No luck for Rezko

Posted by JP on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 10:39

Daily Herald Political Reporter Joseph Ryan files this report regarding Blagojevich pal Tony Rezko.

Despite hiring a high-powered attorney in Las Vegas, it doesn't look like embattled insider Tony Rezko is going to catch a break.

Richard Wright, of the law firm Wright, Judd & Winckler, is reportedly attempting to convince prosecutors to back off an arrest warrant for bounced checks and accept some partial payments toward his $450,000 tab at two Strip casinos.

The Las Vegas Sun, which has been leading the coverage as the local paper on the latest Rezko scandal, reported today the Clark County District Attorney isn't biting.

What we learned on "Lost" this season

Posted by Sean Stangland on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 03:06

(SPOILERS, SPOILERS AND MORE SPOILERS in this, what should be my final blog about "Lost" until at least July when the writers appear at Comic Con in San Diego.)

Michael Emerson is the best actor on television. Of course, any actor given a role as meaty as his would have plenty of chances to shine, but I can't picture anyone else playing Benjamin Linus, the uber-villain who is looking more and more like the real hero of the show. If anyone can be called the main character among this ensemble, in Season 4 Ben clearly ascended to that level.

This time, Cabrera makes the right call

Posted by scotgreg on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 22:40
Orlando Cabrera was wrong, dead wrong. He's been playing major-league baseball for 10 years, and even the rawest rookies know you don't call the official scorer during a game and try to get an error call overturned. Apparently, Cabrera has a different view, so we'll disagree on that. But after the White Sox' impressive 5-1 win over upstart Tampa Bay Thursday night, Cabrera was dead right in his decision to meet with the media and do some needed damage control. You can read the full story in the Daily Herald, but to paraphrase, Cabrera said he's cool with Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and he respects his teammates. The 33-year-old shortstop had a talk with Jim Thome before the game, so he probably got some good advice from one of the best teammates any sport has ever produced.

Weekend session

Posted by JP on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 20:50
It's approaching 9 p.m. on Thursday and one House member just asked state Rep. Joe Lyons, who's presiding over the session, if it was OK for members to check out of hotels tomorrow since there's no Saturday session on the calendar and he'd promissed his wife he'd be home this weekend. "Representative, we will be here Saturday. Nice try," said Lyons. But at least lawmakers are entertaining themselves. Tonight there's a showing of "The 11th Hour" starring Leonardo DiCaprio in one of the committee rooms at the Capitol.

Big Z and pitch counts _ how do you feel?

Posted by Bruce on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 20:05
You had to really look to find Carlos Zambrano on Baseball Prospectus' leader board under "Pitcher Abuse Points." That was, until last night. Zambrano threw a season-high 130 pitches in the Cubs' 2-1 victory over the Dodgers. With that pitch count, he moved up from 39th to second in PAP.

Cotts up, Ascanio down

Posted by Bruce on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 15:22
The Cubs today recalled lefty reliever Neal Cotts from Class AAA Iowa and sent Jose Ascanio back to that club. Cotts will give the Cubs a second lefty in the bullpen to accompany Scott Eyre, whom manager Lou Piniella doesn't seem to trust 100 percent. At Iowa, the 28-year-old Cotts was 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 3 saves. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry has been talking Cotts up the last week or so, saying how well he has been throwing the ball. The Cubs obtained Cotts from the White Sox in November 2006 for reliever David Aardsma. Cotts opened the season with the Cubs last year but was sent to Iowa May 20 after going 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA. He remained kind of a forgotten man in the Cubs' bullpen picture until pitching well early this season for Iowa.

Governor calls last year's budget "an aberration", unaware of Rezko gambling debts

Posted by JP on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 15:14

I staked out the Capitol’s basement level loading dock over my lunch hour in hopes of catching Gov. Rod Blagojevich on his way into the building. Yes, that’s his preferred entrance.

Sure enough, the governor entertained a couple questions as we walked down the basement hallway to an elevator that takes him up to his office. Here’s a transcript:

Q: If the General Assembly sends you a budget that’s unbalanced, doesn’t have the revenues to match spending, what are the first things you’re going to look to cut?


Posted by JP on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 09:58

First the good news:
A controversial Springfield hotel now under state control is getting new bedding in response to frequent guest complaints.

The bad news: A spokeswoman for Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, whose office took control of the hotel away from embattled, politically connected investors who'd financed the hotel with state loans, said many of the mattresses were original to the more than 20-year-old hotel.

With Springfield's reputation for sleaze, that's not a pretty thing to think about.

The rest of the story:
Improvements will cost roughly $270,000 of which $170,000 will go to replace all box springs, mattresses and pillows in the 282-room hotel. (If you're thinking of staying there, the new stuff arrives in July)

OMG it's Baba Wawa

Posted by Sean Stangland on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 22:25

That was apparently the reaction some rabid readers had Wednesday night when Barbara Walters signed books for fans at North Central College in Naperville; if it's been posted by now, you can read Melissa Jenco's DH story about it right here.

Sox' next shortstop? Alexei Ramirez

Posted by scotgreg on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 15:52
White Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera is as good as gone, either during the season through a trade or at the end, when he's eligible for free agency. His selfish actions and me-first attitude have left him isolated from the rest of the team, and the Sox would probably be smart to start checking on trade interest right now. The obvious question is, who plays shortstop when Cabrera is gone?