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Sports Wrap: Benched players and new faces at first

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Sports Wrap: Benched players and new faces at first

The White Sox re-signed Paul Konerko to a 3-year $37.5 million deal.

Getty/Jonathan Daniel

Updated at 4:00 p.m. on 12/09/2010

During a visit to “Eight Forty-Eight,” sports contributor Cheryl Raye-Stout slapped on some eye black to prepare for “heartbreaker” Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. She says we know what to expect from Brady—greatness—but keep in mind, the Bears are undefeated after the break.

Earl Bennett is Jay Cutler’s guy on offense. The two played together during Cutler’s senior year at Vanderbilt University while Bennett was a freshman Commodore.

Raye-Stout said of Bennett, “He’s not fast but he’s there.”

Also making himself seen and heard in Chicago sports is Bulls forward Carlos Boozer. After a long fall on the bench, Boozer is finally getting to work.

“He’s barking orders, telling everyone where to go; he knows everything that has to be done. He may not hit the shots all the time but he’s a leader in the locker room and a leader on the floor—that’s big,” Raye-Stout said.

Boozer may be back on the hardwood but when the United Center floor turns to ice, Chicago fans will ache at the sight of another one of its franchise players back in street clothes. Blackhawks captain Patrick Kane is out for three weeks after suffering a left-leg injury against Calgary on Sunday. The right winger joins Marian Hossa, who was placed on injured reserve Thursday, sidelined by a lower-body injury.

Meanwhile the Cubs and White Sox answered the age-old question: Who’s on first? The White Sox finally inked a deal with first baseman Paul Konerko Wednesday. The South Side staple will receive $37.5 million over the next three years at The Cell.

On the other side of town, the Cubs welcome Gold Glove winner Carlos Peña and his heavy bat to Wrigley Field. Raye-Stout called the slugger’s recent low batting average an anomaly.

“He should be able to take Wrigley Field and own it because he’s got a great bat,” Raye-Stout said.

Pena’s got at least a year to win over the fans at the Friendly Confines. But the mood on the North Side still is somber as baseball fans began their goodbyes to legendary player and broadcaster Ron Santo on Thursday. A public visitation was held at Holy Name Cathedral. On Friday there will be a private funeral at Holy Name Cathedral followed by a procession to Wrigley Field. Fans are expected to line Clark Street to say farewell.

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