Midweek musings: To toss or not To toss. That is the question. As in Miss Illinois United States 2012 Nancy To and her desire to throw out a ceremonial first pitch for the Chicago White Sox. Somebody get the word to Brooks Boyer or Scott Reifert or someone at the Sox who can make that happen. Nancy will be on “Sports & Torts” on Thursday (Sept. 13) with co-hosts David Spada and Elliott Harris at noon Chicago time on talkzone.com. The program also will be available later on podcast. And if you think this mention of Nancy is an excuse to run her photo, then you quite likely know how things work — and we use that verb loosely — around here. As if there needs to be any rationalizing in running such photos. And, yes, there is video below for those who are interested (and even for those who are not — as if such people actually would exist). And if the Bears and/or Bulls want to invite her to a game, Nancy just might be interested in that, too.
* Nancy To’s last name is pronounced “toe” in case you want to know. And even if you don’t.
* Speaking of the Sox, their 5-3 loss to the visiting Detroit Tigers on Tuesday (Sept. 11) left the home team with a two-game lead in the American League Central with two more games left in their series with the Detroit holding an 11-5 season advantage. Fortunately for the Sox, those two games mark the end of their season series.
* Speaking of the Sox and series, their road to the postseason looks reasonable good — with the exception of three games at Kansas City, which leads the season series 10-5. Other than the Royals, the Sox have winning records for their remaining foes: three at Minnesota (11-4), at Los Angeles Angels (3-2), three games at home vs. Cleveland (8-4), three vs. Tampa Bay (3-0) and three at Cleveland (8-4) to end the season. This schedule could come with those warnings that accompany financial offereings: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Or something like that.
* After their two remaining games with the Sox, the Tigers face one team that leads their season series — the Indians (9-6). The Tigers play three at CLeveland, three vs. Oakland (2-2), three vs. Minnesota (7-5), four vs. Kansas City (7-4), three at Minnesota (7-5) and three at Kansas City (7-4). Wouldn’t it be funny if the season came down to the Royals deciding the division? OK, maybe not so funny.
* Meanwhile, the Cubs’ goal of avoiding 100 losses seems reasonable. After their 1-0 loss Tuesday to the Astros, the Cubs (55-87) have one more game left at Houston (6-5). four vs. Pittsburgh (6-6), three vs. Cincinnati (4-9), three vs. St. Louis (6-8), three at Colorado (2-1), three at Arizona (3-3) and three vs. Houston (6-5). If the Cubs can’t do better than 7-13 the rest of the way, they don’t deserve to avoid 100 defeats. Or to put it another way: If the Cubs win eight of their remaining 20 games, the organization will be able to feel good about not losing 100 games. Or something like that. Setting the bar lower and lower while ticket prices will go higher and higher. Pure genius. OK, maybe not pure. Maybe not genius either.
With center Sylvia Fowles sidelined with a lower-leg injury, the Chicago Sky faced a tall order against the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx. The Sky more than measured up by scoring an 83-70 victory Tuesday at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill
Not bad considering the Lynx had won 11 consecutive contests. Even after the loss, the Lynx (24-5) has the league’s best record. Guard Epiphanny Prince led the Sky (12-17) with 26 points. Carolyn Swords, who replaced Fowles in the starting lineup, had 11 points and a career-high nine rebounds. Guard Courtney Vandersloot scored 17 for the Sky, which outscored the Lynx 17-7 in taking a 40-29 halftime lead.
“We got it done defensively,” Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. “I thought Courtney Vandersloot was active defensively.
“We did a good job taking care of the basketball [only 13 turnovers]. That’s a team that averages 82, 83 points per game, and to hold them to 70 is something we strive to do.”
As for Swords’ play?
“Carolyn is efficient,” Chatman said. “The biggest thing for her is that she practices against Sylvia everyday, so we don’t have to worry so much about getting her ready for an opponent. She went 5-for-5 [fron the field], took a lot of space up in the middle, and she got nine rebounds, but it felt like more. She always seems to be in the right place making good screens getting people open, making other people better with her play.”
“It’s a great confidence booster, and it’s great momentum heading out to the West Coast,” Swords said. ” think we know if we can stick together and execute, we’ll be in good shape moving forward.”
Asked what went wrong, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said: “Everything.”
As promised several paragraphs above, here is some video of Miss Illinois Nancy To:
There’s always room for cheerleaders/dancers around here. Especially during the NFL season when the Chicago Bears have none (they used to, and hopefully one day they again will have them). Today, the video-research department at elliottharris.com has come up with video of the Houston Texans cheerleaders. Not the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders but close (geographically and otherwise):
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