Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Why not root for the Royals? ]]> Lead story image

You’d have to be cold-blooded and coldhearted, living under a rock with slimy snakes, camped out in a Yankee Stadium parking lot or as cynical, hardened and disillusioned as a D.C. lobbyist at a dinner party in Georgetown not to be rooting for the Kansas City Royals. I mean, what has Kansas City, Missouri, ever done to you? The poor folks there have lived through a generation of disappointment for their favorite professional sports teams, the NFL’s Chiefs and MLB’s Royals. The Chiefs won their only Super Bowl in the 1969 season; they haven’t been back since. The Royals won … ]]> Sat, 27 Sep 2014 17:24:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ Salvador Perez provides walkoff win in 12th; Royals advance to ALDS ]]> Lead story image

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals had waited 29 years to reach the postseason. They weren’t going down without a fight. Salvador Perez singled down the left-field line with two outs in the 12th inning, allowing Christian Colon to score from second base and giving the long-suffering Royals a 9-8 victory over the Oakland Athletics in a wild AL wild-card game Tuesday night. Quite a start to October baseball — even if this one appeared to be over in September with plenty of time to spare. The A’s raced out to a 7-3 lead by the sixth inning, … ]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 00:19:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jordan Zimmermann throws no-hitter vs. Marlins ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — Jordan Zimmermann pitched the first no-hitter for the Washington Nationals, the gem preserved when defensive replacement Steven Souza Jr. made a diving catch in left field for the final out in a 1-0 victory over the Miami Marlins in a regular-season finale Sunday. Zimmermann (14-5) allowed only two baserunners, finishing with 10 strikeouts and one walk in the fifth no-hitter in the majors this year. Christian Yelich almost wrecked Zimmermann’s bid with two outs in the ninth inning. He sent a long drive to left-center, and Zimmermann leaned his head back and winced, thinking his no-hitter was lost. … ]]> Sun, 28 Sep 2014 16:42:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Baseball by the numbers ]]> Lead story image

This week’s names and numbers in baseball: CUBS NINE TO KNOW 1. The Cubs were 41-40 at Wrigley Field, despite being outscored 329-308. They had seven walk-off victories. Their last winning season at home had been in 2009, when they were 46-34. 2. Kevin Correia, who called Target Field and Dodger Stadium home this season, had the worst home ERA of any pitcher at 7.01. But among pitchers who hung their cap in only one location, the worst home ERA belonged to Edwin Jackson, whose ERA at Wrigley was 7.00. 3. Travis Wood led Cubs pitchers with 94 home strikeouts … ]]> Sun, 28 Sep 2014 02:33:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dodgers a hard team to figure out ]]> Lead story image

The cloudless blue sky and mid-70s temperature were more reminiscent of early June than mid-September, so there was no chill in the air to enhance the urgency of fall baseball at Wrigley Field on Friday. Then again, it has been six years since a fall-ball game of consequence took place in either Chicago ballpark. So it was understandable if indifference was the prevailing attitude among those in the sun-splashed crowd of 33,322, even with the wondrous Clayton Kershaw taking the ball for the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers. Edwin Jackson, in his first start since leaving the disabled list, brought a … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:34:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ Diamondbacks fire manager Kirk Gibson ]]> Lead story image

PHOENIX — The Diamondbacks have fired manager Kirk Gibson three years after he won the NL’s manager of the year award for leading Arizona to the playoffs. The Diamondbacks are assured of at least a tie for the worst record in the majors this season, having lost 96 games entering the final series of the year. The move came as the Diamondbacks front office restructures under chief baseball officer Tony La Russa following a third disappointing season in a row. Arizona went 81-81 in 2013 and 2012. Former major league pitcher Dave Stewart was hired Thursday as the team’s new … ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 15:58:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Derek Jeter hits walkoff single in Yankee Stadium farewell ]]> Lead story image

NEW YORK — The perfect script. Derek Jeter capped his Yankee Stadium farewell with a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning, the latest storybook moment in a charmed and illustrious career, to give New York a 6-5 victory Thursday night over the Baltimore Orioles. Serenaded with adoring chants that echoed through the Bronx night, Jeter tipped his cap several times at shortstop and drove in three runs. He launched an early double off the wall and saved the best for last — a sharp, opposite-field single to right that knocked in the winning run. … ]]> Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:36:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Derek Jeter worship out of control ]]> Lead story image

I just saw a list of the ‘‘most significant figures in world history,’’ as compiled by The New Republic: 1. Alexander the Great; 2. Aristotle; 3. Jesus Christ; 4. Charles Darwin; 5. Buddha; 6. Albert Einstein; 7. Mahatma Gandhi; 8. Derek Jeter; 9. William Shakespeare; 10. Leonardo da Vinci. OK, I made that up. But Couch Slouch can’t believe the over-the-top, unreasonable-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt avalanche of unflinching, genuflecting worship for the New York Yankees shortstop in his final season in uniform. He’s a dandy player with great skin tone and a social life George Clooney would kill for. For sure, Jeter has … ]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 16:13:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Baseball by the numbers ]]> Lead story image

This week’s names and numbers in baseball: CUBS NINE TO KNOW 1. The visiting team with the most home runs this season at Busch Stadium in St. Louis is the Cubs with 16. No other visiting team has more than eight. 2. In 1965, the Cubs finished 72-90, averaged 3.87 runs, stole 65 bases and hit .238. So far this season, the Cubs have averaged 3.77 runs, have stolen 61 bases and have hit .238. Two big differences: The 1965 Cubs finished with 134 homers, fewer than the 2014 team has hit so far, but they struck out only 948 … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:34:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Baseball by the numbers ]]> Lead story image

This week’s names and numbers in baseball: CUBS NINE TO KNOW 1. Entering Thursday, Cubs pitchers had allowed only 19 homers to the first two batters in opposing lineups, the fewest in the National League. 2. Cubs pitchers had held opponents to a .236 BAA in day games this season. Last year it was lower at .232, but in 2012 it was .251 and in 2011 it was .257. 3. Anthony Rizzo hit 13 homers at Wrigley Field this season, making him Chicago’s leading home run hitter because Jose Abreu had only hit 12 at home. 4. Jake Arrieta and … ]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 02:33:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chris Davis suspended 25 games for amphetamine use ]]>

Orioles slugger Chris Davis has been suspended 25 games for using amphetamines, a punishment that will extend into the postseason. ]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:46:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Giancarlo Stanton hit in face by pitch, leaves in ambulance ]]> Lead story image

MILWAUKEE — Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton was hit under the left eye by a fastball and bleeding from the face as he was taken off the field in an ambulance Thursday night. The major league RBI leader was struck by an 88 mph pitch from Mike Fiers of the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth inning. Stanton immediately fell to the ground and trainers from both teams came to his assistance. He was placed on a backboard and then a stretcher. Stanton’s father was at the game and came on the field while his son was treated, and left with … ]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 22:00:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Baseball by the numbers ]]> Lead story image

This week’s names and numbers in baseball: CUBS NINE TO KNOW 1. I would rather see a batter be aggressive than passive, which is why I like Starlin Castro’s decreasing percentage of striking out looking. In 2012, 17 percent of all his whiffs were looking. In 2013, it was 14.7 percent, and this season it was 12 percent. 2. The evolution of Anthony Rizzo’s ability as a hitter can be seen in his line-drive percentage: As a 21-year-old rookie in 2011, he hit 16 percent of balls for line drives. In 2012, it was 23 percent, in 2013, it was … ]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 02:36:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Baseball by the numbers ]]> Lead story image

This week’s names and numbers in baseball: CUBS NINE TO KNOW 1. After watching Jorge Soler’s first at-bat, I wished I had trademarked ‘‘Soler Powered.’’ Soler was the 114th player in MLB history to homer in his first at-bat — 47 in the American League and 67 in the National League. My favorite is former pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm, who homered on April 23, 1952. When he retired in 1972 with 452 career at-bats, he still had just one homer. 2. When Javy Baez swings and misses, butterfly wings flutter in the Amazon. He already has had four four-strikeout games. Willie … ]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:29:28 -0500 <![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.” … ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:49:59 -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. … ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:50:45 -0500