The team on the opposite side of town may have everyone talking during spring training, but it is Rick Hahn and the White Sox are making the real noise leading up to the 2015 MLB season. After finishing 73-89, Hahn has quietly had a spectacular offseason by adding pieces thru free agency that have reshaped the White Sox into a contender for this year’s AL Central crown.Follow paulmbanks
Willie Robertson, the leading man in the immensely popular reality series Duck Dynasty on A&E was in Chicago Thursday night to help promote the opening of the new Under Armour store on the Magnificent Mile. You may be wondering, as many of our readers have, what does Duck Dynasty have to do with sports and Under Armour?
It turns out there’s an extensive hunting section in the newly opened UA brand house and the sportswear maker has extensive commercial tie-ins to Duck Commander, a duck call business that is run by Robertson.Follow paulmbanks
The only thing that will make us more civil to each other on Twitter is if we start suffering the consequences for our actions.
Former MLB pro Curt Schilling fought back against his daughter’s cyber bullies – and won! What Curt Schilling did Monday to a handful of classless, immoral idiots is an example. Keith Olbermann getting suspended by ESPN over his Twitter idiocy and insensitivity towards Penn State is another.
There are no “takesies backsies” on the internet. Even what’s deleted is still screen shot. There are repercussions for your social media behavior. You shouldn’t be allowed to be a keyboard tough guy anymore.Follow paulmbanks
“I never would have thought the White Sox and the Padres would be the most active teams come baseball’s offseason,” said Baseball Tonight anchor Adnan Virk. We recently sat down with Virk, and I found the ESPN personality is just as high on White Sox slugger Jose Abreu as we are.
Virk: “He’s a super star and after just one year in the major leagues, it’s staggering!”
Indeed, as spring training opens today we’re reminded how Jose Abreu will likely be the most exciting and special player to watch in Chicago baseball this season.Follow paulmbanks
Adnan Virk (@AdnanESPN) wears many hats at ESPN, one of which is anchoring Baseball Tonight. Virk was gracious enough to sit down with me for an exclusive chat about a whole host of topics, including some Chicago baseball.
For the White Sox, the epic collapse of 2012 was a tough pill to swallow, and things have only gone downhill since. However, with the pleasant sounding “pitchers and catchers report” benchmark just 11 days away, hope springs eternal and we talk baseball tonight.
In 2015, following an offseason for the ages, it’s time to get bullish, and not bearish on the Sox.Follow paulmbanks
Bruce Springsteen wrote and sang about the “Glory Days” of a high school buddy who was a huge baseball star. Of course, the glory days of the Kansas City Royals were back at almost the exact same time of the Springsteen single by the same name. KC last won the World Series in 1985, back when the Giants’ Tim Lincecum was still in diapers.
The Royals aren’t the first team to rise from obscurity and regain national headlines. Look back at some of the “really?” teams of sports in recent years. One team, Wichita State is right in there home state.Follow paulmbanks
Oscar Taveras died too young, and I hate it.
That is how I feel at the moment. Is it fair to subjectively think that? I don’t know. There is a lot that I don’t know regarding life, death and grieving. What I do know is that everyone does it differently. I did not know Oscar Taveras beyond what I have read about and have seen of him on television. That is how majority have in the few years that the baseball spotlight shined on him.
I never had the fortune of meeting him or interacting with him as a fan, but his death Sunday has had a profound impact on me. How can a stranger do so? There are countless ways, but the reason the death of Oscar Taveras has left me feeling empty is simple: we are twenty-something’s. [Read more…]Follow paulmbanks
With the San Francisco Giants back in the World Series, time to dust off one of our favorite sports jokes. Tim Lincecum is the only guy on the Giants roster who has not played this postseason. Still relevant though.
“Dazed & Confused” has absolutely no plot, but it’s still one of the most relevant teen comedies of all time. It lives up to the hype that another plotless teen comedy, “Napoleon Dynamite” receives. The entire film takes place in Austin, Texas on May 28th, 1976.Follow paulmbanks
The 2014 World Series may not get the highest ratings, but it will be the most eventful. Sure, there are no Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers, but there are the Cinderella story Royals and dynasty-craved Giants.
Not only is Ned Yost undefeated in his first playoff appearance with a Royals team that hadn’t been here since 1985, but on the other side Bruce Bochy looks to cement himself in the Hall of Fame by becoming the 10th head coach to win three World Series.Follow paulmbanks
The St. Louis Cardinals have welcomed news anchor Rafer Weigel to the Gateway City with open arms. If you consider Missouri a southern state, as many do, then you can call this “Southern Hospitality.” Weigel started his new job as KTVI News Anchor and reporter on October 7th. On his first day at the Fox affiliate, the Cards won the National League Division Series and advanced to the National League Championship Series.
On Weigel’s second day of work, this happened:Follow paulmbanks
The Cubs’ brass has spoken ad nauseam about its policy for promoting top prospects to the major leagues: a prospect must dominate AAA baseball for an extended period of time. When the Cubs promoted Junior Lake on July 19, 2013, there were myriad reasons they violated that policy and unwittingly set Lake up for a failure that finally led the Cubs to demote him to AAA Iowa just a couple of weeks ago.
While Lake initially seemed to demonstrate prescience by the Cubs brass with an OPS of .760 and batting average of .284 in 254 plate appearances in the waning months of last season, there were signs even then that Lake was not quite ready. His walk percentage of just over 5% and strikeout rate of almost 30% portended an inevitable backslide.Follow paulmbanks
The successor to Bud Selig was named yesterday. Rob Manfred is the new Major League Baseball commissioner, and for the sake of the sport, hopefully he will be much less tone deaf than the current commish. First watch this video from Countdown with Keith Olbermann on ESPN 2.
In fact, watch it a couple times so that you get all the facts and figures in:Follow paulmbanks