WBEZ | White Sox http://www.wbez.org/tags/white-sox Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Recap of Chicago's sports weekend http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-17/recap-chicagos-sports-weekend-112664 <p><p>It was an interesting weekend for Chicago sports. When we last left the crosstown classic, the Sox took 2 of 3. The Cubs though, have been tearing things up and came in to the series winners of 13 out of the last 14 games. The Sox on the other hand, have been up and down, losing 2 of 3 to the Rays and Yanks, they were swept by Kansas City before sweeping Anaheim. WBEZ&rsquo;s sports contributor Cheryl Raye Stout joins us with more on the weekend in sports. (Photo:&nbsp;Flickr/Mike Walker)</p></p> Mon, 17 Aug 2015 11:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-17/recap-chicagos-sports-weekend-112664 Cubs and Sox wind up big weekend series http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-10/cubs-and-sox-wind-big-weekend-series-112609 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/wrigley FlickrRon Cogswell.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Here we are in the middle of August, nearing the end of the regular baseball season, and Chicago&rsquo;s teams each just wrapped up an exciting series. The Cubs were spectacular, sweeping the defending World Series champs the San Francisco Giants in four games. On the flip side, the Sox were the ones who got swept. They fell three games in a row to the Kansas City Royals, last season&rsquo;s runner-up. So, what does this mean for the postseason for our two home teams? WBEZ&rsquo;s Cheryl Raye Stout talks baseball, plus an update on the Patrick Kane situation, and the latest from Bears training camp.</p></p> Mon, 10 Aug 2015 12:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-10/cubs-and-sox-wind-big-weekend-series-112609 Morning Shift: July 28, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-28/morning-shift-july-28-2015-112494 <p><p>First up: why there&rsquo;s a backlog in processing evidence in rape cases. Then, we check in with our sports contributor Cheryl Raye Stout to get a sense of the Cubs and White Sox trade landscape and whether the Bears will be as bad as some are already predicting. Plus, a couple of years ago former Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill making hiring people with disabilities a top priority for state agencies. We continue our look back on 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act with a focus on the legal issues surrounding the law. How has it evolved over the last two and a half decades and have additions like Illinois&rsquo; Employment First Act really helped? Finally, did you check you email before you went to bed last night and then first thing this morning? We&rsquo;ll talk with a time management expert who says that&rsquo;s not such a good idea.</p></p> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-28/morning-shift-july-28-2015-112494 Changes might be in store for Cubs, White Sox http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-28/changes-might-be-store-cubs-white-sox-112492 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/baseball FlickrGeoff Livingston.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Baseball teams are getting closer to their trade deadline. When it comes to the Cubs and Sox...Who might be going? Who might come in? And will the teams be buyers or sellers? WBEZ&#39;s sports contributor Cheryl Raye Stout provides those answers.</p></p> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-28/changes-might-be-store-cubs-white-sox-112492 Baseball returns from All Star break http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-17/baseball-returns-all-star-break-112415 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/wrigley Chris Brown.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/215157244&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">We speak with WBEZ sports reporter Cheryl Raye-Stout to look back on the Cubs and White Sox seasons so far and discuss what lies ahead as both teams return from the All Star break.&nbsp;</span></p></p> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 12:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-17/baseball-returns-all-star-break-112415 The origins of Chicago's sports mascots http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/origins-chicagos-sports-mascots-108693 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F111260692" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image ">Craig Scanlon from Chicago&#39;s Ravenswood neighborhood noticed something odd about a couple of the city&#39;s sports teams. One: The Bears and the Cubs are awfully similar mascots. Two: Are there even any bears in Chicago? Seeking some clarity, he asked Curious City this question:</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><em>What are the origins of Chicago&rsquo;s professional sports mascots?</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In the true spirit of sportsmanship, we asked a team of WBEZ producers to take on Craig&#39;s question. And we start with Benny the Bull.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Bulls</strong>&nbsp;<strong>mascot - Benny the Bull</strong></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Benny%20the%20Bull%20original1.jpg" title="Benny the Bull (AP/File)" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><br />Despite becoming one of the league&rsquo;s most successful franchises, the Chicago Bulls took some time&mdash;and some sweet talk&mdash;to get running.<br /><br />The Bulls were the fourth attempt to establish an NBA team in Chicago. First there was the Stags&hellip;then, if you can believe it, the Chicago Packers and lastly, and ever-so-briefly, the Chicago Zephyrs. According to Bulls lore (and The Chicago Bulls Encyclopedia), the club&rsquo;s first owner, Richard Klein, wanted the team&rsquo;s name to reflect strength and power and the city&rsquo;s reputation as Hog Butcher for the World.<br /><br />&ldquo;At first,&rdquo; Klein explained at the time, &ldquo;I was thinking of names like Matadors or Toreadors, but if you think about it, no team with as many as three syllables in its nickname has ever had much success except for the Canadians. I was sitting around the house, kicking these names around with my wife and three sons, when my little son Mark said, &lsquo;Dad, that&rsquo;s a bunch of bull!&rsquo; I said, &lsquo;That&rsquo;s it! We&rsquo;ll call them the Bulls!&rsquo; And that&rsquo;s how the team got its nickname.&rdquo;<br /><br />The team&rsquo;s mascot required more hot air than that. After the few other failed attempts to bring pro basketball to Chicago, the city&rsquo;s sports fans&mdash;and writers&mdash;weren&rsquo;t interested. So the Bulls brought on a former big-time fight announcer to be the team&rsquo;s public relations man. Ben Bentley, affectionately known to the boxing world and beyond as &ldquo;Benny,&rdquo; said he used to struggle to give tickets away in the early days; he used to turn up daily at Chicago&rsquo;s four newspapers to talk up the team and hand out tickets. His thought was, if he got them in the seats, he&rsquo;d make sure they had a reason to come back for more. One time, he wrestled a bear at half time to get people talking!<br /><br />And so, the team&rsquo;s original hype man lives on in its luv-a-bull mascot, Benny the Bull.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>-Katie O&#39;Brien</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Blackhawks</strong>&nbsp;<strong>mascot - Tommy Hawk</strong><br />&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Tommyhawk1.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 450px; float: right;" title="Tommyhawk (AP/File)" />The Blackhawks are named so in honor of a the 19th-century Sauk Indian warrior, Black Hawk. His tribe made their home along Illinois&rsquo;s Rock River. He began his quest to keep that land for his people as a teenager&mdash;and did so well into his 60s. After tribes in the region signed over lands east of the Mississippi River to the federal government, Black Hawk led a rebellion. He and some 1,500 followers&mdash;500 warriors and 1,000 women and children&mdash;on a 15-week campaign which caused panic in the area. Ultimately, Black Hawk was captured and most of his followers were killed. &nbsp; &nbsp;</div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><br />It was his captors that turned him into a mascot of sorts. He was taken to Washington, where he met with President Andrew Jackson. Black Hawk became a media sensation, the symbol of resistance and rebellion, strength and resilience.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br />When the team&rsquo;s founder, Major Frederic McLaughlin, he drew inspiration from his time serving as an Army commander in WWI. His division called themselves the Black Hawks in honor of the warrior.<br /><br />Beth Carvey, directs the museum at Black Hawk State Historic Site in Rock Island. She said Black Hawk believed in fighting for his people and doing what was right by his people, even if it was a lost cause.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The Blackhawks introduced Tommy Hawk, a hawk clad in a Blackhawk&#39;s jersey and pants and sporting the four feathers of the logo on his head, in the 2001-2002 season.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>-Katie O&#39;Brien</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Bears mascot - Staley</strong></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Bears%20mascot1.jpg" style="height: 311px; width: 210px; float: left;" title="Staley (AP/File)" /></div><p>George Halas, one of the founding fathers of the NFL, didn&rsquo;t first start with the name Bears for his original franchise. The team began playing in 1919 in Decatur, Illinois and was known as the Decatur Staleys since it was a owned by the A.E. Staley food starch company.&nbsp;</p><p>Halas took over the club in 1920 and moved the team to Chicago in 1921. According to the present team chairman, George McCaskey (and Halas grandson), the team had to keep the name Staleys for one year after they moved to Chicago, while they played at Wrigley Field.&nbsp; Halas thought about naming his Chicago team, the Cubs, but thought football players were tougher and decided to anoint them as the Chicago Bears.</p><p>The team in recent years has had a kid-friendly team mascot that is a huge, almost cuddly bear, named Staley. His name was to honor the original team&#39;s name and also the hope that the name may inspire children to seek the history.</p><p><em>-Cheryl Raye-Stout</em></p><p><strong>White Sox mascot - Southpaw</strong></p><p>The Chicago White Sox installed &ldquo;Southpaw&rdquo; as their U.S. Cellular Field mascot in 2002. The green, lizard-like character&rsquo;s name references left-handed pitchers and the ball club&#39;s location on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side. But you have to go back decades to get a taste of some of the mascot controversy that has embroiled the White Sox over the years . Andy the Clown was Andy Rozdilsky dressed in clown makeup, a bowler hat, glasses and a ruffled collared polka-dotted costume. For over 20 year he would run around the park inciting shouts of &ldquo;Gooooo yooooouuuuu White Sox&rdquo; from children and adults alike as the unofficial mascot of the Chicago White Sox. Rozdilsky clowned around Comiskey Park from 1961-1981, until Jerry Reinsdorf&rsquo;s ownership group bought the team.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/South Paw.jpg" style="float: right; height: 405px; width: 300px;" title="South Paw " /></p><p>Reinsdorf hired a design firm to come up with a new mascot for the White Sox in an effort to keep up with the times, and plushy dinosaurs, chickens and other assorted abstract animals were all the rage.</p><p>White Sox management introduced Ribbie and Roobarb, two almost inexplicably strange characters in 1981, but they were instantly unpopular as fans overwhelmingly rebelled against them, hurling insults, mock fighting and spitting on the duo. Fans waged a phone-in campaign to have the White Sox reinstate Andy, who had been banned from the park (while wearing his costume). Eventually the club compromised, saying Rozdilsky could continue to perform in the upper decks only, but fans would go out of their way to sneak Andy into the lower grandstands.</p><p>When the Sox moved to the new Comiskey Park, the White Sox officially retired Andy the Clown, and Rozdilsky retired from clowning (in costume) a few short years before he passed away in 1995.</p><p><em>-Justin Kaufmann</em></p><p><strong>Chicago Cardinals - Pom-Pon Girls, Cardettes and Gary Mann</strong></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Cardinals &quot;Pom Pon&quot; Girls (Photo Courtesy of Chicago History Museum)" chicago="" class="image-original_image" courtesy="" girls="" history="" of="" photo="" pom="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Cardinals%20Pom%20Pon%20Girls1.jpg" style="float: left; height: 353px; width: 400px;" title="Cardinals &quot;Pom Pon&quot; Girls (Photo Courtesy of Chicago History Museum)" /></div><p>Chicago&rsquo;s pro-football stepchild, the Chicago Cardinals, which became the St. Louis Cardinals, which became the Arizona Cardinals, didn&rsquo;t have an official mascot, according to sources with the team as well as at the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Chicago History Museum, but in the 1940s &amp; 50s they had the &quot;Pom-Pon Girls,&rdquo; the team&rsquo;s &quot;official vocalist, Gary Mann&quot; who sang the National Anthem, and the Cardettes, a &quot; 30-girl twirling and precision group.&quot;</p><p>The Cardinals played in Chicago until 1960, when for the sake of its financial survival, the team moved to St. Louis.<br /><br />The team&rsquo;s origins go back to 1898 when owner Chris O&#39;Brien formed the Morgan Athletic Club. Some years later, he bought used jerseys from the University of Chicago. Because the jerseys were old and used, they lacked the University&rsquo;s deep maroon color and were a strange faded red. O&rsquo;Brien decided the jerseys were &ldquo;Cardinal Red&rdquo;. The new &ldquo;Cardinals&rdquo; started playing their games on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side at 61st and Racine. They were known then as the &ldquo;Racine Street Cardinals&rdquo;.<br /><br /><em>Special thanks to Jon Kendle of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Lesley Martin of the Chicago History Museum and Allison LeClair of the NFL&#39;s Arizona Cardinals.</em></p><p><em>-Steve Bynum</em></p><p><strong>Chicago Cubs - No Mascot</strong></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cubs%20logo.jpg" title="(Logan Jaffe)" /></div><p>The Chicago Cubs are one of four teams (Angels, Cubs, Yankees and Dodgers) with no official mascot. However, with the new 5-year, $300 million expansion plan for Wrigley Field, the club has reportedly partnered with Northwestern University to conduct a poll about what kid-friendly experiences to add to the ballpark. Among those items discussed, an official mascot, according to the <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-03-09/sports/ct-spt-0310-cubs-spring-training-chicago--20130310_1_new-mascots-sox-fans-tommy-hawk">Chicago Tribune</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Chicago Fire - Sparky</strong></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Sparky1.jpg" title="Sparky (AP/File)" /></div><p>The official mascot for the Chicago Fire is Sparky, who resembles an upright Dalmatian. The mascot generally wears a Fire jersey, but it can often be seen entering Toyota Park in fireman attire. The Chicago Fire made Sparky the official mascot in 1998.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Chicago Sky - Sky Guy</strong></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Sky%20Guy1.jpg" title="(Courtesy of WBEZ's Jennifer Brandel)" /></div><p>Sky Guy is a yellow and blue-suited sky diver with a jet pack. Sky Guy has been the official mascot since the Chicago Sky became an offiicial WNBA team in 2006.</p><p><em>-Tim Akimoff</em></p></p> Tue, 17 Sep 2013 09:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/origins-chicagos-sports-mascots-108693 Chicago has the Stanley Cup, now what? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-06/after-hockey-celebration-now-what-107891 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_cub_fans_nam_y_huh.jpg" style="float: right; height: 198px; width: 300px;" title="Chicago fans will have a tough summer with hockey done. (AP Photo/Nam Y.Huh)" /><strong>What&#39;s next for the Blackhawks</strong></div><p>Now that the hockey season is over, the Blackhawks have to deal with their free agents and the draft. The team traded Dave Bolland to the Toronto Maple Leafs for three draft picks. They also sent Michael Frolik to the Winnipeg Jets for addition draft selections.</p><p>These moves allowed the team to re-sign&nbsp;Bryan Bickell to a four year deal. The salary cap forced changes again with the roster, but not ones as difficult as the 2010 changes.&nbsp;Still, it is hard for the fans to see&nbsp;Bolland, known as &quot;the Rat,&quot; leave after scoring the winning goal for the title.&nbsp;</p><p>Frolik had a big role&nbsp;with the team&#39;s penalty&nbsp;kill unit.&nbsp;Restricted free agent Nick Leddy said he also wants to remain a Hawk. General Manager Stan Bowman said he is more than likely to match any offer. The one free agent who seems to be leaving is Viktor Stalberg. The Swedish winger showed emotion when I asked him about his situation. He thought his lack of playing time put him in a difficult spot.</p><p>&ldquo;It was one of the toughest things to go through,&rdquo; he said. He also said he doesn&rsquo;t want to play the same role again. Expect him to play somewhere else.</p><p><strong>Chicago baseball update</strong></p><p>It is almost gratifying to realize the hockey has overshadowed a very bad baseball season. Both teams have languished in the bottom of their divisions. The Cubs&nbsp;continue their rebuilding effort and&nbsp;the Sox are a very flat team.&nbsp;It appears the most interesting news for the Cubs and White Sox is who will get traded at the deadline the end of next month. With scouts lining up to watch Matt Garza pitch yesterday, he is a strong candidate for another team. The right hander&rsquo;s health is the biggest concern for a trading partner. Scott Feldman has pitched well enough to get a look by teams. The Cubs best hurler has been Travis Wood. He should be a keeper at this point.&nbsp;</p><p>The White Sox have to figure out if it is time to wave the &ldquo;white flag&rdquo; on a team that has underperformed and has looked bad on offense and horrible on defense. There are not many commodities to make deals. Jake Peavy is still nursing a broken rib. The Sox pitcher is expected to return after the All-Star break. Another player that may draw interest is Alex Rios.&nbsp; The Sox outfielder has been the most consistent hitter on the club. The best player that will be made available is Jesse Crain.&nbsp;So the&nbsp;most exciting day for baseball may be July 31: the trading deadline.</p><p><strong>Bears training camp in sight</strong></p><p>Bears fans can circle July 26 for a chance to see the team in action for the first time since Marc Trestman took over as head coach. That first practice in Bourbonnais will not be with pads. Those workouts start July 28. After attending the Bears OTA&rsquo;s and mini-camps, fans will have plenty to watch.</p><p><strong>New Bulls in the fold</strong></p><p>On Thursday night the Chicago Bulls took a guard/small forward Tony Snell from New Mexico in the first round of the NBA draft. He is considered a good shooter and is best in the &ldquo;catch and shoot&rdquo; role. Defense is also considered an asset. When you take the 20th selection, who knows. The team did do well with Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson in the range of the first round. The took Erik Murphy a 6&#39;10&quot; forward from University of Florida in the second round.</p><p><strong>Chicago Sky and Fire</strong></p><p>The WNBA&#39;s Chicago Sky hopes to make the playoffs this year. They may have some of the pieces in place. Rookie Elena Delle Donne with veterans Sylvia Fowles and Epiphanny Prince have a winning record at 7-3 and a post-season appearance would help this franchise get legitimate interest.</p><p>The Chicago Fire has rebounded from a slow start this season. The MLS soccer team is 5-1-2 since their last loss on May 18. Right now the Fire is 5-7-3 overall.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></em></p></p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 18:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-06/after-hockey-celebration-now-what-107891 Blackhawks and Cub-Sox games tonight for Chicago fans http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-05/blackhawks-and-cub-sox-games-tonight-chicago-fans-107372 <p><p>Make sure your television remote control has plenty of battery power for the local sports action tonight. The Blackhawks try again to stave off elimination in Detroit and the Cubs travel across town to US Cellular to play the White Sox.</p><p>Game 6 will be another bruising battle for the Hawks and Red Wings. Down 3 games to 2, which team will show up for Coach Joel Quenneville?</p><p>Will it be the one that dominated in the first and last games or the one that was battered and embarrassed by their arch rivals in the middle contests?</p><p>On Saturday, the Blackhawks had the edge on every aspect of the game. They must try to carry the momentum at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. It will not be easy. During games 3 and 4 the Wings were fueled by their rabid fans and physically dominated the Hawks, especially Jonathan Towes. Chicago&#39;s &quot;Captain Serious&quot; has found scoring goals a huge struggle this post season. When he finally scored his first of the playoffs last Saturday (on the power play, no less) it was a huge weight off his shoulders and it seemed the team felt it, too.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_jonathan_toews_nam_y_huh.jpg" style="height: 329px; width: 360px; float: left;" title="Captain Jonathan Toews hopes for more playoff action after today.(AP Photo/Nan Y. Huh)" /></p><p>Rarely in a team sport like hockey can one player affect a team, but Toews is not an ordinary player. He is their leader and he provides important lift that raised the team to the best regular season record. After the game, Toews finally had a smile on his face and you could see he was relieved his team fought to play another day.</p><p>What was one of the big reasons the Hawks won a Stanley Cup three years ago?</p><p>If you answered traffic in the net, defense and scoring on the power play you would be right in all three categories.&nbsp;</p><p>Andrew Shaw (and to some extent Bryan Bickell) must disrupt Detroit&rsquo;s goalie Jimmy Howard. Shaw is not big, but he must plant himself in front of Howard.</p><p>The power play has been abysmal for most of the year and the post-season. It finally was better last game after the Hawks scored twice.</p><p>Finally, the area that has been the strength of the Blackhawks has been their defense and they need every combination to continue to play hard and block shots.</p><p>If the Hawks can control the puck and play every minute like it is their last, we will see a game six at the United Center on Wednesday. If not? It will be the last game until next fall and it will be a long summer of &quot;what ifs?&quot;</p><p><strong>Cubs-Sox: will the fans care?</strong></p><p>Not a lot of luster tonight for the start of a four-game series between the Sox and the Cubs. Neither team is lighting the baseball world on fire. The Sox have finally reached .500 after sweeping the lowly Miami Marlins yesterday. The last place Cubs snapped a six game losing streak beating the Reds in Cincinnati yesterday.</p><p>But there are still bragging rights for the victor. In a new format, the White Sox host the first two games and the Cubs will welcome the Sox the final two contests. Before yesterday&rsquo;s game Marlin outfielder Juan Pierre talked about playing on both sides of town and thought it was very special. Pierre said, &ldquo;It won&rsquo;t be the same without AJ (Pierzynski).&rdquo; How true that is.</p><p>Who could forget Cub catcher Michael Barrett punching AJ? There is no Ozzie Guillen to point out how bad the amenities are at Wrigley Field. When we asked Sox manager Robin Ventura about Wrigley, he likes the place (no drama there).&nbsp; The Cubs had their fair share of incidents, remember Lou Pinella getting into a shouting match with Carlos Zambrano and then sending him home?</p><p>Although there have been more empty seats the past few years, it&#39;s still fun for the fans to show their colors: Cubbie blue or Sox silver and black.</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CRayeStout&lt;<a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">https://twitter.com/Crayestout</a>&gt; and Facebook Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame</a></p></p> Mon, 27 May 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-05/blackhawks-and-cub-sox-games-tonight-chicago-fans-107372 South Red Line closures just around the corner http://www.wbez.org/news/south-red-line-closures-just-around-corner-107214 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/2721141923_d30f49ae31_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The South branch of the Red Line closes Sunday for five months while it undergoes renovation. Chicago Transit Authority officials say nine stops, also known as the Dan Ryan branch, are in desperate need of repair. The CTA will provide a few backup solutions for the more than 80,000 people who ride each weekday. Other groups like PACE, Metra - even the White Sox franchise - are also lending a hand.</p><p dir="ltr">Starting Sunday, service will be shut down between 95th/Dan Ryan and Cermak-Chinatown. According to CTA spokesman Brian Steele, construction crews will rip everything up -- like ties, rails and ballasts - and rebuild the tracks and all but one of the train stations. Steele says the 95th/Dan Ryan stop is scheduled to receive a separate facelift beginning in the first half of 2014.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Remember that the Red Line South opened in September of 1969, just two months after Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon,&rdquo; Steele said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s seen, literally, millions of train trips in that time, and has really served the CTA well.</p><p dir="ltr">Steele says the Red Line has been patched and fixed over the years, but it&rsquo;s to the point where the only way to ensure effective operation of the line is to completely rebuild it.</p><p dir="ltr">That&rsquo;s going to take some time - five months, to be exact. Steele says they looked at other options, like closing down only on the weekends, for example, but he says the five-month plan was the most efficient and cost-effective way to complete the project. Steele says once completed, the trackwork will provide faster and more reliable service.</p><p dir="ltr">To ease riders&rsquo; headaches, the CTA will provide a number of backup options. The CTA website has been upgraded with a <a href="http://www.transitchicago.com/news_initiatives/projects/redsouth/tripplanner.aspx">trip planner</a> that calculates rerouted directions for commuters. CTA is also offering express buses from four of the closed Red Line stations (95th/Dan Ryan, 87th, 79th and 69th) that will go directly to the Green Line Garfield station. Steele said Green Line service and local bus routes will also provide additional service during peak times.</p><p dir="ltr">For riders who think Metra or Pace might be the best option, the three transit agencies are offering a joint fare pass. Riders can buy the cards at stores like CVS or Walgreens. They provide five days of unlimited rides on CTA/Pace and 10 rides on the Metra. The cost of the pass depends on which Metra zone the rider travels to and from.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Metra spokesman Michael Gillis, the agency isn&rsquo;t expecting an influx of riders during the Red Line closures, but says there will certainly be a &ldquo;settling-in period&rdquo; as riders figure out which new route works best.</p><p dir="ltr">Even the <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/cws/ticketing/groups/gsg/gsg.jsp?loc=soxcta">White Sox</a> are chipping in to help potentially disgruntled commuters, as the Sox/35th stop is one of the stops getting a makeover. The team is offering fans discounts on some tickets to the May 20th, 21st and 22nd games against the Boston Red Sox.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Producer/Reporter. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda"> </a><a href="http://www.twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p></p> Thu, 16 May 2013 15:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/south-red-line-closures-just-around-corner-107214 Chicago White Sox and Cubs start strong, Bulls and Blackhawks wind down http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/chicago-white-sox-and-cubs-start-strong-bulls-and-blackhawks-wind <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_sox_4-3_charles_rex_arbogast.jpg" style="height: 198px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="US Cellular had lots of empty seats for the first 2013 series. (AP)" /><strong>Sox starters shine</strong></div><p dir="ltr">The first week of the season is peppered with mostly day games because of the time of year. The White Sox opening day was a sell-out and the seats were filled despite the frigid temperatures.</p><p dir="ltr">The next two games, both played in the afternoon, had sparse crowds. The Sox won the first two games against Kansas City with solid starting pitching (and the long ball) in that series. Yesterday they dropped the series finale 3-1 to the Royals. Sox starter Gavin Floyd gave up three runs. One was unearned. The offense was pretty much handcuffed by Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie and the bullpen.</p><p dir="ltr">Sox starters Chris Sale, Jake Peavy and Floyd had good outings. Tyler Flowers boasted the game winning solo homer in the opener and another home run in game 2. Sox fans will be following Flowers progress since he replaced AJ Pierzynski. The Sox defense was a bit shoddy the past two games. The weather may get the blame for now. Tonight the Southsiders host the Seattle Mariners, the first of three games at U.S. Cellular Field.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Cubs&rsquo; cold offense</strong></p><p dir="ltr">There were a ton of empty seats in Pittsburgh, where the Cubs had success against the Pirates. They took two out of three, including a 3-2 win in yesterday afternoon&rsquo;s series finale. Cubs lefty Travis Wood had a nice outing for his first start of the year. Wood shut out the Pirates for six innings and gave up just one hit before turning the game over to the bullpen.</p><p dir="ltr">The question was on the back end, as Carlos Marmol almost squandered away a 3-0 lead and was aided by a double play to end the game. Just like the weather, the offense was cold for both teams.</p><p dir="ltr">After a weekend series in Atlanta, the Cubs will have their home opener Monday afternoon against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. The <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/sports/19279481-418/long-awaited-wrigley-field-rehab-deal-expected-by-mondays-opener.html">Chicago Sun Times is reporting</a> a deal has been worked out for the rehabbing of the ballpark with the city, team and neighborhood. According to the report, the agreement will be announced on Monday. Nothing is for certain until the i&rsquo;s are dotted and the t&rsquo;s are crossed.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Bulls beat Nets</strong></p><p dir="ltr">What can you say about the Bulls? They came back to beat the Nets in Brooklyn 92-90? Carlos Boozer put the depleted Bulls team on his back and scored 29 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. It was an incredible effort considering Taj Gibson re-injured his knee and joins the long list of injured players on this Bulls squad.</p><p dir="ltr">Tom Thibodeau&rsquo;s team had to claw and scratch to dig out of a 16 point deficit and held on to beat a team they may meet in the playoffs. After the win, the Bulls climbed up to the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are in the fourth spot. The standings are still fluid with a handful of games left. Tomorrow the Bulls return to the United Center to play the Orlando Magic.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Blackhawks lose to Blues</strong></p><p dir="ltr">Last night at the United Center, the Blackhawks lost in a shoot-out to the St. Louis Blues 4-3. The Hawks did pick up a point and remain on top of the NHL with 58 total points this season.</p><p dir="ltr">The Hawks may be concerned with giving up a leads in the third period. They had a 2-1 advantage going into the final period and the Blues were able to score twice against Corey Crawford. With less than five minutes left, Viktor Stalberg tied up the game for the Hawks with his seventh goal of the season. However, in the shoot-out the Blues outscored the Hawks 4-3.</p><p dir="ltr">There are only a dozen regular season games left on the schedule the Blackhawks. Thoughts of the playoffs are getting closer and at least Marian Hossa returned from his injury and Patrick Sharp is expected back soon. Next up, an away and home series against Nashville this weekend.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame </a></em></p></p> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/chicago-white-sox-and-cubs-start-strong-bulls-and-blackhawks-wind