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Derrick Rose on sitting out Team USA win: ‘It’s just body fatigue’

Rose was up and running with no setbacks last training camp until his season ended in Portland when he tore his right meniscus.With Team USA scheduled to play one more exhibition game and then start FIBA World Cup tournament play Aug. shut it down for a few days because of fatigue and the knee not responding as well as he liked.His comments after the game Wednesday were reminiscent of that.''It's just body fatigue,'' he told reporters.Asked if it was his knees, he responded, ''No, not the knees.

BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter August 20, 2014 6:26PM

Updated: August 20, 2014 10:41PM

The two most scrutinized knees in Chicago put everyone on deep-breath alert again Wednesday.

Bulls guard Derrick Rose was a late scratch for Team USA in its 105-62 exhibition victory over the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden. He has been sidelined with ‘‘general body fatigue’’ since a victory over Brazil at the United Center on Saturday night.

Rose, who has had season-ending surgeries on both knees since the 2012 NBA playoffs, sat out both practices in New York but participated in the shootaround Wednesday morning and, according to one source, ‘‘moved very well.’’

It wasn’t well enough for USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who decided before the game to err on the side of caution and sit Rose.

According to a Bulls source, Rose has been having ‘‘some aches in both knees, as well as his body, over the last 72 hours, but nothing unexpected or even out of the ordinary.’’ The source indicated Rose felt the traveling he has been doing might have brought on some of the discomfort.

It was comparable to what Rose went through in training camp last season when the team took the long flight to Brazil and Rose ? at the time recovering from surgery on his left anterior cruciate ligament ? shut it down for a few days because of fatigue and the knee not responding as well as he liked.

His comments after the game Wednesday were reminiscent of that.

‘‘It’s just body fatigue,’’ he told reporters.

Asked if it was his knees, he responded, ‘‘No, not the knees. .?.?. You don’t got to worry about that.’’

Easier said than done for Bulls fans who have awaited Rose’s return for two-plus years and seem to expect the worst news with any sort of health update.

The good news is, if it was indeed just fatigue, a quick turnaround is expected. Rose was up and running with no setbacks last training camp until his season ended in Portland when he tore his right meniscus.

With Team USA scheduled to play one more exhibition game and then start FIBA World Cup tournament play Aug. 30, there were no indications Rose wouldn’t continue to play a big role for an already depleted roster, as he had done in the two weeks leading up to the trip to New York.

‘‘It’s piling up, but I’m used to it by now,’’ Rose said Saturday about the physical grind after the victory over Brazil. ‘‘I think I’m a pro, professional now. I’m learning how to take care of my body a little bit more, preparing myself, like I’ve been preparing for this a couple of weeks ago, and just trying to really eat right and get rest, get off of my feet.’’

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
15 Points
1

Court records shed new light on teen linked to mother’s death in Bali

Another $500,000 went to James Mack's estate.But von Wiese-Mack was the executor of that estate. 13, a day after von Wiese-Mack's body was found stuffed in a suitcase in the trunk of a taxi in front of the upscale St. Meanwhile, Sheila von Wiese-Mack and her daughter, Heather Mack, endured an undisputedly contentious relationship at their upscale home in Oak Park. Mack put it politely."My daughter is very active," James L. They could be charged with premeditated murder and face the death penalty.

BY JON SEIDEL AND BRIAN SLODYSKO Staff Reporters August 20, 2014 3:12PM

Sheila von Wiese-Mack's daughter Heather Mack and boyfriend Tommy Schaefer in this undated photo from Instagram.

Updated: August 20, 2014 4:12PM

Heather Mack was a handful.

Long before her mother’s body was found stuffed in a suitcase outside a Bali resort, and before police began making regular visits to the family’s Oak Park home, her father James L. Mack put it politely.

“My daughter is very active,” James L. Mack said.

But the family’s travel agent was more candid.

“The obnoxious kid was bouncing a beach ball off everybody while I was trying to go over documents with her mother, who wasn’t paying any attention to her until the beach ball bounced off my desk,” Nancy Calvo Varela said in her 2002 deposition about the Mack family’s trip to Greece.

“Then she decided to discipline her by telling her to sit down, which took about two seconds, and then she was off again.”

The depositions, revealed as records of the Mack family’s lawsuit against the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., became public Wednesday, offer new insight into the 18-year-old woman now held in her mother’s gruesome death overseas.

The Mack family’s 2001 complaint against the cruise line became a wrongful death lawsuit after James Mack’s 2006 death. And it ended in a $1.5 million settlement in 2011, court records show.

Meanwhile, Sheila von Wiese-Mack and her daughter, Heather Mack, endured an undisputedly contentious relationship at their upscale home in Oak Park. Police said they were called there 86 times since January 2004, often to deal with Heather Mack’s violence toward her mother.

And in 2010, von Wiese-Mack blamed Heather Mack’s behavior on the girl’s role as a “key witness” in a wrongful death lawsuit after her father died.

Sheila von Wiese-Mack netted $340,667 after legal fees for her share of the 2011 settlement, according to court records. Another $500,000 went to James Mack’s estate.

But von Wiese-Mack was the executor of that estate. And in June 2011, a judge authorized von Wiese-Mack to pay herself the remaining $500,000 as the estate’s “sole beneficiary.”

James Mack signed his will five days before his death. And in it, he said it was intended “only to provide for Heather Mack, my child, and for no other children.”

Heather Mack was 10 when her father died, and 15 when the lawsuit was settled.

But now she is 18 and in custody of Indonesian authorities along with her boyfriend, 21-year-old Tommy Schaefer. They were arrested in Bali’s Kuta area Aug. 13, a day after von Wiese-Mack’s body was found stuffed in a suitcase in the trunk of a taxi in front of the upscale St. Regis Bali Resort.

They could be charged with premeditated murder and face the death penalty.

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
18 Points
1

US launched failed rescue mission to Syria this summer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS August 20, 2014 5:39PM Updated: August 20, 2014 5:39PMWASHINGTON (AP) . military launched a secret mission earlier this summer to rescue a number of Americans held captive by militants in Syria but failed to find them.The officials say the American hostages were not at a location where the U.S.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS August 20, 2014 5:39PM

Updated: August 20, 2014 5:39PM

WASHINGTON (AP) ? Senior Obama administration officials say the U.S. military launched a secret mission earlier this summer to rescue a number of Americans held captive by militants in Syria but failed to find them.

The officials say the American hostages were not at a location where the U.S. believed they were being held. The mission was carried out by several dozen special operations troops who were on the ground inside Syria for a short period of time.

The officials detailed the mission one day after Islamic State militants announced they had beheaded one of the hostages and threatened to kill another.

The officials discussed the mission under ground rules that they would not be identified.

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
15 Points
1

Derrick Rose on sitting out Team USA win: ‘It’s just body fatigue’

Rose was up and running with no setbacks last training camp until his season ended in Portland when he tore his right meniscus.With Team USA scheduled to play one more exhibition game and then start FIBA World Cup tournament play Aug. shut it down for a few days because of fatigue and the knee not responding as well as he liked.His comments after the game Wednesday were reminiscent of that.''It's just body fatigue,'' he told reporters.Asked if it was his knees, he responded, ''No, not the knees.

BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter August 20, 2014 6:26PM

Updated: August 20, 2014 10:41PM

The two most scrutinized knees in Chicago put everyone on deep-breath alert again Wednesday.

Bulls guard Derrick Rose was a late scratch for Team USA in its 105-62 exhibition victory over the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden. He has been sidelined with ‘‘general body fatigue’’ since a victory over Brazil at the United Center on Saturday night.

Rose, who has had season-ending surgeries on both knees since the 2012 NBA playoffs, sat out both practices in New York but participated in the shootaround Wednesday morning and, according to one source, ‘‘moved very well.’’

It wasn’t well enough for USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who decided before the game to err on the side of caution and sit Rose.

According to a Bulls source, Rose has been having ‘‘some aches in both knees, as well as his body, over the last 72 hours, but nothing unexpected or even out of the ordinary.’’ The source indicated Rose felt the traveling he has been doing might have brought on some of the discomfort.

It was comparable to what Rose went through in training camp last season when the team took the long flight to Brazil and Rose ? at the time recovering from surgery on his left anterior cruciate ligament ? shut it down for a few days because of fatigue and the knee not responding as well as he liked.

His comments after the game Wednesday were reminiscent of that.

‘‘It’s just body fatigue,’’ he told reporters.

Asked if it was his knees, he responded, ‘‘No, not the knees. .?.?. You don’t got to worry about that.’’

Easier said than done for Bulls fans who have awaited Rose’s return for two-plus years and seem to expect the worst news with any sort of health update.

The good news is, if it was indeed just fatigue, a quick turnaround is expected. Rose was up and running with no setbacks last training camp until his season ended in Portland when he tore his right meniscus.

With Team USA scheduled to play one more exhibition game and then start FIBA World Cup tournament play Aug. 30, there were no indications Rose wouldn’t continue to play a big role for an already depleted roster, as he had done in the two weeks leading up to the trip to New York.

‘‘It’s piling up, but I’m used to it by now,’’ Rose said Saturday about the physical grind after the victory over Brazil. ‘‘I think I’m a pro, professional now. I’m learning how to take care of my body a little bit more, preparing myself, like I’ve been preparing for this a couple of weeks ago, and just trying to really eat right and get rest, get off of my feet.’’

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
4 Points
1

27-year-old who helped popularize ALS ice bucket challenge dies

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS August 20, 2014 4:08PM Updated: August 20, 2014 5:38PMBOSTON (AP) . Anthony's Roman Catholic Church in Cohasset, according to family spokesman Stephen Greeley. His parents helped co-found "Champions for Children's," a major annual fundraiser for the hospital.Nantucket police said Monday that the investigation into Griffin's death is ongoing.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS August 20, 2014 4:08PM

Updated: August 20, 2014 5:38PM

BOSTON (AP) ? Funeral arrangements have been set for a man who died over the weekend after diving off a building into Nantucket Harbor hours after fundraising for a Lou Gehrig’s disease charity in honor of his friend who inspired the ice-bucket challenge.

The wake for Corey Griffin, 27, will be from 2 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church in Cohasset, according to family spokesman Stephen Greeley. The funeral service will be Thursday at 11 a.m., also at St. Anthony’s.

Greeley, whose son grew up with Griffin, described him an energetic and charismatic booster for a number of local charities when not working as Director of Strategic Initiatives at RANE, a finance company in New York.

“This kid was immensely popular. His energy level was incomparable,” he said. “He had a challenging business career and he was on a straight upward path.”

Greeley said Griffin most recently raised $150,000 for the charity benefiting Peter Frates, a former Boston College classmate suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Frates’ family and friends are credited with starting the ice-bucket challenge phenomenon that has raised awareness and millions of dollars in donations for ALS research.

Greeley said Griffin, who later transferred to Babson College where he played varsity hockey, also helped launch a pair of charities benefiting the Boston Children’s Hospital. His parents helped co-found “Champions for Children’s,” a major annual fundraiser for the hospital.

Nantucket police said Monday that the investigation into Griffin’s death is ongoing. They say Griffin dove into the harbor from a building on Straight Wharf at around 2 a.m. Saturday. An off-duty lifeguard pulled his body from the water; Griffin was later pronounced dead at Nantucket Cottage Hospital.

According to a draft obituary provided by his family, Griffin is the oldest of three children of Robert and Cathleen Griffin, of Scituate. He was a graduate of Thayer Academy and the Taft School.

“Corey’s boundless energy, spirit, ability to find something good in everybody, passionate support and leadership of many philanthropic causes ... are his legacy,” the draft obituary says.

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
13 Points
1

For Jackie Robinson West’s Darold and DJ Butler, baseball runs in the family

When DJ Butler was crying to his dad after Jackie Robinson West fell a game short of making it to the Little League World Series in 2013, there wasn't much manager Darold Butler could do. I'm not looking at it like DJ's my son or anything like that.''My job is to stay calm, stay focused, and that's what I try to do on the field." Email: [email protected] Twitter: @SethGruen. Baseball."That's why I love baseball," Darold said. "It teaches life lessons." For the Butlers, it worked.

BY SETH GRUENStaff Reporter August 20, 2014 10:23PM

Updated: August 20, 2014 11:21PM

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. ? When DJ Butler was crying to his dad after Jackie Robinson West fell a game short of making it to the Little League World Series in 2013, there wasn’t much manager Darold Butler could do.

Should he promise his son they would make it next year? No. That might’ve been a promise he couldn’t keep.

Instead, Darold told his son, Jackie Robinson West’s center fielder, how to get there.

“I told him we’re going to work hard and try to get here, and if we work hard, we have a real good chance,” Darold said.

Hard work: That’s a lesson most parents want to teach their children. Darold’s tool? Baseball.

“That’s why I love baseball,” Darold said. “It teaches life lessons.”

For the Butlers, it worked. The father-son duo and the Jackie Robinson West Little League team find themselves one victory away from playing in the U.S. championship.

Of course, hard work was part of it. Having a talented team didn’t hurt, either.

But they’ll reflect on the journey sometime after this Little League World Series is over. Right now, they’re just enjoying the experience together. And there isn’t a better baseball experience.

“He’s guided me the whole way,” DJ said. “He tells me how to do things when I’m in trouble or have a problem. And he makes sure I enjoy myself.

“He always makes my teammates laugh, makes me laugh, makes us do everything, and he always let’s us have fun and be together.”

DJ said his dad, a 24th- round pick in the 1996 amateur draft, began teaching him to switch-hit at 3 or 4.

Both said that baseball always has been a big part of their relationship. The little things in DJ’s game reflect it.

DJ always knows where to position himself in the outfield, which has saved a number of extra-base hits. In batting practice, he asks questions about his swing.

“Everything he’s going through is definitely a learning experience,” Darold said.

“I’m proud of him, and he’s a big reason why we’re here right now.”

In a phone interview before the start of the Little League World Series, Darold called baseball “a game of fathers and sons.”

But now that they’re here, the baseball part of their father-son relationship has been put on hiatus ? at least during the games.

Other parents have the luxury of riding the emotional roller coaster as they watch their children play at Lamade Stadium.

They can cheer loudly; they can sigh. The team can’t hear them.

As the team’s manager, Darold must stay calm. The only way he can do that is if he stays focused on his role with the team.

“I try to put on blinders, coaching blinders, and just turn into coach and not coach/dad,” Darold said. “It keeps me coaching the game fair and looking at each and every player as just a regular player. I’m not looking at it like DJ’s my son or anything like that.

‘‘My job is to stay calm, stay focused, and that’s what I try to do on the field.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @SethGruen

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
2 Points
1

With Carlos Rodon hype building, White Sox fall 4-3 to Orioles

Barring tough times in his next couple of starts, Rodon should be here in early September. It was the Sox' 10th defeat in their last 14 games.''He's coming along quick and he's coming along real well,'' Hahn said of Rodon. The Cubs are generating a buzz with Javy Baez and all that prospect talk, and the Sox, who drew 13,307 while Rodon was pitching before a sellout crowd of 10,287 in Charlotte, could use some September stim of their own. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @CST_soxvan.

BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWENStaff Reporter August 20, 2014 9:53PM

Updated: August 20, 2014 11:44PM

A little more than two months after the White Sox selected him third overall in the June draft, Carlos Rodon seems very close to becoming a big-leaguer.

Talking about Rodon’s just-fine debut at Class AAA Charlotte the night before, general manager Rick Hahn continued to speak Wednesday in glowing terms of a left-hander the organization views as a soon-to-be front-of-the-rotation starter. In the same breath, Hahn cautioned reporters about prematurely tracking Rodon’s path to a big-league debut, but this sounded like the parent who tells his kid there’s no guarantee he gets the driver’s license when he turns 16.

C’mon. Really?

Barring tough times in his next couple of starts, Rodon should be here in early September. The Cubs are generating a buzz with Javy Baez and all that prospect talk, and the Sox, who drew 13,307 while Rodon was pitching before a sellout crowd of 10,287 in Charlotte, could use some September stim of their own. They drew 15,137, including thousands of Baltimore Orioles fans, for Wednesday’s 4-3 loss that completed a three-game sweep. It was the Sox’ 10th defeat in their last 14 games.

‘‘He’s coming along quick and he’s coming along real well,’’ Hahn said of Rodon. ‘‘Last night was a good outing.’’

Rodon pitched three innings, allowing a run and a hit and three walks while striking out three. He opened his last inning with two walks. That his changeup is working very well to go with a slider rated as the best pitch in the draft has Hahn feeling OK about giving Rodon a franchise-record $6,582,000 bonus for a draft pick.

‘‘We again saw the plus slider, which everyone has seen going back to the college days, as well as the very impressive changeup,’’ Hahn said.

Rodon acknowledged fastball command was a bit of a problem, ‘‘but it was his first outing at a high level, and he certainly responded to the challenge,’’ Hahn said.

When rosters expand in September, five to eight additions are likely, Hahn said. Infielders Carlos Sanchez, Marcus Semien, Matt Davidson and Andy Wilkins, outfielder Jared Mitchell, catcher Josh Phegley and Rodon are all possibilities.

‘‘There is nothing set in stone in terms of him coming here or not coming here,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘The decision is going to be made strictly based upon his development and his long-term fit for us.’’

If and when Rodon arrives, it won’t necessarily be in a relief role, which was 2010 first-round lefty Chris Sale’s steppingstone to the rotation in August and September 2010 and for another season as well.

‘‘We feel this guy is very close to being able to help us in the rotation,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘Whether that’s the first part of ’15, the second part of ’15, or ’16, we’ll see. But this guy is coming, we believe, on a fairly quick path and not necessarily one that would require him to spend time in the bullpen.

‘‘We’re going to continue to put challenges in front of this kid, he’s responded to each of them so far, and let’s see how the next couple go.’’

The Sox view Rodon as a big piece of their future, much like right fielder Avisail Garcia, who drove in three runs with a two-run homer and sacrifice fly against lefty Wei-Yin Chen. Sox right-hander Hector Noesi struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter but gave up home runs to Steve Pearce, Nelson Cruz (his 33rd, one more than Jose Abreu) and Adam Jones.

NOTES: Center fielder Adam Eaton (strained right oblique) could return as soon as Tuesday after finishing a short rehab stint at Charlotte.

?Charlotte second baseman Micah Johnson is out for the season with a strained left hamstring.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @CST_soxvan

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
2 Points
1

U.S. launched secret mission to rescue American hostages in Syria

airstrikes against the militants in Iraq continued.Despite the militants' threats, the U.S. But the several dozen special operations forces dropped by aircraft into Syria did not find them at that location and engaged in a firefight with Islamic State militants before departing, killing several militants. A video by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of Foley by the militant group was released Tuesday, Aug.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS August 20, 2014 5:39PM

FILE - In this Friday, May 27, 2011, file photo, journalist James Foley responds to questions during an interview with The Associated Press, in Boston. A video by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of Foley by the militant group was released Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Foley, from Rochester, N.H., went missing in 2012 in northern Syria while on assignment for Agence France-Press and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) ORG XMIT: NY118

Updated: August 20, 2014 10:22PM

WASHINGTON ? President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, the administration disclosed Wednesday.

Officials said the rescue mission was authorized after intelligence agencies thought they had identified the location inside Syria where the hostages were being held. But the several dozen special operations forces dropped by aircraft into Syria did not find them at that location and engaged in a firefight with Islamic State militants before departing, killing several militants. No Americans died but one sustained a minor injury when an aircraft was hit.

“The U.S. government had what we believed was sufficient intelligence, and when the opportunity presented itself, the president authorized the Department of Defense to move aggressively to recover our citizens,” said Lisa Monaco, Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, in a statement. “Unfortunately, that mission was ultimately not successful because the hostages were not present.”

The administration revealed the rescue operation a day after the militants released a video showing the beheading of Foley and threatened to kill a second hostage, Steven Sotloff, if U.S. airstrikes against the militants in Iraq continued.

Despite the militants’ threats, the U.S. launched a new barrage of airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria Wednesday. The Obama administration did not rule out the prospect of a military operation in Syria to bring those responsible for Foley’s death to justice.

The disclosure of the rescue mission marks the first time the U.S. has revealed that American military personnel have been on the ground in Syria since a bloody civil war there broke out more than three years ago. Obama has resisted calls to insert the U.S. military in the middle of Syria’s war, a cautious approach his critics say has allowed the Islamic State to strengthen there and make gains across the border in Iraq.

Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said the administration never intended to disclose the operation. But she said the U.S. went public with mission Wednesday because a number of media outlets were preparing to report on the operation and the administration “would have no choice but to acknowledge it.”

In a statement Wednesday night, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said: “As we have said repeatedly, the United States government is committed to the safety and well-being of its citizens, particularly those suffering in captivity. In this case, we put the best of the United States military in harm’s way to try and bring our citizens home.”

It’s unclear how many Americans the special forces attempted to rescue in Syria. While the officials who described the mission would not provide an exact number, other U.S. officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly, have said Foley was one of at least four Americans held in Syria.

Like Foley, two others are believed to have been kidnapped by the Islamic State. The fourth, freelance journalist Austin Tice, disappeared in Syria in August 2012 and is believed to be in the custody of government forces in Syria.

Administration officials would not say specifically when or where the operation took place, citing the need to protect operational details in order to preserve the ability to carry out future rescue missions. They did say that nearly every branch of the military was involved and that the special forces on the ground were supported from the air by fixed wing, rotary and surveillance aircraft.

Obama has authorized previous military missions to rescue hostages. In 2009, Navy SEAL snipers carried out a daring sea operation to rescue an American ship captain held by Somali pirates in a lifeboat. And in 2012, special operations forces successfully rescued an American and Dutch aid worked held in Somalia.

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
12 Points
1

Giants win protest over ‘tarp game;’ play will resume Thursday

BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff REporter August 20, 2014 11:02AM Updated: August 20, 2014 6:58PMAfter more than a 4.5-hour delay Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, the Cubs and Giants game that was eventually ruled a five-inning, 2-0 Cubs victory has been overturned as the Giants have won the protest.

BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff REporter August 20, 2014 11:02AM

Updated: August 20, 2014 6:58PM

After more than a 4.5-hour delay Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, the Cubs and Giants game that was eventually ruled a five-inning, 2-0 Cubs victory has been overturned as the Giants have won the protest.

The game will be resumed at 4 p.m. Thursday before the regularly schedule game.

The Giants filed the protest based on the Cubs’ lack of continued efforts to dry the soggy field over the final 90 minutes of the delay ? following more than two hours of nearly constant work and application of a drying agent after a sudden and severe shower caused a series of snafus that drenched the field.

The game will be continued from the point it was stopped.

“We tried every way possible for the sake of fairness and equity to get to the point of a suspended game and allow the teams to play nine [on Wednesday], but the rules don’t provide for that,” Cubs team president Theo Epstein said.

The Giants’ status as a playoff contender is the only reason the teams, the umpires and major league baseball signed off on giving the situation the 4 hours, 34 minutes they did ? almost 4 hours of which came after the rain stopped.

“It’s a very important game with playoff implications, so all parties involved from the office of the commissioner to the umpires to the front office of the Chicago Cubs ? we exhausted all efforts to get this game played,” said umpire crew chief Hunter Wendelstedt, who allowed the top half of the fifth inning to be played in rain before calling for the tarp as the storm increased just before the start of the bottom half.

“Hundreds might be an exaggeration, but on our side, there was probably 20 to 30 communications [with MLB] just from the umpiring department,” Wendelstedt said. “The office of the commissioner takes this very seriously, and all the parties involved were kept up to date with every detail as they developed.”

The way the surreal sequence of events played out Tuesday night, the Giants seemed to have little chance of prevailing in the protest.

“It doesn’t seem like a real game in a pennant race, and obviously there were issues with the tarp coming out and how that went and contributed to it,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said, and that’s the organization’s responsibility. So we tried to wait as long as we possibly could because the Giants are in a pennant race and because we felt an obligation to do that.

“I don’t think anyone takes any particular pride in winning a game 2-0 in five innings in a situation like that. Those are the rules. But as an organization we really made a good faith effort to try to play this game for the right reasons, because it was a situation where they’re in a pennant race, and we’re not. And we want to give them every opportunity to play a full nine innings.”

The field became unplayable in large part because of how long it took to get the tarp on the field once Wendelstedt called for it. A grounds crew rushing through a fast-escalating and wind-driven downpour seemed to get the tarp roll stuck out of position and then tried to quickly unfurl the tarp from there ? to little avail as it quickly got weighted down by water.

It looked bad enough that fans booed and then started chanting, “Pull! Pull! Pull!”

It wasn’t until the crew pulled the tarp back off the field and then tried again that they finally covered the infield.

“I’m frustrated. I’m beside myself,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. It’s probably not the right frame of mind for me [to comment] because it’s my last recourse. I hope they listen and watch what happened here.

“In this day and age, it cannot happen. It shouldn’t happen. So I’ll leave it at that.”

For all the water the field took during the tarp delay, it took more when the tarp was removed and enough water spilled to create pond-size puddles behind both sides of the infield.

Hours of raking, blow-drying, pushing the water and applying drying agent made no significant difference to the unplayable, “soft” footing, Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.

Even Bochy admitted that much. But the Giants seemed as upset by the fact that the drying effort by the grounds crew had stopped over the final hour-plus of the delay, with workers only raking and dragging the infield.

“It was 15 minutes of rain there, and they couldn’t get the tarp on in time,” Bochy said. “In this day and time, something should’ve been done a little bit more. ? You know what? I’m done [commenting].”

Had the top of the fifth not been completed, rules would have allowed for a postponement or suspension.

“I think the problem that all the parties faced was that by the beautiful baseball rue book, there was nothing to put our hat on to suspend the game,” Wendelstedt said. “The game became regulation with the home team winning in the top of the fifth inning. That’s a complete game, a regulation, complete game. And there was really no way around it.”

Except to try to wait it out and get the rest of it in.

Of course, if the tarp had been summoned in the top of the fifth?

Wendelstedt said he allowed the game to continue in that half-inning because “it wasn’t even anything more than a light mist until the inning was completed.”

Between half-innings, he said, “I went over and spoke with [head groundskeeper] Roger [Baird], who as you know is one of the best in the business. Roger’s report from the weather man was five to possibly 10 minutes of very light rain that was not even showing on the radar.”

Once the rain increased at that point, Wendelstedt “called for the tarp immediately.”

And even then, he said, “According to the radar, mother nature was not raining. No one had any facts that saw this coming.

“Then it was just a bad set of unfortunate events that led us to where we are right now.”

That would’ve been a five-inning game finishing at 1:16 a.m. ? and the Giants falling from a tie for the top National League wild-card spot into a virtual tie for the second spot. But now, play will resume on Thursday.

Hoyer defended his grounds crew. “Those guys do an incredible job,” he said. “Our grounds crew is fantastic, and in Chicago there are so many storms that pull os off so often that it’s a rare thing to happen. It was a bad confluence of events that let to that.”

If anything, some of those involved suggested, the rules governing suspended games should be reviewed to avoid something like this in the future.

“Both teams, the umpires and MLB wanted to do the right thing,” Epstein said, “wanted to get nine innings in. But the rule was specifically written, and it wasn’t provide for the circumstances we had tonight. So maybe it’s something that’s addressed in the future.

“But for 2014, those are the rules that covered it.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @GDubCub

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
1 Points
1

Sheriff: Harvey hostage standoff resolved; all rescued

Police went in because things were getting "dicey," he said."Things were just not moving at all, and that always worries people."The situation had started Tuesday, with a report of a burglary. He said two men were in custody and the house where the standoff occurred was being checked for any additional weapons."It was a thoughtful approach from beginning to end," Dart said, adding that there would be people second-guessing whether the situation could have been resolved sooner.

SUN-TIMES REPORT August 20, 2014 9:37AM

A standoff in Harvey ended Wednesday morning, as two burglary suspects were arrested after being barricaded inside a home with hostages since Tuesday afternoon. The hostages were unharmed. | ABC7 Eyewitness News

Updated: August 20, 2014 10:38AM

A police standoff in Harvey ended Wednesday morning when police entered the home and safely secured the hostages, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said.

The hostages were not injured, and no shots were fired, Dart said, but that does not mean the suspects went easily.

“They didn’t surrender themselves,” Dart said.

An armored car was used to take down the front door of the Harvey home, Dart said. Officers then entered and found everyone in an upstairs bedroom. The remaining hostages were two adults and two girls, ages 12 and 6.

“It became clear we needed to enter the house,” Dart told reporters about 9:30 a.m.

The hostages were taken to the hospital to be checked out, Dart said. He said two men were in custody and the house where the standoff occurred was being checked for any additional weapons.

“It was a thoughtful approach from beginning to end,” Dart said, adding that there would be people second-guessing whether the situation could have been resolved sooner.

It was clear to Dart, he said, that this was the time to act. Police went in because things were getting “dicey,” he said.

“Things were just not moving at all, and that always worries people.”

The situation had started Tuesday, with a report of a burglary. Police responding to the neighborhood, near Sibley Boulevard and Hoyne Avenue, were fired upon by two men. One officer was hit the arm and taken to the hospital; the other was grazed by a bullet and treated at the scene.

They went into a nearby home and took several hostages. The home appeared to have been chosen at random; Dart said there were no known relationships between the suspects and the hostages.

Two children were released earlier, but as of Wednesday morning, the two suspects had remained in the home with two adults and two children.

Hostage negotiations were conducted by the Illinois State Police and Dart’s office. More than 20 other law enforcement agencies were involved.

Earlier Wednesday, Dart had said negotiators remained in constant touch with the suspects inside the home.

“We’re trying to make it clear to the people within the house that no one is going to get hurt,” Dart said.

Aftre the situation resolved, he said negotiators had “tried everything conceivable to get them to understand that we weren’t going away. “

Earlier, Harvey Police Chief Denard Eaves announced Rosa Parks Middle School would be closed Wednesday because of the ongoing situation.

Thornton High School will remain open, Eaves said, but students who live in the area near the standoff were not be required to attend.

“We don’t want students coming outside, standing on their bus routes,” Eaves said.

An alternate bus route along 150th Street was provided for students who would ordinarily be picked up along Sibley in the affected area, Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg said Wednesday morning. Students will be picked up at 150th and Dixie Highway.

Over the course of several hours on Tuesday evening, the woman brought out four children, one by one: two 1-year-old boys, a 2-year-old boy and an 11-year-old boy. The children were taken to a local hospital for observation.

Authorities initially thought only two people were being held hostage inside the home on the 14700 block of Seeley. But throughout the day Tuesday that number was revised upward.

That’s because the men who took the hostages were not forthcoming with hostage negotiators, Harvey spokesman Sean Howard said.

“These numbers change when you depend on criminals to give you information,” he said. “As these victims have come out, an 11-year-old [released hostage] was able to articulate what was going on at the scene.”

After the situation developed on Tuesday, a consortium of south suburban law enforcement officers had descended on Harvey, where they were seen gearing up in fatigues, with body armor and assault-style weapons. An armored vehicle patrolled the alleyways near the home.

Officials identified the most severely wounded officer as Darnell Keel, an 18-year veteran of the force, who heads up the department’s sexual assault unit.

“He’s doing fine and in good spirits, and he said he wished he could get back out there and help his teammates,” Howard said. “He’s a man of faith thanking God that it was just his arm and not something else.”

Keel’s arm was broken by a gunman’s bullet, but he was treated at Christ Hospital and released. Another officer was grazed by a bullet. He was treated at the scene.

“Thank God that our officer is not injured more seriously than he was,” Harvey Police Chief Denard Eaves said. “Our main concern right now is the individuals inside the home. That’s what were focusing on right now: their safety.”

The incident started when a Harvey Police officer was responding to a call of a burglary in progress at a home about 12:50 p.m., Howard said.

Keel “saw a subject with a gun, there was an exchange of gunfire, and [Keel] was shot,” Howard said. After the suspect shot the officer, he ran into a nearby home, where he barricaded himself.

Officers from nearby Phoenix arrived on the scene shortly after Keel was wounded and dragged him to safety, Howard said.

Corey Campbell, who lives nearby, said he was just waking up when he heard gunfire.

“I woke up and heard about six shots, tires screeching, and I just heard some yelling,” Campbell said. “Next thing I know, we come out and see police everywhere.”

Contributing: Bryan Slodysko, Jon Seidel, Ashlee Rezin, Luke Wilusz

Chicago Sun-Times
20/08
17 Points
1

Staffing issue may have been responsible for Cubs ‘tarp gate’

NOTES: An unsuccessful part of the Giants' protest included an effort to have the game forfeited by the Cubs. Edwin Jackson (6-14, 6.09 ERA) suffered his worst start, allowing seven runs in 22/3 innings in the Cubs' 8-3 loss. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was put on the bereavement list Wednesday and returned home to the Dominican Republic after learning he lost four friends and family members in a car accident Wednesday.

BY GORDON WITTENMYERStaff Reporter August 20, 2014 10:34PM

Updated: August 20, 2014 11:51PM

A staffing decision by the Cubs’ stadium operations might have made as big a difference as any “mechanical’’ issue in creating the tarp-related mess Tuesday night that led to the historic decision Wednesday to uphold the San Francisco Giants’ challenge of what was originally ruled a rain-shortened Cubs victory.

Sources said the Cubs ordered grounds-crew staffing reductions this week to cover recent “overages” in hours by the crew.

The crew’s failure to quickly cover the field with the tarp during a sudden heavy shower in the fifth inning Tuesday night ? and spillage while removing it ? created unplayable field conditions that could not be resolved during a four-hour, 34-minute delay.

The Giants filed a protest. And a swift review by MLB officials resulted in the first successful protest in the majors in 28 years.

With Cubs’ baseball officials supporting the Giants’ efforts, MLB determined that the tarp had not been properly rolled up after its previous use, creating a “malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club” ? the only provision in the rule book allowing for a “regulation” five-inning game to be suspended.

It’s scheduled to resume at 4:05 p.m. Thursday, with the Cubs leading 2-0 to start the bottom of the fifth inning. Pitcher Jacob Turner will take over for starter Tsuyoshi Wada. The teams then play their regularly scheduled game at 7:05.

“I think it was a just outcome,” said Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer, taking responsibility for the Cubs causing the problem. “I hope to win the game, but they’ll get a fair shot at winning the game now.”

Hoyer lauded the quality and efforts of the grounds crew and did not attribute the problems to staffing. The Cubs’ baseball department appeared to have no knowledge of the details of that department.

But he did say the club planned to review what went wrong Tuesday night. Widely respected head groundskeeper Roger Baird was not available for comment.

But a source with knowledge of the crew working Tuesday night said only 12 regular members of the grounds crew staffed that game, instead of the typical 25. Inexperienced “facilities employees” supplemented the more seasoned crew members.

Whether that was the direct cause of the problems, it took two tries by Tuesday’s crew to cover the infield ? failing the first time after stopping the roll at a bad angle and winding up with third base and home plate uncovered.

The Cubs’ business and stadium operations dispute any unusual staffing measures for Tuesday’s game or any staffing decisions based on budget overruns.

Spokesman Julian Green said the “morning crew” stays to help the night crew if rain is in the forecast but that because rain was not in the forecast, that crew was not there.

“That said, we had enough people on the crew Tuesday night and every night to pull the tarp when warranted, and the number has never presented a problem,” Green said via email. “We believe we have the best grounds crew in the business and this was simply an extraordinary occurrence given the bizarre weather system.”

Yet one source said more than 20 crew members typically pull the tarp when needed, but an unofficial count from Tuesday showed 15 on the first try (with 10 jumping to the side to try to adjust the errant angle) and 20 then pulling on the second, more successful try.

NOTES: An unsuccessful part of the Giants’ protest included an effort to have the game forfeited by the Cubs.

? Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was put on the bereavement list Wednesday and returned home to the Dominican Republic after learning he lost four friends and family members in a car accident Wednesday. It’s unclear how long he’ll be gone.

? Rookie Javy Baez moved from second to make his major-league debut at shortstop in Castro’s place.

? Edwin Jackson (6-14, 6.09 ERA) suffered his worst start, allowing seven runs in 22/3 innings in the Cubs’ 8-3 loss. He has the worst ERA in the majors, by more than a full point, among qualifying pitchers.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @GDubCub

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
2 Points
1

Bears expect Alshon Jeffery to keep up feats of 2013

There won't be much game-planning, but a one-on-one matchup against Sherman should be revealing for Jeffery.''We'll see after the game, and then I could tell you [where I am],'' Jeffery said. JAHNS Staff Reporter August 20, 2014 9:45PM Updated: August 20, 2014 11:34PMTwo preseason games had passed last year without much from Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, and it was worrisome.

BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter August 20, 2014 9:45PM

Updated: August 20, 2014 11:34PM

Two preseason games had passed last year without much from Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, and it was worrisome. His one catch for 13 yards didn’t support the glowing declarations that fellow receiver Brandon Marshall and others had confidently made about his future stardom.

Plenty of smoke, but no fire.

Five scoring drives by the Bears’ starters in the first half of their next game against the Oakland Raiders changed that. Jeffery’s star flashed with seven catches on eight targets for 77 yards.

‘‘I was just working hard every day in practice,’’ a reflective Jeffery said.

Flash forward to Wednesday, when Jeffery was one of several Pro Bowl players coming off the field. The Bears are counting on him not just to repeat last season’s success ? 89 catches, 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns ? but to better it.

After all, Jeffery can’t truly be an NFL star unless his success becomes a yearly occurrence.

‘‘He’s done it for one year,’’ coach Marc Trestman said. ‘‘He knows he’s got to prove himself, [that] he’s got to stack years and years together to be a great player, like Brandon has. He’s certainly confident he can do it. He knows he can compete at this level and compete at a high level.’’

A formidable foe awaits Jeffery in Seattle on Friday. The Seahawks’ secondary is widely considered the NFL’s best, with big and brash cornerback Richard Sherman arguably the best at his position. There won’t be much game-planning, but a one-on-one matchup against Sherman should be revealing for Jeffery.

‘‘We’ll see after the game, and then I could tell you [where I am],’’ Jeffery said. ‘‘For now, I’m just worried about our game plan and playing Chicago Bears football.’’

That’s a complicated brand of football that Jeffery speaks about more confidently after his wildly successful 2013 and another training camp and preseason spent excelling in it. When it comes down to it, quarterback Jay Cutler and the Bears are confident Jeffery can out-leap any defensive back for a catch.

‘‘He knows what he can do on the field, and he’s a hard worker,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘It’s just in him. It’s just keeping him healthy now and trying to keep him engaged in the offense.’’

Jeffery’s work ethic was considered a concern when he taken with the 45th overall pick in 2012. That’s a far-fetched worry now. He seems more confident with his blossoming stardom every time he talks.

‘‘The sky’s the limit for this offense,’’ he said.

And it’s the sky where he does his most exciting work.

‘‘We’re excited to see where he goes with this,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘If you could see him work here on a daily basis, he’s doing all the right things to put another good year together.’’

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @adamjahns

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
2 Points
1

Simeon High School keeps electrical training program

Howard Brookins (21st), who had urged CPS to keep the program, praised CPS for coming around. Earlier this summer, the district announced it was cutting the last CPS electrical program for lack of student interest.The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has partnered with the district and will provide graduates who participated in the training program a path to an apprenticeship, CPS officials said in a news release.

BY BECKY SCHLIKERMAN Staff Reporter August 20, 2014 4:58PM

Updated: August 20, 2014 5:21PM

An electrical training program that had been set to be cut at Simeon Career Academy High School has been revived, Chicago Public Schools officials said Wednesday.

“After hearing from students, parents and the community, CPS is restoring the electricity program, providing our students the opportunity to learn technical skills and secure electrician jobs across the city,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.

Earlier this summer, the district announced it was cutting the last CPS electrical program for lack of student interest.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has partnered with the district and will provide graduates who participated in the training program a path to an apprenticeship, CPS officials said in a news release.

“We share in Mayor Emanuel’s support of the technical programs and opportunities for Chicago’s students, and looking forward to helping train and recruit the next generation of electricians,” Terry Allen, business manager for IBEW 134, said in the statement. “IBEW is committed to offering employment towards apprenticeship and helping Chicago’s next generation workforce find job security and a path to the middle class.”

Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), who had urged CPS to keep the program, praised CPS for coming around.

“I think as a comprehensive part of a vocational training, they really saw electricity was an integral part,” he said.

Up to 28 students every year will be able to enroll in the three-year program.

The Simeon electricity program is one of more than 40 technical training programs in the district.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @schlikerman

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
2 Points
1

Feds try to tie convicted drug dealer to cop slaying

Robert Soto and Kathryn Romberg at point-blank range on the West Side in 2008.But Davis was between "J. Rock" and a hard place.And when prosecutors put him in front of a Cook County Grand Jury, his story suddenly changed."I can't live with it," Davis said. "I can't send nobody to jail because I wasn't there and I didn't see."Davis wasn't the only witness against Austin to abruptly change his story.

BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter August 20, 2014 2:26PM

Chicago Police said Monday, Aug. 18, 2008, that Jason Austin, 26, was arrested at his home and charged with two counts of first-degree murder and armed robbery in the deaths of Chicago Detective Robert Soto and Kathryn Romberg during an apparent robbery on Aug. 13. (AP Photo/Chicago Police Department)

Updated: August 21, 2014 12:13AM

He’d told relatives that his pal had been acting “wild” like “He-Man” the night he killed a Chicago cop, the feds say.

Troy Davis had repeated that story to police, telling them he was an eyewitness who’d seen “four muzzle flashes” as drug dealer Jason “J. Rock” Austin allegedly fatally shot Det. Robert Soto and Kathryn Romberg at point-blank range on the West Side in 2008.

But Davis was between “J. Rock” and a hard place.

And when prosecutors put him in front of a Cook County Grand Jury, his story suddenly changed.

“I can’t live with it,” Davis said. “I can’t send nobody to jail because I wasn’t there and I didn’t see.”

Davis wasn’t the only witness against Austin to abruptly change his story. As several other key witnesses quickly recanted, claiming they’d been beaten or coerced by police, the high-profile case against Austin collapsed.

Six years later, federal prosecutors on Wednesday said it was Austin who waged a campaign of witness intimidation to beat the double murder wrap.

And they urged U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow to take the slayings into account when she sentences Austin for a series of drug convictions.

Though he’s never been convicted of the murders, Austin deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mirabel Fernandez-Harvath said at a highly unusual sentencing hearing.

Unlike at a trial, at which they’d have to prove him guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt,” prosecutors need only convince Lefkow “on the preponderance of the evidence” that Austin committed the murders for him to face a vastly larger sentence.

Soto and Romberg were fatally shot as they sat in Soto’s SUV on the 3000 block of West Franklin, just two blocks from the spot where Austin’s Traveling Vice Lord faction made $8,000 a day selling heroin.

Prosecutors allege it was a case of mistaken identity. Austin shot Soto and Romberg after mistaking Soto for rival drug dealer Andrew “Snowball” Garriot, then threatened witnesses in an attempt to pin the blame on Garriot, they say.

Garriot and Austin even squared off in a bullpen at Cook County Jail and accused each other of the killings, evidence shows.

In a courtroom packed with Soto’s police colleagues and family Wednesday, Austin’s attorney Richard Kling accused prosecutors of turning what’s expected to be a two day drug sentencing hearing into “a murder case in sheep’s clothing.”

Prosecutors’ decision to ask for a life sentence for Austin, after initially asking for a 40-year-sentence, was a “red flag” that the case against him was weak, Kling said.

Detective Kevin Bor, who led the investigation, testified that Davis and Terrance Scott both initially admitted they were riding in the back of Austin’s car when he jumped out and shot Soto and Romberg.

But Austin’s 1996 maroon Buick was a two-door, not the four-door model multiple witnesses say the killer used, Kling pointed out.

And before he died, Soto himself told officers at the scene that the getaway car was a four-door, Kling added.

The City of Chicago also settled a lawsuit brought by some of the witnesses, who alleged they were coerced by police into giving statements incriminating Austin, Bor acknowledged.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @kimjnews

Chicago Sun-Times
Today
2 Points
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