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Bears confident defense will be better when games count

Hold your fire. After a miserable 2013 season and an unimpressive 2014 preseason, the Bears’ defense is in the crosshairs of fans, media and other dubious critics. And rightfully so. The Bears finally have an NFL-quality offense that should strike fear in even the best …

 

Derrick Rose has no pain in Spain

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Derrick Rose is healthy. Two games into FIBA World Cup pool play, and the face of the Bulls franchise is without a noticeable limp. That’s the good news. Great news, actually. Is he the player that had spectators oohing and aahing at the start of …

Playing kids can be double-edged sword for Cubs

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The Jackie Robinson West Little Leaguers took the field a few minutes before the Cubs’ game against the Brewers on Monday, getting a standing ovation from the Wrigley Field crowd as they settled into their positions. The crowd wasn’t quite as ­enthusiastic when the kids …

White Sox’ Alexei Ramirez merits recognition for superb defense

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Jose Abreu is a clear favorite to add the American League Rookie of the Year Award to his All-Star selection when the season ends. But the honor that would mean as much to the White Sox is the one that has eluded the team’s other …

NASCAR: Kasey Kahne holds off Matt Kenseth to win Atlanta shootout

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HAMPTON, Ga. — Kasey Kahne grabbed the lead on the restart following a caution with 23 laps remaining and held off Matt Kenseth in a two-lap shootout to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night. Kahne’s first win of …

Rust, Turkey: Rose struggles

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It has been awhile since Derrick Rose was a mop-up player. Then again, Team USA trailing Turkey by five points at the half isn’t exactly the norm, either. In the second game of pool play at the FIBA World Cup, the United States was getting …

Adam Dunn traded by White Sox for RHP Nolan Sanburn

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In the end, Adam Dunn could get what he hoped for when he signed that ballyhooed four-year, $56 million contract with the White Sox in 2011 — the chance to play in the postseason. But it would be with the Oakland Athletics, who acquired the …

Rookies see rivalry testiness as Lackey jaws at Castro in Cubs loss

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ST. LOUIS — That new world order the Cubs are trying to create in the National League Central might not be coming quite as fast as many seemed to believe as recently as Friday. But unless guys such as Javy Baez and Jorge Soler were …

Interpretations vary about where Bears are headed

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After five weeks of practice and four preseason games, the Bears’ roster — and their strengths and weaknesses — is coming into clearer focus. With the regular-season opener around the corner on Sept. 7, the Sun-Times’ Bears reporters weigh in on what to expect, who …

Starlin Castro embraces leadership role with Cubs

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ST. LOUIS — As much as he has on his mind these days and as hard as the emotions continue to hit, Starlin Castro hasn’t stopped ­embracing the responsibility and scrutiny that comes with his oversized role in the Cubs’ rebuilding program. “In some ways, …

White Sox trade Alejandro De Aza to Orioles for minor-leaguers

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Alejandro De Aza smacked his 500th career hit Friday, and the White Sox traded him to the Orioles for two minor-league pitchers Saturday.

The news came midway through the Sox’ 8-4 loss to the Tigers in the nightcap of a doubleheader at U.S. Cellular Field. …

Derrick Rose comes off bench, scores 12 in rout of Finland

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Derrick Rose doesn’t need to be the best player on Team USA. As the 114-55 victory Saturday over Finland showed, Rose doesn’t even need to be a starter. He just needs to play with confidence and come out of each FIBA World Cup game without …

While Jorge Soler has a blast with Cubs, Kris Bryant waits his turn

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ST. LOUIS — Three Cubs who were in the minors eight weeks ago — and in A-ball less than two years ago — did their best Friday night to show the St. Louis Cardinals at least part of what’s coming to the Cubs-Cards rivalry.

Jorge …

Bears’ Danny McCray raises game, should start at free safety

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Danny McCray didn’t know how to take the news. The safety was going to be one of 40 players who would be sitting out the Bears’ final exhibition Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns. “It was my first time actually not playing in it,” said …

Despite White Sox’ struggles, Jose Abreu’s bat remains hot

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Jose Abreu may not be playing for a contender, but he’s still contending for most valuable player. Abreu has been the lone bright spot for the White Sox in August, a month that has seen the team go from two games under .500 to 60-74 …

Jorge Soler goes deep in first at-bat; Cubs fall 7-5 to Reds

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CINCINNATI — Just before touted prospect Jorge Soler made his much-heralded Cubs debut Wednesday, he was told about the home run hit by the Cubs’ other “core” prospect on the roster, Javy Baez, in his celebrated debut three weeks ago.

Soler smiled. “Si,” he said. …