The San Diego Chargers and first-round draft pick Larry English reportedly agreed to terms Friday afternoon on a five-year contract according to a report in the San Diego Union Tribune.
Chargers' rookies had reported to training camp Sunday night. Veterans reported Thursday night and held their first workout Friday morning. According to U-T beat writer Kevin Acee, English was expected at Friday afternoon's practice.
His report said that after the morning practice, "negotiations (with English) got serious and then moved like lightning."
July 2009 Archives
The San Diego Chargers and first-round draft pick Larry English reportedly agreed to terms Friday afternoon on a five-year contract according to a report in the San Diego Union Tribune.
My phone started buzzing relentlessly, first with calls and then with text messages.
This usually means one thing - the White Sox are doing something amazing.
No team in Chicago brings out the 'fan' in my circle of buddies than the SouthSiders, and today was no different with the acquisition of Jake Peavy.
I used this space before to rip Peavy for wanting to stay and lose in San Diego a few months ago, and I still kind of wonder why it took him a serious ankle injury a two months to change his mind, but this is a great move for the White Sox.
Clayton Richard is a major league starter, but he's not a No. 1. Aaron Poreda has shown flashes, but right now he's no better than a No. 5 or a long man out of the bull pen. And who cares about the other two guys no one ever heard of.
This is a win for the Sox not only for now, but for the next 2 years when the rotation is solid with Buehrle, Floyd, Danks and Peavy. Not many teams can boast that type of talented - and young - arms.
The Front Nine took a look at how important the mental side of golf is to your game, and how it's something you can improve upon - even without the help of golf psychologists.
Whitetail Ridge head pro Patrick MacDonald believes average players should try visualization - play the course in your head before you tee it up, and work on those shots on the range before hand.
"It's very important. Visualize each shot, visualize where you want to be on each hole. I always like to leave the range hitting whatever club I'm going to hit off the first tee and have a positive swing thought. It helps to make sure when I get on the first tee I'm prepared for that type of shot and I've thought about it."
"As you go around the course, what amateurs fail to realize is 'where is the worst place to leave it?' and play accordingly to that. If I mis-hit it, I'll end up here because it's not the worst place to be because I've thought about it ahead of time."
Another key for average players would be to after a bad shot.
"Once the golf ball leaves the club face, it's over. You can't do anything about it when it's in the air," MacDonald said. "The quicker you can put a bad shot out of your mind is only going to lead to better scores in your round. You just have to let it go and forget about it. It's hard to do, but the quicker all golfers can do that, the better they can score."
Then there is the "zone' that you hear athletes talk about from time to time. Here's what Davis Love III said about it...
"You get in a zone. I have had a couple really good streaks, three or four weeks or two or three months, and when you get in those streaks you're not thinking about how to go through your routine or how to play, how to turn it on and turn it off on the golf course, how to focus or how to get lost in the process. Right now I'm working on it, you know, and that's the difference."
Unfortunately for you and me, finding the "zone" might be a little tougher than working on visualization and working on "one shot at a time."
Said MacDonald: "Unfortunately I think that's directly related to talent. If you think about it, you're going to be out there for 4, 4 1/2 hours, and unless you're Tiger or something with unbelievable mental fortitude, you're not going to be able to keep it together for that long.
They key is if you get that rhythmn, to use it as long as you can and then once it goes away - which it will - is to not get wrapped up in it, just go with the flow, keep swinging the way you are."
Well, Rockford's Brad Benjamin continues his summer to remember with a thrilling playoff victory over U of I head golf coach & Aurora native Mike Small in the Illinois Open today up at Hawthorn Woods Country Club.
While Benjamin may be the story, check this out. On the 18th hole, Small played hit his shot off the rocks and onto the green, giving himself a chance to save par and extend the playoff.
Unfortunately, he couldn't capitalize, but what great theater!
and this is all I need to get me going again...Only Cubs fans would put on an epic Hat Fail.bmp
Thschedule firsts keep coming for Larry English.
The first NFL first round draft choice out of Northern Illinois University and Aurora when he was taken by San Diego this spring, English is now experiencing his first contract holdout.
It's not surprising, though. Only four first round draft choices have been signed so far. The number is expected to pick up this week as teams gear up for camps.
Charger rookies were scheduled to report to training camp on Sunday but English was not among them. According to Kevin Acee, Chargers' beat writer for the San Diego Union Tribune, the team has a history of taking its time signing first rounders and was just beginning preliminary talks with English's agent.
The team's veterans aren't scheduled to report until Friday.
Hoping to catch English, live, in action this season without traveling to the west coast?
You'll still have to do some traveling since the Chargers' schedule doesn't bring them too close to the area. The team's preseason road games are Aug. 22 at Phoenix and Aug. 29 at Atlanta.
During the regular season, the team's road schedule includes these dates and locations: Sept. 14 at Oakland; Oct. 4 at Pittsburgh; Oct. 25 at Kansas City; Nov. 8 at New York Giants; Nov. 22 at Denver; Dec. 6 at Cleveland; Dec. 13 at Dallas; Dec. 25 at Tennessee.
And if you were planning a vacation trip to San Diego for a training camp visit, be forewarned: the Chargers have closed their camp to the public this year. In February, a drainage pipe at their facility broke and resulted in a 40-foot deep sinkhole that had a diameter of 30 feet. Since repairs won't commence until later this month, the team is closing camp due to safety concerns. The drain line, apparently runs underneath bleachers used by fans to watch camp practices.
The team does have three night practices at Qualcomm Stadium that are open to the public: Aug. 5th, 8th, and 12th.
It's been a long time coming, but Northern Illinois University's football team will again host a Bowl Championship Series conference opponent -- three years from now.
NIU Athletic Director Jeff Compher announced a home-and-home series with Big Twelve Conference member Kansas for 2011 and 2012. Coach Jerry Kill's Huskies will travel to Lawrence, Kan., on Sept. 10, 2011 to play the Jayhawks. On Sept. 22 of the following year, Kansas will travel
to DeKalb for a non-conference game.
It will mark the first time since 2003 that a BCS opponent has graced the field turf at Huskie Stadium. That year, Northern played host to -- and beat -- both Maryland and Iowa State on the way to a 7-0 start to the season that sent the Huskies to No. 12 in the national rankings, highest in school history.
Northern had been scheduled to play a home date with Wisconsin this season but agreed to move the game to Madison (Sept. 5) in exchange for Wisconsin agreeing to play Northern at Soldier Field, Sept. 17, 2011.
"Getting a home-and-home series with a BCS conference opponent has been a priority since I came to NIU a year ago," said NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher. "We know what it means to our fan base to have Kansas come to DeKalb, and this series is something that has been in the works for several months.
"We appreciate the willingness of [Kansas AD] Lew Perkins and his staff to work with us on these games. It's always a challenge, knowing that we have to schedule our non-conference opponents many years out, but this is a scheduling philosophy (home and home series) that we want to continue over time."
NIU coach Jerry Kill is a native of Cheyney, Kan.
who attended Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan. He coached for seven seasons (Pittsburg State, Emporia State) in Kansas and six member s of his coaching staff have played and/or coached there, too.
The only previous meeting between NIU and Kansas came on Sept. 3, 1983 with NIU claiming a 37-34 win in Lawrence to kick off its
1983 MAC Championship and California Bowl season.
well, it's July and Daily Dose has been vacationing for most of it. Making this fairly un-daily...
but, you'll get it every day from the end of this month and for as long as I'm allowed once I return from my last vacation days next week....
so, I'll leave you with this.
Flipping during commercial breaks of the Sox-Rays game to watch the Cubs getting pounded by a real live major league baseball team, I was fortunate enough to catch good ol' Fonsi Soriano try to catch a simple fly out by Shane Victorino.
Now, Soriano closed on the ball pretty well & it was sinking toward the warning track, so he didn't have a chance to do his little hop. And, the ball then bounced right off the heel of the glove allowing yet another Phillie run to score.
Then, Bob Brenly says you really can't be surprised at what happened but adds
"It's baseball. Catch it!"
Well, the major league all-star break has come to a close but Class AAA righty Michael Bowden is still on a vacation - but not by his choosing necessarily.
The Boston Red Sox put the Aurora native on the disabled list for no real reason other than to give his arm a break. No worries though folks - the Red Sox do it all the time with their young pitchers.
While it's too early to tell if Bowden will be traded - the Red Sox are one of the few teams in baseball that have both cash and talent in the minors - what we do know is Boston is high on him.
According to this story, Jim Callis of Baseball America thinks Bowden would be a big leaguer right now if he were any place other than Boston.
"I don't think there's many farm systems that have the kind of pitching depth the Red Sox have in the minors. I think with just about any other organization, Clay Buchholz would be in the big league rotation right now. Michael Bowden would probably be in the big league rotation right now."
Then this from Boston director of player development Mike Hazen:
"I've said this plenty of times before: Guys like Clay Buchholz and Bowden and (Junichi)Tazawa and those types of players, I mean you're not going to make them major league players. They were drafted as major league players."
Also - what could that mean for Marmion alumnus Matt Milroy? I think we'll be able to assume they feel he could reach the majors in 3-4 years if they give him enough of a reason to skip the U of I.
namely area high school golfers.
There are three current high schoolers in the field, but that's not nearly enough. The tournament, which is contested at both Phillips Park and Fox Valley Golf Club, is a great opportunity for high school players to compete against skilled amateurs that have much more experience than they do.
And, a four day 72-hole tournament would be a departure from the types of tourneys they usually compete in.
On a related note, head pro Jeff Schmidt is looking for some help in determining the official start of the city tourney, as well as former champions.
Record keeping has been spotty at best. Throw in the fact that no tourney was held during the Phillips Park renovation, plus the real chance it didn't happen during WWII, there's a good chance it hasn't been held consecutively since its inception.
My colleague Rick Armstrong has narrowed down the start date of the tournament to either 1932 or 1933, but we could use your help. Call Schmidt at 630-499-0670 or e-mail the Beacon at firstname.lastname@example.org
While I'm sure you are absolutely dying for more Fire and Passion talk (which, by the way, the Pres definitely has The Fire and The Passion), I'm going to hit you with some golf news.
First, Northern Illinois University alumnus Joe Vrankin and his golf venture TopGolf USA, had some good news come their way a few days ago.
So why does this matter to you? Well, it doesn't affect the day-to-day at TopGolf in Wood Dale. But, what it will probably do is give you more gaming options down the line not only there, but in any new TopGolf locations in the area.
If you haven't been out to TopGolf, you need to make at least one trip. I'll admit - I was skeptical at first when I heard about the concept. But, it's a blast. And, everyone around me was having a good time.
It's perfect for serious golfers, as well as those who just want to go out and do something fun.
On the local charity golf outing level - Chick Evans (July 18) and River Oaks (Aug. 29) golf Courses are hosing Rally for the Cure scramble golf outings at 6:30 a.m.
The cost at Chick Evans is $65 a player ($260 for foursome). The River Oaks fee is $45 a player ($160 a foursome).
All proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundationj. For more information or to register click here or call Chick Evans at 847-965-5353 or River Oaks at 708-868-4090.
And finally, I wanted to get an update out for Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Last year, I did a travel golf piece on the resort and its two golf courses - The Brute and The Highlands.
Having played and stayed there, I can say it's worth the jaunt for the golfer and his/her significant other. And, the resort just finished up its largest renovation in over a decade, a multi-million dollar effort to upgrade and expand its outdoor pool area, redesign its spa as well as an overall improvement of its guest facilities.
As you know, my thing is golf, and I can only rave about The Brute and Highlands golf courses.
My personal favorite is the Highlands - I love the look of the place, even though my wayward tee shots appreciate the Brute a bit better.
The coures are very different from one another, and give golfers the ability to play the game two different ways. That's always a fun thing to do when you're trying to kick back and relax and have some 'away' time from home.
Back (for awhile) and I don't think you were surprised to learn that Aaron Rowand was at it again over the weekend.
Rowand - or The Fire and The Passion for the rest of us - preserved Jonathan Sanchez's no-hitter over the weekend...
The Fire and The Passion made a leaping grab at the fence to rob Edgar Gonzalez for the second out of the ninth innning.
"I was going to go up and over and land on the other side of the fence if I had to, to try to make the catch," Rowand said.
Of course he would've.
Rowand would've run through the fence.
He would have then knocked out the beer vendor and punted the three small children waiting for the impending home run to get to the bleacher steps.
He would've stuck a cleat in the grill of the grandparents highlighted on the "kiss cam" to take another three steps before pounding a Miller Light and breaking his face on a random brick wall before making the catch.
Because he has The Fire.
And The Passion.
and off for the next week...
but i couldn't help but think 2009-10 Chicago Bulls = 2009 White Sox.
it seems like this year the Bulls will try to get by, maybe sneak into the playoffs with a sub-500 record as the most important thing is the development of Derrick Rose, then try to make a free agent splash with a big signing in the 2010 offseason.
it's very '09 Sox like - try not to call it rebuilding as to not upset the fan base, but that's what they're doing.
The Eastern Conference has reloaded big time - especially now that Rasheed Wallace has joined Boston.
So let's see - the Magic get Vince Carter from New Jersey, which helped both teams...
Hedo Turkoglu hopped from Orlando to Toronto, making the Raptors better..
Da Bulls? Well, maybe Joakim Noah will continue to progress to average 12 points per game...
I dont feel bad for McNair. I feel bad for the children he left behind, the ones who had to find out dad was cheating on mom only after his girlfriend brained him and then offed herself.
Every adult has to live with their decisions, and some times those decisions lead to a loss of life. It's unfortunate. It's not worth the over the top tributes in sports media however.
that's the question I ask...
because Hawk Harrelson says that Gordon "Bacon" Beckham has an athletic face.
an athletic face?
What could that even possibly mean?
Can his eyebrows do the broad jump? Can his jawline bend steel? Can his eyes run a 4.4 40?
well, Mike Small did it again. The U of I head men's golf coach has been the best player in the Illinois PGA section for awhile now, but his performance kind of "dipped" - if you can call it that - the last few years.
Some speculated it had to do with an equipment change.
Well, that should be put to bed as Small captured his 2nd PGA Professional National Championship and earned a berth into this year's PGA Championship up at Hazeltine in Minnesota.
Then this morning, U of I alumnus D.A. Points fired an impressive 6-under 64 in the first round of Tiger's tournament at Congressional.
Points, a Pekin native, is a great guy and 2009 is his first full season on the PGA Tour since 2006. He may have figured something out as he has carded five top 25's already and nearly $1 million.
And of course, you've got Illinois alumnus Steve Stricker still doing big things......
It's been a great summer so far for the blue and orange
Owner Robert Bettinardi kind of fell into that business, and in the last six months the pieces have become his hottest seller.
"I decided to start making them for the country clubs - the Medinah's, the Butler's, the Rich Harvest Farm's," Bettinardi said. "So that was very unique because now I'm customizing all the belt buckles. There are probably 20 million golfers in the United States, say 15 million of them are men, but there are 50 million men in American and there are probably 50 million of that wear belts. So you're talking about a bigger demographic, a bigger base."
The buckles are custom made on the Bettinardi C&C Milling machines in their Tinley building, and can be hand painted to match any color scheme.
"Everybody wants silver, but silver is very expensive," he said. "Stainless steel is beautiful because it doesn't rust. You can do all kinds of stuff (to it)."
The buckles (& leather belt) retail at $175 each, but if you're into fashion and having something no one else in the world will own - it's worth picking one up.
"Our motif is 'you want something that's really nice? You want something that's going to really last a long time? You want something that's guaranteed to last a lifetime?' Go get yourself a Bettinardi - whether it's a belt buckle, a putter, a headcover - whatever it is," Bettinardi said. "Bettinardi is really high quality stuff. That's what we're all about. That's what I'm proud of. "
Winfield native & Wheaton Warrenville South alumnus Kevin Streelman is the first player to endorse the buckles. A second year PGA Tour pro, Streelman has about 15 buckles that he wears.
"It's been fun yo be able to have my own input on a couple buckles and they've done some custom things for me," he said. "I've gotten asked by a lot of people 'where'd you get this?'"
Streelman has taken advantage of Bettinardi's ability to customize the buckles, wearing different buckles for different tour stops.
"They did a killer whale like Shamu for San Diego, they did a really cool desert scene for the FBR in Phoenix," Streelman said. "They did 'Bettinardi' in like the Hollywood-sign (design) for Riviera. (My wife) Courtney and I will brainstorm and say 'hey, why don't you try this for this week?' He's been really responsive and able to do a lot of the custom stuff."
if only for an abbreviated time...
see, it's summer - and the Daily Dose has to take all its vacation time during these months betwixt baseball and foo-ball and golf....
so, we'll try to do it big and live it large for the time being...
a reader e-mailed in to tell us that Batavia's Jordan Coffey and Aurora Christian's Matt Morse shared a unique honor - the only players in the area to receive all-state nods in both baseball and football.
Interestingly though, the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association has since taken down its "all-state" team and says an "all-area" team will be honored July 20.
But this newspaper story on the 1A/2A team lists Morse....
So, this is all unofficial of course, but this reader is fairly up to snuff on his stuff...
Along with Coffey, other area all-state nominees in 3A/4A were
Tim Drish of Batavia, Brady Renner of West Aurora and Sam Carius of Waubonsie Valley.
Congrats to them if its true - but I find it hard to believe that Marmion's Matt Milroy was not an all-state selection, even in 4A...but we'll see in mid-July I guess..