Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Still champions, even in defeat ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Jackie Robinson West lost a game Sunday but won over a country. The South Siders fell 8-4 to South Korea in the Little League World Series championship. Shortly after, they were reminded of what they had accomplished during their 11-day stay in South Williamsport. Manager Darold Butler and the U.S. champs got a call from President Barack Obama. “It was real cool and exciting because you’re meeting like the best person in the world, basically,” first baseman Trey Hondras said. “And to hear him talk to us and say, ‘Great job,’ it’s a real big thing.” … ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 02:19:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Brandon Green, DJ Butler give their all in title-game defeat ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Win or lose, Jackie Robinson West players Brandon Green and DJ Butler knew it would be their last game. And they played like they had some unfinished business to attend to. Green and Butler struggled at times in the tournament, but they shined Sunday. Green was the starting pitcher after a poor outing in the team’s first game against Mountain Ridge. Butler showed why he is the center fielder who nearly got his team to South Williamsport last year. “That was the Brandon and the DJ that I’ve been seeing from jump,” manager Darold Butler said. … ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 02:20:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Cheers for Jackie Robinson West players who ‘brought the city together’ ]]> Lead story image

The applause never ended. Even as South Korea took an 8-1 lead over Jackie Robinson West in the final inning of Sunday’s Little League World Series Championship game, the crowd on State Street put their hands together for the boys from the South Side. Ultimately, Jackie Robinson West fell to South Korea 8-4 after one more thrilling run. But there were still cheers in the Loop. “I’m so proud of these boys,” North Sider Laveta Mitchell said. ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 02:29:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Baseball by the numbers ]]> Lead story image

WHITE SOX NINE TO KNOW 1 Jose Abreu leads the majors with a .771 slugging percentage and a 1.271 OPS on full-count pitches. 2Sox pitchers have 510 strikeouts at home, tied with the Padres for 15th in the majors, but only 389 on the road, the fewest in baseball. 3The Orioles and Sox are the only two teams with pitchers who have given up at least 20 home runs. John Danks has allowed 23 and Hector Noesi 20. 4Abreu leads the majors with 17 RBI when there’s a runner only on second. He is hitting .317 with six homers in … ]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:36:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Cheers, tears from supporters in Chicago for Little Leaguers ]]> Lead story image

Timesha Wharton ran to the front of the gym where the giant screen showed the Jackie Robinson West boys winning the Little League World Series United States. Championship to become the third Little League team from Illinois ever to reach the world championship game. Then came the tears. “It’s just unbelievable that you have these kids from the inner city winning,” said Wharton, 25, who viewed the game in West Pullman at one of two city-sponsored watch parties. ]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:27:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jackie Robinson West advances to U.S. Championship ]]> Lead story image

Jackie Robinson West staved off elimination for the third time this week, beating Taney of Philadelphia 6-5 Thursday, to earn a spot in the U.S. championship game and a rematch with Mountain Ridge from Las Vegas. ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:59:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jackie Robinson West team has big fan in Dodgers’ Carl Crawford ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The Jackie Robinson West team got a call from its most famous fan Saturday. Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford spoke on Skype with the 13 Little Leaguers from Morgan Park. The experience might have given the youngsters an indication of how popular they have become. ‘‘That’s the first time I actually went voice-to-voice with an actual person that plays in the major leagues,’’ said Josh Houston, who was the winning pitcher Thursday. Said Jackie Robinson West manager Darold Butler: ‘‘If anything, that will motivate them. These are guys that they look up to. So … ]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 13:02:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jackie Robinson West advances after wild comeback win ]]> Lead story image

Jackie Robinson West manager Darold Butler vowed his team’s hitting would re-emerge. ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:04:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kids on Jackie Robinson West team ‘refuse to lose’ ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Jackie Robinson West manager Darold Butler vowed his team’s hitting would re-emerge. First-base coach Jason Little said shortly before the elimination game on Monday that it’s “a two-game tournament.” Turned out, a mulligan was exactly what the kids from Morgan Park needed as their bats came alive in an 8-7 victory over Cumberland American of Rhode Island. With the win, Jackie Robinson West will play Pearland of Texas on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CDT in another elimination game. Playing for their tournament lives, the atmosphere at Lamade Stadium didn’t allow JRW any ­relief from what has … ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:19:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ MLB by the numbers: Defensive shifts add twist to runs-saved stat ]]> Lead story image

Defensive metrics are changing constantly, moving much more rapidly than those on offense, where better information has been available for a longer time. One new wrinkle this year comes from The Fielding Bible runs-saved stat from Baseball Info Solutions. Those who subscribe to can see the result in its stats section. Through Sunday, American League teams had 105 runs saved through shifts; National League teams had 58 runs saved. The Astros had been the most effective team at employing the shift, with 19 runs saved. Seven teams had saved 10 or more runs via the shift. Three teams had … ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:18:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jackie Robinson West falls 13-2 at Little League World Series ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.— Jackie Robinson West lost by the mercy rule on Sunday, falling to Mountain Ridge 13-2 after four innings in its second game of the Little League World Series. The team from Chicago faces elimination Monday night. ]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:23:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Baseball by the numbers ]]> Lead story image

CUBS NINE TO KNOW 1 In the Cubs’ first 120 games, they homered in 73, the eighth-most in the majors. They are 40-33 in those games. Anthony Rizzo has homered in 24 games, the most on the team and the fifth-most in the majors. The Cubs are 14-10 in games in which Rizzo homers. 2 The Cubs are hitting .222 with runners in scoring position, 14th in the National League, but Starlin Castro is hitting .294. 3 In Javy Baez’s first 10 games, he drew no walks and saw two 3-1 pitches and 10 3-2 pitches. 4 Castro leads the … ]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 02:33:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Those who can inspire youth in short supply these days ]]> Lead story image

Cooled by the breeze from four Javy Baez all-or-nothing strikeouts Thursday, I headed for the Cell in hopes of seeing Scott Carroll pitch. But the blister that forced the well-traveled rookie to miss his scheduled start last week in San Francisco pushed him back to Sunday, so Friday featured another episode of the Hector Noesi Show. Carroll, 29, is one of the feel-good stories of an otherwise-uninspiring White Sox season, finally ascending to a major-league roster after nine years of minor-league toil. He calls to mind my friend Bob Kammeyer, and that’s a compliment. A 21st-round draft pick out of … ]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 02:35:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fame is full-time work for Jackie Robinson West ]]> Lead story image

The Jackie Robinson West Little League team hadn’t been inside the Little League World ­Series ­complex for a minute Friday afternoon before it was asked for a photo — by an adult. ]]> Sat, 16 Aug 2014 02:13:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rob Manfred elected next MLB commissioner ]]> Lead story image

BALTIMORE — Rob Manfred was elected baseball’s 10th commissioner Thursday and will succeed Bud Selig in January. A labor lawyer who has worked for Major League Baseball since 1998, Manfred beat out Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner in the first contested vote for a new commissioner in 46 years. The third candidate, MLB Executive Vice President of Business Tim Brosnan, dropped out just before the start of voting. The 55-year-old Manfred, who grew up in Rome, New York — about an hour’s drive from the Hall of Fame — must address issues that include decreased interest in baseball among … ]]> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:48:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jackie Robinson West team reaches Little League World Series ]]> Lead story image

The Jackie Robinson West team became the first all-black team from Chicago to reach the Little League World Series in three decades. ]]> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 02:31:21 -0500