<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Sports]]>Copyright 2019 https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago https://www.nbcchicago.com en-usTue, 16 Jul 2019 21:41:49 -0500Tue, 16 Jul 2019 21:41:49 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[WATCH: Alligator Catcher Throws 1st Pitch at Cubs Game]]> Tue, 16 Jul 2019 19:56:20 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GATORFrankRobbWRIGLEYMcGovern_3447442_15061809_76364.JPG

Frank Robb went from a celebrated (alligator) catcher in Chicago, to a pitcher at a Chicago Cubs game Tuesday. 


<![CDATA[Alligator Catcher Throws Out First Pitch at Cubs Game]]> Tue, 16 Jul 2019 15:03:46 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WEBAlligatorcatcherpitch_3447540_15061097_339.JPG

Frank Robb went from a celebrated (alligator) catcher in Chicago, to a pitcher at a Chicago Cubs game Tuesday.

Robb, who ultimately caught the alligator on the loose for days in the Humboldt Park Lagoon, threw out the first pitch at the Cubs' game against the Reds Tuesday.

"He’s a pretty quiet guy," said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. "I don’t think he gets that much attention for catching alligators in Florida, but in Chicago it makes you a superstar."

Ricketts said when Robb was asked what he wanted to do while he was in Chicago, his answer was to go to a Chicago Cubs game. So, they made that happened - and then some. 

He owns Crocodilian Specialist Services in St. Augustine, Florida.

"People ask you how you catch an alligator," Robb said at a news conference Tuesday morning. "Just barely is the answer, because it's usually just barely."

The alligator was caught early Tuesday after a week of eluding capture, but less than two days after the city brought in Robb, a gator expert from Florida.

Robb said those involved in the capture - which happened at around 1:30 a.m. - had taken about eight laps around the lagoon and the surrounding area on foot overnight before he spotted the creature in the water.

The alligator, dubbed "Chance the Snapper," was about 25 feet from the shore on the north side of one of the lagoon's islands, Robb said.

After they initially spotted it, the gator went underwater for a minute and then "vocalized," which Robb said was "just kind of speaking a little bit of crocodilian," though he declined to demonstrate ("That's a trade secret buddy, I'm sorry").

Robb said he then snared the gator with a fishing rod that had a large hook attached to the line, what he likened to "foul hooking a fish, like throwing a grapple hook over something."

"You throw the hook across it and it just brings him in. It kind of just sits against his skin and brings him in," Robb said. "He popped back up and one cast and it was a done deal."

As for what's next for the alligator, city officials say the animal's next home is still being discussed. 

"Rest assured it will be going to either a zoo or a sanctuary," Kelley Gandurski, executive director of Chicago Animal Care and Control, told reporters Tuesday after the animal's capture. "No harm will come to this gator. It's going to go to a very safe place. We're working out those details still."

<![CDATA[Chicago Blackhawks Trade Artem Anisimov to Ottawa]]> Tue, 16 Jul 2019 14:32:20 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-668294586.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have made yet another trade in what has been a busy offseason, sending forward Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Zack Smith.

Smith, who was drafted by the Senators in the third round of the 2008 NHL Draft, has spent his entire NHL career with the organization, with 94 goals and 99 assists in 193 games. He is set to make $3.25 million in each of the next two seasons, becoming a free agent after the 2020-21 campaign.

Anisimov, acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2015 trade that sent Brandon Saad to Ohio, scored 15 goals and 22 assists in 78 games with the Blackhawks last season, and has scored 163 career NHL goals with the Rangers, Jackets, and Blackhawks.

His salary cap hit will check in at $4.55 million for each of the next two seasons, according to Cap Friendly.

The trade frees up approximately $1.3 million for the Blackhawks in each of the next two seasons, and is the culmination of months of trade rumors. Once Anismov was given a roster bonus in early July, his contract became easier to trade, and the Blackhawks were able to trade him without having to include any prospects, something that they’ve been unable to do in previous cap-savings maneuvers.

It’s unclear what role the Blackhawks will want Smith to play, but in all likelihood the forward will get an opportunity to earn penalty killing time, as he played 1:49 of short-handed time per game last season with the Senators. He will need to improve his face-off numbers slightly, as he won 49 percent of his draws a season ago, but he’s still likely a contender for a bottom six center role with the Blackhawks next season.

With the move, the Blackhawks have $3.3 million in cap space for next season, with 20 roster spots currently filled. That number does not include a new contract for forward Brendan Perlini, who is a restricted free agent, and also includes several defensemen who could be in competition for a final roster spot, including Slater Koekkoek and Carl Dahlstrom.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mike Montgomery Emotional After Trade From Cubs]]> Tue, 16 Jul 2019 20:05:29 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_100000004155372.JPG

Mike Montgomery reacts to being traded from the Chicago Cubs. 

<![CDATA[Chicago Cubs Trade Montgomery to Kansas City Royals]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2019 23:02:34 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-818893614.jpg

Mike Montgomery, the Chicago Cubs pitcher who was on the mound when the Cubs clinched their World Series victory in 2016, is being traded to the Kansas City Royals for catcher Martin Maldonado, the Cubs announced Monday. 

The 32-year old catcher had been pulled from the Royals’ game earlier Monday evening and there had been rumblings of a potential trade involving the Cubs' left-handed pitcher. 

Maldonado is hitting .227 with six homers, 17 RBI and a .647 OPS for the Royals this season. He is in the final year of his contract.

Montgomery has struggled so far this season with a 5.67 ERA and 1.78 WHIP in 20 games for the Cubs. Still, the team noted he "recorded a supremely important out in franchise history, closing out Game 7 of the 2016 World Series with a groundball to third base to record the save and help cap the Cubs' first World Championship in 108 years." 

In a separate roster move, the Cubs will place catcher Willson Contreras on the 10-day injured list with a foot injury.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marathon Moments: Runner Aims to Raise Awareness for Homeless Animals]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2019 22:43:11 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WEBMarathonMoment6_3435104_14995611_566.JPG

A story of inspiration from a Bank of America Chicago Marathon runner. 

<![CDATA[Tarik Cohen Reveals Brother Paralyzed in Shooting: 'He's My Purpose']]> Mon, 15 Jul 2019 22:11:05 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_100000004145164.JPG

Chicago Bear Tarik Cohen revealed that his younger sibling was shot in North Carolina in early June and is “probably paralyzed from the waist” down.


<![CDATA[Tarik Cohen Reveals Brother Paralyzed in Shooting]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:32:57 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WEBCohenonbrother_3434980_14991378_2100.JPG

Chicago Bears star Tarik Cohen will be arriving at training camp next week with a new purpose.

The running back revealed that his younger sibling was shot in North Carolina in early June and is “probably paralyzed from the waist” down.

Cohen had up until now not spoken of the tragedy that struck his family during the offseason, but when he saw a young camper in a wheelchair at a youth football camp in Greensboro over the weekend, he connected and decided to share his story.

“I just saw my brother in him,” Cohen said Monday at his youth football ProCamp at Elk Grove High School. “And I just saw how much fun he was having and it just made me think of my brother.”

Cohen has been spending a lot of time with his family since the incident, he said.

“I feel like I was injured also,” Cohen said. “Someone I’ve been around my whole life. I feel like we’re one. He’s not a different person, we’re the same person. So if anything affects him, it affects me. That’s my little brother. I’ve done the best to protect him his whole life. So then when this happened, it was like a culture shock to me.”

Though heartbreaking, Cohen said the incident only adds “fuel to the fire” for him as approaches the upcoming season.

“I want to just, like I know it’s not possible, but just feel like I want to walk for him,” Cohen said. “I want to do things, experience things in my life and let him see those things so that he can feel like as if he’s done it also.”

“He’s my purpose,” Cohen added. “They’ve always been my purpose. My brothers and my mom.”

The Raleigh Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment on the shooting. 

<![CDATA[Marathon Moments: Importance of a Strong Core]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2019 22:21:19 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WEBMarathonMoment5_3435102_14994001_1736.JPG

A strong core can help propel elite and novice runners 26.2 miles. NIKE Master Trainers show us some easy core exercises to incorporate into your Bank of America Chicago Marathon training.

<![CDATA[Tokyo Olympics Bring New Sports and Changes to Previous Events]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2019 19:06:29 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Olympics+THUMB.jpg

The 2020 Olympic Games are almost a year away. Here’s what you can expect to see at the Tokyo games next year.

<![CDATA[Coco Gauff Leaps in Rankings Following Wimbledon Breakout]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2019 13:16:31 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CG3.jpg

Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff has moved inside the top 150 of the women's singles rankings after headlining the 2019 Championships Wimbledon with her dream debut run to the fourth round.

The youngest player to reach the second week of Wimbledon in 28 years, Gauff captured the world’s attention with her first round win over Venus Williams. She backed up the straight sets win over her idol with victories against 2017 semifinalist Magdalena Rybarikova and Polona Hercog. Now, the Delray Beach native sits inside the top 150 at No. 141, up from No. 313.

A number of other Americans posted breakout performances.

Her first time in the second week of Wimbledon since 2013, Alison Riske moves to No. 37 after notable wins No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, Belinda Bencic and Donna Vekic. The 29-year-old lost to compatriot Williams in the quarterfinal and becomes the first player in the Open Era to play five three set matches in the first five rounds. 

Lauren Davis was another surprise of the tournament, having saved a match point in the first round of qualifying and later losing in the third round of qualifying to Kristie Ahn. A week later, she became the first lucky loser, a player who earns entry to a main draw when another player withdraws, to defeat a Grand Slam defending champion when she upset Angelique Kerber in the second round. The Ohio native moves up 24 spots to No.71 in the world.

American Sam Querrey, who advanced to his third Wimbledon quarterfinal in four years, upset then-No.5 Dominic Thiem in the first round. The last American man standing in the men's singles draw, his run at the Championships ended with a straight sets quarterfinal loss to Nadal.

Five-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic remains the top player in the world. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer sit at No.2 and No.3, respectively, with just 485 points separating the pair.

After hoisting her first Wimbledon trophy, Halep moves back inside of the top five to No.4, while Serena Williams shifts up to No.9, her highest ranking since going on maternity leave.

See the complete list of the men’s and women’s singles rankings.

Photo Credit: TPN/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Boxing Champ Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whitaker Dead at 55]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2019 10:54:39 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/pernell1.jpg

Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whitaker was fatally struck by a truck in Virginia Beach on Sunday night. The four-time champion boxer and Olympics gold medalist was 55.

<![CDATA[Boxing Champ Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whitaker Dead at 55]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2019 10:59:04 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/pernell.jpg

Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker, the retired boxing champ who held world titles at four weight classes, was killed Sunday after being hit by a car. 

Whitaker, 55, was crossing the intersection of Northampton Boulevard and Baker Road in Virginia Beach shortly after 10 p.m. when he was fatally struck by a pickup truck, police said.

Among his many professional accomplishments Whitaker was a four-time world boxing champion winning titles at the lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight. Whitaker won Olympic gold in 1984 and professional belts in four weight classes. His career pro record was 40-4-1.

In 1989, Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America named Whitaker the fighter of the year. 

He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007.

<![CDATA[Blackhawks Development Camp Preview]]> Sun, 14 Jul 2019 20:40:59 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1076866682.jpg

Chicago Blackhawks fans looking to catch a glimpse of the next generation of hockey stars will have a chance this week as the team convenes at the Fifth Third Arena for the club’s annual Development Camp.

The Blackhawks will take to the ice beginning Monday in a series of workouts at their practice venue, and the festivities will culminate with a scrimmage on Friday morning.

According to the team, 25 players currently in the Blackhawks’ organizational pipeline will be in attendance, including all six of their 2019 NHL Draft picks. That list includes forward Kirby Dach, who was selected with the third overall pick in the first round of this year’s draft.

Here is the full schedule of events:


1:30-3 p.m.: Team B Practice

3:35-5 pm.: Team A Practice


1:30-3 p.m.: Team A Practice

3:35-5 p.m.: Team B Practice


12:30-2 p.m.: Team A & B Practice (workout will use both rinks at Fifth Third Arena)


1:30-3 p.m.: Team A Practice

3:35-5 p.m.: Team B Practice


9:30 a.m.: Scrimmage – Team A vs. Team B

In addition to Dach, numerous other top Blackhawks prospects will hit the ice, including 2018 first round picks Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin, new acquisition Alex Nylander, and potential roster conteners like Antti Saarela, MacKenzie Entwistle, and Chad Krys.

The full roster can be found on the NBC Chicago Madhouse Enforcer blog.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heyward, Schwarber Power Cubs to Sweep of Pirates]]> Sun, 14 Jul 2019 16:16:27 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1162008095.jpg

The Chicago Cubs continued to click on all cylinders offensively on Sunday as they completed a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. 

Jason Heyward clubbed his 15th home run of the season and drove in a pair of runs, and Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora Jr. each went deep as the Cubs finished off their third straight victory against the Pirates. 

Robel García had a pair of doubles and drove in a run, and Anthony Rizzo scored two runs as the first place Cubs continued their strong start to the second half of the season. 

José Quintana gave up three earned runs in six innings, striking out four batters and surrendering six hits. He was backed up by a good effort from the team's bullpen, with Brandon Kintzler, Kyle Ryan, and Tyler Chatwood finishing off the afternoon with three scoreless innings in relief. 

Pirates starter Trevor Williams was roughed up for eight runs and 112 hits in the game, while walking three batters and striking out four. 

The Cubs got on the board first in the second winning when García laced a double to right field, scoring Rizzo and putting Chicago in front by a run. That lead was short lived, as Quintana surrendered three runs in the top of the third to give the Pirates a 3-1 edge of their own. 

The Cubs batteld back in the fourth, with Quintana singling to right field to score García, and Chicago scored three runs in the fifth, as Victor Caratini lifted a sacrifice fly to right and Heyward blasted a home run to center field to give the Cubs back the lead at 5-3. 

From there, the Cubs added three more insurance runs in the sixth, as Schwarber and Almora both homered and Rizzo hit a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Cubs a cushion they would never relinquish. 

After the sweep, the Cubs will welcome another Central Division foe to Wrigley Field to open the new work week, as the Cincinnati Reds will come to Wrigley Field for a three-game set. Kyle Hendricks is set to take the hill for the Cubs, who will face All-Star Reds pitcher Luis Castillo. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trubisky Scooter Photo Sparks Worry Among Bears Fans]]> Sat, 13 Jul 2019 21:10:10 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1080053726.jpg

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is soaking up his final few days of fun before training camp starts later this month, but a photo he posted on social media is apparently causing some concern among fans.

Trubisky, who is entering his third season in the NFL, posted a photo of himself riding a scooter as part of a partnership with Bird, one of the scooter companies that has been included in a pilot program in Chicago this summer:

Bears fans, likely still scarred from Cody Parkey’s missed field goal in the postseason earlier this year, are harboring big Super Bowl dreams for this season, and they seem rather worried about his safety while riding on the scooter:

Some fans even went so far as to suggest that Trubisky, who is being talked about as a darkhorse MVP candidate going into the 2019 season, should wear his helmet and shoulder pads while riding, just to make sure that he doesn’t hurt himself.

At any rate, the Bears will report to training camp in Bourbonnais on July 25, with their first open practice set for July 27.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Bulls Fall to Magic in Final Summer League Game]]> Sat, 13 Jul 2019 20:55:59 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1155503834.jpg

The Chicago Bulls finished off their Summer League schedule with an 85-73 loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

The Bulls finish the NBA Summer League with a 2-3 record after the defeat, which came in the consolation round of the slate.

Four Bulls players finished in double figures, with 2019 second-round draft pick Daniel Gafford leading the way with 14 points. The big man went 7-of-8 from the field and contributed three rebounds and three blocks in his final action of the summer.

First round pick Coby White struggled from the field, going 3-of-13 from the floor, but he was an all-around contributor as he scored seven points, hauled down eight rebounds, and dished out eight assists.

Chandler Hutchinson notched a double-double in 30 minutes of action for the Bulls, scoring 13 points and hauling down 10 rebounds.

The Magic got 19 points from center Amile Jefferson in the game, and the big man also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.

The Magic’s big advantage in the game was their bench, as Isaiah Miles and John Petrucelli contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively. Both players were a plus-25 in plus/minus for the game, and they were largely responsible for helping lead the Magic past the Bulls.

The Bulls held a three-point lead at halftime in the contest, but the Magic came out firing to start the second half, outscoring Chicago by a 27-13 margin in the third quarter alone, and from there the Bulls were never able to threaten again as they went down in defeat.

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Contreras, Lester Power Cubs to Win Over Pirates]]> Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:47:22 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1161815391.jpg

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester picked up his 10th win of the season and hit his first home run of the year as the club beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-4 at Wrigley Field.

Lester gave up three runs in 6.2 innings of work as he improved his record to 10-6 on the year. He scattered eight hits, and helped his own cause at the plate as he went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Willson Contreras also drove in three runs and hit his 19th home run of the season, and Addison Russell drove in a pair of runs as the Cubs won their second straight game out of the All-Star break.

Starling Marte hit a pair of home runs for the Pirates, and Jung Ho Kang hit his ninth home run of the season in the loss for Pittsburgh, who now sits three and a half games behind the Cubs in the Central Division race.

The Cubs wasted no time getting a lead for Lester, chasing Pirates starter Jordan Lyles from the game with a seven-run opening frame. Anthony Rizzo scored in the first run of the game, and he was later chased home by a three-run homer from Contreras as the Cubs jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

The offensive outburst continued after Lester slapped a single off the wall in left field, scoring a pair of runs, and Javier Báez finished off the surge with an RBI double that gave the Cubs a 7-0 lead.

The Cubs kept going in the third as Lester homered to left field, his first of the year, and Russell smacked an RBI single to center in the fourth that put the Cubs ahead 10-0.

The Pirates slowly chipped away at the lead, scoring single runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, but it wasn’t enough as they fell for the second straight day.

The Cubs will go for the sweep on Sunday when they wrap up their series with the Pirates. José Quintana will take the hill, where he will be opposed by Trevor Williams.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jon Lester Launches Home Run in Cubs Game vs. Pirates]]> Sat, 13 Jul 2019 15:18:01 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1161817442.jpg

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester got plenty of help from his offense in Saturday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the hurler made sure to get involved in the hit parade as well. 

Lester, who didn't have his first career hit until he joined the Cubs in 2015, smacked an RBI double in the first inning of the game to drive in a pair of runs, but he did himself one better in the third inning when he launched a home run over the left field wall: 

The home run is the third of Lester's career, and brought his RBI total for the season to five. His career high in a season in nine, which he reached last year, and Lester will look to top that number through the rest of the season. 

Lester and the Cubs raced out to a 7-0 lead over the Pirates at Wrigley, as they look for their second straight divisional win. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[White Sox Activate Covey From Injured List]]> Sat, 13 Jul 2019 15:03:15 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-684867570.jpg

The Chicago White Sox made a roster move prior to their game against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, activating pitcher Dylan Covey from the injured list and designating pitcher Juan Minaya for assignment.

Covey, who had been out of commission for over a month due to right shoulder inflammation, was recalled from an injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte. The hurler has a 1-4 record and a 4.58 ERA in nine appearances this season, and will start against the A’s in Oakland on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Minaya has appeared in 22 games with the White Sox this season, with a 3.90 ERA and 27 strikeouts in those contests.

The moves do open up a spot on the White Sox 40-man roster, the team said in a press release.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Halep Tops Serena Williams to Win Wimbledon]]> Sat, 13 Jul 2019 09:41:20 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/halepwins.jpg

27-year-old Simona Halep defeated Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final, preventing Williams from winning her 24th major.

<![CDATA[Blackhawks Announce Development Camp Rosters]]> Fri, 12 Jul 2019 21:30:29 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1151356543.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks will host their annual Development Camp next week in the city, and the organization’s top prospects will hit the ice for the event.

The camp, which will start Monday and run through Friday, July 19 at the Fifth Third Arena in the 1800 block of West Jackson Boulevard, will feature a total of 37 players, including 2019 first round draft pick Kirby Dach.

In addition to Dach, the other five members of the Blackhawks’ 2019 draft class will be in attendance, as will 2018 first-round picks Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin.

New forward Alex Nylander, acquired by the Blackhawks in the trade that sent Henri Jokiharju to the Buffalo Sabres, will also be at the camp after being added to the team’s roster this week.

Here are the players who will be at the camp:

Forwards – Kirby Dach, MacKenzie Entwistle, Parker Foo, Mathias From, Brandon Hagel, Mikael Hakkarainen, Reese Johnson, Philipp Kurashev, Dylan McLaughlin, Alex Nylander, Kyle Olson, Antti Saarela, Josiah Slavin, Tim Soderlund, Jonny Sorenson, Michal Teply, Jake Wise

Defensemen – Nicolas Beaudin, Adam Boqvist, Joshua Ess, Jakub Galvas, Chad Krys, Roope Laavainen, Ian Mitchell, Cole Moberg, Jake Ryczek, Ryan Shea, Alex Vlasic

Goaltenders – Dominic Basse, Devin Cooley, Alexis Gravel, Stafanos Lekkas, Mareks Mitens, Zackarias Skog

A total of three players will only be participating in off-ice activities at the camp, including 2018 draft pick Evan Barrett, forward Dominik Kubalik, and forward Niklas Nordgren.

Practices will take place from Monday through Thursday, and a scrimmage will be held Friday.

Photo Credit: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heyward, Bryant Lead Cubs to Victory Over Pirates]]> Fri, 12 Jul 2019 17:02:39 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1161651369.jpg

It took a while for the Chicago Cubs’ offense to get going on Friday, but it came through when it needed to in a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.

Shortly after reliever Pedro Strop gave up a game-tying three run home run in the eighth inning, Jason Heyward came through with a clutch RBI single to score Kris Bryant and give the Cubs the victory coming out of the MLB All-Star break.

Randy Rosario got the win in the contest, and Craig Kimbrel picked up his third save as the Cubs closer in the victory.

Robel Garcia and Bryant each drove in runs, and Bryant clubbed his 18th home run of the season.

Yu Darvish was stuck with a no-decision despite a sparkling day on the mound, as he gave up just two hits and struck out eight batters in six quality innings.

The game remained scoreless until the seventh inning, when Bryant smacked a home run to left field to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Later in the frame, García came through with a sacrifice fly to score Anthony Rizzo, and David Bote drew a bases-loaded walk to score another run to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

In the eighth inning, Strop struggled with close out the frame, and Starling Marte made him pay as he launched a deep home run over the left field bleachers to knot up the contest at 3-3.

In the bottom of the frame, Heyward came through with a clutch opposite field single to score Bryant and give the Cubs a 4-3 edge.

Kimbrel slammed the door in the ninth, working a perfect frame as the Cubs started their unofficial second half of the season with a victory.

The divisional rivals will continue their series on Saturday afternoon at the Friendly Confines when Jon Lester squares off against Jordan Lyles at 1:20 p.m.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mets All-Star Doc Gooden Busted With Cocaine in NJ: Official]]> Fri, 12 Jul 2019 21:57:14 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/dwight+gooden+getty.jpg

Retired Mets All-Star pitcher Dwight "Doc" Gooden faces drug charges after he was caught with suspected cocaine in New Jersey last month, according to a felony complaint obtained by News 4 Friday.

The 54-year-old four-time All-Star, who also had a pitching stint for the Yankees, among other Major League Baseball teams, allegedly had two small green plastic bags containing a white powder when he was stopped in Holmdel June 7.

Gooden also allegedly appeared to be under the influence of drugs, the complaint says. The former Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award winner is expected to appear in court later this month in connection with the charges. 

Information on his attorney wasn't immediately clear, but The New York Post reported he didn't immediately return their request for comment and his family declined comment. 

The athletic superstar has a well-documented history of battling addiction. He ended up in rehab after a positive cocaine test in 1987, not long after the Mets clinched a World Series victory, was suspended for an entire season for failing a drug test eight years later and, in 2010, was arrested in Franklin Lakes for allegedly driving under the influence and crashing his car with his son in tow.

Photo Credit: MLB via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Soccer Star Allie Long's Key to NYC, Wedding Ring Stolen in LA]]> Fri, 12 Jul 2019 07:27:22 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1154860873-%281%29.jpg

Long Island soccer star Allie Long wants the key to her "favorite city" back.

After the NYC ticker tape parade celebrated the U.S. women's national team World Cup win on Wednesday, the 31-year-old midfielder headed to the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles where someone stole cash, the key to the city given to her by Mayor de Blasio, as well as her wedding ring from her hotel room.

She tweeted: "Do you make copies @NYCMayor? I would love a new one."

Mayor de Blasio responded Friday morning, tweeting, "Don't worry about the key. Like any good New Yorker, we keep a spare for our neighbors! We got you covered." He also told her to "hang in there." 

According to TMZ, law enforcement officials said Long's Ritz-Carlton room was burglarized Thursday afternoon and her wedding ring was worth about $15,000.

Local police are investigating the incident, the report said.

At the ESPYs, Long's teammate Alex Morgan won female athlete of the year and the entire U.S. women's soccer team shared the best team award.

Photo Credit: Marc Atkins/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Luis Robert Slugs Grand Slam in Triple-A Debut]]> Thu, 11 Jul 2019 20:48:36 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1134938335.jpg

Chicago White Sox prospect Luis Robert made his Triple-A debut for the Charlotte Knights on Thursday, and he made sure that the occasion was a memorable one.

Robert, who has already played in Single-A and Double-A this season, not only got his first Triple-A hit in the game, but he made it a big one as he hit a grand slam in the third inning of the contest:

(Editorial note: the grand slam was hit by Robert, not by Alcides Escobar)

Later in the game, Robert went deep again, this time a solo shot deep to left field: 

In 75 minor league games prior to Thursday night, Robert has been scorching hot, posting a .349 batting average, 16 home runs, and 53 RBIs to go along with 29 stolen bases in the White Sox farm system.

Earlier this week the White Sox announced that Robert would be promoted for the second time this season, as he has continued to put up eye-popping numbers in the minors, but G.M. Rick Hahn refused to commit to a firm timeline on when the slugger will make his way to the big league level.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Red Stars F Michele Vasconcelos Out for Season]]> Thu, 11 Jul 2019 18:54:36 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-994004598.jpg

The Chicago Red Stars were dealt a serious blow on the injury front Thursday, as forward Michele Vasconcelos has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2019 season.

Vasconcelos, who has two goals and three assists in 11 games this season for the Red Stars, suffered a torn ACL in her left knee, the team announced in a press release on Thursday.

The forward sustained the injury while playing against Sky Blue FC on Sunday, the team said.

In her career with the club, Vasconcelos has appeared in 30 matches and has scored three goals in NWSL action.

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The Red Stars will be back in action on Saturday night when they take on the Houston Dash in a road match. The club will be back in Chicago on July 21 when they welcome back their World Cup-winning stars from Team USA, including Alyssa Naeher and Julie Ertz. The Red Stars will face the North Carolina Courage in the match at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.  

Photo Credit: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blackhawks Convention: Team Announces Event Attendees]]> Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:00:25 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1140179031.jpg

The annual Chicago Blackhawks Convention is just around the corner, and although some of the team’s biggest stars will be in attendance at the event, there will be a few notable absences this year.

According to the list released by the team, defenseman Duncan Keith will not be at the 12thannual event, which is set to be held from July 26 to the 28.

Defenseman Erik Gustafsson is also not on the list of attendees, according to the team.

Despite those absences, other big stars like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will be at the event, as will new acquisitions like Andrew Shaw, Robin Lehner, Calvin de Haan, and Olli Maatta.

Here is the full list of current players that will be in attendance at the Hilton Chicago:

Artem Anisimov, Nicolas Beaudin, Adam Boqvist, Drake Caggiula, Kirby Dach, Carl Dahlstrom, Alex DeBrincat, Calvin de Haan, Collin Delia, Mackenzie Entwistle, Alexandre Fortin, Dennis Gilbert, Brandon Hagel, Mikael Hakkarainen, Reese Johnson, David Kampf, Patrick Kane, Slater Koekkoek, Chad Krys, Philipp Kurashev, Robin Lehner, Olli Maatta, Connor Murphy, Brendan Perlini, John Quenneville, Brandon Saad, Aleksi Saarela, Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw, Tim Soderlund, Dylan Strome, Jonathan Toews

A diverse group of former Blackhawks will be at this year’s convention, including Hall of Famers Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull, and Denis Savard. Members of the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks will also be present, including Dave Bolland, Adam Burish, Patrick Sharp, and Kris Versteeg.

For a full list of attendees, and for information on how to purchase passes to the convention, visit the Blackhawks’ official website.

Photo Credit: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Star Josh Norman Runs With the Bulls]]> Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:02:42 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Josh+Norman+GettyImages-630776470.jpg

Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman is used to facing tough opponents head on, but none can compare to taking on a bull at the infamous running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain yesterday.

A video shows Norman jumping over a bull as if it were a car, and immediately afterward he took to his Instagram story to share his initial reaction. 

“Where else was I supposed to go?” he said. “I had to face the bull straight on. It was a great experience. It was one the best experiences ever.”

Later in the day, Norman shared a picture of him in the bull arena.

Norman has been eyeing a run with the bulls since 2016, when he named it as one of his possible offseason activities, he said to VCCB in Charlotte.

Perhaps if he had known that five people have been gored in this year’s bull run, he would have been more hesitant. Or perhaps not. The San Fermina fiesta lasts nine days and began on Sunday, attracting people from across the globe, ESPN reports.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Robot Umpires Makes Their Debut in Professional Baseball]]> Thu, 11 Jul 2019 14:16:53 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/LANDSCAPE.00_00_21_13.Still002.jpg
The Atlantic League introduced the first computer to call balls and strikes, and will install more throughout the league this season.]]>
<![CDATA[David Ortiz Recovering After 3rd Surgery for Complications From Gunshot Wound]]> Thu, 11 Jul 2019 12:35:28 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/211*120/GettyImages-534541696.jpg

Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz underwent a third surgery this week for complications from a gunshot wound suffered last month, his wife said Thursday.

"Earlier this week, David underwent a third surgery for complications resulting from his gunshot wound," Tiffany Ortiz said in a statement issued by the team. "The operation was performed by Dr. David King at Massachusetts General Hospital. David is recovering well and is in good spirits."

"We continue to be incredibly appreciative of the kindness and compassion shown to David and to our entire family during this difficult time," she added.

Ortiz was shot at a bar in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on June 9. Surveillance footage of the scene showed a gunman walking toward Ortiz and shooting him at close range. Dominican officials said the shooting was a case of mistaken identity and he was not the intended target.

Doctors removed Ortiz's gallbladder and part of his intestines prior to flying him to Boston for further treatment.

Dominican authorities said Victor Hugo Gomez Vasquez, an associate of Mexico's Gulf Cartel, ordered the hit from the U.S., hiring a gang of killers to eliminate his cousin, whom he suspected of turning him in to Dominican drug investigators in 2011.

The cousin, Sixto David Fernández, was seated with Ortiz at the Dial Bar and Lounge on the night of the shooting. Fernández owned an auto-repair shop and is friends with Ortiz, officials said.

Within days of the shooting, authorities had detained more than a dozen suspects, ranging from the alleged gunman to a series of drivers and minor accomplices. All of them have been ordered to spend one year in preventive prison as the investigation continues. Gomez Vasquez, the alleged mastermind, was arrested on June 28.

Dominican police said Gomez Vasquez offered to pay $30,000 for the shooting.

Police are still looking for at least three other suspects: a woman known as The Venezuelan or Red; Luis Alfredo Rivas Clase, aka The Surgeon, who is wanted for a 2018 shooting in Reading, Pennsylvania, and was believed to be driving a car used to stalk Fernández; and Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mota, whom authorities believe paid the hit men.

Ortiz, 43, led the Red Sox to three World Series championships, was a 10-time All Star and hit 541 home runs. The Red Sox retired his number, 34, in 2017, and he has a bridge and a stretch of road outside Fenway Park named after him. He has a home in Weston, on the outskirts of Boston, that he shared with his wife and three children before putting it up for sale.

Although he lives in Boston, Ortiz visits the Dominican Republic several times a year. His father and sister live in Santo Domingo.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>