CHICAGO Teams

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Freeman 'faces very long odds' to return to NFL (1:40)

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was fairly defiant in regards to the new mound visit rules. He said if he has to go talk to his pitcher while breaking the 6 visit rule, so be it: "I don't even care. If I have to go (to the mound) again and pay the price for my team I will." He more than intimated he would be willing to risk a fine or even harsher punishment.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cubs welcomed some kids from Advocate HealthCare today here in Az. They were signed to one day contracts and were very excited.

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Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Watch Joe Maddon discuss the 'low carry' on Darvish's fastball after his first live batting practice session.

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Darvish feeling comfortable with Cubs (2:08)
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Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Watch Yu Darvish discuss his first batting session, facing Cubs hitters.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

Here is what Jerrell Freeman posted last year on his official twitter account: "I hate to say I'm sorry again, but I'm sorry. I've been on IR all year and you try and stay out of sight, but sorry for the distraction.I had been lying to friends, family and loved ones when it came to the question of, 'Are you OK?' Knowing my career may be over due to everything that came with the head injury (that's been purposely downplayed by me), memory loss and all, has actually been a bit of a struggle. That being said there's no excuse to cope with any problems by taking any kind of pills. I don't know my future but a big thanks to the Bears and the NFL, if I would have used their programs and services earlier than I did I wouldn't be in this situation. Sorry again for the distraction."

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

Veteran ILB Jerrell Freeman, who the Bears released on Tuesday, expressed doubt that he would continue playing football after the NFL suspended him again for violating the league's PED policy policy last year. Freeman, who tore a pectoral muscle in Week 1 that landed him on injured reserve, said he was dealing with the after effects of a nasty concussion he also sustained in the regular season opener.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

The Bears clear $3 million worth of salary cap space by releasing veteran ILB Jerrell Freeman.

Greg Wyshynski ESPN 

The Chicago Blackhawks announced on Monday that the four fans who were ejected for racial taunts targeting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly on Saturday night are "no longer welcome at home games," as "racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks." Yet there's one lingering mystery here: These fans were sitting in the first two rows of Section 112. Were they season-ticket holders, whose tickets have now been revoked? Were they there using a season-ticket holder's seats, either through a personal connection or the secondary resale market? We asked the Blackhawks for clarification, specifically if whomever owns the seats had been punished or warned for what these fans did. "We will not be commenting any further on the topic," said a team spokesman.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Albert Einstein is part of Maddon's art and baseball theme.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Joe Maddon unveiled two new paintings to his team as he continues his theme of baseball and art. This one is Mona Lisa.

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Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Watch Joe Maddon discuss his message to the entire team on the first full day of workouts. It includes combining art with baseball as well as the teamwork of the San Antonio Spurs.

Greg Wyshynski ESPN 

Based on his track record, it wasn't a matter of "if" Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan would acquire a veteran defenseman before the trade deadline, but "when." He previously added Tom Gilbert (Feb. 2017), Mike Weber (Feb. 2016) and Tim Gleason (Feb. 2016), and has now added Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Kempny, 27, for either Washington's or Toronto's third-round pick this year – whichever ends up higher. "He gives us a little more depth. He's a real good skater. He goes into the mix, and he'll help our defense," said coach Barry Trotz of Kempny, who has seven points in 31 games this season. He was third among Blackhawks defensemen in 5v5 Corsi percentage (53.68). Most importantly for the cap-strapped Capitals, he makes $900,000 and is an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Jon Durr/USA Today Sports
1dJesse Rogers

Rizzo: Parkland visit was support, not politics

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, a 2007 graduate of Stoneman Douglas High School, said he was in Parkland to support victims and their families after last week's mass shooting, not to make a political statement.

William Weinbaum ESPN 

MLB announced rules changes Monday to further limit mound visits & reduce time for pitching changes & breaks between half innings, but deferred potential use of a timer for between pitches. Owners Bill Veeck of the White Sox & then Charlie Finley of the A's long ago tried a :20 scoreboard "pitchometer," but those efforts failed without enforcement mandated for umpires.