Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Four sportswriters try a different angle ]]> Lead story image

What happens when sportswriters go to a ballgame as . . .  da-dum, da-dum (‘‘Jaws’’ music) . . . regular humans? This doesn’t happen very often. That is, sportswriters are constantly attending games as journalists, which means they sit in a press box, take nonstop, absurdly detailed, even insane notes, leave early to make it to the locker room in time to do interviews, never cheer, never drink, never really laugh, always keep one eye on the scoreboard, the other on the stat sheet, the other — the one in the middle of their gargoyle heads — on the deadline. So when Sun-Times writer-guys Mark … ]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:19:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Greg Maddux was small of stature, but had no limitations ]]> Lead story image

RICK TELANDER: Let’s call Greg Maddux’s march to the Hall of Fame a victory for little guys everywhere. ]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:52:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong facing financial ruin ]]> Lead story image

There are few athletes, current or past, I dislike more than Lance Armstrong. I’m not talking about outright bad guys, such as O.J. Simpson — whom I spoke with several times before those unfortunate murders and always found to be cordial and helpful — or clearly troubled people, such as Albert Belle or Steve Carlton. No, I have an inner disgust for Armstrong not just because he cheated — and did it so well — but because he was so adept at playing the marketing, public-relations and vitriol game that he half-destroyed other people’s lives and nearly won it all. … ]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 02:32:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ NCAA president Mark Emmert makes $1.7M to players’ 0 ]]> Lead story image

RICK TELANDER: Well, what new things do we know about the NCAA today? That it is a monster with so many probes, fingers and tails that it barely can control itself. ]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:30:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Why Pau Gasol is a perfect fit for Bulls ]]> Lead story image

RICK TELANDER: The Bulls get 34-year-old 7-footer Pau Gasol. His contract is said to be starting at somewhere around $6.5 million, but forget about money and think about basketball. ]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 13:38:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Masahiro Tanaka’s apology for injury comes as charming surprise ]]> Lead story image

Twenty-five-year-old New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was sailing along this season, his first in the major leagues after starring in his native Japan, making his $155 million contract almost a bargain, in baseball economics. His 12-4 record with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts made him a Cy Young Award contender. Some giddy folks thought he could be MVP of the entire American League. No more. Tanaka partially tore ligaments in his right pitching elbow and is out indefinitely. To me, it sounds like good ol’ American-style Tommy John surgery is in the offing. Maybe not. Maybe he’ll heal … ]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:28:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Our deadly Chicago far beneath NBA’s royalty: Telander ]]> Lead story image

RICK TELANDER: Chicago is worse than a war zone. In the 14 years the U.S. has been fighting in Afghanistan, we have lost a total of 2,233 troops. Chicago dwarfs that carnage. Just since 2009, there have been 2,418 homicides here. ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:22:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hot-dog eating contest a disgrace to gluttons ]]> Lead story image

TELANDER: Veteran professional eater Joey Chestnut jammed 61 hot dogs and buns down his gullet in just 10 minutes there by the New York beach, earning his eighth consecutive ‘‘Mustard Belt.’’ Barf. ]]> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 02:33:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carmelo, LaLa, LeBron and Lin—the NBA circus trip ]]> Lead story image

RICK TELANDER: Here’s what I’m thinking: By the time Carmelo Anthony ends his “Melo Over ’Merica’’ tour, he’ll weigh 300 pounds from all the steak dinners and hot air he’s eaten. ]]> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 10:38:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Manny Ramirez’s ‘rebirth’ too little, too late and too bad ]]> Lead story image

TELANDER: This is what Manny Ramirez is: a man who knows very little about anything but hitting a baseball hard, who never planned for anything past hitting the ball hard, and when nobody needed him to do that task anymore, he could not bring himself to think it was over or that his jerky-ness of the past mattered. ]]> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 02:20:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hey Theo Epstein, Cubs fans are still waiting ]]> Lead story image

RICK TELANDER: I won’t bore you with Theo Epstein’s stats of deceleration, but the Cubs have lost 82 more games than they’ve won since he took charge after the 2011 season. ]]> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 18:49:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ TELANDER: Gay pitchmen now a much easier sell ]]> Lead story image

Capitalism and democracy allow a lot of abuses to the human condition. But their beauty lies in the inevitability of the marketplace and the emotions of the informed citizens forging progress. Thus, we have Jason Collins — the veteran basketball player who was the first active, big-time athlete to come out as gay — turning into a major product pitchman. A few decades ago, Collins would have risked getting arrested in certain states or being blackballed in the NBA or even being killed by vigilantes simply for declaring his homosexuality. Now he is a Nike darling, seen as pure and … ]]> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 02:35:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ TELANDER: What was beefing up college homers? Just guess ]]> Lead story image

Home runs in college baseball are way, way down from past years. ‘‘In 2010, there was just under one home run per game in Division I,’’ Sports Illustrated wrote in this week’s issue. ‘‘Last season there were .36 home runs per game.’’ There were only three homers hit in 14 games at the College World Series last year. But in 1998, when metal bats were at their peak, before they were ratcheted down to more resemble wooden bats in 2011, there were 62 home runs hit in the same amount of games. In this year’s College World Series, it took … ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:29:18 -0500 <![CDATA[ The rap on World Cup flopping from Chief Keef ]]> Lead story image

RICK TELANDER: I mean, what is the deal with all this World Cup flopping? You know what I’m talking about. Soccer players, the best in the world, get slid into, tripped or kicked, and they go down writhing in pain. ]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:27:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Stars, Sterling hurting NBA ]]> Lead story image

RICK TELANDER: Well, Adam Silver, how’s it rolling? The new NBA commissioner came in calm and confident in February, taking over for his longtime boss, David Stern. ]]> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 11:34:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ TELANDER: Wrigley’s charm can’t be remodeled ]]> Lead story image

Let’s talk Wrigley Field. Let’s try to think rationally about this sporting structure that is equal parts historic, unique, gorgeous and a dump. And it is all those things. Which is the difficult issue facing the troubled Cubs franchise and the Ricketts family ownership. What do you do about this place that could never be built again, is tucked in a bustling city neighborhood, has virtually no amenities, breaks many modern-day safety and comfort codes and, because of those very facts, is so unusual as to be a landmark that must be protected because, like the Wrigley Building and the … ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:28:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ TELANDER: Clippers situation hardly black and white ]]> Lead story image

As I type this, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is prepared to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers from the embattled Sterling family for $2 billion. As with any franchise sale, Ballmer must wait for approval from the NBA Board of Governors. That should happen. Ballmer is rich and seems clean. Word is he might be overpaying by as much as $500 million, just to blow past other bidders, for a team that was thought to be worth about $600 million. Whatever. Dude’s worth $20  billion. He’ll be OK. So will the NBA. So will V. Stiviano. So will LeBron James and … ]]> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 06:25:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Cubs need to break the bank, buy the rooftops ]]> Lead story image

RICK TELANDER: When I see Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts make a poor-lost-puppy video announcing the club is going ahead with Wrigley Field renovation and signage plans, I have to chuckle with amusement. ]]> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 06:50:29 -0500