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2 Homers by Rookie Power White Sox (and Cubs)

March 22, 2015 @ No Comments

Sunday smorgasbord: Yes, it was an impressive Cactus League performance with two home runs from a rookie who was drafted No. 1 by his Chicago ballclub. But you’re probably tired of hearing about him. After all, there’s only so much hype a person can endure before wondering if this ballplayer is as good as he seems. So enough about Courtney Hawkins. Oh, and Kris Bryant hit two, too.

Congrats to Stephanie Mahoe for finishing second in the New Zealand ProAm bikini contest.

Congrats to Stephanie Mahoe for finishing second in the New Zealand ProAm bikini contest.

* Speaking of Hawkins whose home run in bottom of the ninth gave the White Sox a 6-4 victory against Kansas City, he will start the season in the minor leagues. He was the team’s No. 1 draft pick in 2012 and is only 21. He is batting .419 this spring with four homers and nine runs batted in. And, no, he is not ready for the major leagues. Not yet.

* Speaking of Bryant, he hit his seventh and eight homers of the exhibition season in the Cubs; 12-10 victory against Seattle. He will start the season in the minor leagues. Well, if he doesn’t, it will be the biggest upset since David took out Goliath with a beanball (OK, so maybe it was a rock). Bryant is batting .480 (12-for-25) this spring with 14 RBI. And, yes, he would appear ready for the majors. Let’s put it this way: He’s more ready for Opening Day than Wrigley Field.

* Still speaking of Bryant, when will some inquiring media type ask Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo what it’s like to be the former face of the future of the franchise? Does Bryant have to be on the regular-season roster before that occurs?

* With twice as many home runs as anyone else in exhibition games, has Bryant clinched Cactus League rookie of the spring and Most Valuable Player awards yet? And if not, why not?

* And while we’re at it, when will baseball’s new commissioner declare homefield advantage in the World Series will be determined by a home-run derby contest between the American League and National League leaders in spring-training homers?

* As long as we’re asking questions around here, is there any NBA team consistently more inconsistent than the Bulls. They defeat a good team (Toronto) Friday and lost 107-91 at Detroit (not a good team) Saturday.

* Speaking of the Pistons, Reggie Jackson had 17 third-quarter points; the Bulls had 23 in being outscored 36-23 after leading 56-44 at halftime. And the fourth quarter was even better (or worse, depending on your perspective): Detroit outscored the Bulls 27-12. For the Bulls, Pau Gasol (27 points and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes) had 17 points in the second half. Meaning the rest of the Bulls combined for 18 points in the second half (assuming the ElliottHarris.com statistical-analysis techology — OK, a calculator on a phone — is accurate).

* Speaking of the Bulls, if the season ended today, it would be time for the postseason. The Bulls (42-29) would be the No. 4 seed and face Washington. The Pistons would be vacationing. As one who watched the Pistons telecast of the game, the announcers were enthused about beating such a talented team. That’s what broadcasters do who call games for teams with no postseason possibilities. OK, that’s what just about all broadcasters do when the team that employs them beats a good team.

* One of the benefits of sleeping away most of the day is being awake to watch Butler battle Notre Dame in an overtime game Saturday night in the NCAA basketball tournament. For those who say college basketball is better than the NBA game, feel free to maintain that delusion. Not that the Irish’s victory lacked excitement. But the college game is not the same as the NBA. Proponents of each should enjoy their choice and not worry about what level is best.

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