Blast from the past

Posted by Mike Riopell on Mon, 09/16/2013 - 14:39

Today I stumbled across the blog of Steve Kim, the running mate of Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford.

Kim is from Northbrook, and his blog is a 2010 accounting of his bid that year to be Illinois attorney general. He lost that race, but his website is still up:

The blog is full of interesting nuggets about the rigors of a statewide campaign, especially one run against a popular politician most people was certain would win (Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan).

Kim had some nice words for Rutherford even then: "Dan can definitely draw a crowd. He is going to make a great Treasurer."

Kim also had kind words for state Sen. Bill Brady, who is now Rutherford's - and by extension Kim's - electoral opponent.

Cubs give top minor-league honors to Baez, Hendricks

Posted by Bruce on Fri, 09/13/2013 - 11:54

It should come as no surprise that shortstop Javier Baez was named today the Cubs’ minor-league player of the year. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks was named the organization’s pitcher of the year. The two will be honored Sept. 21 at Wrigley Field during a pregame ceremony.

Baez played for both Class A Daytona and Class AA Tennessee this season, putting up a combined line of .282/.341/.578 for an OPS of .920. Between the two stops, he hit 37 home runs, drove in 111 runs and stole 20 bases.

Countdown to Bulls' camp

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 09/12/2013 - 17:27

We’re roughly two weeks out before Bulls training camp begins. Media day at the Berto Center will be Friday, Sept. 27, slightly earlier than usual because of the Brazil trip.

Several names have popped up as potential camp participants. The Bulls have 12 players under contract and must keep at least 13, so they’ll let some people battle for a job during preseason.

--Dexter Pittman is a 6-foot-11, 285-pound center who has appeared in 48 games for Miami and Memphis during the past three seasons. Tough to tell what he brings to the table since he’s played so little. Late in the 2011-12 season, Pittman played 26 minutes for the Heat against Boston and produced 12 points, 4 rebounds, 5 fouls and 5 turnovers.

Kirk touting travels

Posted by Mike Riopell on Wed, 09/11/2013 - 17:12

Last month wasn't the first traveling of Illinois U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk did since suffering a stroke last year, but the Highland Park Republican is touting the extent of his visits in this video.

For lawmakers, a quiet summer with Metra

Posted by Mike Riopell on Tue, 09/10/2013 - 16:42

State Rep. Mike Tryon, a Crystal Lake Republican, vented today that it's been nearly 60 days since he asked for a meeting of the General Assembly's Mass Transit Committee to talk about the infamous hiring memo written by former Metra CEO Alex Clifford.

Clifford left Metra with a severance package of up to $718,000 after making allegations about improper hiring practices at the commuter rail agency, some tied to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

“It’s becoming pretty clear to me that Speaker Madigan has no intention of providing a platform where the truth can be learned about the serious allegations made by former Metra CEO Alex Clifford,” said Tryon, the top Republican on the committee.

Cubs' Daytona club wins FSL title

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 09/10/2013 - 11:10

Congrats to the Cubs’ Class A Daytona affiliate for winning the Florida State League championship Monday night with a 4-0, 1-hit victory over Charlotte. Starting pitcher C.J. Edwards combined with reliever Ryan Searle on the 1-hitter as the Cubs won their second Florida State League title in three years.

Elsewhere, Class AA Tennessee was eliminated from the Southern League playoffs with a 7-4 loss to Birmingham. Javier Baez hit a long 2-run homer for Tennessee, which lost the best-of-five series three games to two.

Class A Boise fell 5-0 to Vancouver, which claimed its third straight Northwest League title.

White Sox GM bracing for busy off-season

Posted by scotgreg on Mon, 09/09/2013 - 18:21

If the White Sox are miserable again in 2014, general manager Rick Hahn is going to be sitting on a pretty hot seat right about now.
But with less than a full year on the job as GM, very few fingers are being pointed at Hahn as the Sox mercifully near the end of what could be their worst season since 1970 (56-106).
"I'm not spending a lot of time thinking about what could have been," Hahn said Monday afternoon before the White Sox opened a 10-game homestand against the first-place Tigers. "Our focus is more on hopefully getting the most out of the next 20 games, seeing some of the young guys contribute and put in position to demonstrate what they're capable of doing, and then hit the ground running once the off-season begins."
Last off-season, Hahn was pretty quiet.

Big guns, but maybe not for money

Posted by Mike Riopell on Mon, 09/09/2013 - 16:29

Much has been made of businessman Rod Gidwitz backing Republican Bruce Rauner for governor despite his past support of state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale because of the the business community campaign cash that could elude Dillard as a result.

But could Dillard's addition of former Gov. Jim Thompson to his endorsement list with former Gov. Jim Edgar help in the money column?

Dillard campaign manager Glenn Hodas says maybe and says both men will have roles in the money side of the effort. But that's not their main role.

"We expect to be outspent," Hodas said.

D-Rose battles ninjas, dragons in Japan

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 09/09/2013 - 13:08

With less than a month to go before Derrick Rose's official return to NBA basketball (preseason opener is Oct. 5 at Indiana), Rose found time to squeeze in a promotional tour of Asia. Here he is performing in Japan. It's debatable whether or not he looks 100 percent of his old self.

Sunday brunch blog: Baker, Ransom and the minors

Posted by Bruce on Sun, 09/08/2013 - 12:00

Even with the Bears playing at noon today, we’ll do our usual Sunday brunch blog as we delve into several topics. The Cubs made more roster moves today. They activated pitcher Scott Baker off the 60-day disabled list and designated infielder Cody Ransom for assignment. Baker is making his season debut after a long comeback from Tommy John surgery.

Ransom played in 62 games for the Cubs after being picked up off waivers in April. He put up a line of .189/.286/.420 with 9 homers and 20 RBI. All of Ransom’s home runs came before the all-star break. Since the break, he went 5-for-61.