Ron Santo’s family and Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams helped the Chicago Cubs pay tribute to their beloved former broadcaster before a 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
The team unveiled a plaque dedicated to Santo during the pregame ceremony. It sits right below his spot in the press box and says: “From this booth, Cubs legend Ron Santo signed thousands of autographs for Cubs fans from around the world.”
Santo died on Dec. 3 at the age of 70 from complications of bladder cancer.
The pregame ceremony before 7,186 fans at HoHoKam Stadium also included members of team chairman Tom Ricketts’ family, Mesa mayor Scott Smith and Santo’s son, Jeff.
WHITE SOX: Dayan Viciedo of the Chicago White Sox has a broken right thumb after being hit by a pitch.
Viciedo is expected to be out for two to four weeks,
“It’s a sad day,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “He’d done everything we asked him to do. Hopefully he can be cured before we break camp.”
CARDINALS: Kyle McClellan got a confidence boost in his bid to make the Cardinals’ rotation on Thursday.
Despite not having his best stuff, McClellan allowed three hits and a run in four innings in a 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
AROUND THE HORN: Documents released by the Florida state attorney’s office accuse Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera of threatening a manager at a restaurant shortly before the slugger’s arrest Feb. 16 in Fort Pierce on suspicion of drunken driving. ... Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar was scheduled for more facial surgery a day after being hit by Brian McCann’s foul liner while standing in the dugout during an exhibition game. A spokesman said it may be another day or two before all details are clear. ... The Phillies rewarded manager Charlie Manuel with a two-year contract extension through 2013, his prize for four straight NL East titles, a World Series championship. He will reportedly be paid between $7 and $8 million total for 2012 and 2013. ... Dodgers pitcher Jon Garland is expected to miss at least a month after straining his left side during a spring training game. Garland hurt himself throwing a pitch Wednesday and an MRI exam revealed a strained oblique muscle. ... Yogi Berra, 85, was taken by ambulance from the Yankees’ spring training game after tripping in the clubhouse. The Hall of Famer was in “good spirits,” and the hospital visit was strictly a precaution.
We all get a little down in life now and then. Some people respond by running distance races, or making pickles, or drinking whiskey. Other people watch replays of Stephen Strasburg's first home start. Like Mark Lerner, for example.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/strasburgtherapy0211.jpg<img src="http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2011-02/59659231.jpg" >
"It shows all 14 strikeouts!" Lerner told NBC Washington's Lindsay Czarniak recently, while showing off the highlights on his iPad. "It's great. So if I need a quick fix, this is what I'll do. I'll put on the highlights of Stephen's June 8th game. I've watched it probably 50 times if I've watched it once. For two bucks I put it on the iPad. I took the link off MLB.com. I listen to the play-by-play call or whatever, [and] I'm very happy....
"When I'm sitting at my desk at home or on a plane or whatever, I'm down about something or I'm nervous about signing a free agent, we're going back and forth about whether we'ree gonna get him or not, you konw, I'll just put this on. It gets me all pumped up. And it's fun."
"Strasburg Therapy," Czarniak suggested.
"Absolutely," Lerner agreed. "There is hope. And hopefully I'll have some Harrper Therapy too this year or maybe next year, and we'll see what happens."
Finishing is starting to become a problem for No. 5 Texas.
For the second time in three games, the Longhorns frittered away a big first-half lead and lost a Big 12 road game, this time 91-89 at Colorado on Saturday.
The Buffaloes stormed back from a 22-point first-half deficit and overcame a 48-33 halftime hole behind Alec Burks' 33 points and Levi Knutson's 21.
''The second half we didn't execute and I think they played harder than us and they wanted it more, it seemed like,'' Longhorns forward Jordan Hamilton said. ''We didn't run plays, we didn't screen. We went away from what we were doing in the first half.''
For the Longhorns, it was eerily reminiscent of a 70-67 loss at Nebraska a week earlier that prevented Texas (24-5, 12-2 Big 12) from ascending to the top of the college basketball rankings.
This latest loss dropped Texas into a tie for first place in the Big 12 with No. 3 Kansas, which beat Oklahoma 82-70.
''It's not like we lost a ton-load of games. We've only lost two games,'' Hamilton said. ''... But I think it's good for us. We've just got to get back to the drawing board. We're not as good as we thought.''
In beating their third Top 25 opponent this season, the Buffaloes (18-11, 7-7) regrouped at halftime and put on a second-half show in pushing the pace and giving first-year coach Tad Boyle his biggest win yet.
''I didn't yell and scream. I probably should have,'' Boyle said of his halftime message. ''I didn't know what to expect coming out at halftime. But our guys, they delivered.''
''A sense of urgency kicked in,'' Buffaloes senior Cory Higgins said.
And everything starting going Colorado's way.
''It seemed like they had more freedom in the second half. Transition 3s, just driving, like playing open gym, really,'' lamented Longhorns forward Gary Johnson. ''That seemed like the kind of team they turned into in the second half.''
The Horns? They suddenly looked like the kids who entertained the crowd during a timeout by donning oversized uniforms and shoes and trying to score a basket.
''I really think it's very simple: the team that played for 40 minutes won the game,'' Texas coach Rick Barnes said. ''I didn't feel like we had a real sense of urgency from the get-go.
''We didn't play with purpose, that was the problem. We got a lead early in the game and I've seen them evaporate quickly, but you can certainly help the cause by not making them defend and simply not executing. We didn't. We simply didn't execute.''
While the Buffs were storming back behind Burks, who scored 24 after halftime, including 11 during a 14-0 spurt, the Longhorns were going 1 for 17 from the field during a brutal 25-possession stretch.
When it was over, the Buffs had built an 81-70 lead on Austin Dufault's tip-in with less than 3 minutes left.
But Texas, led by 21 points each from Hamilton and J'Covan Brown, didn't go down quietly.
Brown hit three free throws with 38 seconds left to make it 85-80. After Knutson's two free throws, Hamilton's 3-pointer with 30 seconds left pulled Texas to 87-83.
Higgins stepped on the baseline on the inbounds, turning the ball over with 29 seconds left, but Hamilton was long on a 3-pointer and Burks corralled his 10th rebound.
He missed his eighth free throw, however, before making one for an 88-83 cushion.
Hamilton's long 3-pointer made it a two-point game with 18 seconds left. Burks was fouled again with 14 seconds remaining and this time he made both for a 90-86 lead.
Hamilton misfired a 3-pointer and Higgins hit one of two foul shots, and Cory Joseph hit an uncontested 3 at the buzzer as the student section at the record fourth sellout at the Coors Events Center this season stormed the court.
The Buffs tied their school record with their 14th win at home and ended a six-game skid against Texas, which led 43-21.
Colorado outrebounded Texas 43-39 and outshot the 'Horns 53 percent to 42 percent.
''Mentality,'' Boyle said. ''We don't have better athletes. We don't have more size. We just battled them. And that's the competing I was talking about at halftime. ... Shows you what we're capable of.
''It's a marquee win, goes to the top of our resume.''
And to the bottom of the Longhorns', right alongside that loss at Nebraska.
''I think it's human nature when a team gets up and thinks it's going to be easy,'' Barnes said. ''If I were coaching against us, I would tell them that if they could get a lead there is always a chance to come back because we haven't proven yet that we can sustain it.''
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