Suburban Political Recount

The Springfield Sprint

Posted by Mike Riopell on Mon, 05/26/2014 - 12:40

All Bull - Chicago Bulls

Foreign big men have been bad gamble in NBA draft

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 05/23/2014 - 11:09

There’s a dangerous trend showing up in the prelude to the June 26 NBA Draft. Foreign big men with no American basketball experience are littering many of the mock drafts.

The Bulls own picks No. 16 and 19, and could use some depth inside. But before falling in love with Clint Capela video, remind yourself how little Bismack Biyombo has accomplished during three NBA seasons.

When a big man hasn’t played college basketball in the U.S., it feels like he hasn’t been properly vetted and therefore, predicting NBA success becomes very difficult.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Latest on Sale, Jeter, Abreu

Posted by scotgreg on Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:47

There always seems to be a million things going on when the White Sox return home from a road trip, and today is no different.
Let's get right to it:
-Chris Sale comes off the disabled list and returns to the mound tonight for the first time since April 17, when pitched 7 innings against the Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field and allowed 1 run on 1 hit while striking out 10.
Sale also threw a career-high 127 pitches vs. Boston, and he wound up being sidelined with a strained flexor muscle near his left elbow.
Fortunately for Sale and the White Sox, season-ending surgery was not required. Now the Sox' ace is back, and he will be watched very closely.
General manager Rick Hahn was asked if he talked to manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper about Sale's pitch count tonight.

All Bull - Chicago Bulls

A Bulls-centric post-lottery mock draft

Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 05/21/2014 - 15:32

Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery provided more suspicious good luck for the Cleveland Cavaliers. There’s no way they can screw up this one, right?

Anyway, here’s an early mock draft, knowing plenty could change before June 26.

1. Cleveland – Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
He still has the most star potential in this class and will fit in great with last year’s No. 1, Anthony Bennett. Just kidding about that last part.

2. Milwaukee – Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
First-round centers haven’t worked out very well since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, so look for the Bucks to pick Parker.

3. Philadelphia – Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Embiid is the obvious pick here, but what about Nerlens Noel, who’s been out longer than Derrick Rose? The Sixers have plenty of team-building ahead.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Hammel's (almost) exploding hand

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 05/21/2014 - 13:01

It’s a much brighter day here at Wrigley, with hazy sunshine coming through after a rainy Tuesday night, when the Cubs beat Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees 6-1. It was Tanaka’s first lost since 2012 in Japan.

Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel was the winner, and he arrived in the clubhouse this morning with his right hand bandaged, the result of being hit with Brett Gardner’s comebacker to begin the game last night. Hammel said X-rays show he has a deep bone bruise and no break.

“When it hit me, I thought my hand exploded,” said Hammel, who is scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale at San Diego.

Hammel has some swelling in the hand, but even as it swelled last night, he was able to continue pitching.

All Bull - Chicago Bulls

Get ready for tonight's NBA draft lottery

Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 05/20/2014 - 12:13

The NBA draft lottery is tonight (7 p.m., ESPN). The Bulls are on the outside looking in this year, but do have two first round picks, Nos. 16 and 19 in the June 26 draft.

It will be interesting, though, especially with so many Eastern Conference teams at the top of the naughty list, led by Milwaukee.

The consensus top three players appear to be Kansas center Joel Embiid, Kansas swingman Andrew Wiggins and Duke forward Jabari Parker, all freshmen. Most mock drafts have either Wiggins or Embiid going No. 1, but that could change as teams meet with the players.

All Bull - Chicago Bulls

Love not a great fit for Bulls

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 05/19/2014 - 08:37

Here’s a link to a story from April covering the chances of Minnesota’s Kevin Love finding his way to the Bulls.

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140408/sports/140408361/

Yahoo and ESPN reported Sunday that Love has made it clear he will opt out of his contract next summer and is interested in finding a new home.

There is nothing new to the story, really. It was already obvious the Timberwolves will have to make a move with Love or risk losing him for nothing in return next year. A trade could happen during the summer or before the February trade deadline.

Love posted remarkable statistics this season (26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists) and would have been in the MVP conversation if Minnesota had finished closer to the top of the Western Conference standings.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Sunday brunch blog: Schierholtz sits; minor league notes

Posted by Bruce on Sun, 05/18/2014 - 12:59

It’s a beautiful Sunday at Wrigley Field, and it was a pretty quiet morning, with all of the media crush over at the United Center for the Blackhawks. As far as Cubs news, manager Rick Renteria said reliever Pedro Strop will head down to Mesa to continue his recovery from the left-groin strain that put him on the disabled list.

The Brewers throw right-hander Marco Estrada against the Cubs and left-hander Travis Wood today. About the most interesting lineup news is that Ryan Kalish has replaced the struggling Nate Schierholtz in right field. Schierholtz, who had a career season last year with 21 home runs, is off to a miserable start this year. He has no homers and a hitting line of .197/.248/.252.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Braun back for Brewers; more 'clutch' talk

Posted by Bruce on Sat, 05/17/2014 - 13:13

Ryan Braun returns to the Milwaukee Brewers’ lineup today as they take on the Cubs at Wrigley Field. We’ve got some sun and some clouds today, but overall, it’s a much more pleasant day than Friday. Carlos Gomez was supposed to return from his suspension and lead off for the Brewers, but he was a late lineup scratch with lower-back tightness.

Edwin Jackson starts for the Cubs today against former Cub Matt Garza. We’ll see if the Cubs lay down a bunt or two against Garza, who has trouble throwing to first base. Garza beat the Cubs 5-2 in Milwaukee on April 25.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Renteria: Samardzija a winner despite record

Posted by Bruce on Fri, 05/16/2014 - 12:58

It’s a raw, cold, wet day at Wrigley, and the tarp is on the field less than an hour before today’s schedule game against the Brewers. Jeff Samardzija will pitch for the Cubs against Kyle Lohse. Despite his 0-3 record, Samardzija has as 1.45 ERA, which ranks second in the National League to Johnny Cueto of the Reds. Cueto’s ERA is 1.25.

Samardzija is winless in his last 14 starts dating to last Aug. 30. According to the Cubs and Elias, Samardzija is the first pitcher since at least 1900 to give up 3 or fewer in each of his first 8 starts to a season and not earn at least 1 victory.

Despite the record, manager Rick Renteria said Samardzija is a winner to his way of thinking.