Chicago's Inside Pitch

Hey, it's a somewhat regular lineup

Posted by Bruce on Sun, 09/28/2008 - 12:56
With the Cubs facing CC Sabathia today, Lou trots out some of the regulars: Soriano, LF Theriot, SS Lee, 1B Ramirez, 3B Johnson, CF Hoffpauir, RF Cedeno, 2B Blanco, C Guzman, P Lou says DeRosa will try running tomorrow at Wrigley Field. When Lou was asked whether DeRo would be ready for Wednesday's Game 1 of the NLDS, he first said, "He'll be ready Wednesday." Then, he added, "We think he'll be ready Wednesday." Fukudome isn't playing. Lou says he wanted to leave Fukudome with a positive feeling after yesterday's homer. It's gotten to that with a $48 million player? Big Z is still boycotting us. Oh, well. He's supposed to throw tomorrow after not wanting to pitch today.

Bear Essentials

Bears bargain paying off

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 23:50
Sometimes shopping the bargain racks really pays off. After three weeks it seems the Bears made the right decision by declining to get into a bidding war for Bernard Berrian, who cost the Vikings $42 million over six years. Instead the Bears signed Redskins castoff Brandon Lloyd for $645,000, the league minimum plus a $40,000 bonus. So far, Lloyd has far outperformed Berrian. While neither offense has been very productive this season, Lloyd has still managed to catch 13 passes for 216 yards and 1 touchdown, while Berrian has 6 catches for 117 yards and no touchdowns. If he maintains the same pace for 16 games, Lloyd will finish with 70 receptions for 1,152 yards, which would be the fifth-highest yardage in franchise history.

Getting Prepped

The crystal ball

Posted by coachbu on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 23:06
Predicting the fortunes of teenagers is definitely a fool's game. But since we're all pretty foolish, we do it anyway. Football, basketball, even baseball (which most are smart enough to avoid). We try to forecast what's going to happen and when we're off people definitely don't forget. Few coaches want to be picked first. No coaches want to be picked last - but a lot like the middle of the pack since it seems to give their kids an apparent motivational boost. I've certainly had my share of kids, parents and coaches willingly bring it up when my picks are as off the mark as Javier Vazquez's pitches.

Getting Prepped

What a crazy weekend

Posted by coachbu on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 22:55
People often believe we care more about one school or team over another. Most of us are primarily concerned with reasonably quick games (especially on Friday nights) and something interesting or something with drama. This weekend certainly fit that bill in two much different ways. First was Rolling Meadows at Wheeling in a matchup of last year's Mid-Suburban East co-champions. Meadows seemed to be in control with a 13-0 lead late in the third quarter. In the past it would have been over for Wheeling. But then the game took crazy twists and turns started by some big plays by Mike Barton. The Wildcats appeared to squander a phenomenal opportunity when it lost a fumble inside the Meadows' 5 with less than five minutes left.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Sox catching some breaks

Posted by scotgreg on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 18:47
There are no curses to curse on the South Side. If anything, it looks like the White Sox have harnessed some weird kind of karma. How else can you explain the Twins losing their second straight game to the Royals on Saturday at the Metrodome? Bizarre. And even if the White Sox lose to the Indians Saturday night (the score is 1-1 in the fourth inning), they don't have to worry about Cliff Lee on Sunday. Lee, who leads the American League in wins (22) and ERA (2.54), was scratched from his start with a stiff neck. Instead, the Sox get to face Bryan Bullington, who is 0-1 with a 5.59 ERA in 2 appearances for Cleveland. The White Sox sure are getting breaks. It’s up to them to exploit them.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Samardzija in; Gaudin out

Posted by Bruce on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 14:57
Lou told us today that Jeff Samardzija has made the roster for the NLDS. With the Cubs keeping only 11 pitchers, including lefties Neal Cotts and Sean Marshall in the pen, the odd-man out is Chad Gaudin, who was ineffective Friday night and who doesn't seem to have confidence in his breaking ball. Of course things could change for the second round, if the Cubs advance. Lou says he'll have word today on the final position-player spots, even if the Cubs don't have to announce it until later in the week. They'll work out Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Lou says Big Z will start Sunday's season finale and pitch 1 or 2 innings. He joked that he might have to hit him fourth in the lineup to get him an AB. Today's lineup: Fukudome, RF Cedeno, SS Hoffpauir, 1B Ward, LF

Suburban Political Recount

Hey look, it's the governor

Posted by JP on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 14:18
Sitting down to eat a late lunch, flippin' channels and there's Gov. Blagojevich. He's appearing on WGN on a panel of Tribune sportswriters and a couple former Cub players assigned the task of compiling the best all-Chicago baseball team of all time. Upon his introduction, the governor said it's great to be with all the sportswriters. "It's the only part of the newspaper I read."

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Wanted: Complete games for Sox

Posted by scotgreg on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 23:19
You thought the White Sox’ bullpen was bad last year? Didn’t think it could get any worse than Ryan Bukvich, Andrew Sisco, David Aardsma, Dewon Day, Nick Masset and Mike Myers? Maybe you missed Friday night’s game against the Indians. D.J. Carrasco, Mike MacDougal, Ehren Wasserman and Horacio Ramirez made last year’s shaky crew look like all-stars while melting down in a game the Sox desperately needed. Hopefully, GM Kenny Williams was looking in all of their eyes Friday, and he’ll act accordingly. Mining bullpen talent is the greatest challenge for any GM. For the second year in a row, Williams has failed miserably in his search for relief pitchers, and it’s probably going to cost the White Sox a playoff berth.

Bear Essentials

What's up with Harris?

Posted by Bob LeGere on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 19:59
Tommie Harris isn't helping the Bears in his present condition, whatever that is. It's difficult to tell, since the Bears have a policy of shrouding even the tiniest injury in secrecy. Harris has rarely practiced at full speed since the season opener, and he has made little impact in any of the first three games. He says he's healthy enough to practice, but he's played like someone who either has a legitimate injury or is struggling to overcome the mental aspect of knee surgery. So why not shut him down for a week or two? Give his surgical left knee a chance to get well and maybe, when he returns, the Bears will have some semblance of the disruptive force who was voted to the past three Pro Bowls.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Lou makes his point

Posted by Bruce on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 18:49
As you've probably read here, Lou set the rest of his rotation for the NLDS. Following Ryan Dempster will be Big Z, Rich Harden and Ted Lilly. It's interesting to note, as Vin Scully might say, that Lou announced Dempster yesterday and saved news of the rest of the rotation for today. To me, he was saying that Dempster is the ace of this staff and that he's earned the nod for Game 1 of the playoffs, which open next Wednesday at Wrigley Field.