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  • Kasper: In baseball debates, anonymity has an ugly side Sep 7, 2014 2:28 PM
    With all that the Internet offers, you have take the good with the bad. And the good — the system of checks and balances everywhere you look on the web — outweighs the bad, says Cubs insider Len Kasper. The ugly side of anonymous commentary, however, can ruin the experience.

     
  • Bears struck by fickle stiff-arm of fate Sep 7, 2014 6:37 PM
    Following his moment of redemption, Chris Conte sprung to his feet.News: The beleaguered Bear then started running, high-stepping along the way. He sprinted the entire width of the football field, then veered toward a tunnel in the corner of Soldier Field’s south end zone. “I just made a break on the ball,” Conte said of his third-quarter interception of Buffalo quarterback EJ Manuel on Sunday. “He was rolling out and I went to make a play on the ball. After that, I was just excited so I started running.”

     
  • Ozney Guillen following his dream in Frontier League Sep 7, 2014 9:04 AM
    Ozney Guillen — the youngest son of former White Sox shortstop/manager Ozzie Guillen — spent his summer playing baseball in the Frontier League for one reason. "It's fun playing here," he said," but everybody's main goal is to get out."

     
  • Bears’ backup receivers needed to step up Sep 7, 2014 9:38 PM
    Some unfamiliar faces were on the field Sunday in the Bears' offense after wide receiver Alshon Jeffery left with a hamstring injury and Brandon Marshall was temporarily sidelined with a sprained ankle. The new guys might have to play an even bigger role next week if Jeffery isn't back.

     
  • Rongey: Don’t forget this special time for baseball Sep 7, 2014 8:46 PM
    I love this time of year, and I enjoy that for three hours, once a week, just about everyone in the city wants the same thing for the same team. There’s a great deal of community in that from a town that spends the summer divided against itself. But as entertaining as the next months will be, September always carries with it a little bit of sadness, for me anyway. It’s terrible timing that the country’s most popular sport gets underway at the same time some of the year’s best baseball gets played. I love playoff baseball, and often the races leading up to the postseason are just as thrilling. Take this season: Both the American League Central and National League West races are far from decided, three teams have a legitimate claim at the AL wild card, and the NL wild card is even more unclear with four teams in hot pursuit. Like many others, the end of this baseball season is going to be a fun one, even if the White Sox aren’t a part of it.

     
  • Cougars advance to championship series Sep 7, 2014 10:01 PM
    The Kane County Cougars are making their first Midwest League finals appearance since 2006. They will have two days to prepare for their Eastern Division opponent. A 4-2 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels gave the Cougars the Western Division championship Sunday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

     
  • Pirates rock Wood and sweep Cubs Sep 7, 2014 4:39 PM
    The Pittsburgh Pirates completed a three-game sweept of the Cubs Sunday with a 10-4 victory at Wrigley Field. Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood lasted just 1.2 innings, giving up 9 hits and 7 runs.

     
  • Chicago Sky routed in Game 1 of WNBA Finals Sep 7, 2014 5:33 PM
    Brittney Griner set the tone for a dominating Phoenix performance with a playoff record eight blocked shots, five in the first quarter, and the Mercury routed the Chicago Sky 83-62 on Sunday in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. Griner also had 12 points and seven rebounds. Candice Dupree made her first 10 shots and scored 26 for the Mercury in their 19th consecutive home victory. Diana Taurasi added 19 points and 11 assists. Phoenix shot a finals record 58.5 percent from the field, Chicago 31.9 percent. Sylvia Fowles scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Chicago but was just 8 of 20, usually against Griner in a matchup of the last two WNBA defensive players of the year. Elena Delle Donne only played 11 minutes because of a bad back. She finished with two points and didn’t play in the second half with the game already out of reach. Game 2 of the best-of-5 series is Tuesday night in Phoenix. Alley Quigley, who was the league’s sixth woman of the year, scored 13 points for the Sky. She missed 11 of her 15 shots. Phoenix led from the opening basket, was up by 22 at the half and by as many as 30 in the third. Griner’s five first-quarter blocks broke the playoff record for a half. She finished with six at halftime. Meanwhile, Dupree couldn’t miss, going 9 for 9 in the first half, capped by a layup on a halfcourt pass from Taurasi just before the buzzer to put Phoenix up 42-20, the largest halftime lead in WNBA Finals history. Griner dominated Fowles, blocking three of the Chicago center’s first four shots and holding her to 2 of 9 shooting in the first half. Phoenix shot 64.5 percent in the first half (20 for 31) to the Sky’s 8 of 36 (22 percent). Chicago, the No. 4 seed in the East, trailed just 17-12 after Fowles’ inside basket with 8:53 to go in the second quarter, then Phoenix outscored the Sky 25-8 the rest of the half. DuPree scored six in a 10-0 run that made it 27-12 with 6:45 to go in the half, and Chicago never got closer than 12 again. Chicago rallied from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit in the deciding first-round game against the East’s top seed Atlanta. But there was no such comeback against the Mercury. Phoenix scored the first eight of the second half to lead 50-20. Notes: The Mercury won the title in 2007 and 2009, Chicago is in the finals for the first time. ... Phoenix’s only home loss was May 23 against San Antonio, the Mercury’s third game of the season. ... The previous record for largest halftime lead was 20 points by Los Angeles against Detroit in 2003. ... Phoenix is 3-0 against Chicago this season. ... The previous record for blocks in a game was seven by Lisa Leslie on three occasions, twice in 2001, once in 2002.

     
  • Rozner: Bears have nowhere to go but up Sep 8, 2014 9:28 AM
    It's hard to imagine a worse start to the 2014 season for the Bears, but they insist on playing the rest of the schedule even if it seems pointless to some fans and media at the moment.

     
  • Images: Bears vs. Bills Sep 7, 2014 5:36 PM
    Images of the Chicago Bears vs. the Buffalo Bills during the first game of the season at Soldier Fiel in Chicago on Sunday afternoon. The Bears lost the game in overtime 23-20.

     
  • Imrem: Full Cutler on display: Good, bad and ugly Sep 8, 2014 10:49 AM
    All of Jay Cutler was there for the world to see: the good, the bad and the ugly. Give him credit for somehow sensing that his 2 interceptions would be viewed negatively.

     
  • Bears' offense more hurtful than helpful Sep 8, 2014 10:47 AM
    Not only did the Bears' offense not provide the expected support for a defense in transition, it made things more difficult by turning the ball over three times in a disappointing 23-20 overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field on Sunday.

     
  • Again, it’s not Travis Wood’s day as Cubs lose Sep 7, 2014 6:31 PM
    Compared with last year, this season has been a real downer for Cubs lefty Travis Wood. An all-star in 2013, Wood fell to 8-12 with a 5.15 ERA Sunday in a 10-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. A few key numbers tell the story.

     
  • White Sox shut down by Indians Sep 7, 2014 3:31 PM
    Carlos Carrasco came within one out of his first complete game, and the Cleveland Indians finished a three-game sweep with a 2-0 win over the White Sox on Sunday. Carrasco (7-4) allowed four hits, struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter in 8 2-3 innings, extending his remarkable turnaround since rejoining the rotation last month. Adrian Nieto led off the ninth with a single before Adam Eaton hit into a forceout. Carrasco struck out Carlos Sanchez, but rookie slugger Jose Abreu’s single to left ended the day for Carrasco, who was given a standing ovation by the crowd of 17,597 as he walked to the dugout. Cody Allen retired Conor Gillaspie on a line drive to center for his 19th save. Carrasco is 4-0 and has allowed three earned runs in 38 2-3 innings over six starts since Aug. 10. Michael Brantley’s RBI single in the first put Cleveland ahead. Carlos Santana added a run-scoring groundout in the eighth. Scott Carroll (5-10) held the Indians to two runs in eight-plus innings, but received no help from his offense. Chicago scored two runs in the series and has lost 14 of 18. Cleveland entered Sunday trailing Kansas City by five games in the AL Central and was 4 1/2 games behind Seattle for the second wild card. Carrasco began the season in the rotation, but was banished to the bullpen after going 0-3 with a 6.95 ERA in four starts. He pitched well in relief, going 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA and a save in 26 appearances. Carrasco’s strong stretch began with five scoreless innings against the New York Yankees on Aug. 10, his first win as a starter since June 29, 2011, when he defeated Arizona. The win broke a streak of 17 consecutive starts in which he had a loss or no-decision. Carrasco hasn’t allowed more than one run earned in any of his starts since being moved out of the bullpen. Michael Bourn started the first with a triple over the head of Eaton, who broke back on the ball but couldn’t make the catch. Bourn, who has been on the disabled list twice with an injured right hamstring, raced around the bases and slid into third. Brantley extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single to center. TRAINER’S ROOM White Sox: OF Avisail Garcia got a day off. Abreu, who has been dealing with general soreness, was the DH again. Manager Robin Ventura expects Abreu to return to first base sometime this week. Indians: INF-OF Mike Aviles (concussion) is increasing his activities, but there’s no timetable for his return. He was injured attempting to make a diving catch in right field Monday. UP NEXT White Sox: RHP Hector Noesi (8-9) faces Oakland in the opener of a four-game series Monday. He’s 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA in his last six starts. RHP Sonny Gray (13-8) starts for the A’s. Indians: RHP Danny Salazar (6-6), coming off his first career shutout, will start Monday against the Angels. RHP Jered Weaver (15-8) pitches for Los Angeles.

     
  • Saturday Soapbox: Ten suburban issues worth special reflection Sep 6, 2014 10:19 AM
    Ten special things to think about in the suburbs today -- including do-overs in DuPage County, win-win soccer deals in Long Grove, teaching charity in Arlington Heights, the press's pizza bias and more.

     
  • Pirates take a pair from Cubs Sep 6, 2014 8:07 PM
    The Pittsburgh Pirates picked up a pair of wins Saturday at Wrigley Field. They beat the Cubs 5-3 in 11 innings to finish Friday's suspended game. In the regularly scheduled contest, the Pirates took command early and never looked back, winning 5-0.

     
  • Cubs' offense struggles in double loss Sep 7, 2014 1:04 AM
    The Cubs look like they're missing big guns Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro from their lineup. They dropped a pair of games Saturday, losing Friday's suspened game 5-3 in 11 innings and getting shutout 5-0 in the second game. Manager Rick Renteria also said he's not worried about rookie Javier Baez and his strikeouts.

     
  • Rozner: Young Huskies prevail in Battle of Illinois Sep 6, 2014 10:21 PM
    NIU might have found its new quarterback as the Huskies put together a strong second half to defeat Northwestern in Evanston.

     
  • Cutler's 'journey' has him poised to lead Bears Sep 7, 2014 8:25 AM
    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has reached the age where he appreciates his situation, being surrounded by an abundance of talent, with the opportunity to bring it all together into a potent offense capable of outperforming last year's high-scoring unit and carrying the entire team.

     
  • Cougars take Game 1 of playoffs 5-2 Sep 7, 2014 12:35 AM
    Mark Zagunis and the Cougars are a win away from the Midwest League championship after a 5-2 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Cougars piled on 4 runs in the final three innings for the Game 1 victory of the Western division championship.

     
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