” Maddon said. “But once we scored, I put him back out there. It was a pretty easy equation.

“He’s your best guy. There’s no second-guessing whatsoever. He was fine to go back out there.”

What did The Streak mean to you?

“Not much,” Davis said. “I obviously wanted to win today’s game and put us in a better position than we were yesterday. So it kind of stinks, but, you know, move on from it.”

That summed up the entire mood inside the visiting clubhouse, the Cubs pointing to a dominant Kyle Hendricks start (one run in six innings), Justin Wilson auditioning for a trusted role out of the playoff bullpen (four outs) and a resourceful lineup that manufactured offense without hitting home runs.  

“It’s been a hell of a series so far,” Hendricks said.

The magic number to eliminate the Brewers from the division race remains four, while the Cardinals were at five heading into their Saturday night game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs can’t wait to unleash Davis in October.

“There’s no difference between these three games and the games that are going to occur the next month,” Maddon said. “They were absolutely that intense.”

White Sox not exactly sure what’s up with Carlos Rodon, but he’s confident he’ll be back for 2018

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USA TODAY

White Sox not exactly sure what’s up with Carlos Rodon, but he’s confident he’ll be back for 2018

It’s been more than two weeks since Carlos Rodon was shut down for the season, one day after he was scratched from a start with shoulder inflammation.

And while we know Rodon won’t pitch again in 2017 — a season with just a little more than a week remaining for the rebuilding White Sox — the team still doesn’t know, or still isn’t ready to say, exactly what’s wrong with the former first-round draft pick.

“We’re just trying to get it right,” Rodon said before Saturday night’s game against the visiting Kansas City Royals. “Still trying to figure everything out and take everything we can and put it all together to get the most information and do what’s best for me and for this team.”

That kind of non-update might raise some red flags in the minds of White Sox fans, curious as to what is the latest ailment for a pitcher who missed three months this season while recovering from biceps bursitis.

Rodon was slated to get reevaluated shortly after that early September injury. He was, but no news came of it, at least not yet.

“Pretty similar to what our doc said,” Rodon said of that follow-up evaluation. “Like I said, we’re trying to still gather all the information and figure out what we’re going to do from there.”

Rodon ended his third season in the bigs with a 4.15 ERA in 69.1 innings of work. And while the White Sox still believe he’ll be a huge part of their starting staff moving forward, it’s plenty acceptable to wonder what kind of effects this season of injuries will have on Rodon as the franchise’s rebuild chugs along.

“He continues to be a big part of what we believe is the future of the organization,” manager Rick Renteria said after explaining several times that the team is still trying to figure out what’s wrong with Rodon. “Unfortunately, this year he's been down quite a bit. So assuming he comes back in a good situation and is healthy and is capable of going out and performing, he fits into one of the five guys that are going to be out there for us next season.”

For his part, Rodon is 100-percent confident he’ll be good to go for next year’s campaign.

“I just know that I’ll be ready for next season,” Rodon said. “The goal is to be ready for next year and be healthy through all of next season.”

That, though, will be the million-dollar question as the White Sox starting rotation of the future begins to take shape. Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez are already penciled in for 2018, and Michael Kopech’s 2017 campaign in the minors was so sensational, he could potentially pitch himself into that starting five, too. With younger names like Alec Hansen and Dane Dunning also doing work in the minors, someone’s going to be the odd man out.

Rodon still has the confidence of his organization. But will he have the health to make that confidence pay off?