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  • Mike North video: Why couldn’t Tebow be a backup QB for Bears? Jul 31, 2014 9:42 AM
    Mike North thinks Tim Tebow would make a better backup quarterback in the league than several of the second string players out there.

     
  • Wasco Baseball partners with St. Charles North Jul 31, 2014 1:57 PM
    Wasco Baseball has partnered with St. Charles North baseball program at 13U level to better prepare players for high school baseball.

     
  • Industrious anglers will find fly rod rewards Jul 31, 2014 12:26 PM
    Using a fly rod to pursue bluegills in retention ponds can be a delightful angle on suburban fishing, as Mike Jackson explains in his weekly outdoors column.

     
  • Ex-Bull Brunson pleads not guilty to sex assault charges Jul 31, 2014 2:43 PM
    Eric "Rick" Brunson pleaded not guilty in Lake County court early to accusations he sexually assaulted a massage therapist at a Vernon Hills fitness center. The ex-Chicago Bulls player and coach faces a maximum of seven years in prison if found guilty on the most serious charge. He is due back in court Sept. 9.

     
  • A’s get Lester, Gomes from Red Sox for Cespedes Jul 31, 2014 3:56 PM
    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline. Oakland, with the best record in baseball at 66-41, also received cash from Boston in another blockbuster deal by A’s general manager Billy Beane. The Red Sox also get a draft pick in a deal confirmed by both teams. “I believe that the deliberations leading to the two trades we did today were deeply analyzed, thoughtful and value-added,” A’s owner Lew Wolff said in an email. “The best trades are when all parties have potential benefits, and what Billy accomplished is an example of such a win-win. The calls I have received from other owners were very complimentary.” A few hours later, the Red Sox traded their No. 2 starter, right-hander John Lackey, to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig, a person with knowledge of the deal said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because neither club announced that trade. Lester is having an outstanding season with a 10-7 record and career-best 2.52 ERA in 21 starts. He has allowed seven earned runs in his last eight games with 54 strikeouts and nine walks. But the Red Sox put him on the trading block because he can become a free agent after the season. He was sought by many teams, including Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 30-year-old, three-time All-Star originally was scheduled to start Wednesday night for the slumping Red Sox, who instead scratched Lester ahead of the trade deadline. After winning their third World Series in 10 seasons last year, with Lester getting two of the four wins with a 0.59 ERA against St. Louis, the power-poor Red Sox are last in the AL East with a 48-60 record. They had Thursday off after losing for the eighth time in nine games to drop 13 games behind first-place Baltimore. While the Red Sox look toward next season, the A’s are determined to take the next step after losing in each of the past two Octobers in five-game division series to Detroit. Oakland was off Thursday before returning home to begin a weekend series with Kansas City on Friday night. It’s unclear what day Lester would start, though it’s likely to be Saturday. Sonny Gray (12-3) is scheduled for Friday. Manager Bob Melvin has discussed the idea of giving some pitchers extra days between outings to keep them fresh in the second half. “Well I am awake,” Gray posted on Twitter when the trade news broke early Thursday. Oakland later sent lefty Tommy Milone to the Twins for outfielder Sam Fuld. Beane believes in starting pitching depth, and the A’s sure have it. Lester joins Gray, Scott Kazmir and recently acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, each dealt by the Chicago Cubs on July 4. Gomes, a fan favorite who grew up in nearby Petaluma, provides Oakland with a veteran presence that proved invaluable during the A’s run to the AL West title in 2012. The A’s reached the playoffs for the first time in six years. He also was a respected clubhouse leader in Boston, which signed him as a free agent before last season. Gomes is hitting .234 with six homers and 32 RBIs in 78 games this season. For Boston, this marks another big move of a starting pitcher to the Bay Area after Jake Peavy was traded to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday for two solid pitching prospects. The 28-year-old Cespedes won the past two Home Run Derby titles at the All-Star game. The Cuban left fielder is in the third season of a $36 million, four-year contract he signed before spring training 2012. Cespedes is batting .256 with 17 homers and 67 RBIs, 26 doubles and three triples. Speculation had centered on the Red Sox seeking prospects to add to their already deep farm system. That would have given them more young players to use in another deal for an established player, possibly a power-hitting outfielder. They got that in Cespedes, whose 17 homers is the exact number hit this season by the nine Red Sox players who spent time in the outfield. And Gomes’ six was the most. Lester has said leaving the Red Sox doesn’t rule out a return to the team next season. He had said he would take a hometown discount to stay in Boston, but the team’s four-year, $70 million offer in spring training fell far short of what he could get on the open market. Lester leaves his only pro baseball organization. The Red Sox drafted him in the second round in 2002. He made his major league debut June 10, 2006 and got no decision in a 7-4 loss to the Texas Rangers. He won five of his next seven starts before taking his first loss in his 10th. In his nine major league seasons, all with Boston, Lester is 110-63 with a 3.64 ERA. He’s also a proven postseason star with a 3-0 record in his two World Series. He pitched 5 2-3 shutout innings against the Colorado Rockies in the clinching fourth game in 2007. Without Lester and Lackey, Clay Buchholz heads a rotation that includes youngsters Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and Brandon Workman. Felix Doubront began the season in the rotation but was ineffective and sent to the bullpen before being traded to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. Boston’s minor league system is rich with pitching prospects, featuring right-handers Anthony Ranaudo and Matt Barnes at Triple-A Pawtucket and left-handers Henry Owens and Brian Johnson at Double-A Portland.

     
  • Lackey goes from Red Sox to Cards for Kelly, Craig Jul 31, 2014 3:56 PM
    The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline. The deal leaves the Red Sox without their top two starters. Both teams announced the move a few hours after the struggling Red Sox said they had sent their No. 1 starter, left-hander Jon Lester, to the Oakland Athletics with outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and a 2015 draft pick. The Red Sox also sent cash and minor league left-hander Cory Littrell to St. Louis. Lackey is 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA in the fourth year of a five-year, $82.5 million deal. Kelly is 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA in seven starts. He has made four starts since being activated from the disabled list on July 11. Craig is batting .237 with seven homers and 44 RBIs. Lackey has had two strong seasons since being sidelined for all of 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He was 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA last year when he pitched his second World Series-clinching game, allowing one run in 6 2-3 innings in a 6-1 win over the Cardinals in Game 6. In 2002, he won Game 7 for the Anaheim Angels over the San Francisco Giants, a 4-1 victory in which he gave up one run in five innings. The Cardinals, in a tight race with the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central, had obtained right-hander Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. Kelly joins a Red Sox rotation with a much different look than the one that began the season. Lester, Lackey, Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront all are gone. Peavy was traded to the San Francisco Giants last Saturday and Doubront was sent to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. Only Clay Buchholz, an inconsistent right-hander, remains from the original group. The 26-year-old Kelly was 5-7 with a 3.53 ERA as a rookie in 2012 and 10-5 with a 2.69 ERA last season. Craig brings more power to a weak-hitting outfield that was bolstered by the acquisition of Cespedes. In the past two seasons, Craig totaled 35 homers and 189 RBIs, hitting .307 in 2012 and .315 in 2013. The 30-year-old Craig has been in a season-long slump after batting a major league-best .454 with runners in scoring position in 2013. He’s gotten days off to help emerge from his slide with little success. He hasn’t been the same since missing the last month of regular season with a left mid-foot strain but came back for the World Series, playing some designated hitter and first base. Kelly and Craig both were hurt running to first, Craig when he landed awkwardly rounding the base and Kelly injuring his hamstring sprinting to beat out a bunt. While the Cardinals make their playoff push, the Red Sox are in last place in the AL East and looking ahead to next season. With the departure of four veteran starters, several of their top prospects should get a long look the rest of the season.

     
  • AP source: Tigers acquire ace Price from Rays Jul 31, 2014 4:01 PM
    The Detroit Tigers have added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Tampa Bay’s David Price in a blockbuster deal Thursday. A person familiar with the trade, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet announced, did not say for whom the left-hander was dealt for.

     
  • 1,000th win at Arlington for Catalano Jul 31, 2014 2:49 PM
    Veteran trainer Wayne Catalano recorded his 1,000th victory at Arlington International Racecourse on Thursday.

     
  • Illinois Wolves Basketball will hold Back 2 School Camp Jul 30, 2014 7:35 AM
    Basketball Skills Camp for 4th thru 8th grade with focus on skills development taught by ILLWolves staff and former and current players

     
  • Riley speaks out, insists Heat will be competitive Jul 30, 2014 6:44 PM
    One of the last things Miami Heat President Pat Riley told LeBron James before free agency began this summer was that he would be selling potential players on the notion of playing alongside a four-time NBA MVP. And James never made him think otherwise, Riley said — until roughly the same moment that the entire world was made aware of his plan to go home.

     
  • UCLA’s storied Pauley Pavilion under water Jul 30, 2014 5:36 PM
    The House That Wooden Built is waterlogged. Pauley Pavilion, UCLA’s storied basketball arena where John Wooden coached teams that won eight of his 10 national championships, was drying out Wednesday after its court was deluged by 10 inches of water when a 93-year-old pipe burst near the campus in Westwood.

     
  • Conference realignment coming to NSC? Jul 30, 2014 10:15 PM
    The North Suburban Conference could take on a very different appearance soon, as the current two-division format may not be viable with the possible addition of Grayslake North and Grayslake Central.

     
  • Cubs catcher/pitcher gets beer shower after longest game Jul 30, 2014 11:00 AM
    “I got beer, chocolate milk, I got hair gel, I got shampoo, I got body wash and I got some more beer,” Cubs backup catcher and winning pitcher John Baker said after Tuesday night's 16 inning marathon win over the Colorado Rockies. “Best shower I've ever taken.” It's the longest game by time in Cubs history.

     
  • Bosh signs 5-year, $118 million Heat deal Jul 30, 2014 5:38 PM
    Chris Bosh has signed his $118 million, five-year contract to stay with the Miami Heat. The team says Bosh signed the deal Wednesday. The sides agreed on the terms earlier this month, but the paperwork could not be completed because Bosh was on a lengthy international vacation and needed to undergo a physical before signing.

     
  • Who's played longer than Cubs record game? (Hint: Look south) Jul 30, 2014 10:57 AM
    Ever feel like you've been to a game that just won't end? That's what it felt like last night for Cubs fans, who sat through 6 hours and 27 minutes at the Cubs battled the Rockies in 16 innings until 1:27 a.m. But that's not the longest game in Chicago history. See who else has kept fans up late at night.

     
  • Nadal out of 2 tournaments because of right wrist Jul 30, 2014 5:42 PM
    Rafael Nadal withdrew Wednesday from U.S. Open tuneups in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a right wrist injury, putting in doubt his status for a title defense at the year’s last Grand Slam tournament. The second-ranked Nadal plays left-handed, but he uses a two-handed backhand.

     
  • Collins cruising at Illinois Women’s Open Jul 30, 2014 12:06 AM
    Mistwood’s recently renovated course has proven a tough challenge for the players in the 20th Illinois Women’s Open — with the exception of Emily Collins, that is.

     
  • McBride scores 16 as Stars beat Sky 92-74 Jul 30, 2014 12:05 AM
    Kayla McBride scored 16 points to lead a balanced offense and the San Antonio Stars rolled to a 92-74 victory over the Sky on Tuesday night. Danielle Adams had 14 points, Sophia Young-Malcolm added 12 and Shenise Johnson 11 for San Antonio (13-14). Jia Perkins scored 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting in her first game in a month.

     
  • Mike North video: Should Rose skip playing for U.S. basketball team Jul 30, 2014 9:57 AM
    So many NBA players who are worried about getting hurt are sitting out of playing for team USA, Mike North wonders if Derrick Rose should too.

     
  • Cubs win with catcher as a pitcher in record long game Jul 30, 2014 10:44 AM
    Both the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies ran out of relief pitchers in a marathon game. The Cubs used a catcher — and won. “It’s really cool to get a chance to do this,” said John Baker, who scored the winning run in the bottom of the 16th inning after pitching a scoreless top half.

     
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