JRW falls short against S.Korea,but still U.S. LLWS Champs!

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WILLIAMSPORT—Seoul Little League defeated Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West to win the 2014 Little League World Series. Seoul won Sunday’s finale 8-4.Seoul, the representative for the Asia-Pacific group, went 5-0 in the LLWS, often flashing a powerful offense, averaging more than 8 runs per game.This marks the third championship for a team from South Korea, but the first since 1985.The game was close for a bit, as Jackie Robinson West,the U.S.Little League Champs after their Saturday revenge win over a very cocky Las Vegas team, cut the Seoul lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning. Seoul would tack on one run in each the fourth and the fifth, making it 4-1 heading into the sixth and final frame. That’s when Seoul broke the game wide open with a four-run inning, collecting five hits in the first six at-bats of the inning.The offensive star Sunday was Dong Wan Sin, as he went 2 for 3 with a home run. Gyu Heon Kwon added two hits while Jae Yeong Hwang collected two RBI and a double.Jackie Robinson West, representing the Great Lakes region, was aiming to become the first Little League World Series winner from Illinois. They were held to just two hits — one each by D.J. Butler and Ed Howard — by Seoul pitchers Jae Yeong Hwang and Hae Chan Cho through the first five innings.Despite a seven-run deficit heading into the bottom of the sixth, Jackie Robinson West made a run at a comeback.Pierce Jones and Trey Hondras collected singles before being driven home on Darion Radcliff’s two-run single. Joshua Houston followed with a single and Radcliff scored on a passed ball. The rally fell short after that, though, and Seoul prevailed.The United States last had a champion in this event in 2011, when Huntington Beach, Calif., took home the title. Each of the previous two seasons champions hailed from Tokyo.

Bears blown into Puget Sound by Seahawks

SEATTLE—It’s for sure that the Bears still have much work to do, and do not measure up to the defending Super Bowl Champs.Seattle’s defense is expected to be among the best in the NFL again. If Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense can play this well in the regular season, look out. It’s still just the preseason, but for the second straight week Wilson and the Seahawks weren’t stopped. Wilson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score, helping the Seahawks rout the Bears 34-6 on Friday night. The third preseason game was especially important for the Seahawks, who have just a week between their exhibition finale at Oakland and the season opener on Sept. 4 against Green Bay. And coach Pete Carroll couldn’t have been happier. Carroll said. “Russell is really committed to what is happening. We’ve got a really nice receiving corps where the guys are all making their plays and a lot of guys are contributing to it. … We have good guys to go to, and they really believe in what we’re asking them to do. I think we’re just hitting at a pretty good clip right now. Hopefully we can keep it going.”
Seattle scored touchdowns on its first four possessions, and Steven Hauschka hit a 59-yard field goal — what would be a franchise record in the regular season — on the final play of the first half.
Wilson was behind center for nine straight scoring drives, dating to last week’s win over San Diego, a run of 55 points. It nearly reached 10 on the first drive of the second half before Hauschka’s 53-yard attempt clanged off the left upright.
Wilson completed 15 of 20 passes for 202 yards, including scoring tosses of 12 yards to Jermaine Kearse and 7 yards to Christine Michael. He found Percy Harvin and Kearse four times and spread passes to seven receivers in the first half. Wilson also had a 7-yard touchdown run.
“I thought the way that we played tonight was exceptional,” Wilson said. “We were in a rhythm. We were great on third downs. We were great in the red zone. We’re really starting to put things together.”
Marshawn Lynch got his first taste of the preseason with three carries for 16 yards and capped Seattle’s opening drive with a 7-yard TD run before putting on basketball shoes.A week after rolling up 260 yards of offense and 24 points in the first half against San Diego, the Seahawks had 250 yards and 31 points versus the Bears. Seattle converted all seven third-down opportunities in the first half. On special teams, Harvin returned the opening kickoff 46 yards, and the only grief was reserved for Earl Thomas who was caught by the punter on a 59-yard return that nearly broke for another Seattle touchdown.
“I was surprised he got tackled,” Wilson said. “I’m going to pick on him tomorrow.”
Along with Lynch getting his first real playing time of the preseason, Seattle saw center Max Unger, left tackle Russell Okung, safety Kam Chancellor and linebacker Malcolm Smith make their preseason debuts. The four mostly just played the first quarter. Jay Cutler played the entire first half and appeared to throw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett late in the second quarter only to have Bennett ruled down at the 1 on review. Two plays later, after an offensive pass interference call on Brandon Marshall wiped out another touchdown, Cutler was intercepted at the goal line by Jeremy Lane.Cutler finished 12 of 20 for 157 yards, and Alshon Jeffery and Marshall had four receptions. But the Bears’ run game was again absent with just 21 yards on six carries in the first half.
“The good thing about it is that we are going to be able to make some corrections; we think a lot of this is fixable,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “And we’ll do that and we’ll be able to see how we are tied together in all three phases, because it was (clear) we lost the game in all three phases. That’s a credit to Seattle.
NOTES—The Bears played without defensive end Jared Allen (shoulder), rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller (ankle) and right tackle Jordan Mills (foot). … Hauschka’s career long in the regular season is 54 yards.

Rose sits as Team USA routs the Dominican Republic

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NEW YORK—Early in the third quarter, the crowd started chanting his name at Madison Square Garden.

“Der-rick Rose!”

Then, they did it again. And again. And again. All four times, they would be denied. There would be no Derrick Rose in the first of two Team USA exhibitions here this week, but the man himself said afterward that there’s nothing to worry about.He’ll play Friday, Rose said after the U.S. men’s national team toyed with the Dominican Republic in a 105-62 victory on Wednesday night.

“Just trying to protect myself, just knowing that this is a long, long schedule and this is the most basketball I’ll be playing in two years,” Rose said. “So I’m just going in, trying to gear up, making sure that I’m healthy.”

It’s essentially been a three-year journey for Rose, who has played only 10 games the past two seasons due to injuries to both knees. For those who might be a bit apprehensive after the injury to Paul George and withdrawal by All-Stars Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Durant, Rose smiled as he set the record straight.

“No, not the knees,” he said. “No, no, no, no; you don’t have to worry about that.”

It was the fourth consecutive rest day for Rose, who hasn’t practiced or played since Team USA’s exhibition victory over Brazil on Saturday night in Chicago. His coach, Tom Thibodeau — an assistant with the national team and one who is notoriously vague about injuries of any kind — described it as “general soreness.” Rose described it as “just body fatigue.”

Teammate Stephen Curry said: “He doesn’t look hurt to me.”

Whatever the case, it’s understandable if the most decorated remaining member of a decimated Team USA has generated some uneasiness with his extended absence.

“We went in with the idea that as long as he’s feeling good, he’s going to play,” Thibodeau said. “He’s got to play at some point. Basically, he’s been out for three years, so he’s got to play. This is a great setting for him because of the depth of the team. … He doesn’t have to play a lot of minutes. He doesn’t have the burden; doesn’t have to score big. He just has to go out and play –- find the rhythm of the game, run the team. It’s ideal for him, but if he needs rest, we’re going to give him rest.”

Rose went through shootaround Wednesday morning and participated in pre-game warmups. At one point, he said the decision to sit was “a team thing.” At another point, he said, “They gave me the opportunity to go out there and play tonight, and I chose to rest a little bit.”

Then, he said, “I wouldn’t say it’s my call.”

It was frustrating, Rose said, but a necessary step in his comeback.

“Come on, here?” he said. “The crowd chanting your name like four or five times? Like, come on man; I want to be out there. But at the same time, my health is the No. 1 issue right now.”

With George suffering a gruesome leg injury in a Las Vegas scrimmage, and with reigning MVP Kevin Durant citing mental and physical fatigue in his decision to quit the team, the question of whether NBA players should risk injury in offseason international tournaments is now embodied by Rose.It was a question that commissioner Adam Silver addressed during a pre-game news conference to discuss the Hoops for Troops initiative between USA Basketball, the NBA and the U.S. military. Silver called it “an individual player decision.”

Seated next to Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs, Silver said: “There is a big risk without enormous financial reward. But I’m sitting next to our highest ranking military official, so I’m almost embarrassed to be talking about the risks that our players face as compared to what our men and women in uniform face.”

Curry, who has battled chronic ankle injuries in his young career, said he has “zero doubt” Rose will fulfill his commitment.

“There’s obviously been a lot of questions the past couple of weeks about whether we should be or should not be doing this or what’s in it for us,” Curry said. “But it’s some great memories. It’s a pretty cool fraternity of guys who’ve worn this jersey and won gold medals.”

So if you listen to Rose, his coach, and his teammates, there’s no reason to expect another oddly worded news release from Team USA explaining Rose’s decision to leave the team.If you take them at their word, then Rose will be out there on the practice floor on Thursday, and on the floor at the Garden on Friday night against Puerto Rico.And on the plane to Spain after that.

Hawks sign Leighton, same goalie they beat in the 2010 Finals.

The Blackhawks announced today that they have agreed to terms with goaltender Michael Leighton on a one-year contract. Leighton, 33, has posted 35 wins (35-41-14), a 2.97 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in 105 career regular-season games over parts of eight seasons with the Blackhawks (2002-2004), Nashville (2006-07), Philadelphia (2006-07; 2009-13) and Carolina (2007-09). He has notched an 8-4 record in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games and currently holds the NHL record for most shutouts in a postseason series (3 vs. MTL in 2010 Eastern Conference Final).Leighton, originally drafted by the Blackhawks in the sixth round (165th overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, appeared in 42 contests over two seasons with the club during his NHL debut, collecting eight wins (8-21-10), a 2.81 GAA and a .901 SV%. He was the franchise’s first goaltender to post a shutout in his NHL debut after doing so on Jan. 8, 2003 vs. ARI. The Petrolia, Ontario, native spent last season with the KHL’s Donbass Donetsk, where he was part of a goaltending tandem that set a team record for fewest goals allowed during the regular season. Leighton, who helped the club reach the second round of the playoffs, shared third in the league with 20 regular-season wins, ranked seventh with a 1.74 GAA and ninth with a .934 SV%.Leighton has also notched 171 victories (171-144-29) in 354 career American Hockey League tilts spanning 10 seasons with the Norfolk Admirals (2001-05), Rochester Americans (2005-06), Portland Pirates (2006-07), Philadelphia Phantoms (2006-07), Albany River Rats (2007-08) and Adirondack Phantoms (2010-2013). He was named to the 2001-02 All-Rookie Team. During the 2007-08 season, Leighton was honored with the “Baz Bastien Memorial Award” as the league’s best goaltender and named to the First All-Star Team.

Rose and Davis help USA beat Brazil in Home Town

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USA Basketball won’t have Kevin Durant or Paul George or Kevin Love. They won’t have Blake Griffin or Russell Westbrook either. LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard aren’t going to play when the competition isn’t happening in the Olympics. But Team USA is still full of great talent from the NBA and it was on display in the United Center.Playing in front of their hometown crowd, Derrick Rose and Anthony Davis reminded us of the super-human ways in which they’re capable of playing basketball. We’ve only seen 10 somewhat disappointing games from Rose since he tore his ACL in the 2012 playoffs, but his speed, quickness, strength, and incredible impact he’s capable of having on a basketball game were all on display against Brazil. Davis led all scorers with 20 points and was impossible for Brazil’s NBA big men to keep up with. Nene, Tiago Splitter, and Anderson Varejao all found themselves trailing Davis running the floor at some point in the game. He was catching lobs, challenging shots inside, and he even knocked down a couple of midrange jumpers to show off his versatility. Davis’ hustle and effort to dominate the game were on display in the fourth quarter as he went diving out of bounds and into the stands on the sideline to save a ball.James Harden added 18 points for Team USA and Stephen Curry put on a shooting display early in the first quarter. We were also treated to Kenneth Faried‘s relentless hustle on the boards early on as he helped boost an early lead for Team USA that quickly got to double digits. Splitter, Nene, and point guard Marcelo Huertas showed their ability to stick in games and match elite talent for long stretches as they helped Brazil fight back and make it a close game during the second quarter and again in the second half. They were able to answer the runs by Team USA, but eventually the style of play proved to be too much for Brazil. Next up for USA Basketball is a couple of exhibition games at Madison Square Garden in New York City on August 20 and August 22. They’ll play the Dominican Republic team and then Puerto Rico, as they decide on a final 12-man roster.

Bears sign Santonio Holmes as third receiver.

LAKE FOREST—The Bears have the best pair of wide receivers in the NFL, so naturally they went out and added Santonio Holmes to their roster.That’s largely sarcasm, but the Bears reportedly did sign Holmes, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. With Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery on the roster, the Bears aren’t exactly desperate for receiver help, at least in so far as starters go.Dig a little deeper, though, and you see a wide receiver corps that’s not exactly stupendous top to bottom. Marquess Wilson underwent surgery on a collarbone injury. If pressed into duty, Eric Weems and Josh Morgan aren’t going to scare the league’s top defensive backs. Armanti Edwards is on the roster here. Holmes is older (30) and his last (and only) 1,000-yard season was 2009, before he was traded from the Steelers to the Jets. His contract looked horrible the entire time he spent in New york and he averaged just 11 games played per year there. Still, it can’t be too expensive of a proposition and if it works out, the Bears will see a little bump in terms of depth, which would be helpful particularly if they want to spread the field.

Late TD give Bears 20-19 comeback win over Jaguars, now 2-0 in Pre Season

Chad Henne passed for 130 yards and a touchdown, and Blake Bortles threw for 160 in relief before backup quarterback Jordan Palmer rallied the Bears to a 20-19 preseason victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night.Palmer, trying to beat out Jimmy Clausen for the No. 2 job, led the Bears to two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Senorise Perry scored on a 5-yard run with 50 seconds left, and C.J. Wilson intercepted a pass to seal the win after Henne and Bortles picked the Bears apart.Jared Allen made his first appearance for the Bears. The star offseason defensive acquisition finished with one tackle for a loss on an otherwise quiet night. He sat out last week’s opening win over Philadelphia after he missed practices because his wife had a baby.Henne showed mobility in the pocket and completed 12 of 17 passes before leaving with a 13-7 lead in the second quarter.Bortles looked sharp again after an impressive showing last week in a victory over Tampa Bay. The No. 3 pick in the draft, he went 11 for 17, but the Jaguars came away with the loss.Jay Cutler completed 7 of 9 passes for 79 yards and called it a night after throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall early in the second quarter.Jimmy Clausen got the first call after Cutler left the game, with Palmer serving as the second man in relief in a flip from the preseason opener. But Clausen took a step back after a strong performance last week.The former Notre Dame star and Carolina Panther went 11 of 15 for 94 yards. He also had a pass intercepted by Josh Evans early in the third quarter off linebacker Telvin Smith‘s deflection.Palmer started the fourth quarter and threw for 73 yards, completing 6 of 9 passes.Martellus Bennett had a 25-yard catch after being suspended by the team last week for an altercation in practice with cornerback Kyle Fuller, who left this game after injuring his ankle on the opening possession.Jacksonville’s Toby Gerhart ran for 19 yards in his first appearance with the Jaguars. The former Minnesota Vikings backup had missed nearly two weeks because of a hip flexor injury.Marqise Lee, a standout in camp, caught four passes for 27 yards and a touchdown after struggling against Tampa Bay. Mercedes Lewis had 46 yards on three receptions.The Jaguars scored on all three first-quarter possessions while grabbing a 13-0 lead, with Josh Scobee kicking a pair of field goals and Henne hitting Lee with a 6-yard touchdown pass after another special-teams gaffe by Bears.After giving up a 102-yard kickoff return to Philadelphia’s Josh Huff, this time it was a fumble by Eric Weems on the kickoff after Scobee’s second field goal — a 25-yarder. Will Blackmon stripped him, Jacksonville took over on the Bears 23, and Henne connected with Lee after a third-down sack by Trevor Scott earlier in the drive got wiped out by an illegal contact call against Kelvin Hayden.The Bears cut it to 13-7 early in the second quarter, when Cutler hit Marshall with a 4-yarder to cap a 10-play drive. But a 43-yard field goal by Scobee late in the half made it 16-7.

NU loses two key offensive players in Mark(transfer)and Jones(knee injury)

EVANSTON—Last week it was announced that Northwestern’s Venric Mark had been suspended for the first two games of the season, meaning that the Wildcats would be without their most dynamic playmaker to start 2014. Now they’ll be without him all year, as the school announced Wednesday evening that Mark was transferring.The school says Mark is transferring for personal reasons, as he wants to play football closer to his family.

“Today is a difficult day for our football family and, most importantly, for Venric,” said Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald in a release. “We love him, and there is no doubt that we’re going to miss him as both a person and player. But this is unquestionably what is best for Venric and those closest to him.”

There is no word on where Mark will transfer, but he is originally from Texas.Mark was limited to only three games last season due to injuries, but in 2012 he had 2,166 all-purpose yards and scored 15 touchdowns serving as a running back and returner on special teams.And as if the loss of Mark wasn’t a big enough blow, Northwestern also announced that receiver Christian Jones will miss the entire 2014 season with a knee injury he suffered in practice. Jones was Northwestern’s leading receiver last year, finishing the year with 54 catches for 668 yards and four touchdowns.That is a whole lot of production that the Wildcats offense is going to need to replace in 2014.

Golson begins season as Irish starting QB

SOUTH BEND—Everett Golson has officially come all the way back.To the surprise of essentially no one, Brian Kelly announced after practice Wednesday that the junior quarterback will be under center for the Fighting Irish’s season opener against Rice, having beaten out redshirt freshman Malik Zaire. Golson missed the entire 2013 season through academic suspension.”His spring practice and his leadership in the summer and camp here, he’s put himself in a position to get that opportunity,” Kelly said, per Blue and Gold Illustrated.As a redshirt freshman, Golson started 10 games for Notre Dame in its undefeated march to the 2012 BCS championship game, finishing the season with 2,405 passing yards, a 12-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio and 298 rushing yards.Golson told reporters he’d been informed of Kelly’s decision Monday.

“It’s an accomplishment knowing everything that has transpired,” he said.

Kelly said Zaire, the former four-star dual-threat quarterback from Dayton, Ohio, “wasn’t happy” with the decision, but that Kelly would have been “disappointed” if he had reacted differently.

Bulls open season at NY, Home opener with Cleveland, host Lakers Christmas Evening

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BULLS REGULAR SEASON
Date    Opp.     Time
Oct 29    @NY    8:00 PM
Oct 31    Cle    8:00 PM
Nov 1    @Min    8:00 PM
Nov 4    Orl    8:00 PM
Nov 5    @Mil    8:00 PM
Nov 7    @Phi    7:00 PM
Nov 8    Bos    8:00 PM
Nov 10    Det    8:00 PM
Nov 13    @Tor    8:00 PM
Nov 15    Ind    8:00 PM
Nov 17    @LAC    10:30 PM
Nov 20    @Sac    10:30 PM
Nov 21    @Port    10:30 PM
Nov 24    @Utah    9:00 PM
Nov 25    @Den    9:00 PM
Nov 28    @Bos    1:00 PM
Nov 30    @Brook 3:00 PM
Dec 2    Dal    8:00 PM
Dec 3    @Char    7:00 PM
Dec 6    GS    8:00 PM
Dec 10    Brook    8:00 PM
Dec 12    Port    7:00 PM
Dec 14    @Mia    6:00 PM
Dec 15    @Atl    7:30 PM
Dec 18    NY    8:00 PM
Dec 19    @Mem    8:00 PM
Dec 22    Tor    8:00 PM
Dec 23    @Wash    7:00 PM
Dec 25    LAL    8:00 PM
Dec 27    NO    8:00 PM
Dec 29    @Ind    7:00 PM
Dec 30    Brook    8:00 PM
Jan 1    Den    8:00 PM
Jan 3    Bos    8:00 PM
Jan 5    Hou    8:00 PM
Jan 7    Utah    8:00 PM
Jan 9    @Wash    8:00 PM
Jan 10    Mil    8:00 PM
Jan 12    Orl    8:00 PM
Jan 14    Wash    8:00 PM
Jan 16    @Bos    7:30 PM
Jan 17    Atl    8:00 PM
Jan 19    @Cle    8:00 PM
Jan 22    SA    8:00 PM
Jan 23    @Dal    8:00 PM
Jan 25    Mia    1:00 PM
Jan 27    @GS    10:30 PM
Jan 29    @LAL    10:30 PM
Jan 30    @Pho    10:30 PM
Feb 4    @Hou    8:00 PM
Feb 7    @NO    7:00 PM
Feb 8    @Orl    6:00 PM
Feb 10    Sac    8:00 PM
Feb 12    Cle    8:00 PM
Feb 20    @Det    7:30 PM
Feb 21    Pho    8:00 PM
Feb 23    Mil    8:00 PM
Feb 25    Char    8:00 PM
Feb 27    Min    8:00 PM
Mar 1    LAC    1:00 PM
Mar 3    Wash    8:00 PM
Mar 5    OKC    8:00 PM
Mar 6    @Ind    7:00 PM
Mar 8    @SA    1:00 PM
Mar 9    Mem    8:00 PM
Mar 11    @Phi    7:00 PM
Mar 13    @Char    7:00 PM
Mar 15    @OKC    1:00 PM
Mar 18    Ind    8:00 PM
Mar 20    Tor    8:00 PM
Mar 21    @Det    7:30 PM
Mar 23    Char    8:00 PM
Mar 25    @Tor    7:30 PM
Mar 28    NY    8:00 PM
Apr 1    @Mil    8:00 PM
Apr 3    Det    8:00 PM
Apr 5    @Cle    3:30 PM
Apr 8    @Orl    7:00 PM
Apr 9    @Mia    8:00 PM
Apr 11    Phi    8:00 PM
Apr 13    @Brook 7:30 PM
Apr 15    Atl    8:00 PM