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Higher power

Posted by scotgreg on Mon, 06/09/2008 - 22:53
It's only one homestand, so you can't get too carried away. Still, the power display put on by the White Sox during 7 straight wins over the Royals and Twins was nothing short of impressive. For the record, the Sox hit 19 home runs before heading to Motown. Here is the breakdown: Joe Crede (5) Nick Swisher (4) Carlos Quentin (2) Alexei Ramirez (2) Jim Thome (2) Paul Konerko (2) A.J. Pierzynski (1) Jermaine Dye (1) Yes, it was very warm when it wasn't raining during the homestand. Yes again, the ball carries very well at the Cell when the weather heats up. For the record, Kansas City and Minnesota combined to hit 9 home runs during the 7 games on the South Side. All things considered, the White Sox' pitching staff has nothing to be ashamed of.

It's time for the "Top Chef" finale already?!?

Posted by Sean Stangland on Mon, 06/09/2008 - 20:34

The superior fourth season of Bravo's "Top Chef" wraps up Wednesday night, and Stephanie Izard, the cute, friendly former owner of Chicago's Scylla restaurant, is among the final three competitors. And that's wonderful, given this fourth season has, until the final two episodes, taken place in Chicago and made the city and the suburbs look absolutely fantastic.

Monday, around the farm ...

Posted by JP on Mon, 06/09/2008 - 17:10

Enjoying the humidity? Seems like only yesterday winter storms were wreaking havoc. Looks like they still are across the suburbs

Besides salt, municipalities are facing additional costs for a variety of things related to the awful winter weather that lasted longer than anyone anticipated -- or wanted.
Naperville budgeted $365,000 for outside contractors to handle snow removal, but it actually paid out $526,000. Combine that overrun with overtime costs associated with the city's own public works employees, an extra $300,000 for road salt and the costs of the additional road work caused by the weather and Naperville's budget could easily take a $1 million hit, Finance Director Doug Krieger said.

"Staycation"? Ugh.

Posted by Sean Stangland on Mon, 06/09/2008 - 04:12

I have nine days off from June 27 to July 5, and my original plans for that weekend fell through; I would have been tooling around Los Angeles, seeing "WALL-E" on opening night at the El Capitan, hiking in Runyan Canyon and taking in a show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, but life has decided to deal me a different hand.

Expect Cubs to watch SportsCenter

Posted by Bruce on Sat, 06/07/2008 - 19:33
For all the ruckus Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano caused in the dugout Saturday, some people claimed not to have seen it. Chief among them was manager Lou Piniella. Piniella removed Zambrano after Matt Kemp hit a 3-run homer off Big Z in the seventh inning that gave the Dodgers a 7-3 lead, a score that held up. When Zambrano reached the dugout, he went ballistic on a couple of Gatorade jugs and flung his hat. "I was on the mound, and I hear all this commotion," Lou said. "I thought there was a wave going on, but there was no wave." Only a Big Z tsunami.

You see L.A....

Posted by Bruce on Fri, 06/06/2008 - 22:24
...Only when the smog lifts. That was the joke back in the day, playing off the name UCLA. Actually, the air quality has been quite good here the last couple nights. It's been so good that you can actually see the San Gabriel Mountains out beyond center field. At dusk, they take on a purplish hue that's quite striking. On some nights, and days, when the air quality isn't so hot, those mountains are just a rumor. They tout this place as "baseball's most beautiful ballpark" out here. I'm sure Wrigley Field backers might have an issue with that. But the view is quite striking, so much so that looking out past center field you'd never know you're in L.A. That's a good or a bad thing, depending on your point of view. I prefer San Diego and San Francisco over L.A. in California.

Rezko unites Democrats, Republicans

Posted by JP on Fri, 06/06/2008 - 16:51

On Friday, State Rep. Jack Franks, a Woodstock Democrat, issued this release:

WOODSTOCK, IL – Convicted on 16 of 24 counts, there is no longer any question about the guilt of political fundraiser Tony Rezko. Tony Rezko’s close ties with Governor Blagojevich leave nagging questions that loom over the political horizon in the state of Illinois . Now it is time for the Governor to make a show of good faith to the people of Illinois by giving back the $1.4 million in funds that Tony Rezko raised for his campaign.

That sounds familiar. Here’s the opening statement from the release sent Thursday by Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna:

Draft updates and the Wilken factor

Posted by Bruce on Thu, 06/05/2008 - 23:44
Shortstops and pitchers were the order of Day 1 of the draft for the Cubs. They went with right-hander Andrew Cashner out of TCU with the 19th pick overall, and scouting director Tim Wilken gushed about how Cashner had put on some good weight since the Cubs drafted him last year out of junior college. Cashner opted not to sign back then, instead heading to TCU, where he had 9 saves this year. The Cubs got a pick between the first and second rounds for having lost free agent Jason Kendall to the Brewers in free agency. They used that pick to take shortstop Ryan Flaherty, a power-hitting shortstop out of Vanderbilt. Flaherty may move to third in pro ball.

Time is running out

Posted by Sean Stangland on Thu, 06/05/2008 - 21:53

I was right yesterday about the impending disappearance of "Speed Racer" -- beginning Friday, the Wachowski brothers' much-maligned visual masterpiece will only be playing in ten theaters in the Chicago area, according to this page at movietickets.com. Happily, one of those locations is the Muvico 18 in Rosemont, where the movie's colors will really pop in that theater's all-digital presentation.

Fiscal fissures within the GOP?

Posted by JP on Thu, 06/05/2008 - 21:10

Daily Herald Political Reporter Joseph Ryan staked out the leaders meeting in Chicago today. His story can be found here:
http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=203451&src=109

The summary is this: Looks like fissures are emerging between House and Senate Republicans, although not the extent of the chasm between House and Senate Democrats.
From Ryan’s story:

"It is going to be difficult to move forward," said Senate Republican leader Frank Watson.

Just a few days ago, Watson’s GOP members were putting key votes on gambling expansion and a lottery lease needed to give Gov. Rod Blagojevich a $34 billion construction-spending checkbook.